A lot of agency-client splits are unpleasant or downright acrimonious. But ad agency Rinck's breakup with Gorton's Seafood has been quite amicable—so amicable, in fact, that Rinck just unveiled a thank-you music video to Gorton's, inspired by Johnny Cash and filmed in an 1850s textile mill in Maine.
Rinck handled Gorton's website, social media, PR, promotions and digital media for more than nine years. That relationship is now ending, as Gorton's is consolidating agencies. But Rinck is OK with that, as you can see in the video, where the agency does a rendition of "We'll Meet Again," a 1939 Vera Lynn song that Cash covered in 2002.
The idea came from Rinck president fan Laura Davis, an avid Johnny Cash who does one of the two spoken-word solos in the middle of the video.
"We wanted to honor a relationship and collaboration that we had for nearly a decade, and the friendships that came along with it, with not just the client, but agency partners, vendors and others," says Davis. "I wanted to use the opportunity to set an example on how to end a business relationship well and leave the door wide open."
It's easy to be cynical or poke fun at stunts like this, but Davis' sentiment is an admirable one in an industry that often feels pretty heartless.
"The fact of the matter is that over the last nine years we've learned a lot together and I know there will be great things in the future for both of us," adds Davis.
Nearly all of Rinck's 38 staffers were on hand, and clad in dark sunglasses, for filming at the Bates Mill in Lewiston, Maine (a factory which, trivia alert, was the top supplier of blankets to the Union Army during the Civil War).
Neal Jandreau, Rinck's director of digital content and strategy (and a professional musician who plays in the acoustic duo Stealing North) handled lead vocals and guitar. Kristy Phinney, director of dynamic integration, did the other spoken-word solo. Public relations director Katie Greenlaw led a female a cappella verse. Rinck CEO Peter Rinck played violin and production artist Melissa Simmons played ukulele, accompanying Jandreau.
Local production studio and filmmaker Ramsey Tripp of Trade-mark R Productions shot and edited the video. Tom McPherson provided behind-the-scenes documentation of still photography.
In a release, Rinck—which has offices in Auburn, Maine, and Annapolis, Maryland—said it has a history of working with clients well beyond the current average agency-client relationship of three years, adding that the 16-year-old shop still does business with its very first client.
"We are very fortunate to have amazing, lasting relationships with our partners and vendors. Ramsey Tripp and Tom McPherson didn't hesitate to jump on board to document what was clearly a cathartic experience for the agency," says Davis.
"The Rinck DNA is 'You're going to love what happens next.' It's immensely gratifying that even when the news is not what we would wish, we could come together and create something that we do, in fact, love. We hope that our friends at Gorton's also loved what happened next and we sincerely wish them all the best in the future."