John Dempsey


Wieden + Kennedy

How A Strategist Approaches Creativity

October 26 | 8:30 | 90 Minutes | DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Drake Room

“Creativity without strategy is art, creativity with strategy is advertising.”
– Prof. Jef Richards, Michigan State University

Nobody loves advertising, but everyone loves creativity. In today’s digital age, the ability to wield art+copy to surprise audiences and deliver value has never been more compelling… or challenging.

Social is equal parts creative opportunity and brand safety mega-threat. Search is dull and uninspiring. Display ads are nauseating. Creativity has never been more important.

A strategic planner, whether part of a big agency or just one of many hats, lives at the intersection of creativity, audience insight, and business challenge. When designed well, creative has the power to change opinions and build competitive advantage to help the bottom line. Creativity can pave the way for work like The Man Your Man Can Smell Like and The Return of Colonel Sanders, but it cannot do it alone.

In this workshop, John Dempsey, former Bendite and Senior Digital Strategist at Wieden + Kennedy, will share tools, approaches, and examples that can be used to maximize creativity in the pursuit of business results. Attendees will learn how to set up an idea, support creative resources, and sell in work that’s fun to make.

Where I'll Be

John Dempsey is a Senior Digital Strategist at Wieden + Kennedy, a global full-service agency based in Portland. In his time at W+K, John has led digital strategy for Kentucky Fried Chicken, Old Spice, Anki Robotics, and more. Throughout his career, he has helped clients large and small leverage creativity across traditional and digital channels to reach core audiences with unique messaging. John grew up in Central Oregon, and if he had to choose, he’d say his favorite beer is whichever one is in his hand at the edge of a cold mountain lake.