INTERVIEW: PeterMayer CCO Matt Kuttan

Kuttan
(Courtesy PeterMayer)

If you have spent any time in Chicago advertising over the last 20 or so years, you probably worked with uber-talented creative Matt Kuttan. Matt has been an influential creative contributor to agencies including Leo Burnett, Burrell Communications, Saatchi X, ICFNext and so many more.

I had a chance to work with Matt lifetimes ago at Burrell. It was an experience I will never forget. There was this time I was giving a tour to college students in the conference room and Matt…

Kuttan has been able to remain a staple in advertising due to his keen creative eye, his ability to embrace new technologies, and his genuinely good heart. Thirty seconds of listening to him belly-laugh is enough to get anyone’s creative wheels turning.

Bottom line, Matt makes you feel good about creating.

Now, Matt has finally chosen to take the show on the road to, what he calls a “carousel of crazy creativity” in New Orleans at the agency, PeterMayer. He takes over from Desmond LaVelle, who announced his departure in May.

Reel 360 News had a chance to sit with Matt and chat about his new role.

Congratulations on the new role at PeterMayer! What drew you to the agency?

I freelanced for PeterMayer about 18 months ago on a pitch and had a fantastic time on it with the team. I loved their vibrant energy and all-in-Nola attitude and stayed in touch.

With the shift in management towards new ownership and with the departure of their CCO, I was invited to share my vision on how we could transform a legendary New Orleans agency (post-covid) and it was well-received, so that ignited my decision to join.

Matt, talk about your partners for a minute. What about them complements your creative style and ideas?

There’s a great bond with my partners Michelle Edelman and Adam Blankenship. At one our first internal meetings, I pulled up a photo of Michael, Scottie and Dennis to showcase that every team needs a variety of personalities and skillsets to succeed and I’m sure they think I’m the Rodman in that scenario.

Michelle has had well-regarded experiences at Leo Burnett and Ogilvy and has been at PeterMayer for almost 10 years, helping clients navigate strategic challenges.

Adam heads client engagement after stints at BBDO, McKinney and DDB and is a true bridge-builder. Having lived in New Orleans, they both understand that great creative requires a great marinade and time to marinate. Prioritizing craft over expediency leads to game-changing work and sprinkling in my multicultural expertise can help brands really stay relevant.


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What are you most excited about PeterMayer? And what draws you to New Orleans?

I’d challenge any other city in America to be as abundantly culture-rich and diverse as the wards and parishes across New Orleans.

We believe our industry’s secret sauce is our people. In that case, for brands to have true conversations, we need curious, highly-engaged, multicultural talent with the hunger to tinker with solutions that reflect human truths.

People have historically been drawn to New Orleans because there’s something magical in the water here. PeterMayer has attracted and invested in that joie de vivre for over 50 years.

Who do you trust bouncing your ideas off?

My wife Caroline has been the best touchstone for my creativity. As a smart, mid-western mom with a 100-year-old house, multiple kids and a minivan she has one of the best bullshit meters to keep me honest.

Okay Matt, now for the big question – Saints or Bears?

While I’m starting to discover the crazy passion in New Orleans for the Saints and LSU Tigers, I’m still a die-hard Bears fan. I remember going to Soldier Field to watch the Bears vs your beloved Philadelphia Eagles and almost coming to blows with you.

Are you and the family moving to New Orleans?

We plan to do so slowly. With the crazy real estate and stock market, hurricane season and 2 boys in college in Champaign, it’ll be one step at a time. For now, I’m flying into Louis Armstrong Airport 2-3 times a month.


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Colin Costello is the West Coast Editor of Reel 360. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @colinthewriter1

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