Brent Anderson, a BYU alum, achieved the dream of many advertising pros: working for Apple
Anderson was the featured speaker at this year’s Raymond E. & Ida Lee Beckham Lecture, where he shared his journey from a graduate without a portfolio to an accomplished advertiser.
“He was chosen to speak because of his work that represents the church and the school,” said advertising professor Jeff Sheets. “He is an example of what alumni work should look like.”
A student’s portfolio is a sum of their advertising experience. It represents dedication and includes the best examples from their work time at BYU. Anderson is a bit of an anomaly; he graduated from BYU without a single piece of work to add to his portfolio. The only thing he had was a unique letter of recommendation from professor Bryant Marcum.
After seeing Apple’s 1997 ad, “The Crazy Ones” in a class, Anderson took to heart the spirit of “think different” and decided to pursue a career in advertising. With that excitement and motivation, he spent a few months after graduation creating a portfolio.
In 2005, he received a call from a friend at TWBA/CHIAT/DAY, an advertising agency in Los Angeles. With the promise that LA was the only place he could work with world-renowned brands and have a family, he took the leap.
During his time at TWBA/CHIAT/DAY, he developed a relationship with advertising guru and creative genius Lee Chow, the chairman and global director of TBWA. They worked together on projects for Gatorade and pitched the Adidas world cup. Now they work together for Apple.
Anderson said the highlight of his time at TBWA/CHIA/DAY was working with Gatorade, where he collaborated with celebrities like professional baseball star Derek Jeter and tennis legend Serena Williams.
In 2016, he became the Global Chief Creative Officer at Media Arts Lab, a marketing and advertising agency, and began officially working on projects for Apple. His first projects included the ads for Apple’s Air Pods and the latest Apple watch. He also had the opportunity to work with Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson to create an ad series for Siri called “Dominate the Day.”
Anderson believes the key to his success is more than creativity. It is finding a balance between being a believer and being creative.
He came to a point in his career where he noticed what he was doing at work and what he was doing in church were two completely different spheres. After acting on an invitation from a Stake President to pray for a miracle each day, Anderson came to understand where light and inspiration come from.
“I believe and I know that the source of creativity is the Creator,” said Anderson. “All of us have the ability to go to that source to be guided and directed.”
BYU students and alumni have a reputation to uphold. “We represent our school, our face and the Lord.” Anderson said. “Always make sure that your backstage matches your front stage in life and vice versa.”
The Beckham lecture series was established in 1995 in memory of Raymond and Ida Lee Beckham. Ray was a leader in education at BYU for more than 40 years and essential in the development of the BYU evening school program, the BYU travel studies program, Aspen Grove and the New York Internship program.
Writer: Bekah Lundquist
Disclaimer: This article was produced as part of the COMMS 425 lab.