SOJC Supporters: John and Kari Boiler help advertising students get to the Big Apple

Kari and John BoilerKari, BA ’93, and John Boiler, BA ’87, didn’t meet at the UO. They just missed each other, as John graduated five years before Kari. But the connections both made there eventually brought them together and shaped their extraordinary careers in advertising.

The couple met each other and fellow alum Glenn Cole, BA ’94, at Wieden + Kennedy Portland, a top global advertising agency co-founded by UO School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) alum Dan Wieden, BS ’67.

The three Ducks built a personal and professional bond while working together on multiple worldwide accounts.

In 1997, the Boilers were transferred to Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam in the Netherlands. When the couple had their first child in 2001, Kari bought a Bugaboo stroller. Realizing that the Dutch stroller was the center of attention back in the United States, she persuaded the company to let her launch Bugaboo North America in 2002.

It wasn’t long before she had her first big success for the fledgling branch. Kari made a cold call to the producers of “Sex and the City” to offer a new stroller model for Miranda, one of the series’ main characters, to use on the show. The tactic proved amazingly effective: By the time the stroller released in the U.S., it already had a six-month waiting list.

In 2004, John and Cole co-founded 72andSunny. The advertising agency, which has offices in Los Angeles, New York City, Amsterdam, and Sydney, focuses on brand responsibility and has worked with such major companies as Nike, Activision, Samsung, Google, Carl’s Jr., and Target.

Like Wieden + Kennedy, 72andSunny makes a point of hiring many SOJC graduates. John speaks to classes often, and the agency hosts students for mock interviews and portfolio reviews.

“SOJC has a more modern approach to the advertising industry and craft,” John said. “The program turns out some of the hardest-working, most broadly educated, and most talented people we see coming into the industry.”

Kari, the SOJC’s 2011 Eric Allen Outstanding Young Alumni Award winner — an honor Cole also earned in 2009 — now serves on the school’s Journalism Advancement Council.

“I’m inspired by the opportunity to help place students into creative fields that reshape the future of marketing, advertising, and other industries, but through the lens of their passions,” she said.

The Boilers also give often to the SOJC. Most recently, they formed the Boiler Family Fund for Experiential Learning to give advertising students support for experiential learning opportunities, such as the annual SOJC NYC Experience trip.

“By feeding the next generation with training, tools, and opportunities,” said Kari, “we benefit from the surprising new approaches and solutions they bring.”