Meet Jim Spoerl, account manager at Lessing-Flynn. This charismatic amateur actor has been playing the role of affable account executive at Lessing-Flynn since 1992. In addition to managing accounts, Jim is also a savvy media buyer and producer who’s been placing spots since The War of the Worlds first hit airwaves. Outside LF, Jim is a proud grandfather and an unremarkable golfer.
With all that experience, Jim has a lot of stories and has seen the industry change. We sat down with Jim and heard the highlights of his time at Lessing-Flynn.
AdMavericks: Let’s not beat around the proverbial bush here. Women adore you for your charm and surprisingly attractive man legs. Men envy you for your renegade style and surprisingly attractive man legs. So, just how amazing is it being Jim Spoerl?
JS: I’ve had the privilege of being Jim Spoerl for many decades, in which time I have had very few regrets. In fact, I can count on two fingers the three or four real regrets I’ve had in life.
AdMavericks: That makes no sense.
JS: It does when you view the world through the right lens.
AdMavericks: What’s your secret to success?
JS: Charisma opens doors. So I learned early in life to ride the coattails of those types of people. Access is everything in life. It matters not who’s first or last into the room – or even whose room it is. So long as you have a seat at the table.
AdMavericks: How has marketing and advertising changed since you first sent shockwaves through the game?
AdMavericks: Can you expound on that?
JS: This industry was built on face-to-face communication. It was about relationships. Building strong relationships that could withstand the changing times, both good and bad. Much of that has been lost in the digital age. Relationships are no longer forged over dinner and drinks, but by way of LinkedIn and emails. So you have to find new ways to wrestle face-to-face communication back into the equation.
AdMavericks: Can you provide an example?
JS: David Ogilvy once said “If you want action, don’t write. Go and tell the guy what you want.” Thus, if I need to prompt immediate action, I go to that person and discuss the affairs face-to-face. Afterwards, I send them an email thanking them for their time.
AdMavericks: Would you consider Ogilvy to be hero of yours?
JS: Ogilvy was a pompous egotist. But that comes with the territory when you have that kind of ability and a great head of hair.
AdMavericks: What’s your greatest professional achievement?
JS: Back in the mid-eighties, the Queen of England once phoned to say how dearly she enjoyed a radio spot I had produced for a now defunct carwash chain.
AdMavericks: You made that up.
JS: Of course I made it up. This is advertising. If you want praise and awards, enter a spelling bee. There is no such thing as personal achievement in this line of work. You either help your clients move the needle or you go purchase a comfortable pillow.
AdMavericks: What’s the pillow for?
JS: It’s to sit on when you get kicked to the curb. That’s where marketers who put their own ambitions before those of their clients end up.
AdMavericks: What’s your favorite thing about Lessing-Flynn?
JS: The potlucks. We have potlucks all the time. The people are pretty swell, too.
AdMavericks: Without people there would be no potlucks.
JS: Indeed, the one-man potluck is a very lonely thing.