GS&P was founded in 1983 in San Francisco. Together with Wieden+Kennedy (Portland, OR.) and Chiat/Day (LA), the young West Coast agencies dethroned the big New York agencies as the focal point of creativity.
Great agencies are marked by a signature commercial that defines them, whether “Just Do It” or “1984.” GS&P’s signature has been the “Got Milk?” campaign, with its wit and humanity.
But the start of this decade was painful for GS&P as it suffered big account losses – Chevrolet, Sprint and HP. The agency’s co-founders Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein reacted by making significant changes. They tapped Margaret Johnson as the agency’s first chief creative officer, and Derek Robson as president, among other promotions that brought the agency’s partner mix to an even 50-50 split of women and men. The result was a streak of new business wins and outstanding creative work in 2019.
A marketing stunt for BMW involved a 10-day, 11-state journey from the factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina and the L.A. auto show, to demonstrate the resilience of the X5 crossover by driving the straightest line off road between the two cities.
The agency created an “anti-advertising” campaign for Doritos, targeting a young, Gen-Z audience that rejects overt advertising. It forgoes a logo and tagline altogether and relied on the snack unique shape.
For HP printers, GS&P enlisted Michel Gondry, the innovative French filmmaker who won an Academy Award for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The spot conjures up an appealing storybook by rewriting the “The 12 Days of Christmas” in a visually engaging and colorful way.
The agency has helped Pepsi fight its second banana status, by drafting rappers Cardi B, Lil Jon and actor Steve Carrel for a Super Bowl spot. Carrell gets somewhat apoplectic when a woman in the booth next to him in a restaurant orders a Coke, and is asked by the waiter, “Is Pepsi OK?”
For the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the surrealist’s death at the Dalí Museum in Florida, a team of creative technologists at the agency brought the artist back to life through deepfake technology, overlaying recorded words spoken by the live Dalí onto an actor’s face.
The Pièce de résistance of their work this year is a 4-minute Xfinity holiday-themed spot, a sequel to the 1982 blockbuster movie “E.T. The Extraterrestrial.” It reunites the lovable alien with Henry Thomas’ Elliott, successfully tugging the heartstrings.