Still crazy after all these years

A few things about Markus Gull

(1) By an accident of nature, I was born and raised in the last century not in New York, but in Salzburg.
Thomas Bernhard is right in every word.
(2) My time at university (law, journalism, politics, German studies, English studies) was absolutely dispensable for the world of science.
(3) Then I was the executive director of a youth organisation, a journalist, founded an award-winning youth magazine, worked as an assistant director and in the PR industry.
(4) At the same time, I worked as a writer.
Sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on the time.
(5) I kept my two worlds strictly separate.
(6) I didn't want to be perceived as one of those advertising types who see themselves as the better Hemingway because they are head over heels in love with themselves. Or as an unsuccessful author who has to earn his bread and butter as an industrial lyricist.
(7) It was different for me. I have worked professionally in both areas all my life, i.e. earned my money. That turned out to be a real stroke of luck.
(8) Because everyone who ends up in advertising somehow ends up there, I somehow ended up in advertising.
(9) I joined a very small agency as the creative department and was also employed in consulting and production. This allowed me to learn an incredible amount in every area of agency life. Anyone who sees my work as a graphic designer at that time understands why I became a copywriter.
(10) The advertising industry was still cool back then. Not me.
(11) That was the time when a lot of money was made in advertising. People drove nice cars, had fast women and were always a little more hungover than absolutely necessary. The others, anyway. At least that's what they told people, and I believed them.
(12) We did what we could, sometimes it was even the other way round.
(13) At that time, "360° branding" and the "integrated campaigns" came up. I had no idea what that was. But after I looked into it, I understood that there seemed to be a lot of experts who hadn't done it that way until now.
(14) Even today, I always want to know everything that's out there.
(15) Then I was a partner in another advertising agency, built up the PR business there and the location in Vienna. I was also a copywriter and CD there, but mostly not.
(16) Because I have to work creatively, I founded, out of self-defense so to speak, with my partner Alois Grill, Grill+Gull. Alois Business - Markus Creation. We had a lot of fun and phenomenal success.
(17) At that time, "planning" came up. I had no idea what that was. But after I looked into it, I understood that there seemed to be a lot of experts who hadn't done it that way until now.
(18) Sometimes I had the feeling that some things in my life were repeating themselves.
(19) The most difficult thing for Grill+Gull was to get enough top employees in Salzburg. After all, no one was stupid enough to move from the center of Vienna to the province of Salzburg.
(20) So we brought in some people from abroad. They liked to come to beautiful Salzburg, but they weren't stupid and so they were soon in Vienna.
(21) Eventually we all went to Vienna and merged with J. Walter Thompson. They were pretty down at the time, quite different from other countries. But there's something about being with the oldest agency in the world. They invented everything, after all.
(22) Grill+Gull-Thompson had a very, very hard time at the beginning. Almost everyone in the Viennese advertising community laughed at us boys from the countryside. But after a year we were top 3 and laughed too.
(23) All in all, I have worked for clients of all sizes, nationally and internationally from almost every industry.
(24) I welcomed the new millennium as a freelance author. I only did advertising very rarely.
(25) To this day, I write as a columnist, for TV and feature films, TV series, TV and radio shows, international award shows, song lyrics, books for stage shows ...
(26) The comeback show for Peter Kraus was also there. A legend! The man brought Rock'n'Roll to Germany in the 50s and was something like Justin Bieber yesterday. But he doesn't have a tattoo, I don't think. I should have checked.
(27) Once again, one of my filmed scripts has just been broadcast on German television. The huge success made me very happy. I'm happy to write the second part of the story now.
(28) I also write musicals. So far, seven of them have come together. The first one premiered in 2002, the current one was extended for another month after the first week of performances.
(29) When you are in the theatre and what you have invented suddenly comes to life, sometimes even much better than you would have liked to have written it - there is hardly an experience that can even come close to this delight. At least none in which you are clothed.
(30) Sometimes people ask me, "Do you ever actually sleep?" - Hm ... Yes, but only really. Because actually I'm usually reading something.
(31) I attended a lot of workshops and seminars on storytelling, most of them in the US. That's when I got the idea for Hero Branding® and finally started to combine my two worlds.
(32) Diligent as I am, I first spent a lot of time developing Hero Branding in the completely wrong direction. Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.
(33) In 2007, for the sake of a former client, I founded an agency again, Gull + Company: full-service advertising with brand development as the speciality of the house. It worked very well again and was a lot of fun.
34) At the same time, I developed a big entertainment project N.O.A.H. - No Option At Hand and took it to Hollywood. Los Angeles was great, my manager was not.
35) But no one can take away the experience of having been at the companies of James Cameron, Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott, Leonardo Di Caprio, Roland Emmerich, Michael Bay or J.J. Abrams etc. from me.
36) And that Oscar® winner Curtis Hanson wanted to do the thing, I thought was really super. We both didn't understand why his home network CBS didn't understand the story.
37) Eventually I packed everything up and founded Gull Gotham in New York, where everything I do comes together: marketing communications, entertainment, creative writing - story in all guises.
38) Now everyone is talking about "storytelling" and "content marketing. But I've hardly met anyone who knows what they're talking about. The vast majority don't even know what a story really is. These are probably the experts in "360° branding" and "planning".
39) I know my way around Story. Keyword: The Story Dude.
40) I understand a lot about apple strudel and vanilla ice cream, only: The Apple Strudel Dude sounds kind of bananas, doesn't it?
41) Admittedly: I like to hear myself speak. But fortunately many others do too.
(42) That's why I'm constantly on the road as an international keynote speaker and I'm happy when everyone is happy.
(43) I am most happy when the lighthouses in people's hearts light up. I am a full-time arsonist.
(44) I'm also writing a book about the infinite power of stories and how they make us strong as people, teams and society. That will be the last book you have to read about stories. At least, until I write the next
(45) With my company I basically only do two things:
Inventing stories and bringing them to life.
Help others find their story and bring it to life. Often these are companies and their brands.
(46) I also coach One on One - provided all the conditions are right and you really dare to do it. (I never promised you a rose garden ...)
(47) We also hold workshops, publicly and in-house at companies.
(48) My time at the university is not over yet. But now I'm learning there as a teacher, and lots of it.
(49) Advertising, PR and media agencies also call on us time and again. We are happy to help there, also with pitches.
(50) Howard Gossage was a great man.
(51) I admire Richard Curtis for the love he puts into his characters, all his work and life in general.
(52) If nothing else helps, there's always the Beatles.
(53) You should only work with people you enjoy sitting down to dinner with.
(54) If it's true that you don't work when you like doing what you have to do, then I've worked little and eaten a lot in my life.
(55) Writing/scribbling/drawing by hand on paper gives better results than hacking into one's computer immediately.
(56) In a perfect world, there is neither Excel nor PowerPoint.
(57) I am Cancer, Ascendant Cancer. What a destiny.