May 19, 2013
Basically born a Mad Man, Zack Kinslow was in advertising before he knew what the word meant. As a tot, Zack conceived a cereal brand and dabbled in product design; in middle school he founded his first startup; in high school he dove into web design while dogging dishes at his father’s restaurant and experimenting with poetry and graffiti; during college, he accrued enumerable viewers to his university’s local TV station and discovered a love for copywriting.
We asked Zack what he did outside of advertising. After a puzzled moment, he responded, “Nothing… well, I draw cartoons.” We attest to his dedication as an employee, yet we drew out a lot more than cartoons from his story.
- Outside of being ADC’s Creative Producer, here are a few other jobs Zack has filled over the years:
- Bus boy
- Caterer (mostly Indian weddings)
- Pizza delivery driver
- Social media consultant
- Boutique agency partner
- Copywriter at Masterminds
- Hispanic prostitute interrogator
- Growing up surrounded by art at his grandparents’ wildlife art gallery, Zack learned to draw at a young age. His first muse? His mother.
- In front of the aforementioned gallery, Zack and his older brother began their first business venture: a custom greeting card stand. They wrote and designed the greeting cards, then sold them to passers-by for 50 cents a piece.
- Any customers who didn’t pay up got a swift roundhouse to the kidney.
- His first branding challenge was the creation and marketing of a new packaged good, which he completed in elementary school. In the fourth grade, his GT (“Gifted and Talented”) teacher assigned him a project, in which he would have to create a cereal, design the packaging, and come up with ways to get people eating it. His campaign included a Leo Burnett-inspired mascot, jingle, and of course, interactive games on the back of the box. Thus, Krazy Kubes were sprung from Zack’s imagination.
- As a teenager, Zack taught "English as a Second Language" to immigrants from all over the world, in a church to which he didn’t belong.
- Zack often draws classic cartoon characters sporting Adidas shell toes.
- Zack got into web design in the late 90s/early zeros, and ended up running one of the highest-traffic lacrosse websites at the time when he was 14. He also had a business for stringing lacrosse sticks. Even in sports, he was obsessed with art and craft.
- In high school, Zack worked his way from dishwasher to bartender at his father’s restaurant Jake’s in Flemington, New Jersey. Want to know the way to Zack’s heart? Get his chef father’s recipe for Cajun Chicken Fettuccine.
- Zack pretends to be outdoorsy sometimes with the ADC Adventure Club.
- He currently lives with his big brother (also an advertising copywriter / copy supervisor) in Brooklyn.
- After escaping high school early, Zack flew to Costa Rica with no set plan and hung out on his friend’s farm for several weeks, immersing himself in the “pura vida” culture. Zack won’t reveal the location of this farm because it is not indicated on any published map.
- Zack once lived with Renaissance Fair pirates in the woods outside of Atlantic City. Their names were Captain Raven and Lady Milan. They had two pet squirrels named Chubbs and Carlos.
- The pirates were eventually ostracized from what Zack calls "The American Hostel" after a dispute with another roommate, Frank – former Crowd Management Director for the Super Bowl and Oakland Arena. Frank didn’t take kindly to the pirates. They didn’t take kindly to him. A musket was pulled. End of story.
- One of Zack’s projects in college involved the rebranding of his alma mater’s Rowan Television Network (RTN), channel 5. He made five collectable posters that illustrated “When 5 is Bad” and paid off with the fact that “With RTN, it’s always good to be 5.”
- In high school, Zack traded his sketchbook for a notepad, and writing became his creative outlet. He wrote poetry and song lyrics that were never to be sung, and later participated in storytelling courses at Philly Improv Theatre. His most well-received story slam was about The Great Pirate Showdown at The American Hostel (ask him and you might just get to hear this gripping tale).
- His favorite cartoon character is Leroy from his own “Handicrap” series, a well-meaning guerrilla monster with a spikey tail, sharp teeth, and wheels for legs.
- Zack once worked as a Hispanic Prostitute Interrogator for the Ocean City Police Department. Those 5 dialects of Spanish he picked up in the restaurant industry seem to come in handy to this day.
- He has been featured on the cover of Philly AD NEWS magazine twice.
- Zack is banned from four casinos after climbing the mountain at Bally’s Wild West in Atlantic City, NJ. Another one of his hobbies is exploring new heights.
- He likes clipboards
- He once made a George W. Bush piñata to celebrate the Obama inauguration, but made the mistake of bringing it to the wrong party.
So how did this wacky individual end up here at ADC? Well, when Ignacio Oreamuno became Executive Director, he phoned Zack (at the time, the Philly host of Ignacio’s global Portfolio Night event): “Stupid question: do you want to move to New York? I’m rebuilding the Club.” Zack quickly replied, “Smart answer: yes.” And the rest is history.
We were lucky to gain Zack as a team member, who always has and always will be a champion of creativity and connecting people with opportunities. In New York and beyond, Zack makes connections with ADC Members and other artists to expand his palate for craft and scratch his insatiable itch for creativity.