Got milk? Nearly as ubiquitous as milk itself, this advertising slogan sparked countless parodies and imitations as well as a variety of licensing deals. It’s not surprising that an ArtCenter grad was one of the key creators behind the “Got Milk?” campaign—director, writer and creative director Harry Cocciolo, who has worked on several top creative advertising campaigns in recent decades. His commercial spot “Heaven,” featuring a man doomed to an eternity with an endless supply of cookies but no milk, was named spot of the year in 1994, while the campaign was named Advertising Age’s Campaign of the Decade.
The son of a career Air Force officer, Cocciolo attended elementary school in Puerto Rico, middle school in California and Illinois, and high school in Tokyo and was exposed to other cultures and different ways of thinking early on. By the time he graduated from ArtCenter in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in Advertising, his creativity was fueled by much more than the sum of his academic knowledge of film, advertising and graphic design.
After starting his career with DGWB in Irvine, Cocciolo moved to Goodby Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, where he made his mark with award-winning campaigns for Budweiser, Polaroid, Isuzu, Sega, Major League Baseball and the California Milk Processor Board. In 1997 he was named co-creative director and partner at the new San Francisco office of Leagas Delaney, where he worked primarily for Adidas of America, later branching out to Salomon, Sebastiani Vineyards, Sega Sports, the New York Yankees, Public Television Service, Red Envelope, Blue Nile, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and CNET.
A director at Bob Industries in Santa Monica since 2010, Cocciolo has worked on brands like Apple, Chase, MasterCard, Acura, Honda, Hallmark, Reebok, Verizon, Sprint, Southwest Airlines, M&M’s, Oreo and the California Lottery, among many others. His work has been recognized with the most coveted awards in his field, including Cannes Gold Lions, Clios, One Show Pencils, Kelly Awards and Andys, and by organizations and publications such as D&AD, Graphis, AIGA and Communication Arts. During his tenure at Leagas Delaney, Creativity magazine named the office one of the top 10 creative shops in the world.
Cocciolo lives just north of San Francisco with his wife, Patti, and their two sons, Roman and Ford.