Clients served by Pollock Spark and Michael Pollock

* Individual clients include:
Innovation Executives, Design Directors, Film Directors, TV Directors and Producers, Advertising, Media and PR Executives, Retail and Fashion Executives, Film Editors, Composers and Music Producers, Journalists, Internet Entrepreneurs et al

* Companies served include:

  • adidas
  • AICE
  • American Express
  • AniMount
  • Big Chair Creative Group
  • Bite PR
  • Bond
  • British Airways
  • Burger King
  • Calabash Animation
  • Chinagraph
  • Click3X
  • Consulate Films
  • Creative License
  • Curious Pictures
  • Digitas
  • Eyeball
  • FCB
  • Final Cut
  • Fluid
  • IBM
  • JWT
  • Kodak
  • Langton Cherubino
  • M||therf||cker: A Movie
  • Music for Picture
  • Ogilvy
  • PepsiCo
  • Post Factory
  • Prime Studio
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Ralston Purina
  • RedWorks, an Ogilvy Company
  • TBWA
  • Sideshow Creative
  • Simplissimus
  • SpotWired
  • Transmission Post
  • Turner Network Television
  • Unilever
  • Version2 Editing

Coaching: cases

Individual creative professionals please read: 13 snapshots from coaching = 13 ideas for you

Client: Film Production Company

Need: Their Executive Producer was much liked in the company, but the Principals were not convinced that he was effectively fulfilling his function, and he was not responding to their guidance.

Result: Pollock worked with the EP as a coach and guided him successfully to strengthen his performance. The Principals later said, “Even the CFO was impressed!”

Client: New York based Digital Design Firm

Need: The Executive Creative Director and the Head of Production were not managing their projects and staff effectively and morale was low. Projects were delivered late and no new business had been won in several months. The company owner was considering letting them go.

Result: After Pollock worked individually with the two executives, they were back on track, managing well and delivering work on time. New business was being brought in again and both still have their jobs. The owner was delighted with the results.

Client: Film Director

Need: This director had taken a few years away from making TV commercials while he was making feature films. He wanted to relaunch his commercials business but his presentation was out of date and lacked focus.

Result: Working with Pollock, the director was able to identify his creative strengths and tailored his “story” and his presentation to make a powerful case. Within the next months he told me: “I have been booked solid. I shot nine new spots in the last eight weeks. Being able to shoot with the confidence of knowing my strengths has been a great pleasure. I have never had a run this strong.”

Client: 12-year old film postproduction company

Need: Business was on the decline and the owner was wondering whether he should close the doors.

Result: After conducting a 360 review, including interviews with clients, former clients and employees, Pollock recommended that the company be rebranded and relaunched with a new sales and marketing staff. They expanded their facility and attracted new creative talent. The owner is once again being coached by Pollock, as he starts on a new wave of expansion.

Client: Film Design and Production Company

Need: The new owners of an eight-year-old design and production company turned to Pollock to help them plan their relaunch.

Result: Pollock worked with Principals and staff to guide and motivate them in crafting a fresh positioning, create a new corporate identity package, website, direct mail and online advertising and threw parties. The next year saw a 50% increase in business.

Client: Film and Commercial Producer

Need: The phone had stopped ringing. This Producer had previously sought help from others to create a new resume, but it had not been effective in getting responses.

Result: Pollock worked with her to create a new and more compelling description of the value she offered to a potential hirer. The new approach immediately resulted in responses from hirers – some even told her “I love your resume.”

Client: Film Editor – TV Commercials

Need: After several years of slow progress his career was stalled. He working far below capacity and was stuck in a rut with low profile work.

Result: Pollock worked with him to develop a clear expression of the value he offered to clients, supported by a compelling presentation that demonstrated this strength. This clarity resulted in successive record business years and with new, higher profile accounts. He has recently started directing and has returned to Pollock for further coaching for this new phase of his career.

Client: Music Production Company

Need: This small music company was in the doldrums. Following a very busy few years its business had fallen almost to nothing. The owners, a Producer and a Composer, were disheartened and uncertain what to do next.

Result: Pollock conducted a 360 review including leadership, staff, clients and potential clients. The company’s unique strengths became clear and they were able to focus a message that would resonate. The owners regained their excitement for the business and worked with Pollock to develop a marketing campaign to reenergize the business. This resulted in a flow of new business. One Principal said, “ I think this is something we should do every year.”

