The SF Egotist Returns with a Beat Report

By Kiran Aditham 

As part of our ongoing collaboration with The Egotist network, AgencySpy returns to the streets of San Francisco to get a picture of the current ad scene in the Bay Area. Take it away, Egotist.

So we meant to get this write-up to Agency Spy earlier in the week, but with all the insanity in this city around the Giants in the World Series, we didn’t get it done. Honestly, we don’t know how any clients are getting anything out of their agencies while the playoffs are on. Half the creatives we know were skipping work to go to the NLCS. And now that the World Series starts at 4:57pm here, bars like Grumpy’s and MoMo’s are packed with ad people by 4:00.


Anyway, in the spirit of the MLB fever that’s gripped the city, we’ll do a cute little baseball-related write-up of what’s going down in the SF ad world. Read on after the jump…

Home Run:

Pereira & O’Dell – These guys continue to do killer work and crazy stunts And they seem to be hiring up half the great talent in the city. How they’ll transition from the Small Ad Agency of the Year to a bigger shop remains to be seen.

Video game agencies – Agencytwofifteen has become the kings of massive video game launches (Halo: Reach, etc.) and they’ve got talent pouring out of their downtown digs. Down on the Embarcadero, Heat keeps cranking out great EA Sports spots that play far bigger than the little agency.


Goodby Silverstein & Partners – They lost Lipton after some weird talking fish spots. They kicked ass with a cool-as-hell Cheetos digital game. And the Chevy work is solid if nothing spectacular.

AKQA – They’re still hiring like mad and have a knack for getting their work noticed. (See: The Giants Tweet projections.) They’re also still seemingly working 24/7. But if you’re doing cool work, that’s what matters, right?

Mekanism – They’re the new hot shop (because you can’t really call them an agency). After the Fast Company article came out, everyone wants to work with them. The question is, will they freak out mainstream clients? Because these dudes produce some weird (and usually awesome) shit.


The Unknowns – It’s a little unfair to call these guys unknown. But they’re not household names in the city. Hub Strategy consistently launches great work. Swirl keeps plugging away under the radar with some solid work. Odopod seems to launch a pretty site every two weeks. And Duncan/Channon has some hits (StubHub) and misses (Esurance).


Butler Shine Stern – Remember when the Mini work was cool, inspired, different and something people actually talked about? (Back in the Crispin days?) It’s been so long we’re starting to forget.

Publicis/Modem – Every once in a blue moon we see work from them that’s decent. Otherwise, it’s a whole lot of radio silence.

Draft/FBC – We hear they’re bringing in new blood (again) and some of the work they’ve been cranking out hasn’t been the junk we’ve seen in previous years. It is slowly turning itself around?


The BDAs – Is anyone even at Ogilvy any more? They’re on about the 52nd round of layoffs this year. If anyone’s looking for a haunted house for Halloween, just go to their offices. It’s a ghost town. McCann/MRM barely kept the lights on last year and have seemed to stabilized the ship with a couple of account wins, but there’s no work of note coming out and people are still bailing for new jobs as fast as they can.

Now if you’ll excuse us, we have to go drink ourselves silly and celebrate the G-men being up 2-0! GO GIANTS!

The San Francisco Egotist highlights the best creative in SF and is THE site for all Bay Area people in creative careers. We’re one of several Egotist sites that will be reporting on local scenes for Agency Spy. In the meantime, you can read about, talk about and submit great creative work daily at