Playing Offense with Doug Zanger

Author: Chris Copacino

If it can be done in the advertising and marketing industry, Doug Zanger has likely done it. Doug has had a multifaceted career in the Northwest creative industry, including roles as a president, executive director, professor, consultant, radio host, editor, voice-over talent, client, creative director, and agency leader. A self-described “quiet hell raiser” and “Uncle advertising”, Doug seeks to help create a more human business in all he touches.

In his third act in his career, Doug is now co-founder of ThinkNW: An organization aimed at advancing the business impact of creative thinkers in the Pacific Northwest, encompassing Oregon, Washington, Idaho, British Columbia, and Alaska.

Recently Doug sat down with Executive Director of Business Development, Chris Copacino to talk about Think NW and its aims, the Cascadia Awards (the new regional award show administered by ThinkNW), the state and importance of the Northwest creative industry, and his take on the current state of our industry.

Doug reminds us of the importance of agencies building credibility and authority while maintaining consistent presence within the industry to help raise its profile. Not surprising in his quest to create a more human business, Doug also extolls the importance of relationships and chemistry in client-agency dynamics. And in the face of an ever-evolving industry, Doug speaks on the crucialness of flexibility and adaptability for long-term success.

Maybe my favorite takeaway from this fun conversation was Doug’s guiding principle that emphasizes the importance of taking pride in work rather than seeking credit. A great reminder for successful servant leadership and building a winning culture.

We’ll look forward to watching where ThinkNW goes and a potential follow-up with Doug in the future. Until then, enjoy this conversation and the thoughts of the avuncular (he is Uncle Advertising by the way) Doug Zander.

Listen to the full episode here.