Client: A New Advertising Agency

Need: A film company had been awarded a large advertising account direct from a major brewery, but its project-based structure as a production company needed revamping to manage this new kind of relationship.

Result: Pollock assisted them in figuring out who was doing what and who should do what. He helped to design a new organizational structure and define the responsibilites of key staffers. “I am so glad you wrote this stuff down for us,” said the Agency Chairman later. “It is so good to be able to pull it out and make sure we are still on the right track.”

Consulting: cases

Details of our client relationships are respected as completely confidential. The following are actual cases, though they may not be named.

* Strategic Business Planning for Global Ad Agency

Leaders at RedWorks, a global division of ad agency Ogilvy, needed to design a new strategic broadcast capability – but there were not enough hours in the day to do it themselves.  So they brought in Pollock Spark to drive the process.

In designing the business model, we met with other WPP affiliates; we spoke with managers in North American divisions as well as in Asia and Europe; we analyzed the current complex web of workflow and asset management systems; speaking with brand teams, we explored the potential revenue; we identified and evaluated partners.  The result, working with the RedWorks team, was a high-level business plan, a workflow model, staffing and systems recommendations and an action plan for developing the business.  All accomplished in just a few weeks.

Here is what the client told us: “Michael was absolutely instrumental in helping us to design and build a new strategic broadcast capability for RedWorks. Through partnering with Michael I learned that he possesses a truly unique blend of strategic savvy and operational experience – thinking at 30,000 feet while simultaneously piecing together the jigsaw on the ground. And he does it all with a much-valued sense of humor. Without Michael’s help, we would never have ended in as good of a place as we ultimately did.”

Quinn O’Brien
Director of Global Operations and North American Managing Director
RedWorks, an Ogilvy Company

Marketing Strategy for Branded Casual Games Company

We were asked by a small but busy company that creates branded casual games how best they should market themselves.  The market for branded games is immature yet evolving quickly.  Some large corporations have had success with games for their brands but it was not always clear how and where the decision was made to include this channel in a media or communications plan.

We investigated, speaking in depth to decision makers at global marketers,to media buyers and planners, and to online publishers. We came to a clear focus on the most productive targets for the company’s marketing efforts.  We also carefully studied the competitive set, and at an intensive workshop session with the company principals  we crafted a strong value statement that responds to the market needs and differentiates them clearly from their competitors.

* Rebranding and relaunching

A 10-year-old film company had lost momentum. Pollock*Spark researched its standing in the market place and recommended a rebrand and relaunch. We worked with the owners to rename, redesign and reposition the company, replace its sales force and attract new creative talent. The result: a record breaking sales year and significant new hires.

* Marketing for new owners

A successful 22-year old film production company had been sold to two of its employees. Pollock*Spark researched its position in the marketplace and made recommendations for operational and market changes to take advantage of changing conditions. The new ownership has enthusiastically embraced the inspirational plan.

* Online survey leads to “reinvigoration”

Pollock*Spark fielded an online survey for a membership organization and made sweeping recommendations based on insights from the learning. The result was “a reinvigorated organization.”

* Team motivation

The owners of a flourishing creative business felt that its staff was not growing creatively. Pollock*Spark worked to motivate each of them, one-on-one, defining their strengths and helping them to develop their careers and presentations. The owners told us, “Your support and wisdom have already improved our business, and we’re looking forward to continuing the collaboration.”

* Structuring an Ad Agency

Pollock Spark helped the owners of a film production company to transform it into an advertising agency. Pollock*Spark helped them design a new organizational structure and define the responsibilities of the key players. “I am so glad you wrote this stuff down for us,” said the client’s Chairman. “It is so good to be able to pull it out and make sure we are still on the right track.”

* Brand Research

A film production company wanted to expand its services. In order to help it decide whether to use its existing brand name or a fresh brand, Pollock*Spark interviewed senior leaders and buyers in the field to discover their perception of the client’s brand and where it stood against its competitors. The client told us that we “delivered an analysis that is relevant, clear and integral to creating forward movement.”

