Like Father, Like Son

Cameron Day shares the last name and profession of a creative legend, but he doesn’t go around advertising it. The same goes for Matt Reinhard, Grant Richards, Jeremy and Steffan Postaer, Tripp Westbrook and the Noble boys—Jim, John and Scott—all sons of famous fathers who took the lessons learned in childhood and scattered into the field with their own ideas of creative communications.

Although second-generation sons were fairly easy to find in the creative world, daughters were another matter. Calls to advertising associations such as The One Club, The Art Directors Club and Advertising Women of New York produced a lot of head-scratching, but few nominees. Indeed, the sons’ success stories might bolster the case for Take Your Daughter to Work Day.

Jim Noble, creative director at TM Advertising, remembers playing Matchbox Racer with DDB co-founder Bill Bernbach when his father, John Noble, author of Hall of Fame Volkswagen ads such as “Funeral,” took him and his brothers to the office.

Grant Richards, son of Richards Group founder Stan Richards, got a decade of schooling at his father’s agency before co-founding his own San Francisco shop, Grant, Scott & Hurley. “There’s a lot of general, tribal knowledge that gets communicated at the dinner table,” says Stan.

For Day, son of Chiat\Day founder Guy Day, the big attraction was the colored markers that his father would invariably leave in topless disarray. There were also the assorted props, such as a set of chattering teeth, that never made it to prime time. Day witnessed the agency’s transformation from upstart to major player with the first TV spots for Honda.

Later, he came to know Lee Clow and saw the storyboarding of the “1984” spot for the Apple Macintosh. “He was very approachable,” Day said of Clow. “I always thought of him as ‘Uncle Lee.'”

Day, 45, who is happily shaping the future of Austin, Texas, independent McGarrah Jessee as executive creative director, says the access a child enjoys in an ad agency is hard to recreate later in life. “You have access to somebody who looks at advertising from a much bigger picture,” he says.

And in the course of his own career, Day came to understand that his last name “is nothing but an advantage, unless you try to use it.”