Ex-APL Duo Start Shop

Tom Nelson, creative director, and Steve Gardner, president of startup Gardner-Nelson Project, believe that agencies like theirs that specialize in e-commerce clients can learn from Burger King.
“Have it your way,” said Nelson, borrowing the BK maxim to describe the philosophy of the 4-month-old shop. “For 99 cents–and fast, or else there are other places to go.” Built for speed, GNP will work on a project basis, using a core group of freelancers to deliver campaigns in six to eight weeks.
“We’re taking advantage of a new cultural trend,” said Gardner, “people working at home on their own, piece by piece. You get smarter results, speed of execution and cost efficiency.” The shop will limit itself to only a few campaigns a year, for just a few clients, focusing on what the principles call “time-definite projects,” instead of “ad infinitum relationships.”
Sounds like yet another freelance clearinghouse? Not so, said Gardner, a former president of Ammirati Puris Lintas in New York, and Nelson, a former APL vice chairman and co-creative director. They insist their “project teams” are handpicked and focused.
For its first client, Bank One’s WingSpanBank.com, the agency created a campaign of 12 TV ads (three are currently airing), 22 radio spots and print work, all in four months. “You can’t do that in a global agency,” said Gardner, “there’s too much bureaucracy.”