The principal of Trooper believes in asking the bravest of questions: What if? As in, what if we did something the competition wouldn’t dare? Or, what if we talk to our audience in a way that’s actually meaningful to them?
This isn’t new stuff for Dan Cox, whose decades in the business have only fueled the energy and enthusiasm he brings to work each day. We’re talking idea generation. Leadership on tough marketing challenges. And stewardship of the client brands and budgets. It’s pretty much a package deal with Dan. Now more than ever.
Experience equals expertise.
- Trooper LLC, Owner/President, 2013-Present
Oregon Dairy Products Commission, Director of Marketing, 2008-2013
Advertising Expedition, Inc., Owner/President, 2005-2008
B|O|C Advertising, Inc., Co-Owner/Co-Founder, 1991-2005
Evans/Kraft Portland, GM/Creative Director, 1987-1991
Gerber Advertising, Senior Writer, 1985-1987
Evans/Kraft Portland, Senior Writer, 1984-1985
- Oregon State Fair, Advertising Mgr., 1982-1984
And now, a word about our company name.
Trooper LLC was named after a red 1999 Isuzu Trooper four-wheel-drive, because of its can-do capability. The word trooper makes many people think of state troopers. We like that because bravery is implicit. (Read that: Brave ideas.) But we also favor the common interpretation of trooper as one who pushes on through adversity, which technically should be spelled trouper. Today’s slang language allows us to use either spelling without alarming the grammar police. We choose Trooper. (Maybe you should, too.)
Stories from the trenches.
COMING FACE TO FACE WITH A LEGEND.
Dan Cox was in charge of a film production for then-client Leupold, the nation’s leading manufacturer of sports optics. General Chuck Yeager—first pilot to break the sound barrier—had been secured as the on-camera presenter.
Dan and his client met the private jet that dispatched the general from California to Central Oregon, greeting this true American hero on the tarmac. The door of the jet opened to reveal Yeager holding the script Dan had written in a tight roll, like a baton. When Dan introduced himself as the writer on the project, Yeager replied: “So you’re the guy who wrote this shit.”
This began a very tough shooting day during which the general let everyone on the crew have it in one way or another. Happily, the film project ended up a success. Final proof of this came a few weeks later in the form of a nice hand-written note from Yeager to Cox in which the general offered praise for all.
BACK WHEN STARBUCKS WAS YOUNG.
As the first creative director to work on the Starbucks account in 1990—the coffee chain only existed in Seattle, Portland and Vancouver, B.C. back then—Dan Cox routinely presented campaign creative directly to CEO Howard Shultz. During one such meeting Dan presented a concept that played off of Marshall McLuhan’s famous book, The Medium is the Message.
Schultz took it all in with a serious look on his face. Then there was a long period of silence. Finally, the boss of what became an insanely successful business offered the following comment: “I don’t understand it. But let’s do it.”
This particular campaign was one of many Dan oversaw as part of Starbucks’ ongoing efforts to communicate with customers at the point of sale, a tactic that continues to this day.
A brave idea wins the day.
An Oregon waste management company hired Dan Cox and his collaborators of the day to craft a TV campaign to bolster the firm’s image. In a one-on-one meeting with the company CEO, Dan described a TV concept that required actual garbage men to recite garbage-related haiku on camera.
The no-nonsense CEO was a proper man who ran a very tight business ship. He took almost no time to offer this decisive interpretation of the situation: “Cox,” he said with his head shaking in mock disapproval. “You’re f*#king nuts, and I can’t wait to see what the final product looks like. Proceed.”