Moore to Comecreativeq&a

Bob Moore felt conflicting emotions when saying goodbye to Wieden + Kennedy, the Portland, Ore., agency where he spent the last 10 years working on Nike, Coca-Cola, Microsoft and AltaVista.

“On one hand, I felt like an old fart who’s been around forever,” says Moore, 40, who notes some of his former colleagues were still in junior high when his Wieden tenure began. “I also felt a bit like I was getting out of college, an 18-year-old who wants to leave home.” This month, copywriter Moore joins Fallon, Minneapolis, as creative director, taking on the No. 2 role under ecd David Lubars.

ADWEEK: Why join Fallon?

MOORE: The opportunity coincided with a feeling welling up in me that I needed to move on. [Wieden] is a fantastic agency, but I needed a new challenge. It’s a weird coincidence, the curvature of time and space.

ADWEEK: How did not working on Nike affect your decision to leave?

MOORE: I’ve had these feelings for a long time. I’ve made great friends at Nike. The thing that hurt the most about being taken off the business was not being able to work with those guys. The agency needed me elsewhere at the time, to work with [creative director] Rob Palmer on AltaVista and on new business. [It] was a role Rob and I wanted to pursue.

ADWEEK: What was most attractive about the Fallon offer?

MOORE: The opportunity to work on a wide range of businesses was a huge thing for me. … Fallon has so many colors in its palette. BMW has a strong point of view. You contrast that with MTV, which is equally strong but different, and Nordstrom. Those are three great campaigns, with entirely different voices coming from the same agency. That is a very amazing feat.

ADWEEK: Fallon is often criticized for the creative risks it takes. Is it a fair criticism?

MOORE: I am a believer that you have to do strong stuff that stands out. A lot of times that leads you to something that is different. By its very nature, different is going to lead you to something risky. What’s risky gets people talking. You can do work that feels good, but no one notices it. It is like wallpaper. That’s far riskier.

ADWEEK: What was the greatest risk you took at Wieden?

MOORE: The “Good vs. Evil” [Nike] soccer commercial. It was a huge project with all types of potential problems. We were betting the entire season’s budget that this was going to be a kick-ass spot. … If it didn’t have a little bit of tongue in cheek, it would have been taken seriously, and Nike would have been overstepping the boundaries of good taste.

ADWEEK: What was the most valuable lesson you learned at Wieden?

MOORE: I went into Wieden with a rigid view of how work is created. At most agencies you get a brief: “This product is 10 percent faster.” The Wieden brief for an Andre Agassi spot was “Make tennis cool.” … The planning is much more active now, but the creatives were charged with solving the problem. What I’ve learned is that chaos can be good—sometimes the best thinking comes out of the most confused circumstances—and to be a little bit looser in the way I approach creative problems.

ADWEEK: Who are your mentors?

MOORE: Dan [Wieden] and David Kennedy. Mickey Mouse. Ken Kesey. Both he and Dan are of like minds.