Last fall I Ied the pitch that won the Cracker Barrel retail account for my agency client by assembling a swat team made entirely of freelancers, me included. Super-fun start to my freelance career! Prior, I had great leadership stints at DDB, Y&R and Trisect/Match MG. But I'm ready for more one-to-one relationships vs 100-to-one. Clients want that, too. They want talent that's on-tap, curated, accessible, embedded.
Here's a bit more on our client
experience, creative work, and the way we think.
YEP, THERE'S A "WE" IN "TEAM".
WE COME WITH EXPERIENCE.
AND WE KNOW WHEN NOT TO USE IT.
We promote positive energy. Infectious spirit. Collaborative atmosphere.
But make no mistake we’re in it to win it on behalf of our client and agency partners.
Here are some brands we were instrumental in pitching and winning —
as principal presenters, with principal work, or both:
RULE 1: BE KIND.
RULE 2: MAKE WORK THAT KILLS.
We never come in with all the answers. But we will have lots of questions.
It's not about being 'right'. It's about having the right kind of curiosity.
CLEVELAND SCHOLARSHIP FUND
PSAs and in-school posters were created to grab the attention of high school minority students to encourage them to apply for college scholarships with the help of The Cleveland Scholarship Programs.
Viewers believed they were seeing an ad for HIV/AIDS prevention and were shocked and surprised
to realize getting a college education could easily be possible.
SEARS | "WHERE IT BEGINS" BRAND RELAUNCH
We told Sears to stop thinking like a retailer and start acting like a publisher.
Not just because of their legacy catalog, but because they were uniquely positioned to
build human experiences around every chapter in life.
This made the brand consumer-focused and gave it new organizing principles in social, ecommerce and in-store.
Bonus: the visual motif of the famous catalog helped us elevate the hard-working promotional work, too.
During my time leading integrated creative program development for Sears, the work was:
Why? Hard work you're proud of is everything.
Why? Friendship is the one true currency.
HUNTER: Let's get the buzzwords out of the way. Multi-channel. Experiential. Behavior-based. Data-driven. Every act of marketing ought to be a human gesture that leverages some or all of these.
I've focused my career on this. But without soul, none of it matters. Picture a bloodhound sniffing for the soul hiding in every brief — insights in the culture, cateogry, client and consumer. That would be me...including the drooling part.
And we can't wait to solve America's healthcare problems collaborate with you.
Things to know about us:
• he's Hunter
• she's Klonk
• we've been working together since before youtube
• we're based in Chicago but have worked around the world for big agencies on big bands
• we're humble
• probably because we're originally from Cleveland
• we're totally psyched to roll up our sleeves and make awesome stuff with your team
Scroll on down for answers to your questions. For a deeper dive on our backgrounds and capabilities, check this out.
KLONK: My superpower is making people feel comfortable enough to spill their truth. I get them to tell me the stuff nobody knows about.
Yes, I'm an experienced CD/AD and agency designer. But it's my work as an on-the-street photographer, director, videographer and content creator that gives me the most inspiration. Sometimes the most powerful thing a person can do is let down their guard.
KLONK: I've been freelancing since 2010 for agencies including McGarry Bowen, Leo Burnett, Energy BBDO, The Escape Pod, Havas, and FCB. Prior to that I was a creative director at DDB Chicago and BBDO. Freelancing is great because you get to speed-date with so many fantastic teams, clients, brands. You rub off on them, they rub off on you, everyone wins.
THISISKLONK | THISISHUNTER
Assumptions were made to be thrown out the window.
We’re seasoned, yet really good at forgetting everything we know to make new synapses.
VP CD @ DDB Chicago — emphasis on brand building,
creative strategy, production, new business
SVP GCD @ Y&R Chicago — emphasis on integrated creative program development, creative strategy, new business
ECD @ TRISECT Chicago — emphasis on content, experiential, shopper, multi-channel platform, speed to market
ECD / Integrated Creative Lead @ MATCH MG — all of the above + data partner & experience-based media integration
CD/AD @ DDB Chicago — emphasis on strategic ideation, design stewardship, food and fashion production,
CD/AD @ BBDO Chicago — emphasis on design, content development and production, multi-channel ideation
CREDSTYLE FILMS — content creation, videography,
dp work, directing
FREELANCE CREATIVE @ Havas, McGarry Bowen, Leo Burnett, FCB, The Escape Pod, DDB
HOW WE COLLABORATE
Or work style is simple: we try to be the kind of people we would want to work with.
Whether it's other creative teams, client in-house, or consumer learning cohorts,
we love inspiring — and being inspired by — other team members.
And we have plenty of experience cultivating trust while leading integrated programs
with a full range of client marketing partners including:
OUR NEW BUSINESS VIBE
WE LIVE AND BREATHE CO-CREATION
We're not here to 'own' an idea. We help people own their experiences.
We always try to find the heart of what matters and help brands act accordingly.
