When I was a kid, my dad had a collection of National Geographic magazines in our garage. I didn’t care for the articles, but I loved the ads. Those magazines were my first textbooks, and inspired me to pursue a career in advertising.

My first paying job in advertising was at McCann-Erickson, where I gained valuable experience on accounts like Wells Fargo Bank, Safeway and PG&E. Later I joined an agency that focused on video gaming and sports, working on brands like LucasArts, Pac-Man, The San Francisco Giants, and San Jose Sharks. Now I’m an Associate Creative Director (Art Director) with experience across a wide variety of industries, both at agencies and in-house. I’ve created award-winning campaigns in nearly every medium for large and small clients. My category experience includes: Real Estate, Staffing & Recruiting, Hospitality, Restaurants, Technology, Legal Services, Professional Services, Consumer Packaged Goods, Museums, Nonprofits, Food and Beverages, Publishing, Entertainment, and others.
My favorite aspects of working in advertising are strategic thinking, collaboration, and executing an idea across multiple channels as elegantly as possible. I think of myself as an advertising person who has the skills of an art director and a filmmaker. While it’s satisfying to create beautiful visuals, ultimately the message must move the target to action. Connecting a brand to its audience through some combination of logic, drama, or humor is fun and challenging. But the most rewarding part is knowing that you have actually affected people and gotten them to respond – whether it's a simple click on a banner ad, or making a life-changing purchase like buying a home. 

Video has always been my favorite medium, and with the proliferation of video across marketing channels, I’ve developed a deep skill set in this area. Ideating with a writer and storyboarding are my usual starting point. I’ve hired production companies and worked with many talented directors and cinematographers. Post production is my specialty, so I often do video editing myself, including color correction and sound mixing, bringing in experts as needed.

Because there are always new technologies and new media coming into existence, my skills continue to evolve. I led digital publishing initiatives at two agencies, which allowed us to offer a wider range of services to our clients and resulted in an additional stream of projects. And I’m leading a task force at my current agency to employ AI tools in the creative department. I regularly seek out new opportunities, whether it’s a new business pitch or presenting new work to an existing client.

Fun things I’ve done in my spare time include publishing two coffee table books, the second of which is about car advertising in the 1950s and 1960s, specifically the ads that I saw in those old magazines that piqued my interest in advertising in the first place. I have also made a few documentary films and have taught part time at Academy of Art College.

Feel free to contact me at robertjosephkeil@gmail.com or 415-518-6916.
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