In this episode

Chuck McBride

Founder, Cutwater

Vince Engel interviews Chuck McBride, the founder and executive creative director of Cutwater about the reintroduction of the Brawny Man.

The Brawny Man is one of the top advertising characters in history and Chuck talks about how he reinvented the Brawny Man.

Originally the Brawny Man was just a character than delivered paper towels in the time of need but has since evolved into a much more interesting character.

Instead of focusing on the big messes, they started moving towards an area where the Brawny Man was an All-American character that came out to help in a variety of situations.

One of the ways they helped support this idea was by putting quotes on the Brawny Man’s shirt from strong people in American culture such as FDR.

Tune in and listen for more great learnings!

What you’ll learn
  • How Cutwater re-invented the Brawny Man
  • How to reposition and rebrand a character from the past
  • The struggles and challenges of reinventing a top advertising character.

Chuck McBride, Founder, Partner Cutwater

Cutwater, founded in 2007 in San Francisco, is a dedicated group of multi-talented people that distill and shape a brand’s purpose into a sharp verbal and visual articulation. A cutwater. Our mission is to turn brands into channels and customers into fans.

Current cutwaters include:
Sunrun, “Brilliant.”
American Giant, “Don’t get comfortable.”
Strava, “Prove it.”
Box.com, “without walls.”
Ariat, “Know where you stand.”
Hoka One One, “Crazy Does.”
Easton Hockey, “Score.”
And “Together we’re Feeding America”

Chuck created the award winning Ray Ban “Never Hide” global campaign, propelling the brand to #1 in the world. He helped lead the Jeep “Have fun out there” campaign that tied seven vehicles together under one purpose, FUN. Other notable cutwaters include “Speak Visual” for Nvidia and “Gone Google” for Google apps.

Before leading Cutwater, Chuck McBride was the Creative Director of North America for TBWA Chiat/Day. He worked with Lee Clow to winning new business pitches on Sprint, Mars and adidas; securing talent for NY, SF, TO, VC and LA offices; headed the San Francisco’s office with adidas and the Levi’s Account. TBWA\Chiat\Day San Francisco became one of the Top Ten most Awarded Agencies.
TBWA Chiat/Day took Global Agency of the Year honors.
Adidas landed Client of the year at Cannes.
He also worked on award winning campaigns for Levi’s, Fox Sports, Game Show Network, Sony PlayStation, Leica, and more.

Prior to Chiat/Day Chuck was at W&K where he was co-creative director on Nike, Jordan and Golf. Chuck’s work on Tiger Woods, Cross Training, Brand Jordan, and the Relaunch of Just Do It, helped re-secure all of Nikes’ business at W&K in 2000. Nike received Client of the Year at Cannes.

Prior to that, Chuck worked as a creative director at FCB on Levi’s, winning AdAge Agency of the Year. He was a lead writer at GS&P on the Got Milk? campaign and Isuzu trucks. At Team One, he worked on Lexus.

Follow Chuck on Shocase

After 30 years in advertising, working here and abroad on brands like Nike, ESPN, American Express, Qantas, Subaru, Sun Microsystems, Miller Brewing Co, Sega, Virgin Mobile, Comedy Central, Disney, Ubisoft, and Dr. Martens I’ve managed to fool enough people in this business to stay employed. It’s still a hell of a lot of fun, but now tempered with a healthy dose of cynicism.

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Staying Giant: Reintroducing the Brawny Man with Chuck McBride