As you may have heard by now, Wayne Kranzler, founding partner of KK BOLD and all-around decent human being, will be retiring on November 28. They (being the people in charge who are not Wayne Kranzler) asked me if I could write a blog post in his honor. Of course I could. As a matter of fact, it would be my distinct honor.
When Wayne first started work in advertising, it was as a copywriter for Flint Advertising in Fargo in 1972. When I was first hired here at KK BOLD (then Kranzler Kingsley) as a copywriter, I recall that being one of the first things he told me, that thing that he and I had in common. And that’s what’s made Wayne a good boss, the ability he has to relate to his employees at their level. Because there just are no levels with him.
When you work in advertising, you deal with a lot of fake things and fake people. But that’s not Wayne. Wayne is the exception that proves the rule. He’s as honest and decent a human being as you could hope to meet, let alone to work for. I speak for not just myself, but the other employees currently on staff at KK BOLD, and all the ones who ever came before over the last 36 years. How many hundreds of people owe at least a part of their livelihood and their professional success to Wayne Kranzler? That’s a legacy I hope he’s proud of.
On a personal level, when I was hired as a writer ten years ago, I was told part of the reason why I was selected over other, more qualified candidates was because of my writings I’d submitted from my personal blog, and how Wayne had enjoyed them. It probably didn’t hurt that one of the writings I’d submitted was essentially a long string of insults towards then-President George W. Bush (Liberal tendencies are another thing Wayne and I have in common). Since that time, I don’t think there’s been a single blog post I’ve written that Wayne hasn’t read. He’s commented on my posts, and he’s liked them on Facebook, and he’s commented about them to me in person. He’s been a fan of mine, which is why I’ve been such a fan of his. His professional accomplishments dwarf mine, but he’s always treated me like nothing less than a peer.
In the interview notes I received to write this blog that I’ve been very diligent in not using up until this point, I will share some advice Wayne has for anyone looking to get into advertising:
“Learn how to write! Everyone in the advertising business needs to know how to write well, whether they’re writing copy, proposals or plans. Creativity is important, but a good writer knows how to organize thoughts and make presentations.”
And he’s right, just like he always is. Creativity only gets you so far in this business, but knowing how to organize your thoughts and present them in a professional manner is what separates the successes from the failures. Wayne’s mind is as valuable a treasure to the world of marketing as you could hope for, and I hope the scientific community figures out a way to upload his brain into a computer database to preserve for future generations. I have sent emails to them about it.
Anyway, I wanted to write this post the way I did as my personal way of saying thanks to Wayne, for what he’s done for me, and for all of us. I know all the lives that Wayne has touched, because I’ve seen it. We all have. Good luck, Wayne, and I hope your retirement is every bit what you deserve. Enjoy the rest, you’ve earned it. And thanks again for the job.
Erik Hagen is the senior copywriter for KK BOLD and will be proud to tell people he worked for Wayne Kranzler for ten years.