Portrait: Eleven

A creative boutique that's turning up the volume for clients like Apple, Virgin America


Who Mike McKay, chief creative officer (l.); Courtney Buechert, chief executive officer

What Design, digital and advertising agency

Where San Francisco offices

The agency started with 11 staffers in 1999, but CEO Courtney Buechert likes to say the shop’s moniker is also a reference to the “one louder” scene in mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap, where the lead guitarist says the volume knob on his amps go higher than the standard 10. Founded by creatives Rob Price, Michael Borosky and Paul Curtin, Eleven combines its boutique roots with big-agency expertise: Buechert came from McCann Erickson, creative chief McKay from BBDO. Eleven counts among its clients Virgin America, Apple and Union Bank, which it won this year, beating out larger agencies like Ogilvy and Dentsu.