* Integrated Marketing for a Company Relaunch

The new owners of an eight-year-old design and production company turned to Pollock*Spark to plan and lead the marketing for their relaunch. Pollock*Spark crafted a new Positioning, brought in award-winning designers to create a new corporate identity package and website, secured press coverage and motivated staff. Business increased 50% over the previous year.

* Refocusing Business Objectives

The editor-owner of a film postproduction company sought an independent POV as to how to strengthen his core business, add new creative services and expand in Europe. Pollock*Spark created a revised set of business objectives and a Marketing Plan. To strengthen the team’s efforts, Pollock*Spark came up with new ways to enrich the creative environment and put together a personalized action plan for each team member. The result was renewed energy, a new sense of direction and significant new high-quality clients.

* Team building at JWT

Talented TV producers at global ad agency JWT were sitting on their thumbs and the wrong people were working on the wrong projects. Pollock created a unified Production Department and collaborated with Chairman James Patterson to ensure that effective TV spots were produced to award-winning standards and that money was saved for JWT by efficient and effective use of the talents and time of its producers.

* Creating Innovative New Revenue Stream

Pollock designed and implemented Film Not Film: the first film-editing studio placed inside an ad agency, yet owned and operated by an outside firm: DHA[USA]. This revolutionary outsourcing concept generated new creative opportunities and a new revenue stream for its editor/owners. Without loss of artistic quality, ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi saved money for itself and its clients.

* Growing a Film Business

As COO and Executive Producer, Pollock grew Vito DeSario Editing, a small film-editing boutique, into Version2 Editing, one of the largest and most highly respected creative companies in the competitive New York market.

* Streamlining workflow for TNT

Turner Network Television asked Pollock to evaluate their process for creating on-air promotions. He talked to everyone involved from creatives to secretaries to Turner corporate management. This led to a comprehensive streamlining proposal freeing writer/producers to focus on creative work, eliminating redundancies and saving money for TNT.


Specifics of our client relationships are respected as completely confidential. The following are actual testimonials even where they are not attributed. Use the left/right arrows to explore …

I wanted to thank you for a great presentation. I loved hearing about your approach on resume writing. Certainly had me thinking. You are certainly welcome back at any time. - Assistant Director, NYU

I was on your career development class on last Friday, and it was amazing. What you said on class is really helpful for me to get my career started. - Student from China

I learned many things that are very helpful as I try to craft my story and find employment. - Student from US
NYU Career Development Seminar
Having had the pleasure of working together with Michael recently, I can only say that he has brought both imagination, clarity and empowering solutions to BeAnimation. His ability to understand and address the complicated aspirations of our company in it’s overall goal to renew our relationship with the US market is both eye opening and exciting.
His workshops and his bespoke approach to our individual needs has helped enormously in reaching the type of conclusions that will help us to not lose focus on our desire to develop and build our business in the US.
He really stands out from the competition.

Adrian Edwards, Director, BE Animation
Michael was absolutely instrumental in helping us to design and build a new strategic broadcast capability for RedWorks.  Through partnering with Michael I learned that he possesses a truly unique blend of strategic savvy and operational experience – thinking at 30,000 feet while simultaneously piecing together the jigsaw on the ground.  And he does it all with a much-valued sense of humor.  Without Michael’s help, we would never have ended in as good of a place as we ultimately did.
Quinn OBrien, RedWorks, an Ogilvy Company
Michael Pollock showed me how to improve my confidence and refine my leadership skills.  He pointed out my known strengths, directed me to focus on an informative outlook vs a defensive stance.  Many thanks again.
Film Production Co, Executive Producer
I was surprised by how much my career trajectory and the way I thought about the business of print journalism changed over my sessions with Michael….by using Michael’s techniques I have doubled the number of magazines I work for, strengthened existing relationships with editors, and become confident about walking into a room filled with my professional peers. …. I won’t hesitate to work with Michael again next time I reach a roadblock in my career.
Print Journalist
Your support and wisdom have already improved our business, and we're looking forward to continuing the collaboration.
Creative Business Executive
I hired Pollock*Spark to help me sharpen my business efforts by focusing on the Clients likely to use my services. He challenges my thinking, helps me become the master of my own destiny and always looks at my situation from a fresh and smart perspective. He hates bullshit and is incisive but always tactful. His contribution is like having your very own management consultancy, except it’s like dealing with the partner and not the pimply -faced recent graduate. His experience is earned and wisely applied. You can take away anything you want from me but don’t take away my Michael!
TV commercial director
Thank you very much for all of your efforts. Your analysis of our SWOT and your recommendations on how we should proceed are immensely valuable to us. ... it was critical that we received an objective viewpoint on the highest value opportunities to pursue. Picking a specific direction, given our limited resources, was very necessary and we're pretty confident that you have recommended the right one. Thanks again for all of your help.
SF-based Games Company
Hey Obe Won: I feel really lucky to be working with you on this stuff.
Film Director

