Jif Peanut Butter “First Time”

Michael Clowater

Born in New Brunswick, Canada, he started his career as a plumber with his family’s business, but after a few years, he took on “black sheep” status within the family when he moved to Toronto to become an agency creative instead. His work as a writer and creative director showcased his ability to make people laugh by having a firm grasp on craft and character driven stories. This earned him hundreds of international awards including Cannes Lions, Clios, The One Show and D&AD Pencils.

He began his filmmaking career with his first short film “Alfred’s New Dog” which was screened at numerous film festivals around the world, including the Interfilm Festival (Berlin) and the Toronto International Film Festival. The short was also shown at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City as part of an exhibition on independent children’s comedy films.

It made sense for Clowater to transition to directing and he immediately came out of the gate hot with seminal work through Radke Films in Canada. His commercial directorial debut Pyramid Scheme the Rainbow for Skittles was shortlisted at Cannes Lions and his work for Cheerios set the social world abuzz, scoring a place as Adweek’s top ad of the week while swiftly sending #HowToDad trending on Twitter.

Clowater kept his momentum, continuing to establish himself as a prominent comedic voice in advertising. Recent notable work includes campaigns for Jif, Ikea, Belvita, and the World Wildlife Fund. His work for Belvita earned him an AICP Award.  Recently, Clowater helmed the Martin Agency’s inaugural campaign for CarMax in a series spots “The Way It Way Should Be” embodying the humanity and empathy of the brand.

Clowater’s dry wit, sense of nostalgia and directorial flair are endemic to his work. He uses the camera as a character and embraces the humor of everyday life. His characters are approachable and he’s most known for his sharp and relatable observations of the human experience. His campaigns for a wide variety of brands speak to his versatility and range as a director. From comedy dialogue, visual humor or emotional storytelling, he consistently delivers engaging, eye-catching content.