EVOLVING

street smarts
Most agencies have a credo, and for years Mintz & Hoke has positioned itself as the “Street smart agency,” owing to its self-proclaimed devotion to research and strategically balanced creative.
The Avon, Conn., shop prides itself on its consistently good showing in the annual Effie awards, which honor ads’ effectiveness. Lately, though, the agency has undergone significant ownership and management changes, and its long-running handle no longer seemed to fit. Last fall, CEO Chris Knopf contacted creative consulting guru and former ad agency principal Tom Monahan to help distill an idea that had bubbled up from conversations with chief creative officer Chuck Borghese.
“We think of ourselves as agents of change, but we need to define that in terms that are easy to understand,” Knopf said. That became “Brand Aha,” a play on brand DNA or brand essence. The concept now provides the agency with a strategic blueprint. Staffers are being indoctrinated each Wednesday over fresh bagels and beverages with examples of “Aha” moments. These include pairing smooth and crunchy as the essence of YoFarms yogurt, for one.
–Judy Warne