Michael C. O'Neill
 

MICHAEL C. O'NEILL

 
 
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Mike is a renaissance brand thinker. He has an uncommonly well balanced set of talents that combines the precision of a businessman, the insightfulness of a brand planner and the originality of thought that one typically finds in a copywriter. This confluence of talents lets him get to the heart of a brand without any sort of bias.
— Jack Rooney, Chairman & CEO, Ogilvy & Mather Chicago
 
 
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I learned my tradecraft in London ad agencies. First at Saatchi and Saatchi, where I was laid off one week after being given a raise. Then at a small creative upstart called Leagas Delaney, which won the global adidas account. Against all odds - and against Saatchi. I’ve always been lucky with timing.

We won the adidas account on the strength of creative work. We didn’t have a global network, yet adidas understood that unless their customer was actually moved by something, the brand was sunk. That realization was a seminal moment: Impressive corporate machinery and headcount don’t matter unless your customer gives a damn.

For a while I believed advertising was the only way to accomplish that. Then a different path opened up.

 
 
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LATEST WORK - 2018 & 2019 Humans of HOKA collaborative campaign with IRONMAN

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2015—TO DATE

HOKA, Creative and Brand Strategy Consultant

BRIEF
Develop a creative and brand strategy for the fastest growing running shoe company since Nike. 

OUTCOME
Established origin story and entrepreneurial spirit as central to all communication. Currently spearheading and managing all aspects of creative development for key marketing partnerships including IRONMAN. 

 
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2014—2015

DripDrop Hydration, Creative Director and Brand Strategist

BRIEF
Help company hire a top level ad agency. Lead briefing of agencies and manage review process.

OUTCOME
Rebooted brand strategy, and was hired as Creative Director to create and run internal agency.

 
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2012—2014

Blu Kicks, Creative and Brand Strategy Consultant

BRIEF
Help a new anonymous shoe brand in one of the most crowded, competitive markets, with little budget.

OUTCOME
Developed unique positioning, established creative direction and tone of voice. Helped triple sales year over year. Currently working on their next brand launch with Blu Kicks founders.

 
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2011—2012

Duvel, Creative Consultant and Brand Strategist

BRIEF
Help bring esoteric high end beer brand to a wider retail and consumer audience. 

OUTCOME
Identified new consumer. Lightened tone. Increased awareness and retail interest.

 
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2004—2014

Jimi Wallet, Inventor and Entrepreneur

BRIEF
Design a sustainable, US made, everyday product, for people who want an alternative to bulky wallets.

OUTCOME
An award-winning, financial projection-busting, Cradle to Cradle approved, and New York Times heralded accessory called Jimi.

 
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2000—2001

Teva, Agency
Co-Creative Director

BRIEF
Help revitalize the Teva brand to compete with new competitors in rapidly changing marketplace.

OUTCOME
Our small agency became Teva’s de facto marketing department, establishing marketing strategy, developing advertising and targeting new consumers.

 
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2000—2001

Dr. Martens, Agency
Co-Creative Director

BRIEF
Create communication to help Dr. Marten establish the brand in the industrial/work boot category.

OUTCOME
Reevaluated the brand to create a very target-focused (both retailer and consumer), and relatable ad campaign with legs.

 
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