Late last summer, MillerCoors added Mekanism to its agency roster as lead creative shop on the Redd’s, Smith & Forge and Henry’s Hard Soda brands after parting with former AOR Cavalry. This news came one year after Mekanism won the Jim Beam digital business.
Today the shop made its new Chicago office official, and this news comes less than two months after we learned that Mekanism Seattle would exist following the agency’s win in the Alaska Airlines review.
We asked Mekanism president/CEO Jason Harris and founder/ECD Tommy Means for more. Harris says, “We opened the office based on Jim Beam and MillerCoors, our two main accounts in Chicago. Our philosophy revolves around tight collaboration with our clients and to do this, we must be meeting face-to-face with frequency. Our energy is focused on working on these two accounts to make the best creative work we possibly can.”
He also tells us that Means will be running the creative department remotely from his home base of San Francisco until Mekanism can find a new leader. The office will be led by directors of Brand Management Rick Thornhill and Caroline Moncure; the former apparently joined the shop in Chicago directly after it won MillerCoors while the latter has been working in strategy at Mekanism New York since 2011. So yes, smartass, Mekanism has clearly been in Chicago for several months. This is just the press announcement.
Means implies that Mekanism Chicago will have plenty of room to grow. “Chicago is full of iconic American brands looking to reignite their advertising with work that is interesting, relevant, and unforgettable. Mekanism is an independent creative shop who is chomping at the bit to spread our patented ‘Storytelling for Emerging Media’ ethos to the Midwest. Jim Beam and MillerCoors are just the beginning. ”
He’s very bullish on Chicago in general.
“You can feel Chicago is the cultural zeitgeist of America,” Means says. “The city is alive with tension, fusing relevant design, architecture and ideas with a Midwestern approachability. We are blown away by the BBQ at Smoque, the lobby design of the Chicago Athletic Association and the fact that the Cubs are kicking ass.”
Given that today is the first day of the MLB season, we and other long-suffering WGN viewers might disagree with that last one. But we’re optimistic!