Planet Propaganda Mixes Midwestern Charm With a Relentless Work Ethic

Simplifies data to amplify creative results


Who Planet Propaganda partners Greg Wold (standing), Ben Hirby (r.) and John Besmer

What Advertising and branding agency

Where Madison, Wisc.

Founded in 1989 as a graphic design firm, Planet Propaganda organically grew into a full-service shop whose interesting name is, according to partner and strategy director John Besmer, "a reflection that we will get the message out by any means necessary." Since 2008, the 35-person shop has worked closely with outdoor apparel and gear brand Duluth Trading. Recently, Planet Propaganda held focus groups to figure out what kind of men were buying Duluth products, which helped the team create memorable animated work—including a spot featuring a pole-dancing Duluth Trading underwear-wearing man. The spots led the agency to secure some of its new clients, including wine and spirits company Pernod Ricard. This year the agency launched Smithworks, a new vodka for the spirits brand, with the help of country singer Blake Shelton.

This story first appeared in the July 11, 2016 issue of Adweek magazine.

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