Chris Smith

Chris Smith

Principal, Chief Creative Officer, unrepentant metalhead


A native of upstate New York, Chris started out at Penn State as a journalism major. When he learned journalists were actually discouraged from making stuff up, advertising seemed like a better fit. After a brief post-graduation stint as a Food Service Specialist (waiter) at the Olive Garden, he followed his college marching band sweetheart, Heather, to Dallas, where he landed his first copywriting gig at MBRK Advertising.

After the ‘90s agency-merger frenzy landed him at Evans Group and Publicis, he asked a friend he’d met through improv comedy if he could vouch for him at The Richards Group. The vouching worked: Chris spent the next 22 years there, eventually heading the creative teams on Motel 6, H-E-B, Central Market, Favor, QuikTrip, Famous Footwear, Golden Corral, and Shamrock Farms. He also threw words at The Home Depot, Red Lobster, Bennigan’s, 7-Eleven, Red Roof Inn, Chick-fil-A, and dozens more. In January 2021, he left TRG to help start Plot Twist with people he still loves making ads with.

He married the aforementioned Heather in 1998, and they keep busy cooking, planning to travel again, reading constantly, cycling occasionally, and raising a teenage daughter and twin sons.

Professional Not-So-Humble Brags:

Chris has his name on lots of shiny paperweights from award shows including One Show, Clios, London International Awards, Effies, ADDYs, and a Cannes shortlist or two. He even has an Emmy (okay, it’s a Lone Star Emmy, but the trophy’s the same). He holds the record for the most Radio Mercury Awards of any creative, with ten wins as writer or creative director, including two Best of Show. He is a frequent judge, speaker, panelist, emcee, and college lecturer, and his work has been featured in Communication Arts, Ad Age, Print, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. In 2015 he was named to Adweek’s Creative 100: America's Most Inventive Talent in Marketing, Media and Tech. His mother framed it.

Interesting Cocktail Party Tidbits:

Finished 327th out of 720 competitors at the 2019 National Crossword Puzzle Tournament.

Is the father, brother, uncle, and cousin (twice over) of twins.

Is a two-time Jeopardy! Champion and has the DVD to prove it.

Was once told he’s funny by Paula Poundstone.

Has performed improv comedy from coast to coast, for audiences of three to over 3,000.

Has a pretty sizeable scotch collection, made somewhat less sizeable by quarantine.

Best plot twist (so far):

“It’s twins.”