A keen interest in photography and photo-journalism led John Van Osdol to pursue film at Northwestern University. John graduated Northwestern in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in Radio, Television and Film.
John began as a Junior Producer at Ross Roy Inc. where he quickly cut his teeth producing television and radio ads for clients like Kmart, Blue Cross & Blue Shield, Stroh Foods, Michigan Travel Bureau and NBD Bank.
A long-standing passion for the outdoors and adventure prompted a move to Campbell-Mithun-Esty/Bozell/FCB in 1990 to work on the Jeep and Eagle accounts. In just three years, John was promoted to Head of Broadcast Production, and eventually assumed responsibility for Chrysler and Plymouth Broadcast production as well.
In 1994 John won the coveted Grand Prix in the Cannes Advertising Festival for the Jeep spot Snow Covered
. This was the highest honor amongst other significant awards won during the 90's for his work on Jeep. In fact, many dealers still run Snow Covered
to this day.
Success on Jeep led to other new business wins, like Hush Puppies, Consumers Power, Olympia Entertainment, Little Caesars and Coleman.
John was named to Crain Publishing's list of 40 Under 40
In 2001, John decided to rejoin longtime colleague Gary Topolewski at D'Arcy as Head of Broadcast to work on Cadillac, Pontiac and Goodwrench. John was integral in developing the Break Through campaign which re-launched Cadillac to the tune of Led Zeppelin's Rock & Roll
. John also helped manage and evolve Pontiac as it integrated into various online and viral media outlets. When Mr. Goodwrench was reintroduced in 2003, John was deeply involved to insure the spots with Stephen Colbert helped drive home the service & parts message for GM.
In 2006, John again joined forces with Gary Topolewski to start their own firm, TOPOLEWSKI. In a short period of time, work was completed for various clients from Quiznos Subs and Art Van Furniture, to Courtesy Chevrolet, St. Mary Mercy Hospital and others.
John resides in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, with his wife and three children.