Advertisers at Work: Eric Kallman

Eric Kallman

Eric Kallman is executive creative director at the relatively new agency, Barton F. Graf 9000 (, headed by Gerry Graf and based in New York.

Prior to joining Barton F. Graf 9000 (BFG), Kallman was a copywriter at Wieden+Kennedy in Portland, Oregon, where he worked with Craig Allen on cam-paigns that included the Old Spice campaign, “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.” Kallman was partly responsible for game-changing Skittles and Starburst campaigns during his tenure at TBWA/Chiat/Day.

Before going to ad school and joining TBWA, Kallman studied journalism and was a local NPR host in California.

The following excerpt is from my interview with Eric for Advertisers at Work.

Tuten: What led you to advertising as a profession?

Kallman: In college, I studied journalism. I went to college thinking I wanted to be a sportscaster. First, because I love sports and [second,] because sportscasters seem like they have a ton of fun. I was kind of like, “Yeah, that Craig Kilborn, he used to be an anchor on Sports Center, and then he got the show after Letterman.” It seemed to be a little more entertainment or comedy infused than in most journalism. So, anyway, I wanted to be a sportscaster. I went to college and I worked like nuts. I interned at NPR, and I interned at NBC Sports.

Then after college I landed an awesome first job. I was the local morning host for NPR’s Morning Edition in Santa Barbara. I did that for a while. But I guess what I was learning, throughout all my internships and then my job, was that journalism was not for me. I’m not trying to get over the top about it, but, really, when you broke it down, instead of doing something with your own life, you followed other people around all day and talked about what they were doing with their lives. When I interned at NBC Sports, I realized it I guess for the first time. I love sports, but I quickly realized that the job meant talking to other people about what they were doing—and what I wasn’t doing. I hope that doesn’t sound horrible. It was just important for me to do something with my life.


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