Always Make Sure to Have Fun: Courtney Pulver and Robert Casillas, David&Goliath

One of the things I value most about our partnership is that I truly feel like we are a team. We are in it together, and we can depend on one another.


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El Segundo, United States
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Courtney Pulver
Group Creative Director David&Goliath

Robert Casillas
Group Creative Director David&Goliath

How did you meet and how long have you worked together?

CP: Back in 2015, my partner had moved on to another agency. Rob came on as a freelancer to help out for a while, but we ended up working really well together. I’m glad he decided to give up the freelancer life because here we are five years later...


How would you describe the relationship between you two? In what ways has the dynamic changed since you first began working together?

RC: One thing that keeps our dynamic strong is that we are always making sure we're having fun. Usually, when we begin to concept, we start with the really bad ideas to put a smile on each other’s face. We’re talking awful ideas. And then we slowly move into the more strategic/realistic ideas. 

CP: One of the things I value most about our partnership is that I truly feel like we are a team. We are in it together, and we can depend on one another. I think that sentiment was there from the beginning, and it’s probably why we are still going strong so many years later. 


Tell us about the first campaign you’ve worked on as a duo.

CP: The first campaign we worked on wasn’t really a campaign—it was actually a coupon. Jack in the Box was launching the new Buttery Jack burger, and they needed an idea to help push a BOGO coupon. So we decided to go big with it. Really big. Like breaking the Guinness World Record by walking an 80-foot by 25-foot coupon through the streets of Hollywood and redeeming it in a Jack in the Box drive-thru, big. 

RC: It was a challenging and fun stunt to pull off, and it was a great start to our partnership. It’s also proof that every assignment can be an opportunity to do something creative. Even a coupon.


Do you have a favorite campaign you’ve worked on together? What makes it special?

RC: We actually went back and forth about a favorite campaign and had a hard time narrowing it down. Over the years, we’ve had the chance to work on almost every brand at the agency, and each project has meant a little something different to us. From producing Super Bowl commercials, to campaigns that never ended up airing, to winning (and losing) new business pitches—each experience has helped us grow as creatives. It’s pretty cool to have gone through all the highs and lows together.


What has been the hardest part of working together? How do you resolve creative conflicts?

CP: The hardest part of working together is probably the same as it is for most partners. We spend an absurd amount of time together and are often dealing with at least some amount of stress. Over the years, we haven’t had a lot of conflict, but sometimes we do bump heads. When that happens, we try to talk things out and resolve the issue fairly quickly. I think we are both pretty good about communicating and saying sorry when we need to. Even if it’s me buying Rob a bar of extra-dark chocolate when I’ve been being difficult.


Is there any advice you’d give to young creatives looking for a partner, or a duo just getting their start?

CP: I think when you’re starting out, it’s important to find an agency where you like the people who work there. We spend a lot of late nights and weekends together, so when you enjoy being around each other, it makes all the difference. And, odds are, you’ll have a much better chance at finding a partner you click with. While not every partner you get paired up with will be the perfect match, you can always learn something from the partnership. They may have strengths that you don’t. And maybe you’ll learn you have some strengths that you didn’t know you had. 

RC: Just to add some additional advice for junior creatives in general—don't give up and don't stop with the first idea. The most successful young creatives tend to have a positive attitude and they keep on bringing ideas to the table. The hardest thing for young creatives is being strategic and learning how to write a tight TV script. It takes practice. The more ideas you bring to the table in the beginning will benefit you in the long run. 


Do you have a dream account that you haven’t had the opportunity to work on?

RC: I would say my dream account would be a brave account. A brand that is willing to take risks. Maybe even an underdog brand that has a little more of a challenger spirit. Like Diesel clothing or New Castle beer.

CP: I love Skittles. Both as a brand and as someone who has a huge sweet tooth. 


How has the pandemic impacted working with your partner? Do you have any creative tips on how to collaborate when you’re working from home? 

RC: I feel like we've done pretty well working from home during the quarantine process. We were even able to win a new business project through all of this craziness. At the end of the day, we still make sure to be there for each other as creative partners and as friends.

CP: Microsoft Teams has been extremely helpful for us to stay connected. And video conferencing has definitely been our friend.