Terry Heckler

Terry Heckler • Written September 2016

Terry Heckler grew up in Windber, a small mining town in Western Pennsylvania. He played quarterback for the Windber Ramblers and accepted a football scholarship to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

He played first-team quarterback for three years at CMU and was the seventh-ranked punter in the nation his senior year. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from CMU and a Masters of Applied Science from the University of Waterloo, Ontario Canada.

Terry first was employed in 1966 as a perception research analyst in the computer graphics division of the Boeing Co. in Seattle, From 1968 to 1970, he was the art director for Seattle Magazine. His design work during that period led to the formation of Heckler Bowker and a few years later to Heckler Associates.

Heckler Associates design and communications has been instrumental in the start-up and change-up phases for such diverse brands as K2, Starbucks, New Balance, Keystone Resort, Vail, Beaver Creek, Redhook Ale, Sage, Cinnabon, Panera, Fran’s, P.F. Flyers, Ivar’s and Rainier Beer.

Terry recalls the day that he got the idea for the iconic TV spot for Rainier Beer that mimicked a motorcycle shifting gears as it sped down a country road one early morning near the foot of Mt. Rainier.

He was driving across the bridge over Lake Washington when a motorcycle passed him, making a sound as the driver shifted gears that he likened to RaaaNeeerBeeer. The subsequent :30 commercial he created was named Seattle’s Best-Ever TV Spot at the inaugural MARKETING Awards EVENT in 20011. 

Heckler is renowned for his expertise in nomenclature, naming such well-known entities as Starbucks, Encarta, Cinnabon, Visio, Coinstar, Onvia,  Premera, Sage, T9, Qdoba, Farron Ridge, Montrail, Soundbridge, Farestart, Trupanion, Maveron, Suncadia, Islandwood, Teragren, Palisade and Panera.

Through the years, Terry has won many other awards for his television and print work  and was  the recipient of the Legacy Award at the former Seattle Show in 2000.

Per your instructions Larry, “The Commentary is intended as a chronicle of an exceptional career in advertising laced with the names of people who were key to your career along the way”.

Thank you Larry for this opportunity to think back over forty-three years of working with gifted associates, wonderful clients and key business support professionals. At Heckler Associates we focused on building brand equity for businesses we found interesting. We sought out to employ a blend of marketing, advertising and design under one roof. We preferred addressing it as “communication design”.

We did not employ account executives. Our writers, designers and art directors serviced accounts. We found clients and clients found us that appreciated more direct interface with the creative process. Based on this we naturally found ourselves working primarily with start-ups and smaller businesses helping them grow to the point where account servicing became a major hardship for our creative staff. At that point we worked special projects within the account or moved on with a handshake. We didn’t try to be different, we were and still are different.

As requested, I’ve gone back to our beginning and thought forward to list some of the people that have been key in influencing our work. Rather than “lace this with names” as you suggest, I have chosen to “stitch it entirely with names”. My apologies to anyone that reads this intending to see their name and are absent or names I have misspelled.

Polly Zack, Gordon Emery, John Kawchak, Dr. John Gourley, Diane States, Lawrence Whitaker, Francis Malotte, Lois Woods, Richard Beaman, Bill Crookston, Arnold Bank, George Nama, Martin Krampin, George Soulis, Clem Woodridge, Bill Fetter, Frank Wilson, Lynn Hickcox, Ken Frank, Stan Majesto, Dick Brown, Fred Walsh, Jenness Brewer, Peter Bunzel, Teresa Foley, Frank Denman, David Ishii, Gordon Bowker, Jack Burg, Chuck Ferries, Bill Kirschner, Bernie Comar, Dick Zue, Barry Gordinaire, Judy Hughes, Paul Silver, Ed Norton, Spider Savage, Murray Platz, Skip Yowell, Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl, Doug Fast, Paul West, Miles Hartiman, Howard Schultz, Don Davage, Talese Heckler, Cord Harmzensprekle, Jo Olsen, Andy Forest, Jeremy Jaech, Don Cherry, Nancy Siegle, Melanie Hester, Bruce Kirschner, Paul Thomas, Jerry Jones, Jim Garrison, Mike Garvey, Steve Corneillier, Lou Whittaker, Fred Andrews, Terry Turner, Michael Burns, Marsha Burns, John Fretz, Ed Linbacher, Kathy Cain, Joe Hadlock, Tye Heckler, Don Morgan, Kim Van Wormer, Steven Brown, Pamela Hinckley, Kirsten Wlaschen, David Culp, Jim Foster, Jim Martin, Ed Combe, Jim Uhler, Paul Shipman, Gene Clark, Leonard Brody, Scott Lowery, Barb Hammond, Scott Kingdon, Bud Ramer, Phil Mayer, Ron Shaich, Scott Davis, Tony Coleman, Dennis Dekay, Jim Davis, Paul Heffernan, John Donegan, Bob Donegan, Sally Cvetovac, Doug Melby, Paul Dorpat, Francine Vasquez, Jack Ferris, John Kinsel, David Boyd, Dorene McTigue, Terry McTigue, Dave Larsen, Rob Humphrey, Rick Coleman, Garrison Bliss, Dennis Waldron, Tom Horton, Dale Lance, Craig Morocco, Dwight Jewsen, Gail Miller, Mickey Rooney, Don Morgan, Kristin Fortino, Pasha Scott, Joe Tschida, Doug Brody, Erik Bell, Norman Durkee, Steve Tucker, David Knight, Glen Garner, John Wong, Christian Langrud, Kristien Ziska, Quentin Smith, Tim Paul, Steve Tucker, Fran Bigelow, Larry Coffman…thank you all.

Pub. Note: In true Terry Heckler fashion, he was too modest to include the incredible Naming and Brandmark Design resume that HecklerAssociates has amassed over the years. At our request, he provided the attachment below: