When I was asked to interview EPIC’s new Creative Director, Dan Augustine, my plan was to ask one “killer” question and then let the man roll. My hope was to evoke a stream of consciousness flow, revealing everything we’ve always wanted to know about Dan but were afraid to ask.
Yet, just minutes before I was scheduled to meet with Dan, I still had no idea what I was going to ask him. Driven by desperation, I Googled: “most outlandish and absurd interview questions.”
“Dan, how many cows are in Canada?” (asked at Google).
Dan’s answer: 5 million cows.
“What song best describes your work ethic?” (asked at Dell).
Dan’s answer: R.E.M.’s “Finest Worksong.”
The next question on my list was: “Can you say: ‘Peter Piper Picked a Pickled Pepper’ and cross-sell a washing machine at the same time?” (asked at Mastercard).
Dan’s answer: Definitely not.
Feeling better knowing that he wasn’t going to leave us for Mastercard, I decided to ask Dan about the ad business and working here at EPIC.
Dan’s father was the head of Ford Advertising, so as a child he hung out with the crew at J. Walter Thompson. To Dan, the world of advertising seemed like a modern day Neverland and an agency was a place where “you could go and be a lost boy forever.”
This forever “lost boy” revealed his deep attachment to the world of advertising when he showed me his favorite print ad of all time — a Lego ad. “When I saw that ad, I was instantly a child again. So long as you live well and fully experience life, you can bring that kind of emotion into this business and the result is something truly incredible.”
Dan likes it that the world of advertising is full of great surprises, one example being that most of the people who end up in advertising never intended to end up here. “It’s almost as if the career you thought you wanted died and was replaced by this new one being born.” It’s like its own unique island of very talented misfits.
As for EPIC Creative®, it seems this lost boy has found his utopic Neverland. “It’s a legitimately amazing place, no monsters under the bed — bearing an honesty, integrity and transparency that doesn’t exist in typical agencies.”
To Dan Augustine, “EPIC is a come as you are, be who you are and bring all you’ve got kind of place that turns out just incredible advertising. Now who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?”