Having just finished working with Michael, I can enthusiastically say he brought great insight and value to my thinking about next steps in my career. He quickly grasped my past accomplishments and future aspirations and expertly kept us moving forward, making sure we achieved all agreed upon goals. Michael helped me see how my particular expertise might have value to a wider audience than I might have originally thought and assisted me in sifting through and evaluating current opportunities. Perhaps most importantly, Michael encouraged me to view those current opportunities as potentially valuable steps toward my ultimate goal. The clarity he brought was enormously helpful. In short, I’m far better equipped to move forward now than before I began working with Michael.

Specialist in Sponsorships and Publishing
Even the CFO was impressed!
Postproduction Company Leader
I've reflected back on our conversations and for the most part, you have been point blank right.
Early stage Startup Entrepreneur

Michael (Pollock, pollock*spark) has a very strong ability to focus deeply on a company and draw out important, often overlooked, issues. His suggestions for next steps and action plans are excellent. Michael has been instrumental in helping us clearly define goals and working towards achieving them.

Creative Business Leader

I was well positioned, knew my value prop and just made it clear that no one else could come close to what I am able to deliver to them…Since working with you, interviewing is like shooting fish in a barrel. Thanks!

Creative Professional
Every once in a while, you meet someone with such clarity that their words and viewpoints just clear the clouds away.  That's how I feel when working with you.

In three short sessions, I have gained more from our conversations than I ever thought I would and I want to thank you for making such an impact in the navigation of my career path.

I worked with the actress Mariette Hartley and I remember her saying "the problem with people today is that no one listens, the art of listening is completely gone." Not with you,  I really feel like you follow a thread and do so with great interest.  And when you speak, I love listening.  What you say has such weight, such importance, such clarity.

Thanks for making the skies clear over here in Portland, Oregon.

Marketing director
I did four coaching sessions with Michael and he empowered all my professional and creative potential proving with focus, constructive critic and action. He helped me to go from many options to find the option and do not get lost. He has a combination of 'impossible is nothing' and 'grounded touch' that I really like, he really gets you ready for success! I will definitely recommend to work with Michael.
Global Strategy and Creative Director: Barcelona, Spain

I hired Michael two weeks after launching my consulting business, after I’d sent emails to everyone I knew and realized I had no idea what to do next. In a matter of weeks, he helped me create a unique position in the market, make my website more targeted and succinct, collect great testimonials from former clients, start a blog, manage a website redesign, and write for industry publications. With his frank and spot-on advice, I went from fearing I’d destroyed my career to signing long-term contracts for two clients in a matter of weeks. His tips on how to talk about rates also gave me the tools and the confidence to ask for (and get) more than I might have if left to my own devices. I’ve passed Michael’s name to friends struggling with their careers, and I know I’ll be a return customer if I find myself in need of coaching again. I recommend him wholeheartedly.”

Media Planning Specialist
It really feels like I am moving into a new level of regular and much more profitable business now, thanks for your support? 🙂
Advertising Agency Principal

Although you laid out the structure and the “mini-goals”, it gelled in our final meeting beyond what I expected. As if it were a well told story and we came to the third act.  I hope we do another round 12 months from now. It’s really as important to me as seeing your doctor regularly to check your blood pressure etc.

Creative Music Professional

After we had revised her resume, this client forwarded this “testament of our work together,” sent from a connection of hers:

“I clicked on (a LinkedIn update) and saw your name with an intriguing quote so I clicked again, and WOW!! Girl, you are so creative and vibrant, it just screams off the electronic page… I scanned the resume. It is the first exciting, creative resume I’ve EVER read. Anyone scanning your page would immediately offer you work, even if they didn’t have any.

