Allan Payne is President and Creative Director of Payne Advertising. During the earlier years of his career, he worked in Nashville, Atlanta, and San Francisco before moving to Maui in 1996. Since in Hawaii, he’s been Creative Director of Gilbert & Associates (Hawaii’s largest outer-island agency) for many years, and was Creative Director of the Harris agency on Oahu. He starting Payne Advertising in 2010, where he services clients from Hawaii and the mainland, as well as works in cooperation with a number of local ad agencies.
Tell us about your first job in advertising.
It was not as a creative. I spent three years at the Buntin Group in Nashville, where I worked hard to become Creative Services Manager (I think that was the title) where I worked with traffic, production, and creative. I spent three years with them working my way into the creative department in any way possible. It was here that I met my mentor and realized that I was destined to be an art director. I then decided to attend Portfolio Center in Atlanta to study advertising and art direction, and the rest is history…
What were some of your early creative influences?
The work coming from the West Coast from agencies like Wieden & Kennedy and Goodby. Those were the days when “Just Do It” and “Got Milk” were changing the game. Plus, the “Rule of the Road” campaign by Goodby was one of my favorite campaigns for many years. And one of my earliest influences with art direction was Tracy Wong. He broke so many barriers and approached things so differently from any other art director at that time. Truly a master of his craft.
What’s playing on your iPod right now?
Kung Fu Fighting (I’m enjoying my 80’s playlist today)
Just Do It or Think Different?
Just Do It. So many people think different and have great ideas, but never actually go out and do anything with it. Favorite quote: “The saddest thing in life is wasted talent” – Robert De Niro in ‘A Bronx Tale’
Tell us your weirdest production story.
Sorry, I’ve been sworn to secrecy.
What projects have you worked on that you’re most proud of?
Hard to say. While I’m very proud of work that I’ve created that has won awards at national and international levels, I feel it’s the work that has changed people’s lives for the better that I’m most proud of. Whether creating advertising for alternative energy sources, organizations that feed the hungry, protect abused children, or mentor young athletes – this is the work that makes me sleep well at night.
What inspires you?
The world around me. That’s why I live in Hawaii.
What was the craziest thing you had to do in the name of advertising?
Sell my soul. But I bought it back with karma points.
If you were an action figure, what would your accessory be?
Tell us about the creative process behind your award winning work.
It all starts with passion and work ethic. But the process is always different, depending on whether I’m working solo on a project or managing an entire team. I typically spend many hours researching and inputing everything possible into my head before moving to the concepting stage. Once I have so much information and options built up in my head, developing smart creative comes much easier. And during the concepting phase, my best ideas usually come from unexpected places – while I’m out for a walk, watching the sunset, or even while people watching. My best ideas rarely come to me while sitting in front of a monitor at my desk.
Magnum PI or Hawaii 5-0?
Flight or invisibility?
Invisibility, because I want to know your secrets.
Leonard’s or Champions?
Leonard’s chocolate haupia pie!
Ryan Seacrest or Carson Daly?
How did you contribute to this year’s Pele Awards?
I helped some with the initial concepting and I’m in charge of the display room at the show. So, you can blame me this year when your credits are missing.
Have you ever worn pantyhose before?
Surprisingly, no. But a teddy is a whole other story.
What’s your secret?
I’m really six feet tall.
What’s the best part about working in advertising?
That I’m constantly challenged and constantly learning something new. Plus, I get to work with people who are as weird as me.