Born in Chicago and raised in Ohio, Charlie graduated high school before the rest of his class in New York to move with his parents and sister to the San Francisco Bay Area where he attended college and university to begin his career in marketing, advertising, branding and design.
Coming from a prolific career spanning more than 30 years, Charlie has excelled in diverse fields all across the advertising, sales, marketing and brand communications spectrums.
From print, TV, direct response and Web creative direction to live concert sound to graphic design to marketing for the financial services, software, pro audio and RV industries to the design and production of conceptual art and music theme events Charlie has accomplished more than many of his peers.
Beginning as a camera salesman and pressman back in his design school days in San Jose, California, he was hired as an art director on the famous Qantas Airways "Sydney The Koala" campaign at Cunningham & Walsh Advertising in San Francisco.
At Cunningham & Walsh, Charlie worked under ad greats Andy Berlin (later of Goodby Berlin Silverstein and "Got Milk?" campaign fame) Clyde Baird (veteran art director on the "Let Your Fingers Do The Walking" Yellow Pages and "Real" dairy campaigns at New York agency Kenyon & Eckhart) Clem McCarthy (original art director on BMW's "The Ultimate Driving Machine" campaign at Ammirati & Puris in New York City) Bernard Vangrin (creative director for Perrier, Gallo Wines, Levi Strauss, Eddie Bauer, Chevron, and Reagan For President) and Dennis Foley (copywriter on the now-classic Henry Weinhard's Beer campaign creative-directed by the ad legend Hal Riney).
Working on the Qantas Airways, Qantas Cargo, Fireman's Fund Insurance, Pendleton Woolen Mills and Granny Goose Snack Foods accounts, Charlie's work was firmly grounded in the fundamentals of effective advertising design and strategic marketing development and planning. (Yes, aesthetics and creativity are important, but a creative marketer's job is to ultimately sell product!)
After Cunningham & Walsh, his career quickly matured with assignments at major ad agencies up and down the West Coast and over in Japan working for top-tier multinational firms Ogilvy & Mather, J. Walter Thompson, Foote Cone & Belding, McCann-Erickson, Young & Rubicam, Ketchum in the U.S. and Hakuhodo and Dentsu in Tokyo and Osaka.
Exceptionally strong in strategic marketing and creative development, his art and copy direction have played significant roles in the successful print, TV and direct response ad campaigns for such Fortune 100 brands as Toshiba, Pacific Bell, Del Monte Foods, Hitachi, Canon, Chevron, Sprint, NTT, Visa, Wells Fargo Bank, NEC and Hewlett-Packard.
In 1994, Charlie received The Direct Marketing Association's coveted Silver International Echo Award for his multilingual Sun Microsystems direct mail campaign that brought over $260M in SPARC workstation sales (and more than $42M in profit) from customers around the planet.
In 1998, he and his family left their Haight Street San Francisco flat for Southern California where he went to spearhead high-profile branding and marketing communications projects, ad campaigns and Web development initiatives for Experian, MADinteractive Corporation, GraphOn Corporation, Executive Software International, Walt Disney Records, Groove Tubes, SWR Sound Corporation and Lance Camper Manufacturing Corporation.
In 2003 with SWR Sound Corporation, Charlie's "Amplify Your Future" branding campaign for this boutique pro bass amplification manufacturer garnered the attention of music industry giant FMIC (Fender Musical Instruments Corporation) resulting in Fender's very profitable acquisition of the SWR brand. And the work that Charlie developed years ago is still currently in use by Fender internationally.
Today, Charlie enjoys contract work for select clients through the marketing communications consultancy within his sole-proprietorship, The Charlie Sweeny Organization.
Aside from his professional pursuits, he's known throughout California for the production of his series of annual outdoor camping and nighttime music festivals originally beginning in 1978 as "The Annual Hobbit Party." Since then, over 2500 people from as far away as England, France, Japan, New York, Alabama and Washington have enjoyed these events now produced through the auspices of The Knowingness Organization, Charlie's forming 501(c)(3) non-profit. This year's 38th annual "Star Water" festival in August was held at a hot springs resort in Northern California to watch the Perseid meteor shower.
Charlie holds a BS in Graphic Design from San Jose State University, an AA in Art from the College of San Mateo and received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from his 10 years' training as a pastoral counselor.
Charlie's 20-year-old daughter Koto following in the footsteps of her father has worked with Fuji Television in Tokyo, and is finishing her video design, TV and film production studies at CSUN.
In 2012, he took a 10-month sabbatical back to his boyhood home of Upper Arlington, Ohio to study Attachment Theory returning to the warmth and sun of Southern California in March 2013.
Strategic Marketing + Creative Brand Communications
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The Charlie Sweeny Organization
2140 North Hollywood Way, Unit 1715
Burbank, California 91507-7055 USA