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But advertising relationships are cyclical and Twin Cities ad agencies still have fans.
“Minneapolis continues to be a strong advertising market relative to its size,” said Patrick Hunt, CEO of Hunt Adkins and a 29-year veteran of the Minneapolis advertising community.
Purdy credited a new generation of agency leadership in the Twin Cities for part of the revitalization of the local advertising scene.
Olson last year named outsider John Partilla as its CEO while Campbell Mithun lured Rob Buchner away from Fallon to lead that shop. Buchner’s brother, Mike Buchner, has been CEO of Fallon for less than three years. Fischer became president of Carmichael Lynch in March. Meanwhile, former Olson CEO Kevin DiLorenzo last week took over as president of Barrie DeRozario DiLorenzo.
“That helps redefine the marketplace,” Purdy said of the leadership changes.
Fallon’s Buchner said his agency is only one new client away from needing to start hiring again.
Fallon’s latest efforts include work for Tequila Herradura and Woodford Reserve bourbon under the Brown Forman umbrella and Loctite Adhesives, which includes the time-tested product Super Glue. Fallon also just commenced a campaign for its client of three years, H&R Block, tied to the upcoming income tax season.
‘The Barkleys’ bark for Subaru
Carmichael Lynch, which hired 53 employees last year, launched new advertising campaigns for Subaru last week featuring a family of golden labs called “The Barkleys” and a safety-themed ad entitled “They lived” featuring a family of crash survivors. Earlier this month, the agency added nutritional supplement giant GNC as a client along with its $33 million to $41 million media budget. The agency’s most visible clients also include Jack Link’s Beef Jerky and Tempur-Pedic mattresses.
At Carmichael Lynch, agency leaders entertain employees with rooftop music concerts at their Warehouse District headquarters and encourage employees to work on independent “after-school” projects to stretch their creative muscles. They’ve come up with bug memorials such as “A roach remembered” and posted pictures of dogs in Napoleon outfits.
“We want to make this a fun place to be,” said agency president Fischer.
“We’ve got a unique blend of confidence and humility,” said Fischer. “Gone are the days when being boisterous wins you business. The new world of marketing is to have that [deep] level of relationship and trust in a creative vision that furthers business.
“It’s a hard thing to capture, and just as hard to keep.”
David Phelps • 612-673-7269