background & résumé

rhymes with

In many ways, I've been lucky in my career. I've had the opportunity to nurture small brands and reposition Fortune 100 companies; helm creative departments within major interactive agencies in the U.S. and in London (including SapientNitro, Tribal DDB, and Modem Media); and personally mentor several of the brightest talents in interactive. Best of all, every day I've been able to discover new challenges and new ideas.

I’ve also been lucky to have worked extensively in a wide variety of industries: travel, consumer electronics, online services, entertainment, pharma, financial services, and more. No matter the field, I always approach any challenges that come along with passion, humor, level-headed pragmatism, and belief in the unique idea. My résumé has more on that.

And then at Jeff Skoll’s Participant Media, I had the opportunity to use that experience to create, an issues-based community platform with the goal of inspiring real-world engagement and action across hundreds of social causes. It was a life-changing creative experience and a personal chance to make a difference.

I’ve continued that work with my own consulting and design company, Otter. I’ve largely specialized in building issue-based and social-good campaigns and experiences—with the occasional brand-building project thrown in for fun.

In the end, and whatever the context, I’m driven to do meaningful work. That I’ve been able to do so, well, that’s been the best luck of all.

full bio written in the obligatory third-person

Doug Fitzsimmons has more than twenty-five years of experience as a creative and strategic leader. Relentlessly solutions-oriented (and calm in a crisis) he has managed complex, interdisciplinary teams spread across three continents. He has worked in print and television advertising, direct marketing, and for the last twenty years, interactive.

He currently owns his own creative and strategic consultancy, Otter. Focused on interactive issue-advocacy and public-policy campaigns, Otter has worked with Maastricht University (Netherlands), Ogilvy London, the Chicago Tribune, the Dolphin Group (public affairs), the Department of Expansion, and the Ashland Companies.

As Vice-President, Digital Creative at Participant Media, Doug oversaw creative development for all of Participant’s digital initiatives. He led the concept and development of an energized, issue-driven community that sits squarely at the intersection of cutting-edge multimedia and real-world activism. He also co-developed the highly successful Members Project partnership with American Express which annually awarded over $1 million to charity.

Prior to Participant, he was Director of Creative Design at Sapient. As key member of the company’s new Experience Marketing practice, he provided thought leadership and direction for Sapient’s strategic vision, capabilities development, role definition and creative processes. In addition, Doug was responsible for the interactive creative strategy and execution for clients Sony Electronics, Logitech, Intuit, YellowPages, and Fandango.

Doug was the first Creative Director at Tribal DDB Los Angeles, the interactive arm of DDB Worldwide. His award-winning work for Tribal clients such as E! Online, Paramount Pictures, eHarmony, Wells Fargo and Epson included site development, interactive video, rich multi-channel marketing, search optimization, online CRM, mobile campaigns, and emerging media.

He previously worked for Modem Media in their Chicago, Connecticut, London, and New York offices, rising from Art Director to Creative Director. For four years, Doug was Modem Media’s creative lead for Delta Air Lines. Under his leadership, his team completely revamped, transforming it into the first airline site to reach $1 billion in yearly revenue. Spearheading Delta’s interactive marketing initiatives, he re-engineered Delta’s online brand presence and—with pioneering work in wireless, in-airport displays, and distributed applications—opened new marketing, service and revenue channels. In 2001, won the @d:tech Award for Best Travel & Tourism site.

Doug worked for a number of traditional advertising agencies before making the switch to interactive in 1996, co-founding the online division of Henderson Advertising. Over the years, additional clients have included the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, General Motors Europe, CinemaNow, Schiff Nutritionals, Full Tilt Poker, Compaq, Citibank, and 3Com (for which he was twice-nominated for a One Show Interactive Award).

Early in his career, he spent five years teaching kid’s guitar and parent/child developmental music classes at the Old Town School of Folk Music, a not-for-profit arts organization in Chicago. He remains committed to Arts Education and served on the board of the LA Multicultural Advertising Training Program.

Doug earned a B.A. in Creative Writing and English from Northwestern University. A committed community activist, he currently lives in Los Angeles.

“Doug is the total package: strategic, dry, funny, smart and likeable. Great with clients. And inspiring to his team.”

—Lucia Davies, Tribal DDB

technical skills and toolkit

  • Responsive interface design (desktop + mobile)
  • Print and logo design
  • Copywriting and editing
  • Information architecture
  • Standards-based coding
  • Agile and waterfall UX/design

Design tools

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, OmniGraffle, whiteboard

Coding and versioning tools

Coda, CodeKit, MAMP Pro, Sequel Pro, Git Tower

Front-end languages

HTML5, CSS3/SASS, jQuery
(currently learning JavaScript and PHP)