Digital Product Designer

With the precision of a skilled surgeon, the creative mind set of a celebrated artist, and a grounded-ness that is only gifted to the very best and brightest, Michael Pollock set to work on helping to shape the professional me. I came to him looking to focus how I represent myself as a leader in my field, and I emerged out of our collaborative process with so much more than I expected. Now I have the the materials to walk my walk and talk my talk–and even more exciting–my contemporaries and their bosses at the biggest tech and creative players across the country have stood up to take notice. So I ask, what hasn’t Michael Pollock done for me? He’s been my rock, my cheerleader, my articulate second set of eyes, my coach and my spark. I have recommended him, and will continue, to anyone who is inspired to change. And I will continue to work with him as I build my career and my business. I would be crazy not to…he makes me a better me.”  

Digital Strategist, Founder, CEO
Michael Pollock’s work is sheer artistry. He clearly saw what made me unique and desirable, then helped me to identify and articulate those qualities in my resume and presentation. Through probing and questioning, Michael reached in and coaxed out the best, bolder me. Having been away from the competitive market for a while, I was able to re-engage with confidence. I successfully pursued and secured the position I sought for the next chapter of my career. Michael’s brilliant acuity and coaching amazed me, and led me to amaze myself. My feet are finally touching the ground again; Cloud 9 is a nice place to be!
Broadcast Journalist
You asked many questions that we had let lurk in the shadows and pointed us in the right direction.
Creative Business Partner
I want to thank you for all the guidance during our sessions, especially helping me take ownership of my past accomplishments while representing my unconventional career path with confidence. You created a nurturing space for me to explore the ideal motivators, something I’ve been shutting down due to some traditional notion of prioritizing skills over vision. Whatever the future holds, I will always remember your very first message to me in this process, “be open and curious.”
A heartfelt thank you!
Director, Arts and culture, audience and program development
I immediately connected to your non-linear approach to having a conversation. Not only do you understand creatives and our industry but your creative conversational style constantly stimulated new thought paths in my mind that helped me find my own ideas and clarity. Going through the process has given me peace of mind around my current situation.I have a new patience and confidence.
Brand design director, Global sportswear company
I am excited about moving forward!
Creative Professional
Michael took a quick look at my resume and a long look at me and synthesized what was needed to make them match. He drew things out that I hadn’t articulated, and helped me breathe a sense of what I really did into those words on paper. I made those changes on my LinkedIn resume and three months later I was recruited via LinkedIn for an amazing job. I am convinced that wouldn’t have happened without Michael’s insight and infectious energy.
Social Media Director

I was able to see that I have way more interesting skills/experience than what is outlined on my resume.

Creative Professional

I have, and will continue to recommend the coaching. The coaching sessions truly are a “spark”. …the sessions got me excited about what I’ve done, what I can do and what I hope to do.  It’s one of the best investments you can make if you’re in the creative field.

Creative Professional
Before the sessions my general outlook was ...somewhat dire. From the beginning, Michael saw my strengths and encouraged them.
Creative Professional
You took us to a whole new level that we would not have reached on our own.
Creative Business Leader
The Pollock*Spark report has served as a trusted guide for the board of directors and the professional staff. It has helped navigate the substantial structural and behavioral changes the association has gone through, helped change the way AICE conducts its business and the way it informs and engages its membership. The difference has been extraordinary. From the attitude of the board to the renewed sense of purpose of the membership, AICE is a reinvigorated association thanks in no small part to the careful and insightful work of pollock|spark.
Professional Org for Film Editors

I went from lackluster “brand" materials (cover letter, resume etc.) in serious need of improvement to getting job offers and finding new opportunities in the span of weeks.

