Doremus Finds Fast Track in S.F.




A Busy Year Sees New York Shop’s Outpost Come Into Its Own
SAN FRANCISCO–When New York-based Doremus Advertising opened an office in the Bay Area roughly a year ago, it was mainly to help manage East Coast business connected to California.
Things have certainly changed since then.
Buoyed by the explosion in e-commerce and the ever-expanding business opportunities in Silicon Valley, Doremus has forged a separate identity in its new location.
Much like the San Francisco offices of Young & Rubicam and McCann-Erickson (McCann/A&L) have done, the Doremus office here has taken on responsibility for some of the agency’s key accounts. Its billings have soared from just $10 million at the outset to roughly $100 million, and the office has expanded from four to 45 employees.
“More and more technology and financial clients are looking for creative work that respects the intelligence of their audience,” said Joe McCormack, executive vice president and creative director at the agency. “This is what has helped us grow much faster than expected.”
The shop has won the accounts of a variety of technology and dot.com clients, including HearMe, a company that helps people communicate online using video, voice and other technological means. In all, Doremus has netted nine accounts.
The HearMe campaign kicks off this week with print, TV and online work. The ads play on the storyline of a monk in a monastery who uses the Internet to hear live voices.
Among the shop’s other new clients are Hitachi America Ltd., Hitachi Data Systems, Hitachi Semiconductor, Internet communications company Tektronix and loan auction site PrimeStreet.
Agency executive vice president and general manager Garrett Lawrence said he, too, is somewhat surprised by the office’s quick growth. “We felt confident our approach was going to provide results, but you don’t know until you have a chance to generate work and win clients,” Lawrence said, adding that the shop’s passion for high-tech likely helped the new-business efforts.
Lawrence said operating multiple offices will continue to be essential to any agency’s survival. “If you succeed here [in Silicon Valley], you help an agency’s global network as well,” he said.
McCormack and Lawrence both previously worked for the former Anderson & Lembke.
As a network, Doremus posts roughly $300 million billings annually. It also has offices in Hong Kong, Brazil, London and Germany. K