Jim Signorelli has always had a passion for advertising. His favorite class in grade school was Show and Tell. As a paperboy, he would add subscribers by copy testing leaflets (“If you buy from me, I promise not to throw your paper in the bushes,” out pulled “You need the news, I need the money.”)
He was able to refine his knowledge of advertising as both an undergraduate and in the advertising Master’s program at Michigan State University. He then moved to Chicago to begin what is now a 32 year career in advertising, all spent on the agency side of the business. From Chicago, he moved to New York, Los Angeles, Baltimore and then back to Sweet Home Chicago amassing experience on a wide variety of major accounts like Citibank, Kraft Foods, Burger King, General Electric, Toshiba, Arby’s and many others. He somehow became a 2 million miler with American Airlines in the process.
In 1999 Jim started his own agency that today goes by the name ESW StoryLab. The agency has been named to the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing independent companies in the U.S., the last three years straight. Somewhere along the way, he became a story buff. And before too long, that buffery turned into a major pursuit: to learn why stories are so powerfully persuasive and how brands could become powerful stories. It’s a subject that has no ending. But what he knows so far is all contained in a book that was recently published by Greenleaf Books entitled StoryBranding: Creating Stand Out Brands Through the Power of Story. It contains a forward written by the former NASA scientist, now foremost story expert and great teacher, Kendall Haven. When Jim isn’t working or telling a story, he’s an avid golfer, tennis player, and drummer. And when he’s not hitting a ball or drum with a stick, he’s traveling to out-of-the way places for free with his lovely wife, Joan.