Bolstering our full-service capabilities, The Escape Pod recently opened Gravity Well Studio, a 5,000 SF full-service production and editorial facility in the West Loop of Chicago. We have also invested in an experiential marketing agency OutCold.  Content production and experiential marketing are two of the most important parts of our client’s marketing mix and we wanted to offer our client’s the speed and cost advantages that come with having these services in-house.

Norm stewards the growth of The Escape Pod, overseeing client relationships, evolving our service offerings, running company operations and having an occasional good creative idea. Prior to co-founding The Escape Pod, Norm spent a decade working at large holding company agencies leading blue chip accounts including McDonald’s, The Home Depot and OfficeMax.

An industry thought leader, he has spoken at Google on the topic of leveraging technology to “earn an audience” and at DePaul University about entrepreneurial approaches to advertising. His work has been featured in industry publications from The New York Times and Wall Street Journal to Advertising Age and Screen.


Vinny was born in Galway, a small but cool town on the Atlantic coast of Ireland.

Vinny learned his craft in New York from Ed McCabe, arguably the best advertising creative of all time.

The very first beer commercial Vinny wrote was voted best beer ad of the year by Advertising Age magazine.

Vinny created the legendary Budweiser Wassup! advertising campaign.

Ricky Gervais liked it.

So did James Corden.

Vinny has two Emmy nominations for best commercial.

Vinny is on wikipedia

Listen to Vinny’s opinions on Super Bowl advertising here. 

Read his opinions on Super Bowl advertising here.

According to the Gunn Report, Vinny created two of the top 20 advertising ideas of the 21st century.  For Budweiser and Volkswagen.

Vinny is married to Susan and has three children – Kirsty, Fiona and Liam.


Celia is charged with stewarding The Escape Pod’s growth, elevating its integrated capabilities, identifying new revenue streams, and attracting top talent to build on the agency’s unique culture of creativity and independence. Under her leadership, The Escape Pod earned recognition as Ad Age’s Midwest Small Agency of the Year and Chicago Inno’s 50 on Fire, recognizing the city’s most innovative companies.

A seasoned writer and marketing professional, Celia brings nearly two decades of strategic marketing and communications experience, with a focus on brand strategy, positioning and fueling the growth trajectory of creative agencies and entrepreneurial companies.

Prior to The Escape Pod, she was Group Brand Director at Havas Worldwide Chicago, where she crafted the agency’s brand narrative as a creative force and culture catalyst in the industry, and led external marketing, PR, events, awards, and internal culture initiatives.

Before Havas, Celia was Global Marketing Director for Critical Mass, where she helped catapult the digital agency from a niche player into a world-class experience design agency. She also served as Director of Content and lead Copywriter at Designkitchen, an interactive marketing and branding agency. There she developed integrated marketing programs for brands across a range of verticals, including Manufacturing, Education, Hospitality, Health & Fitness, Real Estate, Travel and Technology for such clients as Life Fitness, Oprah’s Angel Network, Motorola and Jones Lang LaSalle.

Celia has also managed brand marketing and communications initiatives for a diverse range of organizations, including an international software company and interior design show producer, Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc.

She graduated cum laude with a B.A. in English from the University of Notre Dame and also holds a Juris Doctor from Loyola University School of Law.

Outside of work, Celia is a passionate blogger, photographer, foodie, traveler and culture connoisseur.