About Us

Although we do enjoy wearing tight Speedos, Highdive isn’t a dive team. We’re an independently-owned ad agency based in Chicago, IL. Founded by two creative veterans, our mission is to rid the world of bad advertising.

We’re best known for producing creative that ignites brands and connects with consumers. We do that by grounding everything we do in brave thinking.

We’re down to earth and ego-free which makes us easy to work with. We’re small and nimble – free from big agency bureaucracy and unnecessary layers. We have a combined 30 plus years of experience in advertising which enables us to get to solutions quickly and more efficiently. We believe in hard work, listening to our clients, innovation and approaching all assignments with unbridled enthusiasm.

Capabilities


Mark Gross

Co-founder Creative Director

Mark Gross

Co-founder Creative Director

Son of a plumbing & heating supply company owner, Mark grew up on the rough streets of the Jersey suburbs. One fateful day in high school, Mark’s teacher showed his class a Clio awards highlight reel and from that moment on Mark knew he wanted to be in advertising. That or neurosurgery. With a BFA from Syracuse, Mark moved to NYC where he got his first job at RGA designing movie titles, logos, and handling their in-house advertising. Next was Chiat/Day where Mark learned a few things from the legendary Lee Clow. There he worked on MTV, Reebok, American Express, New York Life, and The New York Lottery. With a nudge from his Midwest wife, Mark moved to Chicago in 1993 where he landed an Art Director position at DDB. Mark rose to Executive Creative Director creating award-winning work for multiple clients including McDonald’s, Frito-Lay, Capital One, Discover Card, Anheuser-Busch, Cars.com, and Mars/Wrigley. Mark’s most notable work is the Bud Light “Real Men of Genius” campaign, now known for being the most awarded radio campaign in advertising history. In 2012, Business Insider named Mark “one of the top 25 most creative people in advertising.” His list of awards includes an Emmy, Grand Andy, Grand Clio, 3 Best of Show Radio Mercury Awards, D&AD, Art Director’s Club, New York Festivals, and multiple Cannes Lions including two Grand Prixes. Mark has been a part of more than 75 Super Bowl commercials, placing #1 four times on USA Today’s Ad Meter.

Chad Broude

Co-founder Creative Director

Chad Broude

Co-founder Creative Director

Unlike most creative directors who studied art or creative writing in college, Chad graduated from the University of Iowa’s Tippie School of Business. From there, Chad attended The Chicago Portfolio School where he learned how to express his business problem solving skills in creative ways. Chad launched his career by winning Best In Show at Portfolio Night, the world’s largest student advertising review. After quickly being scooped up by DDB Chicago, Chad created a top 5 Super Bowl commercial for Bud Light in his first year. Over the next five years, Chad created award-winning work for Skittles, Juicy Fruit, State Farm, Capital One, and McDonalds, earning him the position of one of the agency’s youngest Creative Directors. His work has been awarded at Cannes, Clios, Radio Mercury Awards, Communication Arts, Archive, London International awards, and the Facebook awards. In 2014, Chad had 3 commercials from 3 different brands featured on Spike TVs funniest commercials of the year. In 2016, Chad worked with Skittles to help create their first ever celebrity Super Bowl spot featuring Steven Tyler.

Megan Lally

SVP Account Director

Megan Lally

SVP Account Director

Megan has been leading coordinated groups of people to create entertaining content for others since she was 13 (her first big promotion to cheer captain).  Under the wise counsel of her father, she sought out to make a career out of creativity and got a marketing degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business. 

Now with over 10 years’ experience on both the client and agency side, Megan has built a full arsenal of comprehensive marketing tools (from site development to film and everything in between). Her specialty is helping clients overcome their biggest and most complicated business challenges. 

Megan’s work has been recognized at Cannes, the Clios and the One Show, among others. Her past clients include Allstate, Fifth Third Bank, Donate Life America, Brooks Running, Capital One, State Farm, Pepsico, Bud Light, SeaWorld and Busch Gardens.

Louis Slotkin

EVP Account Director

Louis Slotkin

EVP Account Director

Son of a meat man and a hippie Librarian Mom, the only thing Louis was certain of after college was that he wanted to live in Paris. After selling perfume in French malls and painting hotel rooms in Paris to earn his keep (and fund his baguette and cheese habit), Louis fell in love with marketing at Ogilvy Paris. 

A 20+ year agency veteran, Louis’ career has taken him from Paris to New York and Chicago at agencies such as Ogilvy, Cramer Krasselt, Y&R and, most recently, Leo Burnett.
His past clients include KraftHeinz, Invesco, Fifth Third Bank, IBM, Edward Jones, Nestlé, CareerBuilder, Sealy, Hyatt and Miller Brewing. 

Never satisfied with being “just an ad man”, Louis has built teams with the reputation for uncovering unknown obstacles standing in the way of their clients’ business and, in turn, building programs to overcome them. Product innovation, customer experience evolution, participation/social programs, pricing strategies, and super bowl programs are all part of the story. 

Louis is best known for his ability to build and lead highly-progressive teams through times of intense change – when the unknown often outweighs the known. Navigating smart, fast and safe are his beacons. 

As a trailblazer with little patience for things like “good enough,” “fair share” and “small steps,” Louis’ sworn enemies are cruise control, silos and ambiguity. Louis’ work has been recognized at Cannes, the Effies and the One Show among others, and by clients around the world with whom Louis has partnered closely to change the trajectories of both their brand and sales curves.

THE REAL FACT OF THE MATTER IS
THAT NOBODY READS ADS. PEOPLE
READ WHAT INTERESTS THEM AND
SOMETIMES IT’S AN AD.
– HOWARD LUCK GOSSAGE

THE BROUDE GROSS STORY

Many years ago, on a bitter cold Chicago morning, Chad and Mark were merrily riding a tandem bicycle along the scenic Lake Shore Drive waterfront. They were both smiling ear to ear and humming their favorite show tune “Honeysuckle Rose” when suddenly a squirrel ran into their path. They swerved to avoid him, struck a large rock, sending them both into the icy waters of Lake Michigan. Mark made it out and pulled a cold and frightened Chad to shore. Blue in the face, scared and barely alive, Chad looked at Mark and said, “It’s over, we’re never going to live our dream and open the perfect ad agency.” Mark looked at the remorseful squirrel then back at Chad and said to him, “Buddy, If you pull through this, I promise, we’ll live that dream and open Highdive.” It will be the agency of our dreams. No political layers, outstanding creative, exciting clients that we love and respect, amazing account service, a workspace that allows dogs and most important of all, bathrooms that have floor to ceiling toilet doors so no one can see your feet when you’re doing your business. The end.