Author Archives: Jason Potteiger

Advertising Research: The Loneliest Profession


Sure, it’s unlikely Don Draper could land an agency job today. Still, advertising is a practitioner-oriented field, and this has held true since the Mad Men era… but it’s the distance between university halls vs. the avenues of New York is our primary concern.

Enter the advertising researcher (and a bit of shameless self-promotion). Not to invite myself to the party, but my point is we brought cake. There’s untapped potential for bringing together the different perspectives of academic and creative by putting consumers at the center of the equation. And it’s us nerds who can help make it happen. (Read full article on

I write about advertising and culture from the POV of an advertising analyst for the I Love Charts collection on Medium. More at


New Article: Advertising & Art

Language of brands_Jason Potteiger

Warhol Was Wrong About Advertising & Art:

“Huh, so you make lies for a living?” That was the first question he asked me. It was also the first time I’d told anyone I worked in advertising. I thumbed the glass of whiskey in front of me. Having landed my first internship earlier that day, at just 21 years old it was a bigger question than I realized at the time. It was a question about culture.

Commercial messages and manufactured iconography swirl with, around, between us. Thousands of brands occupy the collective consciousness and command a piece of the cultural pie. This is a story about how, and why… (keep reading on

I recently started writing a weekly column for the I Love Charts collection on Medium. Each week I use charts (and hopefully wit) to explore the synthetic side of culture.

I’m very much looking forward to unpacking some big ideas about advertising and culture. There’s a lot to hate about advertising, but  there’s a lot to love, too–it’s just harder to find sometimes. Whether you play for Ad Busters or Ad Week, the reality is it’s there and it’s shaping us and our world.

Clean & Clear Campaign ‘See the Real Me’

It was a privilege work on this campaign for Clean & Clear, especially because it proves that advertising to women (and especially teenage girls) doesn’t require that brands make them feel ugly. In the insights phase of development we explored ways to engage with girls that was more positive and forward thinking than: you have a zit now use our product to “fix your face”. The heart of the campaign is about encouraging girls not be afraid of embracing their authentic selves and show the world their face (i.e., who they really are). Conceptually, we might sum up the approach as Dove’s “Real Beauty” meets  Nike’s “Just Do It”. In the execution DDB NY has done a great job blazing a new trail and J&J should be commended for their efforts to break the mold.

…Jeff B. Smith, president of United States skin care at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, said Clean & Clear, which is aimed at females from 12 to 24, is shifting the way it talks about confidence to reflect how social networks challenge self-image.

“There is an interesting dynamic with teen girls today that we call the paradox,” Mr. Smith said. “They live in the world of social media and are very much out there and want to be seen, but they’re afraid of being judged.

…Jen Drexler, senior vice president of the Insight Strategy Group and co-author of “What She’s Not Telling You,” reviewed the campaign and praised the casting of nonactors in both the commercials and videos.

“Those girls look like my teenage babysitters who show up on a Saturday night,” Ms. Drexler said. “Clean & Clear has a very authentic and honest place that it’s coming from, and here they feel very much on the side of teenage girls.


Sneaker Museum

Very proud of my friends at Yes.Oui.Si. for getting the Sneaker Museum off the ground. It truly came out amazing! I feel privileged to have been involved for the short time that I was — in helping with the audience segmentation for the business plan I certainly learned A LOT about sneakerheads.


“In the broadest sense, a sneakerhead is anyone who actively enjoys collecting sneakers. They love sneakers as much as a Star Trek fan loves dressing up as a Klingon and trekking to conventions. But, unlike Trekkies, they can be hard to spot. Today, almost anyone could be a sneakerhead as the community has become incredibly broad and diverse over the past two decades. Rich and poor, boys and girls, old and young, it’s clear that anyone is susceptible to the addiction to kicks that defines the sneakerhead archetype.”

Consumer Manifesto

This is a great video that presents a “new” way that businesses could/ should and do approach market research by engaging with their consumers. Communispace pioneered this approach and they’re still innovating 10 years later. I feel lucky to have been part of the process at Communispace realigning/ refining the company’s unique purpose and product. In short, I’m happy to say I learned from the best in the business!

“At Communispace, we believe there is a better way of doing business. For over 12 years, we have been committed to helping our clients collaborate with, and get inspiration from, their consumers.”

Birthday & Bicentennial

This past weekend I traveled to Meriden, NH for my High School’s bicentennial celebration. Lucky for me, it was the same day as my birthday! Better still, two of my good friends from KUA share the same birthday and it was the first time the June 1st club has been together for our birthdays. A great weekend and lots of fun being back on The Hilltop!

Alma Mater Win!


A little shameless self promotion for Suffolk University’s Political Research Center (SUPRC), the research arm of my alma mater and my former employer. I’m happy that I can say I was part of these big wins. However, most of the credit goes to David Paleologos and Patrick Beamish. Great job team!

Adam & Teri Tie the Knot!

Two of my best friends from college got married this past weekend! Adam and Teri met when we were all studying abroad in Prague in 2006. Later I was the third wheel when we all lived together in Brookline, MA. These are some pictures of the groomsmen getting ready.

“We both went to Suffolk University, but our paths didn’t cross in Boston. We met in the spring of 2006 during an honors study abroad program in Prague, Czech Republic. After exploring Europe together for five months, we decided to continue dating after returning to the United States – and the rest is history!”


Love these ads. Maybe this will change, but for now I refuse to feel embarrassed looking up. Living in such an incredible place I don’t want to miss any of it — and there’s a lot to look at up above.