My view of traditional design is that it’s like arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. With Gasp, though, we created something different. I’m proud to say that Gasp stands for something real.
Harry Webber has earned the right to be cynical about the creative industry. Throughout his storied career, he has played a significant role in enough history-making events to have gained notoriety as the Forrest Gump of the advertising industry. As co-creator of The Gasp Company, Webber's vision called for stretching the boundaries of traditional advertising and new media to create an alternative — and more meaningful — way of engaging audiences.
At the tender age of 13, Webber was hired to create advertising by America's first billion dollar corporation, the once mighty Pennsylvania Railroad. Then, at 18, he was hired by Berry Gordy, Jr. to create the look of the Motown sound as Motown's very first art director.
22 Gold records later, Webber was recruited by global advertising giant Young & Rubicam, where his musical background helped him when he and an unknown piano player named Barry Manilow conspired to create the longest running advertising campaign in history, I'm Stuck on Band-Aid Brand. His 20-year run on Madison Avenue yielded such landmark campaigns as A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste; Thanks, I Needed That; Chow, Chow, Chow; and Quality Is Job 1, as well as a spot in the Clio Hall of Fame.
From Madison Avenue, Webber migrated to Hollywood to work with Dan Cracchiolo, producer of The Matrix and John Feist, producer of television's Survivor. This inspired him to found his own company, Smart Communications, Inc. His first client was the California Lottery. Smart went on to gain work from Disney, Pacific Bell, Hardees, KFC, McDonald's, and Coca-Cola during the company's 25-year history.
In 2006, Webber and Design Director Angela Glenn teamed up to form the Institute For Advanced Practices In Advertising. From that collaboration, the Gasp Company, LLC was born. Since that time, Webber and Glenn have worked in tandem on expansive programs that have ranged from rebranding mid-sized industrial clients like Western Pacific Storage Systems and Virtu Floors to expansive national interactive campaigns for the re-election of President Barack Obama through formation of the Obama SuperPac.
The unique relationship between Smart and Gasp has resulted in cutting-edge marketing platforms, like NeoAdvertising for the first anti-texting campaign from a major automotive manufacturer for Toyota USA and the first book on the powerful business practice of organizational creativity, Creativity At Work, published by Four Dolphins Press. Harry Webber is also the author of Divide and Conquer (John Wiley & Sons, NY), the global best-seller that introduced the practice of market segmentation.