How to ride advertising like a motorcycle

—In this instalment of The Redmond Review, Craig Redmond fondly remembers earlier days as a creative partner with Jeffrey Hilts, who just announced he’s stepping away from FCB—

Last week Jeffrey Hilts, chief creative officer of FCB Canada, announced that he was stepping away from his career in advertising and entering what he described as his next life of “rewirement.”

Holy shit, I thought to myself.

You see, Jeff was one of my first creative partners in this insane business, and he is the person I credit most for teaching me everything I know about being a good creative person and, more importantly, a good human being.

Back then, Jeff cornered the market on passion, compassion and fashion. (Goddamn, he loved his Fluevogs.)

But in those days, if there was one thing that epitomized the Hiltsy lore more than anything, it was his baby: The Ducati.

Every night, we’d leave our beloved Bryant, Fulton and Shee agency in Vancouver and head to the parking garage, where Jeff would fire up his temperamental Italian stallion. And every night, the deafening thunder of that motorcycle’s engine would set off dozens of car alarms within throttling proximity.

Seeing this stupidly funny spot for Suzuki jolted my memory back to those late working nights and Jeff’s crazy bike. But perhaps more emotionally, it reminded me of how my good friend pursued his career.

Just like this.

Jeff got on top of that old, slow and cumbersome family sedan we call advertising and rode it like it was the untameable Ducati beast he loved so dearly.

Enjoy your “rewirement” Hiltsy Boy. Thank you for teaching me to dare to differ.

Craig Redmond is a Creative Leader with Palmer Stamnes and Co, an independent family of marketing communication companies.