This San Francisco Shop Mimics a Hollywood Production Studio

‘Fast, lean and famous’ is the mantra of Erich & Kallman

E&K co-founder and creative director Eric Kallman (l.) and co-founder and managing director Steven Erich
Courtesy of Erich & Kallman

After growing tired of how slow moving traditional agencies had become, two industry vets—former CP+B president Steven Erich and Goodby Silverstein & Partners executive creative director Eric Kallman—decided to strike off on their own last year, founding their own shop, Erich & Kallman.

In order for this new San Francisco agency to succeed, its creators knew it needed to be three things: fast, lean and famous (or, more specifically, it needed to help make the brands it works with famous). With a core team of fewer than 10, E&K often relies on freelance talent to work on projects, expanding and contracting depending on the client.

“It’s very much like a Hollywood production model where you’ve got a few people at the center, but then you bring in specialists for a limited amount of time, only when you need them,” Erich said.

That model has led to E&K scoring three big General Mills brands, along with projects for MTV and Chick-fil-A. For the latter, the shop was tasked with launching a campaign featuring a new breakfast item. The ads spotlighted some of history’s great minds, from Amelia Earhart to Beethoven, to convey the message that, much like those figures’ ambitious goals, eating chicken for breakfast is “not as crazy as you think.”

This story first appeared in the March 27, 2017, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.