It’s not every day that an alumni will have a project like a ‘facial recognition vending machine’ on their resume. But – sometimes it happens. One of the brilliant minds behind it is alumnus Andrew Barnett. He’s has been all over the country since graduating in 2004 and is currently serving as SVP, Executive Creative Producer for Hill Holliday in Boston, MA.
All great stories must have a beginning. Barnett came to Florida State in 2000 pursuing a degree in Communication. About a year into his undergrad, he started work for Cornerstone Agency/FADER Magazine, as a field representative for their F.A.R.M. Team. It was work that would end up being the spark in a successful marketing career. He laughed, recalling his “humble beginnings” that consisted of “posting flyers on FSU’s campus, spending 3-4 nights a week at Beta Bar handing out band stickers, and going to local bookstores to move the magazine from the back of the rack to the front.” Still an undergrad, Barnett proved that Tallahassee was a viable market for the company and built relationships across town. His creative energy got noticed after graduation and he was hired to work in their home office in New York City.
For three years, Barnett helped lead Cornerstone’s field marketing efforts for record releases, product launches, and films. While producing a Red Stripe event in Miami, he crossed paths with a group from Crispin Porter & Bogusky. As luck would have it, the agency was looking to expand their production capabilities into the world of “experiential” A few months later, Barnett was moving to Boulder, CO to work for Ad Age’s “Agency of the Decade” Crispin Porter + Bogusky. His Task? Helping launch their experiential production department “Outeractive.”
Spoiler: His six years with Crispin Porter & Bogusky were wildly successful. Working in Boulder and Miami offices, Barnett rose from a Junior Producer to Integrated Producer to Executive Producer. During his time with the company, he worked on campaigns for Under Armour, Volkswagen, Burger King, Old Navy, Jose Cuervo, Microsoft, JELL-O (the vending machine!), Coke Zero, American Express and Kraft Mac and Cheese.
In October 2013 he migrated back up the east coast, accepting an offer with Hill Holliday in Boston. Shortly after his year anniversary with the company, he received a 2014 GOLD Hatch Award for his work on Cadillac. The video Cadillac Presents A #Promise2Rose follows the heart stirring story of Viking’s quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and his mother, Rose. The video was picked up by Good Morning America, ESPN SportCenter, major and local news outlets. It’s successful run garnered 10 million media impressions, 870 articles and blog posts, and over 1 million social actions across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The video ends with Teddy delivering on a decade old promise – giving his mom a pink Cadillac Escalade when he became a professional football player.
It’s been a decade since he walked across the stage, but Barnett hasn’t forgotten his time at Florida State. He cites some of his proudest moments with the lacrosse team. The “rag-tag bunch of guys” were passionate about extending their lacrosse days after high school and put in the extra time and effort to set the foundation for what has become the modern day FSU Lacrosse program. (A team who won every regular season game in 2014). Andrew’s 00′-04′ teams put in the work to get the team sanctioned into the league, recruited, hired (and fired) coaches along the way and dove head first into social events and fundraising for new helmets, uniforms and gear. “Its a group that has only strengthened over the years in recruiting, coaching, talent and popularity,” he says, his pride evident. “They chase national championships year in and year out, and have a gorgeous facility smack dab in the middle of campus they can call their own. I’m very proud to see that legacy live on.”
Today, Andrew lives in Boston spending his days problem solving through creativity. He and his wife Jillian recently welcomed their new baby girl, Bliss and “life has never been more interesting”.
Interested in a career like Andrew’s? Check out the Communication programs offered at Florida State University.