Rob Jackson: Outdoor is as powerful as ever. When you do it well people talk.

Today’s podcast guest is Rob Jackson the founder and Creative Director of Extra Credit Projects talks about humor, out of home design mistakes and why his firm never tires of doing good.

Your firm is marked by an impish sense of humor.

We try to get attention…not always humor.  You might call it wit…many times its humor.  Because we all, especially now, long for that…If you can genuinely strike that in somebody you just might have a chance in them remembering it, talking about it…Humor breaks through to us all.

Extra Credit Projects Design for Great Lakes Neurosurgical

What are some common mistakes you see in out of home design.

Complexity.  Not quite understanding the medium.  And it’s not just make everything big.  That was lost long ago….it’s relevance…its context…Unexperienced out of home advertisers are trying to do too much on the boards all for the right reasons.  They want to say everything they can.  Many times they end of saying less.  To this day you see the national advertising dilemma.  It’s a big blanket buy.  It’s a big brand and it just doesn’t seem like the put the effort into the outdoor…One example right now.  I love the insurance category.  They way these guys duke it out creatively.  State Farm – the new Jake.  Right.  I look at the outdoor.  It’s not the real deal.  They could plow that idea just a little further…to really make the TV and the social work harder.

Rob Jackson, Founder and Creative Director, Extra Credit Projects


On why context is as important as content.

Through the out of home lens we’ve always been infatuated with the contextual work.  There’s now even a contextual OBIE category.  Placement.  The mixture of the planning art and the creative art.  In our shop we call it the medium urge.  When the idea meets the media.  It’s early in the process…that can be as literal as the placement of the board or the timing of the board and now with digital..possibilities are endless…We’ve always seen that in this medium even before digital.  It was how quick can we get that ad up.

OBIE Contextual Award Winning Campaign for Panera

Creativity is a business imperative.

It certainly is for us.  We get too complacent.  Our ideas get mediocre.  In our brand we’re not giving the extra.  Everything falls down.  We have a little exercise called the three legged stool.  A three legged stool stands equal on three legs…creativity, client and consumer.  We design and speak to the consumer.  We work for the client…But the third leg, creativity, the third C is the most important to us…you have to really ring the bell…There’s one little quote that I keep on my monitor.  And when it goes away, when we clean too much I bring it back.  And it’s “The most creative thing you can do for your folks is run a successful business.”  If there’s no business sense to it, if there’s no work, if there’s no revenue, there is no creativity.

The phrase “Never let us tire of doing good” is posted in your studio.  Why?

It’s certainly part of our firm’s Christian belief but moreover it’s a part of our work effort.  We’ve always been known for some public service and we give away countless hours a month doing that.  It’s a labor of love…But there’s even more.  There’s a little extra and it’s why our name has remained Extra Credit Projects…There’s always a little more.  There’s always a little extra in the basement that we can pull out…

The current advertising climate

Slow and steady.  Every month it feels like it’s moving forward…I think advertising’s rich.  I think it’s a great time for advertising.  It’s always a great time for great ideas…Outdoor is as powerful as ever.  When you do it well, people talk.

Rob has published a book with his thoughts on design called Reflect.  You can buy it at



Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.