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Patrick Holly has worked for agencies like R/GA and brands like Apple, Uber, and Harley Davidson, where he served as brand director. Currently, he’s Upwork’s Executive Creative Director leading a team of writers, art directors, designers, and strategists who are changing the way the world thinks about work. We discussed all of this and more this week on the On Brand podcast.
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About Patrick Holly
Patrick Holly is a multidisciplinary creative whose career has run the gamut from agencies like R/GA and AKQA, to brands like Apple and Uber, to building a content platform with Steph Curry. He currently serves as Upwork’s Executive Creative Director leading a team of writers, art directors, designers, and strategists who are changing the way the world thinks about work. Prior to joining Upwork, Patrick was the brand director at Harley Davidson, overseeing content, PR, social, and brand partnerships. When Patrick is not working, he spends most of his time on two wheels or watching Sex and the City reruns with his wife and dogs in Austin, Texas.
Working for a brand as “effortlessly cool” as Harley Davidson. What was that like? “It was stressful!” Patrick laughed, noting that the pandemic created challenges in connecting these rabid fans without motorcycle shows. “We ended up holding a No Show on Instagram—an All-Show, No Go.”
Redefining how work works. In the wake of the pandemic, Upwork launched its latest brand campaign to address one of the biggest changes in how we work since the invention of the assembly line: the shift away from full-time, in-person work to hybrid workforce models that leverage remote talent. Patrick called this “Hollywood model” while I joked that it’s like building a heist team.
“A brand is only as strong as the team building it,” Patrick notes. “As advertisers and marketers, our job is to stand out in a way that feels honest to the brand.” That’s why the Upwork launch included a zombie musical to communicate that the old ways of work are dead. “Who better to tell you something’s dead than a zombie?”
What brand has made Patrick smile recently? “I’m gonna share a local Austin brand—Tito’s.” The vodka brand recently captured Patrick’s attention with a campaign on why they weren’t creating a seltzer as other spirit brands have. Sometimes you can stand out by zipping where others zag.
To learn more, check out the Upwork website and connect with Patrick on LinkedIn.
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