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Steve Swartz

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Story by Steve Swartz August 24th, 2017


I am a creative mind with over 20 years of experience. I am intensely passionate about everything from music to people, design, art, creative processes, photography, books, films, coffee, world cultures, etc. I like working with people who are restlessly creative, forward-thinking, diverse in talent, and have passion. I find inspiration in everything around me. I am self-motivated. I think deeply about my work. I am energized by the communal efforts of a team united to make something great. There is only "we."

CONTACT: • 586.206.9773


Bachelor of Fine Arts, College for Creative Studies, 1999 • Major: Art Direction


Art Direction, Graphic Design, Photography (shooting & retouching), Music (composition, recording, mixing, mastering)


Creative Director, The Mars Agency: September 2014 – Present • Clients: Campbell's Soup, Pepperidge Farm, V8, Pace Salsa, Bolthouse Farms, Swanson

Associate Creative Director, The Mars Agency: February 2013 – September 2014 • Clients: Clorox, Kingsford, Campbell's Soup, Pepperidge Farm, V8, Hallmark, Brita, Diamond Foods, GLAD

Senior Art Director, The Mars Agency: May 2012 – February 2013 • Clients: Hillshire Farms, Ball Park Franks, Diageo, Sara Lee

Associate Creative Director/Design Studio Director, DBA Worldwide: March 2012 – May 2012 • Clients: Henry Ford Health System, Chick-Fil-A, Flagstar Bank, Hungry Howie’s Pizza, Citizens Bank, HAP, Oakland County, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

Senior Art Director, DBA Worldwide: 2004 – 2012

Art Director, DBA Worldwide: 2000 – 2004

Junior Art Director, DBA Worldwide: 1999 – 2000

Intern, DBA Worldwide: 1996 – 1999

Production, American Sign Center: 1995-1996


2012 – Present – Contributing Photographer – Getty Images

2008 – Emmy Award for the HAP "Partner" campaign

2007 – Employee of The Year – 2007

2006 – Emmy Award for the HAP "Fairy Tale" campaign

2003 – Emmy Award for the documentary series "Minds of Medicine"

2002 – Employee of The Year – 2002



Pepperidge Farm was looking for an idea to help them sell more bread at Walmart. Walmart was looking for exclusive content. The answer was "Sandwich With The Best" – the best ingredients and recipes from one of America's premiere sandwich guys – Jeff Mauro of the Food Network. Hellmann's Mayonnaise and Hillshire Farm lunch meat also partnered with us for the program.

We tapped into food bloggers and had them share their own sandwich creations on their blogs and on social media using #sandwichwiththebest. All blogger and social media content was aggregated to a hub site that also included videos of Jeff creating signature sandwiches he created exclusively for the program. Additionally, Jeff participated in two Twitter parties and actively engaged his own social media following to help drive interest. The program was also supported with digital banner ads and in-store POS. In the end, Pepperidge Farm saw a 46% increase in sales at the Walmart stores that participated in the program.


throwback some sun

Sunny D wanted a fun promotion to coincide with the relaunch of their brand. They did a remake of their classic 90s TV commercial but set in current times. It was funny. So we decided that if they could have fun with the past, then we would, too. "Throwback Some Sun" was all about drinking Sunny D and winning retro-themed prizes and free 90s music downloads. The promotion was supported with in-store POS, a microsite, digital banners, and social media.



Lowe's reached out to Kingsford asking for help in further developing their position as the home of real grillers. Real grillers grill year round. Our solution was to have a dedicated space in the store for grilling – year round. The retail experience, involves shoppable sections for charcoal and gas grilling as well as a section for smokers, BBQ, and accessories. E-comm technology at perimeter kiosk will provide interactive grilling education as well as the ability to order grills not featured on the floor and give shoppers the ability to special order a grill custom-fit for their needs. This concept is currently in development for roll out at Lowe's in select markets.

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V8 wanted consumers to consider adding V8 Veggie Blends to their morning routine. To do so, they decided to go after orange juice by promoting the fact that V8 Veggie Blends has less sugar than OJ.

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Creative for Diageo Brands to get consumers to consider their brands as gifts for special occasions throughout the year instead of just being used for social occasions.

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Creative for Diageo Brands celebrating the #1 rating that two of their brands received from Zagat.



Goldfish Crackers wanted to increase its sales in Hispanic households that shop at Walmart during springtime. Research showed that spring break was a popular time for Hispanic families to hang out and do things together. Our solution was Casa de Smiles (House of Smiles). The name is a purposeful blend of Spanish and English since many Hispanic households are bilingual. We created in-store demos that occurred around spring break that allowed families to try Goldfish and have a chance to win fun, popular games they can enjoy together. Additionally, to help moms shopping with young children, they were given an activity book to help keep their children entertained while on their shopping trip. The result was a sales increase of over 300% at Walmart.



1) Deluxe edition book for the For Wishes album Adrift 2) Book of illustrations and words 3) Detroit DJ poster 4) Identity for a fundraiser to support the community of Gatlinburg, TN after wildfires ravaged the town in 2016 (partnered with Dolly Parton's Dollywood Foundation) 5) T-shirt design for volunteers at the Gratiot Dream Cruise 6) Large format print – Charleston, SC 7) Elevator graphics for employee recruitment 8) Cover designs for albums released worldwide



I'm constantly observing. Intrigued by behaviors, moments, and expressions. Always capturing and documenting.



Eyes wide open is how I approach the world. I enjoy being lost in something bigger than myself, being lost in that moment, capturing it, and then being inspired by it.


Adrift (Music/Trailer)

In my downtime, I also compose music. This music was released worldwide in November of 2016. Footage shot on the Atlantic Ocean.