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Andy Nulman

Co-Founder & President, Just for Laughs
Biography: 

The Credo of Surprise:
Risks? Take!
Rules? Break!
Then…watch the ground shake!

To most, Surprise is the innocent, innocuous stuff of unexpected birthday parties, peek-a-boo games and Crackerjack boxes.

To Andy Nulman, Surprise is a powerful secret weapon of modern marketing, an extremely potent tool that can help you sell anything—your product, your service, even yourself. Throughout his career, he has exploited Surprise to open eyes, open mouths, and most importantly, open wallets.

In establishing Just For Laughs, the world’s largest humor event, he established policies that “guaranteed laughs or your money back,” set up guerrilla entertainment for people waiting in long ticket lines and conceived a series of epic press conferences where he attracted attention by launching a new religion, engaging journalists in Olympic-styled competitions and being reeled onto a cruise ship like a giant deep-sea fish.

Later, as the President and CMO of mobile internet pioneer Airbone Mobile, he brought life to staid industry conferences with storms of branded dollar bills, used stealthily-placed wirecutters to attract and intrigue future clients like Disney and HBO, and planted dozens of timebombed golfballs, most still waiting to explode.

No wonder he lays claim to the title of “Prince of POW!” the father of this novel, all-important genre called Surprise Marketing; a genre he outlines and evangelizes in his new book “Pow! Right Between The Eyes.”

While young in spirit and snappy in dress, Andy Nulman has been creating and leading major media projects for over three decades. Currently the President and CMO of Airborne Mobile, which he co-founded in 1999 with Garner Bornstein, he provides the company with the insight and creativity necessary to successfully strengthen brands like Maxim, Family Guy, the NFL and Taco Bell through the creation of innovative mobile content and applications. In 2006, Airborne was honored as North America’s 4th-Fastest Growing Tech Company in Deloitte’s Fast 500 ranking, one year after being sold to Japan’s Cybird Holdings for over $100 million. In 2008, he and Garner repurchased the company and are now the majority shareholders.

Prior to Airborne, Andy was best known for his 15-year tenure as CEO of Montreal’s renowned Just For Laughs International Comedy Festival, the world's first and largest comedy event. From 1985 until 1999, he transformed it from a two-day show to a month-long cultural happening, attracting over 2 million visitors per year to see talent the likes of Jay Leno, Drew Carey, Jim Carrey, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Ray Romano and Adam Sandler, and created/ Executive Produced over 150 Festival TV shows, in a variety of languages, all over the world.

An acclaimed and thought-provoking public speaker/showman, motivating and challenging Fortune 500 companies the likes of GM, Eveready/Energizer, 3M and Wal-Mart, Mr. Nulman has also written two best-selling books, “How To Do The Impossible” and “I Almost Killed George Burns.” Other accomplishments include being named one of the “Top 40 Under 40” business leaders by the Financial Post in 1997, being voted one of the Top 100 Montrealers of the 20th Century by the Montreal Gazette in 2000, and being honored as a distinguished recipient of the McGill Management Achievement Award in 2004.

In his spare time, Andy is also an oft-published author, inventive stage director, half-decent snowboarder, hot-and-cold hockey goalie, and prolific blogger on the art of Surprise in marketing (check him out all over this here blog). He sits on the Board of Directors of two companies, Sonomax Hearing Healthcare Inc. (TSX Venture: SHH), and the Groupe Juste Pour Rire, Inc.

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