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Director of Creative Operations

John Zontini

Director of creative operations John understands the true value of a good brand, the satisfaction of problem solving, and the urge to be a foremost authority on… well, anything.


When you were 10 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A foremost authority. Of what, I never figured out.


What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Many years ago, I watched a young marketing manager storm into the office of my 74-year-old print production manager because he could not meet an impossible print date, despite his considerable efforts (and previous warnings to that effect). This man, with six patents to his name, who was military intelligence for 17 years, who had been dropped behind the lines during World War II and was with MacArthur at Inchon, sat stoically while the marketing manager yelled, screamed, and threatened to “go to the vice president.”

When he was done, the older gentleman stood up and quietly said, “I’ve been shot at, are
you trying to scare me?” Without a word, the marketing manager left. I was stunned. The print production manager then took a deep breath, looked at me and said, “John, no small children will die because of what we do here.”


What makes a great brand?

A good brand is like gold-backed money. You know its value the second you come in contact with it, and have infinite confidence using it.


What’s your favorite part of being a creative operations director?

Above all, I love analyzing and solving problems. I may not be the best musician in the concert hall or the author of every great idea, but I hope that by providing the best tools and processes available, I can help to collaboratively harness and optimize the agency’s creative energies and talents to “conduct” lots of beautiful music.


What’s the weirdest thing on your desk?

“Gooey Louie,” the greatest game ever invented. The object is to pick Louie’s nose, but if you pick the wrong “gooey,” Louie’s brains pop out of the top of his head and you lose. I think some toy executive created this late at night after getting really drunk at the “New York Toy Fair.” Just a theory…

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