Walrus’ Co-founder & CCO Deacon Webster Delivers Newhouse’s Eric Mower Advertising Forum Lecture

April 11, 2017

From left to right: James Tsao, Chair of Newhouse’s Advertising Department; Deacon Webster; Mel White, Assistant Professor of Advertising at Newhouse.

Deacon Webster, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer at Walrus, was a guest speaker at Newhouse’s Eric Mower Advertising Forum at Syracuse University on April 6. Deacon graduated from Newhouse, one of the nation’s top schools of communication, and went on to move up the ranks to Chief Creative Officer at Mad Dogs & Englishmen, and then open Walrus in 2005 with co-founder Frances Webster.

In his address to the school’s students, Deacon discussed the philosophy that has influenced his advertising career and drove him to open an independent agency: “Ads are like people. They are better when they are original. Being a little different and pushing yourself outside your comfort zone really does make a huge difference.” It’s this philosophy that turned Walrus into the award-winning, full-service advertising agency it is today.

With this thinking at the core of the agency’s work and culture, Deacon set a mission for Walrus: To change the way people feel about advertising by filling it with ideas that are smart, funny, and respect people’s time and intelligence.

Deacon showed the students a number of case studies to demonstrate how Walrus approaches real-world marketing challenges with this philosophy, and builds memorable, endearing brands as a result.

The bottom line: People hate advertising; except when they don’t. They actually notice and love ads that are different and original, and when you can make that happen, it drives results like nothing else.

See more pictures from Deacon’s visit at Newhouse School below.

Meet the Speaker session with Deacon Webster and Newhouse students, moderated by Mel White
Deacon Webster delivers a lecture at Newhouse’s Eric Mower Advertising Forum.
Deacon shares advice for students in Mel White’s Portfolio Class