15 Minutes with Montana Steele’s Paul Grundy

Paul Grundy didn’t play much with cars and action figures as a child, instead he would write and record his own TV and radio commercials. “It was my ongoing fascination with powerful, short vignettes that struck attention,” he says. It almost seems inevitable that a career in advertising would follow.  Fast forward to 2014 and Paul has joined the Montana Steele team as the associate art director.  We managed to steal a few minutes with him in between client pitches and creative brainstorming sessions to find out more about the man behind the ads.

What are you looking forward to as part of the Montana Steele team?

From meeting creative director Andy I realized it was the passion, energy and a philosophy of approach to creative development that most convinced me great things could be done here. Although my background is more in mainstream and entertainment marketing and advertising, I saw our underlying philosophies were similar and the desire for new and more innovative ways to continually reinvent the real-estate advertising niche held incredible potential.

The team here is exciting, talented and vibrant, and the desire for fresh, innovative thinking is palpable. To be a part of that and to help further it is what thrills me most.

Paul Grundy-Montana Steele Strategic Marketing Toronto

What makes a creative idea great?

If an idea is less about hard sell off the top and more about showing you know what you’re talking about and whom you’re talking to, you gain trust and respect. The selling will take care of itself. By the way, in a great idea all of this takes place in split seconds.

They say you’re only as good as your next campaign. What do you do to keep raising the bar?

I think less about how I can raise the bar as I do about just making sure I’m listening and learning and having fun in the process. I’ll draw from traditional creative stimulus like film, art, movies and books to non-traditional stimulus like people watching. Just as importantly I’ll walk away from it all: the opposite of stimulus, quiet. Some of my best creative moments happened when I walked away from it all.

What’s one thing about your job that gets you out of bed each morning?

Knowing that something will be created and something will be communicated. That something will impact me and I in turn will impact someone else.

Where do you look to influence your creative process?

Websites like Lost at E Minor or Ihaveanidea.org. Movies like Pi, My Dinner With Andre, Seconds and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and books on the creative process like Art & Fear, White Noise.

If you could jump on a private plane right now where would you tell it to take you?

Somewhere that will offer me a course on overcoming my fear of flying.