Bill Drake, creative director, hands-on art director, and digital designer with his tribe at GatesmanMarmionDrake - Pittsburgh, PA

Where I've been. What I've done. Why it matters.
I’ve enjoyed creating and implementing communication and marketing campaigns for local and national companies and institutions for over 15 years.
My experience includes executive leadership roles at small, dynamic marketing groups like ReevesDrake Advertising/Boston and GatesmanMarmionDrake Advertising/Pittsburgh, to large, full-service marketing agencies like BlattnerBrunner/Pittsburgh, Bozell/Boston and Mullen/Wenham.
I’m a communications and marketing expert, and executive level creative director with hands-on digital design and art direction skills. I’ve not only created and executed my own work, I’ve provided creative leadership to multiple teams of talented writers, art directors, designers, web developers, programmers, photographers, TV directors, and illustrators, and most importantly, I’ve been successful in imagining and executing effective marketing communications programs for a wide spectrum of consumer, institutional and B2B brands.
I cofounded ReevesDrake Advertising, located in Boston, with partners Dan Reeves (copy) and Jeff Drake (account). We successfully created an advertising effort that was instrumental in helping transform Peoples Heritage Bank to Banknorth — New England’s fifth-largest bank. Dan and I created and launched multimedia campaigns and in-store promotion programs for the bank’s principal product: Simply Free Checking. We created and produced a broadcast campaign featuring the voice of film star Hal Holbrook reading the theme line: “It’s time to expect more.” Results included a 46% increase in core deposits during the three-year campaign period. 

After opening two offices and employing 21 people, with $12 million in cap billings, we sold. To TrueNorth. Subsequently, Dan and I were appointed VP co-creative directors for True North's New England office of Bozell Kamstra. Under our leadership, the Bozell office moved from last place in the network of five agencies to first, in both creative excellence and unprecedented 140% revenue growth. Accounts we worked on: Gold’s Gym, Tyco International, Energy Star, Hilton Hotels and U.S. Air Force.

When BK was absorbed by Mullen, I joined Mullen as group creative director where I continued work on Tyco and Energy Star.

I left New England in 2004 for Pittsburgh and joined 128-person BlattnerBrunner Advertising as executive creative director. Under my supervision, BB experienced new business growth of nearly $15 million and a sweep of the 2005 Pittsburgh ADDY awards. I led new business efforts, winning GSK/Havrix, Musselman's Apple Sauce, Cub Cadet, RoadRunner, GNC and Pittsburgh Pirates.

I led the successful launch of Zippo’s waterproof/windproof outdoor lighter with the theme line: “Everything you would expect from a Zippo, only wilder.” I executed a national consumer and trade print advertising campaign in outdoor lifestyle magazines and websites with full-page ads.

I directed and art directed the creation of a regional brand-building effort for the Pittsburgh Pirates with the theme line: “Every day is game day.” I planned and executed a regional preseason promotional TV and print campaign featuring top players Jason Bay and Jason Kendall, as well as team manager Lloyd McClendon.

In 2006, the lure of agency ownership drew me to become founding partner of Gatesman Marmion Drake Advertising. As chief creative officer, I led the growth of the full-service agency from four employees to over 30 with wins including Shop’n Save, Quaker Steak & Lube, American Eagle Outfitters and the Pittsburgh Penguins. For three consecutive years, GMD was recognized as one of the fastest-growing advertising firms in western Pennsylvania. 


I was the key creative leader and art director for Shop’n Save — a 72-location grocery store chain. Led the transformation of the brand messaging, ending a six-year decline in sales. I planned and executed a self-funding co-op TV and radio campaign that successfully introduced and sustained the new brand message: “Shop’n Save — just right.” I led creative teams launching the campaign through a three-year sponsorship package on American Idol. The campaign turned Shop’n Save’s sales slide into three years of record growth. Shop’n Save has become the fastest-growing store chain brand for Supervalu (the parent company).

In the spring of 2011, I accepted the position of executive creative director and art director with Reagan Communications and led the creative department of Cape Cod’s leading full-service advertising agency, Pierce-Coté. The move that allowed me the opportunity to return home to New England, and contribute to the growth of the agency with significant account wins, including Cape Cod Healthcare, SBLI, Heritage Museum & Gardens and Cape Cod Five Bank.


I developed and art directed the brand building campaign for Cape Cod Healthcare — Cape Cod’s leading healthcare provider and largest employer. The effort included TV and radio advertising, supported by print, online advertising and YouTube videos. I introduced the tagline: “Cape Cod Healthcare. We’re taking good care of you.” The campaign succeeded in contributing to two consecutive years of record revenue growth, increasing brand awareness and garnering numerous NESHCO awards for creativity and ROI effectiveness. 

During this year, I also finished my first feature film screenplay, Toro Bravo, which placed as a finalist in the 2013 BlueCat screenplay competition. See: www.torobravomovie.com

I joined Hoffman and Partners as executive creative director in 2014 providing compelling and innovative marketing and advertising solutions for agency clients including OneJet, Boston Harbor Distillery, Kitchen and Bath Gallery, etc. Working directly with OneJet founder and CEO, Mathew Maguire, I developed the brand name “OneJet”, brand logo/graphic identity, and positioning line “OneJet nonstop service is here. To get you there.” I designed and built a scalable digital branding and marketing campaign that has propelled the airline to a quick national expansion that includes service from Nashville, Providence, Cincinnati, Hartford, Indianapolis, Louisville, and Milwaukee

In 2016, I formulated BILL DRAKE CREATIVE. Serving as contract creative director and art director, I provide innovative marketing and advertising solutions for clients including: GCP Global Applied Technologies, GRACE, TargetCaner Foundation/Boston, Global Event Management, ECAA, Cabot Guns, FableVision, ParisParasols.com, Details Interiors, and Captains of Industry. 

For GCP Applied Technologies, a global construction products technology brand, I design and develop all national marketing efforts for their annual sales incentive programs with travel award programs to the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Europe. I am the lead creative director and art director for all program marketing materials, social media design, banner ads, and web sites. My work helped GPC achieve record incentive program attendance with an average 22% increase in participation year-over-year.
Esophageal Cancer Awareness Association (ECAA), a national cancer awareness and advocacy group, operates the most visited esophageal cancer awareness/advocacy website in the world. Working directly with the ECAA board of directors, I re-designed marketing materials, Facebook page, LinkedIn page and website. I produced and directed a series of (5) six minute “Survivor “ testimonial videos which are viewed on the ECAA web site, YouTube and cancer websites worldwide. Serving a fast growing community of patients, clinical professionals and research groups, the marketing work for the ECAA has significantly elevated the organization with measurable increases in new membership, donation levels and advocacy initiatives. 

My goal is always to create brand-building communications and messaging with “sticky” visual and conceptual qualities that get noticed, and therefore, get measurable results.