What we believe

A deep dive

We’re an independently-owned ad agency based in Chicago, Illinois. Our mission is to create the healthiest client + agency relationships in the world.

The reason why is simple: When relationships aren’t healthy, performance suffers. Many of our philosophies are based on the writings of Patrick Lencioni and Brené Brown, among others: Performance comes from maximizing both Productivity and Positivity.

Fearless Creative

Our strategy and creative seek out the new and different with one goal in mind: to provoke our audiences to think differently about the brand and to ring our clients’ registers rather than someone else’s. Our litmus test is simple: If our work looks like, sounds like – or reminds consumers of – a competing brand, we haven’t done our job.

We haven’t yet met a client for whom the current state of affairs is good enough. Each relationship comes with similar expectations: Sales and brand growth. In other words, something needs to change. Campaigns and marketing programs that are easy, safe, and “tried and true” will, by definition, keep things as they currently are. Not the recipe for healthy, long-term relationships. We’re best known for producing creative that ignites brands and connects with consumers. We do that by grounding everything we do in brave thinking.

Top Performers Only

Because mediocrity and healthy relationships don’t jive. Having only the cream-of-the-crop talent means leaner, happier, and higher-performing teams who are able to elevate both performance and the quality of our client relationships.

One-Sided Tables

When smart people disagree, there’s usually a good reason.
The key to positivity is taking a beat to understand what’s behind
the disagreement rather than leaping towards conflict. It’s why we prioritize the skill of being able to put ourselves in others’ shoes. Or what we affectionately refer to as “working at one-sided tables.” No one said it better than one of our clients: “You’re so sensitive to our words and our thoughts. You never ignore them, even when they’re jumbled up, ambiguous or different from yours. Rather than reject what we’ve said, you find what’s most important, uncover what hasn’t been said, and dig in to find a solution that works.” That’s a one-sided table in action.

Whiteboard Culture

Energy is the foundational element of great marketing and healthy relationships. With that, our walls are our primary presentation tool – not PowerPoint or Keynote. The walls unveil the good stuff from the moment everyone walks into the room and help keep the energy high. What’s the strategy? No one has to wait to find out – it’s on the wall. What are the campaigns? On the wall. What are the hidden problems we’ve uncovered that are creating a drag on the business? Again, on the wall. Everyone’s ideas are captured as we go. We challenge one another, debate, write even better ideas and then distill the magic together. Everyone is heard. Everyone contributes. And most importantly, it’s how we get to the really good stuff faster. Together and in real time.

Be Brave

“The real fact of the matter is that nobody reads ads. People read what interests them and sometimes it’s an ad.”

Howard Luck Gossage