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Coworking with Jonathan Haber

He’s cofounder of Giant Spoon.
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Jonathan Haber

3 min read

Each week, we spotlight Marketing Brew readers in our Coworking series. If you’d like to be featured, introduce yourself here.

Jonathan Haber is the co-founder of the independent agency Giant Spoon. Before founding Giant Spoon, he served as chief innovation officer at OMD.

Favorite project you’ve worked on? Ten years into building this agency, there was this interesting moment that kicked off a series of work that has been really meaningful to me. I met a marketing leader at HP for lunch, and, long story short, he hired us for a project on the spot. It turned out he was doing a thought experiment where he was saying yes to everything for that month. We were a small startup, but that moment led to 10 years of work: A multi-year Cannes and Effie-winning film series in the style of Mr. Robot, a 1980s parody public-access show about computers, a tear-inspiring film about a father and daughter that is written up in marketing textbooks, the first-ever branded film on Peacock, and even a SportsCenter-style talk show on professional gaming. For me, the flywheel of good work leading to more trust and more good work is one of the most satisfying journeys of my career.

What’s your favorite ad campaign? I have never forgotten a California Lottery campaign I saw as a kid. The whole spot is a POV, shot from a guy walking through a grocery store with his voiceover. He turns down an entire aisle filled with cheese, and his voiceover inner monologue says, “Suddenly, it hit me: I could totally afford all this cheese.” The idea is so relatable: we have all been in the grocery store and had anxiety over the prices and worried about what our total bill was going to be. One major thing that changes when you finally get some money is buying whatever you want at the grocery store and not thinking about it. Selling that fantasy with the lottery is so much more relatable and real than buying a mansion or a boat.

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What marketing trend are you most optimistic about? Least? People in our business are obsessed with talking about media fragmentation and the oversaturation of content—too many channels, too much programming, too much noise, too many consumer choices, and yeah, too many ads. But it’s something I see as a good thing because, as a creative and as our agency has shown with our work, it pushes you to stand out from the crowd and make an impact.

As for something in our business I find annoying, it’s got to be people like me talking about themselves all the time: “Look at me, I won this award, I won this account, I’m brilliant.” And even though we at our agency have won awards and won big accounts and are brilliant, I believe that, generally, the work should speak for itself. Also, I could talk about AI for hours, but that may be for another time.

What’s one marketing-related podcast/social account/series you’d recommend? I mostly listen to podcasts that are outside the industry. It is definitely a place where I collect inspiration versus doing too much industry navel-gazing. However, when I catch Sweathead, A Strategy Podcast with Mark Pollard, he and his guests often tread into thoughtful strategic conversations that don’t feel like the same expected tropes.

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Marketing Brew informs marketing pros of the latest on brand strategy, social media, and ad tech via our weekday newsletter, virtual events, marketing conferences, and digital guides.