Tools of the Trade: Bob Fitzgerald from Boathouse

By Kyle O'Brien 

Tools of the Trade is a new AgencySpy feature to help highlight the many tools that help make advertising and marketing folks successful. The tools can be anything that helps people perform at their top form, from a favorite drafting table to the best software program to a lucky pen, a vintage typewriter or a pair of headphones.

Next up is Bob Fitzgerald, creative director at agency Boathouse.

Bob Fitzgerald, creative director at Boathouse, shows off his favorite chaise lounge.


What is one tool you use all the time at work, and how does it inspire your work?  

Currently, working from home with the patio just outside and the weather warm, but not surface-of-the-sun-hot the way it was earlier in August, currently my most important work tool is my chaise lounge (from the French meaning long chair).

Tell us why it’s your favorite.

It is my favorite, most important piece of professional aparati because it allows me to do an essential aspect of my job. Between all the back-to-back meetings, the concepting and reviewing of work, the talking, questioning, proposing, restating, intently listening, appearing to be listening while actually reading and writing emails—and all the other stuff that swallows up a creative’s day—one of the most important aspects of the job can get overlooked—thinking.

How did you acquire your tool or hear about it for the first time? 

It used to be on my parents’ patio.

How does it help you be successful? 

Coming up with an idea is only the first leg of the journey. The tricky part has always been what comes next—questions. How does the idea work across the campaign? Across different media? How can we extend? How will we sell it to our account people? What is the best way to bring it to our clients?

Until Covid-19 shut down the world, I hadn’t realized how much thinking I did in my hour-long commute to and from work. And it took some time working remotely to figure out it was missing. Slowly I realized that, by happenstance, I had created a daily period of solo contemplation, exactly before and right after I did a day’s work.

Does it have sentimental value? 

I value it less for sentimental reasons and more because it is pretty comfortable.

Do you think your tool could go TikTok viral? Why or why not? 

Although I am no TikTok expert, I have wasted a great deal of time riding the endless brief waves of video entertainment it offers. In my experience, an older man in reclined repose, staring off into the sky, is not the sort of content that rises to the top.

We want to know what tools you use to make you successful. If you’d like to contribute or know someone who would want to be featured in Tools of the Trade, contact and fill out our survey.