FOR DDB CHICAGO
MORGAN STANLEY | VAN KAMPEN FUNDS
JONES LANG LASALLE
JCPENNEY (PITCH TO RETAIN)
FOR DDB NEW YORK | LONDON
FOR Y&R CHICAGO
SEARS (WHOLESTORE + BRAND)
EINSTEIN BROS BAGELS
BMO HARRIS BANK
FOR RKY&R LONDON
FOR TRISECT |MATCH MG CHICAGO
CRACKER BARREL RETAIL
FOR DDB CHICAGO
FOR DDB LONDON | AMSTERDAM
UNILEVER (GLOBAL ICE CREAM BRANDS)
FOR DDB BERLIN
FOR McGARRY BOWEN
RENEW LIFE PROBIOTICS
The poster won Best Of Show at the Addy Awards and created disruption and talk value for the client.
MARK DOLLIVER | ADWEEK
“...it must be a pleasant surprise when an ad that looks like yet another gloom-bomb turns out to be saying something good can happen i.e. , ‘You can get a college education. We can help.’ It sounds coolly knowing — which will give 17-year-olds a sense the people behind this program might be worth it."
We also created newspaper ads featuring real students that ran in the headquarter cities of Nike, Reebok and
Starbucks to encourage these influencer brands to get involved with the Cleveland Scholarship Prorgams,
and offer non-sports related college scholarhsips.
CSP received letters and calls from students as far away as Oregon asking if they could apply for scholarships.
The work was featured in Lurzer's Archive Magazine and won an Athena newspaper campaign award.
AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SURGEONS
The American College of Surgeons needed a way to increase their fund-raising efforts and thank those already contributing. We created greeting cards that shared the inspirational stories and mentorship accomplishments
of their most influential member-surgeons to attract new donations.
JCPENNEY | WHERE'S YOUR MOTHER?
JCPenney sorely needed a retail brand refresh and a new way to promote their many sales events.
The "Where's your mother?" promotion experience not only broke sales records,
it gave JCP a share-worthy narrative that families could relate to.
WINNER: Effie for creative effectiveness.
HAGGAR | MAN MADE
Looking good doesn't mean looking soft.
We showed how Haggar's reputation for unbustable buttons and high performance seams could translate into a story that looks mighty good, even to guys who wouldn't think of cracking open a GQ.
HAGGAR "KEEP YOUR SHIRT ON" SOCIAL CONTENT
We showed how Haggar's performance story could come to life with games that used real Haggar clothing for target practice. Another test was our Manpoline, a live stream of fitness models testing out a trampoline made from Haggar performance fabric.
MERRICK | K-9s FOR WARRIORS
K9s for Warriors rescues shelter dogs and trains them to be service animals for veterans living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The vets get to live their lives again, and the dogs get a reprieve and a home and lots of love. Merrick Petcare has been a partner to this very worthy cause for some time now.
Deb Klonk had the privilege of conducting and directing interviews with several veterans whose lives
have literally been saved by getting a service dog.
UNILEVER | GLOBAL ICE CREAM BRANDS
Unilever wanted a new global agency to market multiple Ice cream brands. Klonk worked with DDB's Amsterdam, London and NY offices to create a pitch that won the business across the network. The work here for Carte D'Or was created and photodirected by Deb, working directly with the client in Milan.
It was featured in various media across more than 20 markets, and in numerous languages.
VINNY WARREN, FOUNDER and CCO | THE ESCAPE POD
“Thanks to Debbie Klonk for her expert interviewing and directing skills.
We couldn’t have done this without you."
MIRIAM MOSTARDA, BRAND DEVELOPMENT MANAGER | UNILEVER ITALY HOLDINGS S.R.L.
“As always beautiful work! When you touch food it always looks magnificent.”
KRAFT | CRYSTAL LITE PURE
Kraft Crystal Light Pure wanted to attract a younger female audience. We created print and in-store kiosks using whimsical illustrations from a French female Illustrator to depict a woman's body made up of mostly water juggling images of real fruit. A refreshing look that got refreshing results.
THE WRITING ON THE WALL
"Thank you Deb, it's great that you could have such an impact on our business in Europe."
"Chris Hunter can rally any team, dig into any assignment, and always deliver inspiring results. He is also, without a doubt, one of the best creative presenters I have ever had the chance to work with."
DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION and MARKETING LEAD
"Some of her ads and campaigns generated surges in our sales volume far beyond what we expected. If you don't seriously consider working with Ms. Klonk, you may be missing out on an incredible opportunity.”
EARTH GENERAL STORES
"I knew I could always count on Deb Klonk to create work that would disrupt and push the boundaries of convention to help us get the most attention with our limited to nonexistent budget."
"Chris Hunter is that rare breed of passionate Creative Director, sound strategist, big idea thinker, fantastic presenter and team collaborator. He immerses himself in a client business problem and then finds a true brand solution. Chris has always thought way beyond traditional media and was a digital thinker way before the rest of us! He understands what makes ideas contagious AND what makes them about a brand."
"He's entirely passionate, prolific and professional — always. Chris thinks about brands holistically and brings solutions at every turn. He is a true partner."
SVP ACCOUNT SERVICE and BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, Y&R CHICAGO
WE HAD A BLAST HELPING THESE CLIENTS.
WE HOPE WE CAN JOIN YOU IN HELPING BCBSMA
ON THIS AWESOME PROJECT!
• shortlisted at Cannes for television
• won Cannes bronze and Mercury awards for promotional radio
• won Cannes bronze for our back-to-school program architecture
• won a Gold Effie for our arrivelounge.com integrated campaign
COPYLINE: You can get a college education. We can help.