John Claxton

John ClaxtonIn existographies, John Claxton (c.1950-) is an American humanities scholar and advertising idea maker, noted for []

The Human Element
In c.2006, Andrew Liver, a newly established Dow Chemical CEO, was interested in making a new philosophical mantra for the company—to make Dow the most respected chemical company in the world—and was anxious to make it a reality, and so turned to DraftFP Chicago, whereat Claxton was the creative director. Claxton, after brainstorming on his objective, hand having drawn out some sketches, e.g. of a “human element” missing from the periodic table, and bullet point ideas, and an "Hu" chemical symbol for human (see: human molecular symbols):

Hu (John Claxton)

Also a play on the symbol for Bismuth "Bi", atomic number 80, as short for "Business Imperative"

Bi, element, Claxton

One of the "Human Element" advertising campaign videos made from Claxton's Hu as the symbol of the human idea.
He then came into the meeting as follows:

“One of the first steps was a creative meeting at our agency during the “pitch process.” I walked into the meeting with a new element for the periodic table. . . not carbon, hydrogen or oxygen, but the Human Element. That pretty much put everything in motion. Including the Human Element on the Periodic Table of the Elements changed the way Dow looked at the world and the way the world looked at Dow. Every creative decision we made from that point on was filtered through the lens of the Human Element, and that’s what took us down a very non-science approach to science advertising.”

The campaign became known as "The Human Element" advertisement campaign.

The “voice” of the campaign, was themed on three things: science essays, the writing of American biologist Edward Wilson, and contemporary American poetry. The campaign was very moving for many: “we were completely surprised by the passionate response from people at all levels of society. From teachers to politicians to parents, people were so moved that they felt compelled to write to the company and express their feelings. The campaign struck a nerve in a way that we had never imagined”, says Claxton.

Advertising
Claxton has made a number of award-winning branding campaigns for American Airlines, Diners Club, Dow Chemical and Illinois Tourism.

Education
In c.1975, Claxton completed a degree at Butler University, after which he taught humanities at Ladywood-St. Agnes High School in Indianapolis. [2]

Claxton also likes to auto-educate, his hobbies including: reading science essays, studying human behavior, and being an outerspace junky of some sort.

Quotes | By
The following are quotes by Claxton:

“One of the first steps was a creative meeting at our agency during the “pitch process.” I walked into the meeting with a new element for the periodic table. . . not carbon, hydrogen or oxygen, but the Human Element. That pretty much put everything in motion. Including the Human Element on the Periodic Table of the Elements changed the way Dow looked at the world and the way the world looked at Dow. Every creative decision we made from that point on was filtered through the lens of the Human Element, and that’s what took us down a very non-science approach to science advertising.”
— John Claxton (2009), on DraftFCB’s new marketing campaign for Dow [1]

References
1. Grbic, Jovana J. (2009). “Selling Science Smartly: Dow Human Element Campaign (Interview with advertising mastermind John Claxton)”, Feb 18. ScriptPhD.com.
2. About – ClarkStreetBridge.com.

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