On April 21, advertising design giant Luke Sullivan announced that he will be the new SCAD Savannah advertising design chair starting next fall. In 1998, Sullivan produced the widely-used, highly favored book on the business of advertising and ad agencies, “Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Ads.” He has worked for agencies such as Fallon McElligott Inc., The Martin Agency and most recently, the Gurasich Spence Darilek and McClure agency (GSD&M) in Austin, Texas. Sullivan will bring a high level of real-world expertise to the SCAD family.
“Advertising majors in Savannah have expressed to me their excitement and optimism about Luke Sullivan joining the college. Virtually all advertising majors know of Luke Sullivan because his book ‘Hey Whipple’ is the standard textbook for their required course Creative Copywriting,” said current chair of the advertising department Stephen Hall.
Hall expects three main benefits Sullivan will bring to SCAD. His high profile and excellent reputation in the advertising industry will elevate the department’s reputation. His skills as an advertising genius and a gifted communicator will make him a highly sought-after instructor. Also, he will help advance the department’s long-standing desire to have a copywriting track within the advertising major.
Sullivan will be moving to Savannah with his wife and two boys over the summer to begin the next phase of his career. On his blog, Heywhipple.com, Sullivan writes: “I am crazy thrilled about [coming to SCAD]. For years my favorite part of this business has been mentoring kids, teaching, lecturing and all that professor-y stuff — now I just get to do it full-time.”
Sullivan brings over 31 years of copywriting experience to SCAD. According to Advertising Age magazine, Sullivan has written for American Airlines, Miller Brewing Company, Lee’s Jeans, Porsche Cars North America, Ameritech, Ralston Purina and Black & Decker. His writing has covered such topics as the South by Southwest Festival, America’s competitive spirit, whacky-inflatable tube men and Chiquita bananas. His quirky style reflects a passion for his field and a voice that demands the reader’s attention. In his blog Sullivan explains, “I’m a writer by trade. Been writing since about sixth grade. In fact that’s where I started my first diary, and I’ve been keeping one ever since.”
Sullivan has recently been preparing for the release of his second book, “Thirty Rooms to Hide In,” in July. Sullivan compared the memoir, which describes the death of his father and growing up with five brothers to “The Shining,” except that it’s a comedy.
The excitement he’s expressed about his new position at SCAD is mirrored by the students who will be able to benefit from his experience. “I’m so excited that Luke Sullivan is coming to SCAD. He’s a huge name in advertising,” said third-year advertising design student Andi Denney in Savannah. “He came to my copywriting class, and he’s just a regular guy and so easy to talk to. He stressed talking to people like they were people.”
It’s apparent that his charming personality and ability to reach students precedes him. “He was really interested in knowing [students’] feedback on the book. It’s going to be great to have him as the chair of advertising design,” said Denney.