Getting to Know Mark Carpenter

Title: Partner, Vice President Creative Strategy
Here since: December 2003

What do you do at SKAR?
I’m a partner and vice president of creative strategy. Fancy title, but basically I write and produce ads.

What major changes have you experienced in the ad industry?
Too many to list. Obviously the major change is the growth of social media. It’s hard for me because my life is so dull, there’s usually nothing to tweet about.

What would you do if you weren’t in advertising?
Tornado chaser. It’s incredibly dangerous, but at least I’d have something to tweet about.

What is your idea of the perfect ad?
In the late ’80s, Federal Express ran a TV spot during the Super Bowl that consisted of nothing but a test pattern and some on-screen copy that said “We didn’t send the videotape of our commercial FedEx.” Perfect.

If you had a theme song, what would it be?
“The Bitch Is Back” by Elton John

You are a well-known food snob. What restaurant would you recommend and which one would you never set foot in again?
I’d recommend Tanduri Fusion. I’d like to burn down Applebee’s.

What really pisses you off? (100-word limit)
People who bring babies to movies. People who start conversations with clerks at the post office. People who eat the last piece of pizza. People who ring my doorbell. Basically … people.

You pretend to know a lot about art. Who is your favorite artist?
Andrew Wyeth. If I owned one of his paintings, I’d be ecstatic. I’d also be rich enough to buy and sell your little freak show.

If you could only afford one cable channel, which one would it be?
The Food Network. Unless there was a Sopranos Network.

If you had to give one piece of advice to a new copywriter, what would it be?
You’ll find the solution in the product.

When you are at home rockin’ in your jam jams, what music is playing?
Fleetwood Mac. I’ve seen them in concert six times. At $250 a pop.

Which Carpenter-created campaign are you most proud of?
I wrote a radio campaign for the Nebraska Lottery that won a Batchy (national lottery industry creative award) in 2012.