From Mad Man to Happy Farmer

Book Cover

BIOGRAPHICAL COMEDY DRAMA FAMILY MEMOIR OTHER

20th Century (multiple decades),2000s,1980s & '90s,1960s & '70s,1940s & '50s,Contemporary

Hank Wasiak

  • -
  • Views

Logline

An Asset-Based Thinker’s Mad Men journey through agency life and how he now inspires others through teaching at USC-Marshall School of Business, advising as Co-Founder of The Concept Farm, and serving on several boards for the American Heart Association.

Genre

Biographical,Comedy,Drama,Family,Memoir,Other

Short Summary

Wasiak grew up in Brooklyn knowing he wanted the ad life. He learned early on to reach his goals, that he had to "raise his hand" and take on those extra jobs to move to his dream position. He found out that sometimes what you think you want can change over time.


Hank serves on several boards for the American Heart Association, teaches at USC-Marshall School of Business, and keeps on-trend in the ad industry advising at Concept Farm which he co-founded with his son among others. His expertise through the years shows you can keep your integrity and humanity.

Setting

New York, London, LA

Based on a True Story

Yes

Plot - Premise

Rags to Riches,Internal Journey/Rebirth,Other

Plot - Other Elements

Meaningful Message,Other

Mature Audience Themes

Substance Abuse

Main Character Details

Name: Hank Wasiak

Age: various

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Aspiring,Badass,Confident,Decisive,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Educated,Honorable,Leader,Unapologetic,Strong Moral Code,Visionary,Funny,Outspoken,Clumsy

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Development Pitch

Wasiak’s Mad Men life makes a fantastic series about the advertising community—how things were to where things are going. 2020 was a pivotal year for all business and his vision for the future of selling products show that we are not buying the product, we are buying the company–socially consciousness is key more than ever before. Hank Wasiak is a communications industry leader with an impressive resume of experience working with the corporate elite of global business. He is co-founder of Concept Farm, an award-winning digital agency, author, Emmy award winner, keynote speaker and university professor. An Asset-Based Thinker’s look back at the lessons learned from a lifetime in marketing to help guide, motivate, and inspire the industry’s next generation of responsible leaders. A communications industry veteran, Hank Wasiak’s professional journey took him to and through the corporate boardrooms of the ad world’s biggest names. He learned from the best in the business to become the best in the business. In 2003, Hank was Vice Chairman of the world’s largest marketing communications company, McCann-Erickson. Hank went on to partner with his son at Concept Farm, Ad Age’s Small Agency of the Year Winner. This is his inspiring story of how he moved from the boardroom to the “barnyard,” what he learned about life and marketing along the way, and what he wants future marketers to know about the power and purpose of what they do.

About The Author

Hank Wasiak is a communications industry leader with an impressive resume of experience working with the corporate elite of global business. He is co-founder of Concept Farm, an award-winning digital agency, author, Emmy award winner, keynote speaker and university professor.   Hank retired as Vice Chairman of McCann WorldGroup and served on that company's board playing an integral role in the management of McCann's global clients. Hank was president of Geers Gross Advertising and Ketchum Communications. Hank also had a stellar career on the client side as President of Brown Forman's prestigious Jos. Garneau Division, COO of Somerset Importers, and EVP of Charles of the Ritz. He currently serves on multiple boards of The American Heart Association.   Hank teamed up with Dr. Kathryn D. Cramer, Ph.D., to create an innovative business - self-help book series, published by Running Press, “Change The Way You See Everything”, “Change The Way You See Yourself” and “Change The Way You See Everything – For Teens.”   Hank was executive producer and host of Concept Farm’s Emmy award TV show "Cool In Your Code" and he won three consecutive New York Emmys for his on camera performances in his innovative interview series, "Back on The Block" and “Code Read.”   Hank has also had extensive experience teaching marketing at a number of prestigious universities. He currently teaches at USC’s Marshall School of Business, has held an assistant professorship at Pace University, and has taught at Eckerd College, the University of South Florida, and the University of Louisville.   Hank earned a bachelor’s degree in advertising from Pace University, an MBA in marketing from the Baruch School of Business. He resides in Palm Springs California.

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

advertising/marketing, American Heart Association

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: with a Publisher

Publisher: W. Brand Publishing

Year Published: 2021

Hard Copy Available

No

ISBN

978-1-950385-48-5

Genre

DRAMA

Brief

The true story of the author's very successful career in advertising. From humble beginnings to high positions in some of the world's biggest agencies, he shares lessons about how to conquer your dreams and get where you want to.

Overall Rating

FAIR

Point of View

FIRST PERSON

Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: GOOD

Characterization: FAIR

Commerciality: FAIR

Franchise Potential: FAIR

Pace: GOOD

Premise: FAIR

Structure: GOOD

Theme: FAIR

Accuracy of Book Profile

Yes, it is accurate.

Draw of Story

The idea of following the story and receiving counsels from a legendary advertising executive, who worked from the Mad Men era to this very day and age.

Possible Drawbacks

There is little personal development to the protagonist in the book, which focus solely on work and career. Maybe the author could be more open about his private life in order to make the narrative even more engaging.

Use of Special Effects

THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

Primary Hook of Story

The idea of following the story of a great industry icon and true-life insider to some of the biggest advertising businesses.

Fanbase Potential

It could attract especially people interested in the ad business, but the movie or series would need to have a better defined narrative arc in order to work and engage the audience.

Awards Potential

As it is now, probably not, since it would most likely fail to connect with the public.

Envisioned Budget

MEDIUM BUDGET

Similar Films/TV Series

MAD MEN - A SERIES ABOUT A PUBLICITY AGENCY WORKERS' LIVES AND STRUGGLES DURING THE CRAZY 60S. THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS - A MAN WHO FOLLOWS HIS DREAM TO HAVE A BETTER LIFE FOR HIMSELF AND HIS FAMILY AND, AFTER MANY HARDSHIPS, ENDS UP LANDING A GREAT POSITION IN A BIG COMPANY

What’s New About the Story

It is a story about a unique professional career, but to be more unique it would be important for the author to invest in further characterizing the protagonist and the people around him.

Lead Characters

He is centered, very talented and tenacious, able to maintain great relations with most people that surround him.

Uniqueness of Story

Not a rare gem. In an adaptation, it is crucial to invest in personal involvement in the story so that it becomes interesting to the audience.

Possible Formats

Film - Indie, Film - Streaming

Analyst Recommendation

WORK IN PROGRESS

Justification

While the story has many positive points, it has room for improvement (see possible paths below). If you can't change the story at this point, my suggestion is using your notes as a guide to highlight the best aspects of it when taking the next steps, either putting a pitch page together, a treatment, or a presentation.

Tips for Improvement

First of all, it is essential that the story has a better defined and refined arc for the protagonist. Since we don't get to know much about his personal traits, his story with family and friends, it is difficult to connect with his figure solely based on his characteristics as a worker and executive. Therefore, the main change to the narrative, if adapted to the screen, is adding a load of personal details to the main character. Another issue is that, even though we learn a lot about the advertising market and the specifics of the protagonist's career movements and accomplishments, there are not many occurrences actually remarkable or memorable throughout the narrative. So, in order for the adaptation not to become tedious, it would be necessary to extract more of these particular stories from the author. Since he is a very successful and recognized person in this area, there should be no problem in terms of interest about what such an insider to this market would have to say and show. However, a successful adaptation would need a lot of work and many revisions to actually work with the public. It would also need more focus and a more narrative-minded approach.