the big kahunas

Last May, Richard Yelland and James Pribram founded Curtis Birch with one simple goal: They wanted to connect with the action-sports and youth demographic.

So far, so good. The Venice, Calif., shop has created print and TV work for clients MBS Mountainboards, the Surfrider Foundation, Thor Motorcross and They Will Surf Again.

“I grew up as a surfer and snowboarder,” said Yelland. “I have an intimate knowledge of this youth subculture. It’s a different mind-set, a fickle audience.”

A former associate creative director at Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners in New York, Yelland brings “traditional” advertising experience to Curtis Birch. Pribram, a pro surfer, adds a youth-minded sensibility.

For example: the shop’s most recent work, a TV spot for Thor, in which a band of bikers force motorcross champ Sebastian Tortelli off the road. Surrounded, Tortelli braces for the worst. But the bikers pull out his racing jersey and ask for autographs.

“The challenge is to get the Mountain Dews, the Cokes, the shoe and car brands to think of Curtis Birch when they want to tap the youth market,” Yelland said. “We can translate their messages. We see the bigger picture. We live in this world.” neustadtDANIEL ARSENAULT (2)T. eckelman