Al Pirozzoli: Some Background
Working as a Creative Director in advertising over a few decades, I’ve seen and experienced a great deal. My work has been blessed in many ways:
(1) My work has made a difference to the growth of many businesses;
(2) My work has garnered 7 International Telly Awards, The International Hermes Creative Award, The Mead Award, and the International John Caples Award.
(3) My creative solutions have sold billions of dollars in products and services over my career.
(4) I’ve tried to honor God in the sense that I have remained committed to the unique gifts imprinted in me. These and the related opportunities they present have helped fuel energy in my life and in energetic client results.
Speaking of energy, one of the wonderful places that energy lives is in writing, that is to say: stories. Check out my article: “It’s all about the 26” –they make up words which fashion sentences and in turn have changed entire civilizations, started wars, ended wars, sod products, touched the soul, and opened innovation throughout history. Words can change minds and hearts, thrill, anger, frighten, soothe, persuade and so much more!
Throughout my life I’ve been telling stories. I recall as young as around 5 or 6 that I was telling stories some of which got me in trouble. That carried through my career in advertising in print, TV, film, video, broadcast and every other medium. And I assure you that advertising presents the most difficult and challenging problems for storytelling.
You have to tell a story most often in highly condensed space or time:
- Headline (capture attention)
- Offer a plot to keep them interested
- Come up with an ending (to close the deal).
The assignment is to always create a story in miniature.
And you have extremely limited space to do this with words and images on a magazine page, or web page or social media. You work in a small arena (physical space and time) to make a big impact.
Then you have radio scripts, and social media posts. You face the same challenge—write a story in miniature, with an opening, plot and ending in 30 seconds or 60 seconds. The storytelling is slightly improved when writing a TV commercial because your story gets some help from music and moving imagery. A company video is even more challenging because you are charged to tell a convincing story about a company’s multi-year history, in a short time. That said, I am so fortunate that I have learned the key results-factors in the advertising field.
By the way I don’t ever forget the people who got me here, the people who invested in me, taught me and believed in my creative talent, and stretched uncomfortably. That’s where I learned the essence of telling stories, of creative thinking. Then they send me out of the nest where it was honed in the pressure cooker of deadlines and little space and little time to get a story across; it squeezes out what you have inside. If there’s nothing there creatively, then all that flows out is tension and this is a drain on enthusiasm for your work. Always honor the people upon who’s shoulders you stand.
On the professional career side for me this includes; Ed Gaylog, Bill Silverman, Ed Sullivan, Russ Madison, Howard Drubner, Rich Krevolin, Craig Clyde, and David Hevenstone.
On the spiritual side it includes: Ken Richard, Joe Petritrone Dr. John Huffman, Arthur Miller, Jr., and Myles Munroe, Fr. Joe Connelly.
I’ll Share This Major Secret to Successful Marketing Results With You, and This is Important:
STORYTELLING! There is something profound about a story. As soon as a story is told/read it immediately relaxes the mind and makes it more receptive. What better way, and what better time to get your unique, differentiated value message across to prospects!
Why I take my creative and marketing skills so seriously
When I served as President and Creative Director in several companies I was the one who dealt with business problems. This problem hit me personally. At the time Bridgeport Machines was the world leader in CNC milling machines. Along with my team we moved the company’s machine tool sales to number one in the world. An amazing opportunity! To this day their machines are virtually in every manufacturing plant in the country and many abroad.
500 people lost their jobs in one day
The company endured several difficult changes, new CEOs, sold to an investment firm, and finally sold to another machining company. Each change became a spark that caused a wildfire of problems. More than 500 people worked there and built the finest machine tools in the industry. When it all ended the wildfire sent 500 plus workers home without a job. Their closing impacted my employees. I had to make painful layoffs which wrenched my heart. Over 500 families were impacted, and as bad as I felt it in my agency, I could not imagine hard working men and women going home that day to tell their families they were out of work.
My godfather was among those 500 people. I’m Italian so godparents are an important tradition. He was a highly skilled and specialized craftsman, hand-scraping the ways on machines, not a skill that fit the general job market. His family suffered. All our family helped, but it made an unforgettable impact.And, the United States of American had just lost a premiere employer and world leader in business.
Plus, my agency suffered (in part) because I lost sight of diversifying. I allowed that one client to become too large a percentage of my company’s revenues. I can tell you that watching good people pack their stuff and leave your company is living a nightmare in real time. It’s something you can only learn by experience, not by reading it in a book.
It was the broken glass. That did it for me.
There are times in life when some situation occurs that changes us—transforms us. The wildfire of Bridgeport Machines served as mine. The broken glass is what clinched it for me. The business was gone. The heart of it gone. The people gone. The future gone. Just an empty shell of a building which became a target for local kids to throw rocks into someone else’s dream. Now reduced to a carcass of glass, metal and bricks. Lifeless! And unlike in ancient marriage ceremonies where a wine glass is broken as a symbol of the end of one way of life and start of a new one; the broken glass on that building was the end of an era. Looking long and hard at those broken windows–that really did it for me.
From that moment I knew I would use all my creative skills and marketing experience to work at preventing and extinguishing business wildfires. I believe each of us is in the world with a “calling,” and this became mine. Nothing makes an impact on you like first-hand experience.
When I started my business I gave up a highly visible and well-paying position in advertising to follow my own dream. Many business owners have taken similar risks. Nothing is more personal than one’s business; whether you own it or function as a leader in it. It demands your money, time, heart, commitment and passion.
A few career milestones:
- Philips Medical: Successful introduction of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance imaging
- Index Corp: Introduced automatic multi spindle machines to the U.S.
- Pepsi: Introduced and announced the first family size retail soda bottle to the trade
- Purdue: Launched its DeLuca brand chicken entrées to national grocery chains
- IBM Credit: First national awareness campaign
- Helped launched Historic Brands’ Old Mission Breads (artisan filled breads)
- NHL Created “On Solid Ice” first national retail merchandising promotion
- Revitalized the Pilot Pen / Yale tennis tournament
- Ironman World Triathlon: Transformed a race event into a viable brand
- Introduced Ironman brand sports watch (Timex iControl) to x-games youth audience
- Branded and launched Missions of the World artisan breads a regional company
- NBA: Reformatted the apparel direct mail catalog. The commissioner said it was the most successful ever produced.
- Corometrics: Introduced the first neonatal fetal monitor to physician’s offices
You really can’t afford not to convey your unique value- difference story and that is what I would like to do working with you.
I have authored a number of books and monographs some of which are listed on this page. I hope you will take a read.