Walt Jaschek, a 1978 UMSL graduate, is an award-winning copywriter who has written national advertising campaigns for the likes of Goose Vodka, Volvo and “The Simpsons.” (Photo by Myra Lopez)

It’s never prudent to turn in that first idea. Why? Often times it sounds like a first idea and that’s not a good thing, according to Walt Jaschek, an award-winning freelancer copywriter.

“Anybody can have a first idea,” he said. “True success comes from the 20th idea.”

That’s the advice he gave during a recent talk to a group of media studies students of Kristy Tucciarone, assistant teaching professor of media studies at UMSL.

“We don’t need more mediocre advertising that doesn’t have ideas,” said Jaschek, who graduated from UMSL in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in speech communications. He’s written national advertising campaigns for brands such as Grey Goose Vodka, Volvo and “The Simpsons.” Along the way he’s picked up Emmys, ADDYs and CLIO Awards.

He called his lecture “Let Loose the Large.” He said that means to think big and have large ideas.

“I don’t hold back,” he said.

It’s a good bet many St. Louisans are familiar with Jaschek’s work and just don’t know it. He helped co-write a campaign for the SSM Joint Replacement Center. One of the outdoor billboards had a home on Interstate 70 for a while. It read “New hip! Hooray!

“I get such joy when I drive by it,” he said. “I can’t believe they let me do that!”

“What keeps me motivated is that I still get the same charge of seeing my work on the air or on Interstate 70 or on the Internet as I did when I was your age. That’s what I’m in it for. So, my favorite is my most recent one.”

Jaschek blogs at WaltNow.com, or you can follow him on Twitter @WaltNow.

Myra Lopez

Myra Lopez