Adweek Creative 100: Ken Marcus & Sean Riley

Congrats to Ken Marcus and Sean Riley for being named to Adweek’s Creative 100. Way to go, guys! 

Check out the full list here.

Ken Marcus and Sean Riley
Senior Copywriter and Creative Director, The Martin Agency

Marcus and Riley are the creators you don’t know of the Geico work you know so well—the “It’s Not Surprising” and “It’s What You Do” campaigns, which recently helped the insurer have its best year ever in new policies.

“It’s one thing to do award-winning work. But it’s pretty awesome when you can do recognized, national work that really moves the needle for clients,” says Marcus. “It’s weird when it all works the way it’s supposed to.”

“Keeping the campaign fresh is a priority because it runs everywhere and people are going view it multiple times,” adds Riley. “It can be intimidating, but here’s nothing better than sitting in a bar or movie and seeing people laugh at our silly jokes.”

Marcus values advertising that’s simple yet unexpected. “Particularly visually,” he says. “In this day and age, when most folks absorb their media by scrolling or skimming through, we need to be as visually surprising as possible. Something has to really stop them in their tracks before they’ll pay attention. Also, I loathe overthinking. Paralysis by analysis. It’s the death of fun, spontaneous ideas in our business. I really pride myself on ‘underthinking.’”

Riley’s approach is to be open to any and all ideas in the beginning. “Throwing around as much stuff as possible, having fun, and trying not to overthink,” he says. “Always with the goal of getting past the mundane and finding a surprising twist. Then when it’s time to edit, be the cold-hearted bastard the advertising world desperately needs you to be.”

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