Swirl Opening Buoyed by Levi Connections

SAN FRANCISCO(Eth)A new shop, Swirl, is opening for business here this week and should hit the ground running with special assignments from Levi Strauss & Co.
The agency will redesign all of Levi’s in-store, interactive kiosks nationwide and handle several other retail marketing projects, said Eric Roos, agency partner and director of account services for Swirl.
Roos is a former account director at the Black Rocket agency in San Francisco. He left there two weeks ago to partner with Martin Lauber and Colin Cook, who both resigned from Northern Lights Interactive, San Francisco, which is in the process of closing. Cook was NLI’s executive producer, and Lauber was associate creative director. The agency’s closing follows client Levi Strauss’ decision to launch a search for a new interactive ad shop.
Both Cook and Lauber worked on Levi’s Web site and interactive advertising account while at NLI. Roos and Lauber formerly worked together at Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco, on Levi’s.
Cook is now production director at Swirl. Matthew Mascotte, another FCB creative with Levi’s experience, has joined as account manager.
Although Swirl has been called on by Levi’s to do interactive projects, Roos and his partners emphasize that they are not an interactive-only agency. “We will be doing 3-D branding,” said Lauber, creative director for the new shop. “The advertising will not be medium-specific. We will apply a blend of traditional and new media to help a client advertise effectively. But we won’t push a medium like interactive advertising if our research shows it’s just not worth the time.”
The agency will only work with clients within the Western region, Roos said. “We don’t want to grow too fast and lose our ability to work personally with each client. That’s why we started this agency. We are getting back to basics–with a technological spin–and we think the clients will appreciate that.”