Chicago Gets New Royal Order

A group of creatives who left Leapnet after the company decided to close out the last vestiges of its advertising practice has launched a new operation called The Royal Order.

Partners in the business are Dave Her nandez, Rich Giuliani, Mike Diedrich and Phil Siegert, all of whom were working on Leapnet clients including Anheuser-Busch’s Michelob until January.

Leapnet’s top executives were then in the process of buying out the company, which had been public, and are now focusing on information technology and systems work.

Hernandez described The Royal Order as a “cross-media creative agency” that sells ideas. The shop, which employs about eight creatives in addition to the four partners, is working on a number of undisclosed projects and plans to focus on entertainment and technology.

The agency’s name is intended to somewhat call to mind that of a labor union, reflecting the shop’s Midwestern, working-class values, along with a bit of tongue-in-cheek pomp, Hernandez said.

Among the first ads out of the shop is a TV spot for the Veterans of Foreign Wars that sprang from a print ad Vince Cook and Dave Metcalf created last year while still at Leapnet. The team’s initial concept was to have a map of the world carved up as if the U.S. had never successfully defended itself and others in wars. “Support our veterans,” the ad read. “Our country wouldn’t be the same without them.”

That led to a relationship with the VFW and a post-Sept. 11 ad that listed start and finish dates of U.S. conflicts from World War I on, with an open-ended date for the war on terrorism.

A TV spot using the same concept has been distri buted for use as a public service announcement. The commercial is a video journey through U.S. wars, with historical footage of doughboys marching and marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima, complete with muted battle sounds and music.