Mike Kohlbecker’s attraction to advertising was simple: “Getting paid to hang out with my imagination all day … how could I refuse?” Imagination is paying off for the 2002 graduate, who’s just completing his first year as an art director for Crispin Porter + Bogusky, an international advertising firm that was twice named agency of the year by Communication Arts magazine and is responsible for some of today’s more distinctive television ads, including the adventures of the Burger King and Miller Lite’s “Man Law” spots.
Following graduation, Kohlbecker spent six months working odd jobs and traveling around Europe. He then worked as a freelance graphic designer for a year before going back to graduate school at The Creative Circus in Atlanta. He graduated in May and moved to his current position. Now based in the Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s Boulder, Colo., office, Kohlbecker is working on television spots for Volkswagen set to air this spring.
“Our team was involved from the concepting of the idea to overseeing production,” he says. “It always strikes me as amazing how a crude sketch in my notebook can blossom into a major production like this.”
Interestingly, Kohlbecker looks back and says his creativity and career can be traced to what he learned at Xavier. “This is a business where people thrive by being curious; feeding their creativity by cramming their subconscious with as much info about as many things as possible,” he says. “That core curriculum laid the foundation for me.”