Introducing Steve Taylor: Let The Great Agency Adventure Begin

The Creative Group is pleased to introduce Steve Taylor, former New York-based copywriter, who is taking the agency world by storm – starting this month. In a play he's calling The Great Agency Adventure, get ready to live not just vicariously, but voraciously, as Taylor teams up with 14 agencies in as many months.

He throws left, but writes right. He's known the world over (kind of) for his wicked hitchhiker's thumb. If you ask his dad, he'd say they're living relatives of United States President Zachary Taylor. Hence the name, right?

Old Rough and Ready, Set, Go

Presidential descendent or not, 29-year-old Steve Taylor has moxie. Whether it's the sort of moxie that comes from sharing a bloodline with "Old Rough and Ready," I'm not quite sure. But what I am sure of is this: Steve Taylor is about to embark on the creative adventure of a lifetime. And we can't wait to document it.

Between now and January 30, 2015, Taylor will bounce from one major North American city to another, working as a copywriter in a different agency each month.

The goal? Agency-world domination? Not quite – but a book deal and a better sense of where he belongs, personally and career-wise, would be nice.

Get to Know Steve Taylor

In the days leading up to his maiden journey, I chatted with Taylor to get to know a little more about the man behind the great agency plan. Here's what I discovered:

Jillian Kurvers: What prompted the decision to leave behind the comforts of a steady income and a stable living situation?

Steve Taylor: It's a two-part answer. I first left my job in New York City to help my family in Ohio. That was a hard decision, but family always comes first. Once things returned to normal, I took a step back and evaluated my situation – I couldn't decide if I wanted to move back to New York, stay in Ohio or go elsewhere.

Those thoughts began to spin into the idea of The Great Agency Adventure. I thought, "Maybe I can take this time not only to figure it out for myself, but to help other creatives who are just beginning to enter the field."

JK: You've decided to accept just $12 per hour as your pay rate. According to The Creative Group's 2014 Salary Guide, the average starting salary for a copywriter with five or more years' experience ranges from $74,500 to $105,000. What was your strategy behind that dollar amount?

ST: I wanted agencies to realize what a deal they were getting relative to the risk they were taking, so I picked a rate I felt was low enough to draw initial interest, but that would still afford me to live. I did the math and decided $12 would allow me to scrape by. It's not a lot, though, so help from sponsors has been integral.

JK: Do you have all 14 cities nailed down? Is there one city you're most looking forward to?

ST: Starting on December 2, my journey will look like this:

December 2013: Cleveland, Recess Creative
January 2014: Boston, BEAM Interactive
February 2014: New York, We Are Social
March 2014: Philadelphia, Red Tettemer O'Connell + Partners
April 2014: Charlotte, BooneOakley
May 2014: Memphis, Red Deluxe
June 2014: St. Louis, Boxing Clever
July 2014: Chicago, TRIS3CT
August 2014: Minneapolis, Campbell Mithun
September 2014: Austin, 97 Degrees West
October 2014: Seattle, Wunderman
November 2014: Vancouver, Cowie and Fox
December 2014: San Francisco, TBD
January 2015: Los Angeles, TBD

I'm not sure if I could single out one city I'm most excited for. I'm excited to return to NYC, but I'm also excited for St. Louis because the agency I'll be working for – Boxing Clever – doubles as a record label and it just seems like it's going to be one heck of a time.

JK: You've mentioned that at the end of this journey you'd like to write a book that informs younger generations of creatives. What is your ultimate personal goal?

ST: I'm hoping to gain the same knowledge I want to impart on everyone who follows along. A lot of people see NYC as the be-all and end-all for advertising, but that isn't always the case for the individual. I want to showcase what all of these cities have to offer and help others make informed decisions about where they'd be a good fit.

As for me, I'll be making a lot of new friends and contacts along the way. I'm hoping they'll help me discover where I fit best, too.

Let the Great Agency Adventure Begin

Well, there you have it; Steve Taylor of The Great Agency Adventure, in a nutshell. But there's one more reason we're so excited. TCG is pleased to announce not just our support of Taylor's creative journey, but our sponsorship, which means we'll be there to cover every step of his journey, helping him spotlight his creative discoveries and, ultimately, his successes.

Check back for updates on Steve Taylor's agency adventure and follow our coverage on Twitter and Instagram, where we'll be using #tgaa to tag photos and updates.