Creative Professional - jobseeker
Thanks for your guidance today, as I expressed I was feeling pretty down and unfocused, today's talk and plan helped a lot!
Creative business owner
I feel like you have launched me. You have given me strength to be bold and ask of people, which I've never done before so thank you. I have suggested to my friend xxxx to use you. I think she could really use your clarity and strategy.
Marketing Director
This (coaching) was a terrific experience …. Thank you for your creativity, honesty, and insightfulness. You’re easy to open up to. I never felt judged. You were always prepared and able to quote things I had said 2 sessions before. It’s invaluable as a human being to be listened to on that level, and incredibly empowering as a businessman
Creative Professional
I serendipitously discovered Michael while doing deep internet research in pursuit of a solution to a career quandary. I was feeling stuck, frustrated, and stymied - and I wanted guidance on how parlay my work experience thus far into a new chapter. I wanted to feel inspired, directed, and hopeful again. From the onset of our work together, Michael earned my respect with his encouraging but no-BS approach to coaching, as well as his intellect and wit. He's incredibly articulate, insightful, and to-the-point. He asks astute questions and listens well - to be able to do both is a great gift. After just a short time working together, I felt like I was cracking the code to a new way forward. (Incidentally, he was also particularly wise in his advice about specific workplace conflicts that arose during our coaching.) I made great, recognizable strides under his guidance and I recommend him highly to anyone hitting a wall or even stumbling slightly on their path to professional and creative success.
Supervising Producer, NBC
I reached out to Michael when I felt I was at a turning point in my career. As I explained to him on the first call, “I feel that I’m close and that the answer is right in front of me but I can’t see it.”

He helped me see it. Michael is a good listener and very intuitive. He looked at my website, he listened to me, he asked me questions, and the light went on for me. He listens so closely that he would grab at a word or turn of phrase that I said and ask me to explain further. And wouldn’t you know it, the answer was buried in there.
He then worked with me on a path to get where I wanted to be. There were twists and turns but he kept me on track and honest with myself. I really appreciated that he knows entertainment so well, and all that goes into it, whether it’s being creative or networking, or websites. He’s smart, really easy to talk to and very funny.

I recommend him to anyone who’s looking for their “Now what?”
Entertainment business / social media expert
Thank you. I had a great time and learned a lot from working with you. … your method, your process - probing, sometimes free-form, always energetic and purposeful - has really helped me start to focus, in a totally new way for me, on who I am, what I’ve accomplished, what I might have to offer others, and most importantly to start to imagine possible futures for my working life. ….after just a few weeks working with you, I feel I have a sense of a path forward.

… the exercise of examining my history, of continually revising, seeking out the essences, has netted me something more than just a new (and hopefully attractive!) profile. Your process opened up new lines of thought for me as to how I might leverage what I’ve done into something new and if I‘m lucky, something driven by my passions. It was clear that you were always many steps ahead of me, but I felt like always had a hand extended back to where I was, bringing me along. I felt you were genuinely interested and engaged.
Design-driven content producer
Since we [worked together] I have not stopped working. I have been booked solid. I shot nine new spots in the last eight weeks. Being able to shoot with the confidence of knowing my strengths has been a great pleasure. I have never had a run this strong.
Film Director, TV spots
I said good things about you to your face and I’ll say them behind your back as well. I thought you navigated a potentially difficult internal political situation at our company very well (difficult because of the self-perception differences between the partners), advertised your services accurately and delivered an analysis that is relevant, clear and integral to creating forward movement.
Film Production Company
Working with Michael pushed me to take a deeper look at what exactly it is I want to do with my life. Not only that, but also to take a deeper look at what I had already done. Before working with him, I was satisfied with looking at positions for which I was over-qualified, positions that did not center around the creative industry in which I truly wanted to work. He taught me to have faith in my accomplishments, and how to successfully showcase them on my resume and reach for something better. It has given me confidence, drive and focus. Those are three things that are simply priceless in the job-search process, and have given me a new, bright perspective.
Social Media Marketer, Artist Coordinator
I am going to accept a position with [a major entertainment company] tomorrow. They have somewhat created a position for me …I’m excited because this brings together all my skills/experience in Music, Sponsorship, Marketing and allows me innovative thinking. I wanted to thank you for our sessions together. What you did was help me find my confidence and voice again. Through our work, I became centered and clear on the results I produced and the value I had to offer others. It really made a difference.
Media professional: Music, Sponsorships, Marketing
… I got an offer … I'm very happy!
The second interview went extraordinarily well. My session with you proved most productive … My preparedness was key and I'm so grateful for your help and guidance. I'm incredibly thrilled to have been offered this position and really excited to start a new chapter in my career. Thank you so much for everything!
Interview prep for leadership position