Salt Lake City = The Next Interactive Mecca?

By Kiran Aditham 

As part of our ongoing collaboration with the Egotist network, we present the inaugural column from the Salt Lake City Egotist, which lists and assesses a variety of shops in Mormon country, a destination that could be, if not already, an interactive hotbed. Let’s see what SLC has in store for us, shall we?

In the land of milk and honey, some things change, yet, some stay the same. Salt Lake has never been a place known for its creative powerhouses, but it is quietly turning into a mecca for some really outstanding interactive work.

Our local McCann office is busy slaving away on B2B Microsoft work that is unfortunately never good enough to make an appearance on either the Egotist or AgencySpy. Yet, with over 80 people in SLC, we wonder how so many bodies can churn out nothing worth talking about.

Struck made headlines earlier this year when the bought ailing, but highly creative shop, Axiom. This gave both shops a much needed lift – big design firepower in the folks that were at Axiom for Struck and a cash infusion for Axiom’s talented but poorly run business. It also resulted in the worst name choice for any agency we have ever seen. In a complete blunder that both should have known better of, they decided to smash the names together into the ugly mouthful that is Struck/Axiom, and they don’t like it when you drop the Axiom.

These guys continue to make strong headway as one of the most creative design-oriented forces out there. Winning a ton of project work direct from Pepsi, and a stunning rebrand of TCBY.

Read on after the jump…

The premier local interactive shop has been steadily adding people all year and seems to be growing at a respectable clip. WLS has been a dominate force in pushing technology focused design, and recently won a mobile FWA for their Snowbird iPhone App, as well as being featured on AgencySpy for their press-worthy iPod Wall. There’s also a rumor floating around that Google has been tapping them for project work. Watch for these guys to break into their own in the next year.

With 60 people strong in the Red LA office, they have dwindled to 6 in the SLC office. However, they continue to churn out award winning interactive time and time again for their largest client, The UFC.

Rare Method
Operating out of SLC and Calgary, this group is the AOR for V chocolates and more infamously the co-conspirator of this year’s spectacular Utah State Fair debacle. The local government pulled the race card on it while we laughed our asses off at Jared Hess’ (Writer/Director of Napoleon Dynamite) masterpiece.

Super Top Secret
This newer shop was formed by Struck ex-pats and seems to be on a mission to kick ass – and make sure everyone knows it. Their attitude landed them in hot water with a law suit threat for padding their work with Struck’s portfolio earlier this year. We’re anxiously looking forward to seeing what they have.

The Summit Group
TSG continues to have their pulse on exactly what the regional Subway account is hungry for.

Their claim to fame seems to be winning the most local Addy awards by entering the same item in multiple categories. They recently did this wonderful campaign for Mormon favorite: Apple Beer, which about sums it up.

They continue to produce clean, beautiful, timeless design that often looks similar.

More solid local work. Blah Blah Blah.

Crowell Advertising
Crowell recently held their second annual Tracy Awards for the worst ads of 2010. Oddly self-deprecating Adman Tracy Crowell did not submit any of his own work.

There is change afoot in Salt Lake with small groups of creatives popping up here and there and an overall increase in great creative work being done, especially by individuals. We’re looking forward to 2011 bringing us more to talk about than the latest episode of Big Love. Come live, work, play, even worship here, because we’re just starting to blow up. And unlike Denver, the mountains are only 20 minutes away. (Added Bonus: All the weird alcohol laws are gone.)

The Salt Lake City Egotist highlights the best creative in SLC and is THE site for all Salt Lake people in creative careers. We’re one of several Egotist sites that will be reporting on local scenes for AgencySpy. In the meantime, you can read about, talk about and submit great creative work daily at