Greg "went into" advertising after his employment on KTW radio, Seattle, ended abruptly (the station left the air in January 1975). He and his boss at KTW, Dave Newton, started a hip-pocket agency, United Airworks, which followed the evolutionary path below:
- became HURME & MORE (Greg was one of MORE)
- which became GRANT JENSEN & ASSOCIATES (Greg was an ASSOCIATE)
- which became JENSEN/NEWTON/PALMER ADVERTISING
(Greg was co-founder and Creative Director)
Jensen/Newton/Palmer was a full-service, Seattle-based advertising agency "that inherited far too many car dealers from Hurme and More," according to Greg. J/N/P had been in existence for only a year when the Seattle Art Directors Awards were held, the only real advertising awards competition in the Seattle area at that time. In 1976 J/N/P won SADA awards for:
- Best Radio, for Mama Reubens Bakery, Delicatessen and Restaurant
- Best Television, for Chuck Olson Chevrolet
- Best of Show, for Chuck Olson Chevrolet
When Greg finally left Jensen/Newton/Palmer in March 1979, to concentrate on fulltime work at KING television, Seattle, the agency's clients included, among others: Athlete's Foot, Bed & Bath, Elvins Department Stores, Hi Ho Shopping Center, Chuck Olson Chevrolet, Pacific Paper, Rosauers Supermarkets, Snug Foods, Yack Honey Company, and Yarrow Bay Tennis & Sailing Club Apartments.
For the rest of his life, in addition to copywriting for his brother's advertising agency in California. Greg also took on advertising-ish projects. Greg left descriptions of four major projects, including one that he never finished:
My Life So Far: Adventures of a Young Orangutan
Children's Orthopedic Hospital in Seattle was installing its first Magnetic Resonance Imager (MRI), and was faced with a problem. The MRI procedure isn't painful, but it is uncomfortable, and for many people particularly frightening--especially if one is susceptible to claustrophobia. (Approximately a third of all adults refuse the procedure.) The hospital wanted to create an MRI suite that was benignly adventurous: to keep kids alert, calm their fears, and inform them in an interesting way of what was about to happen. Working with interior designers, we turned the suite into a clearing in the jungle, and created a puppet character who would tell kids in an introductory videotape about MRIs, magnetism, and precisely what was going to be done in the clearing. That character was Magneto, a young orangutan who was fascinated by magnetism. To enhance further the character and the experience, children scheduled for an MRI were given a short book a week in advance, My Life So Far: Adventures of a Young Orangutan, as told to Greg Palmer
, designed by Ellen Ziegler, with splendid illustrations by Jim Hays.
Read an excerpt from My Life So Far
Ceremonies of Remembrance & Farewell
In 1991, The California Funeral Directors Association commissioned me to create a brochure for visitors to their establishments, whether people with immediate needs or people doing future planning. The CFDA didn't want me to sell coffins or plots, but to create a piece reflecting some of the things I had found culturally and socially relevant to their work while making the PBS television series Death The Trip of a Lifetime: specifically, that in every culture on earth, there is some kind of ritual at the death of a member of the community--not necessarily a standard funeral with coffin, eulogy and mourners, but something.
Read an excerpt from Ceremonies of Remembrance & Farewell
Portrait of a Princess
For Pete Palmer Advertising I wrote and directed a thirty minute infomercial, commissioned by the producers of a silver bas relief portrait of Princess Diana, called Portrait of a Princess
. The half hour piece aired exclusively on the Paxson Network during their last days as an all infomercial broadcaster. The appalling sales figures for this bizarre looking item rank Portrait of a Princess
right up there with the least successful infomercials in history.
Georgia: Crossroads of Civilization (project unfinished)
In April of 1991 the Republic of Georgia declared its independence from the Soviet Union after seventy years as a Soviet state. More than a decade of internecine struggle followed, including the forced resignations of two elected presidents. The effect of the conflict on the new republic's economy was disastrous; once "the breadbasket of the Soviet Union," for the first time Georgians found themselves lining up to acquire basic necessities. And though the passionate, proud Georgian people still suffer from economic instability, their future is no longer bleak. The "Rose Revolution" resulted in the installation of a new, progressive president, and renewed efforts to prosper. Speaking in Tbilisi, former President George W. Bush said: "The path of freedom you have chosen is not easy, but you will not travel it alone. Americans respect your courageous choice for liberty. As you build a free and democratic Georgia, the American people will stand with you."
Georgia: Crossroads of Civilization
is the work of Americans who are doing exactly that, standing with our Georgian friends to create a work that will have a positive effect on the Georgian economy and Georgian people for decades to come. Georgia: Crossroads
will be a visually stunning travelogue, with additional emphasis on Georgian culture and the wonderful Georgian people. This small nation has everything from a subtropical seacoast to one of the world's most famous mountain ranges. It is a land of music and poetry, vineyards, forests, and villages that are as they were a millennium ago: a land where the natives believe "Guests come from God," and put their belief into action by being the world's most hospitable people.
The range of possible attractions and activities, combined with the fabled hospitality of the native population, make Georgia potentially one of the world's most desirable tourist destinations.
But according to the American/Georgian Business Development Council, Georgia had only 10,000 foreign visitors in 2004, while neighboring Turkey had 17 million. Why? Although Soviet leaders regularly vacationed in Georgia, they had no interest in showing their playground to the rest of the world. Westerners were prohibited for military reasons from visiting the Caucasus range, and though Tbilisi was and is a sophisticated city of many attractions, the Soviet In-Tourist system made visiting there a difficult and often uncomfortable experience. After 1991, the political turmoil in the new republic and its breakaway regions, and the existing tourist facilities, attracted only the most adventurous visitor. The result was doubly unfortunate. Travelers stayed away who might have reveled in the Georgian countryside and the Georgian people, and Georgia lost income from tourism it desperately needed--and still needs.
In Georgia: Crossroads of Civilization
, it is our intention to show the wonders of this nation to a world that currently knows little about it, and thus encourage the tourism Georgia needs. Increased tourism will mean thousands of new jobs for Georgians, as well as new business development in areas besides the hospitality industry.
We will be working on this project with esteemed Georgian filmmakers and diplomats, including producer/director Ramaz Khotivari (creator of documentaries The Darial Sketches
and Gospel By Mark
, and fictional feature films Lazare's Adventures
and Chiriki & Chikotela
, among others) and Nugzar Ruhadze, who was a member of the cast of The Falcon
and is well-known in both Georgia and the United States as an award-winning journalist and diplomat. Through their Tbilisi-based film company they have agreed to pay all location production costs, including travel, lodging, and helicopters/fixed wing aircraft rental for aerial work.