Rick Carpenter

DDB Needham

Co-Managing Director and Chief Creative Officer

Age: 37

Rick Carpenter isn’t about to exaggerate about his success, even though a character he created for a famous car ad just might.

Sitting around one day in the early-1980s, Carpenter dreamed up the idea of a car salesman with a penchant for fibs and thus “Joe Isuzu” was born.

It was an idea that captured not only industry acclaim, but later helped land him a job as co-managing director at DDB Needham.

“I think it did a lot more than launch David Leisure’s career,” he said about the actor who played Joe Isuzu. “It really helped launch mine.”

Carpenter graduated from California State University, Fullerton in 1980 with a B.A. in advertising. Since then, he’s worked in various capacities at Della Femina, Travisano & Partners and Dailey & Associates.

He has won more than 300 local, national and international awards for his clients including eight Golden Lion awards from the Cannes Film Festival.

His most notable campaigns have been for Carl’s Jr., Bugle Boy jeans, and General Telephone.

Currently, Carpenter is the mastermind behind the Los Angeles Times’ “cliffhanger” series in which advertisements display sentences with key words missing. The campaign was a finalist earlier this month at the Advertising Club of Los Angeles’ Belding Awards.

“The work I do tends to get very good results for our clients’ business, and at the same time has been recognized for creativity,” said Carpenter, who has been at DDB Needham for the past eight years. “We’re always trying to do more, and better, by pushing creativity for our clients as much as possible.”

Joe Bel Bruno

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