Chowder Opens in N.Y.

Three former executives at The Lord Group have created Chowder, a shop that aims to compete in the space where advertising and entertainment meet.

The principals are Kim Ketchell, Tony Kobylinski and Jim Ritterhoff. At Lord, Ritterhoff, 39, and Kobylinski, 40, were co-creative directors, and Ketch ell, 42, was director of planning. The New York shop opens with two clients, the Cayman Islands and the Night Kitchen Radio Theater, and eight staffers. It plans to offer branding ideas in all forms, including programming, sponsorships, books, scripts, collateral and traditional ads.

The goal is to “proactively come up with ideas beyond what agencies are expected [to deliver],” said Ritterhoff. Added Kobylinski: “The concept is the king.” As examples, they cited “brand dialogue” from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The West Wing and the integration of FedEx into the plot of Castaway.

Chowder—whose name is meant to reflect the shop’s diverse mix of disciplines—uses a traditional strategy in its first work for Cayman: five print ads and a TV commercial tagged, “Could it be Cayman?”

The spot, which debuted last week, shows folks en joying various vacation activities with lines such as “Could it be romance?”

The $5-10 million account shifted from Lord in New York after Kitchell, Kobylinski and Ritterhoff—three-fifths of the team that handled the business at Lord—left in April.

“We know them,” said Pilar Bush, the client’s deputy director of tourism. “They bring brains, talent and certainly commitment.”