They don’t seem alike. One is a guitar-playing, Br

They don’t seem alike. One is a guitar-playing, Brooklyn-born Jew who can never sit still. The other is a 6-foot-6-inch Episcopalian from Connecticut with a thing for sports. Yet David Lubars (below) and Jamie Barrett have managed to enhance Fallon’s storied creative reputation, making the agency’s Minneapolis headquarters stronger and the New York office a formidable creative force.

“I depend on his wisdom for more than just creative,” agency chairman Pat Fallon says of Lubars, 42. “Jamie in his heart and soul is a creative. He’s happiest when he’s creating ads.” That’s a sentiment Lubars shares with Barrett.

“They are both competitive and like to win,” adds Bob Moore, Fallon Minneapolis’ No. 2 creative, a former colleague of Barrett’s from Wieden + Kennedy. “And they are both extremely talented.”

Lubars, president and executive creative director of the $750 million flagship Minneaplis office, steered success on the Holiday Inn and BMW campaigns and oversaw stylish debuts in fashion-oriented brand work for Nordstrom, award-winning work for EDS (such as the silver Lion-winning “Cat Herders”) and a charming PBS campaign about curiosity. He is also one of the leaders at Fallon who champions interactive elements in its campaigns. (The Buddy Lee work for Lee Jeans, for example, included an online videogame.)

In addition to bringing in Moore, Lubars bolstered the ranks by elevating Peter McHugh and Bruce Bildsten both to associate creative director and opening a Los Angeles outpost to tap talent unwilling to move to Minnesota.

“This year, we grew up a lot,” says Lubars, who helped Fallon hit what insiders called a creative home run: landing Citibank’s $150 million account. “My goal was to do work for bigger mass brands, [while] increasing our creativity.”

Not all the agency’s creative leaps have been well-received. A Nuveen Investments Super Bowl spot featuring a walking Christopher Reeve drew ridicule, while test ads for Long John Silver’s featuring spandex-clad dancing midgets riled some franchise owners. The agency, however, has never shied away from controversy. “If stuff isn’t noticed, you haven’t done the job for your client,” Lubars says, though admits he’s “less a fan of polarizing work than of popularizing work.”

Lubars’ “infectious enthusiasm” for creative was a major factor in Moore’s decision to join the shop in September. “It’s a great environment,” Moore says. “He sets people up to succeed.”

Barrett, the 39-year-old executive creative director of the $250 million, 5-year-old New York agency, uses humor to breed warmth in his department. Colleagues cite his self-effacing demeanor as an ice breaker that keeps everyone loose but on their toes. It is also an element of his success in recruiting talent such as Kevin Roddy and Matt Vescovo from Cliff Freeman and Partners, New York, and Bobby Pearce from FCB Worldwide, San Francisco.

People are also lured by the prospect of creating award-winning work. (The shop won gold Lions this year for MTV’s Jukka Bros. and The X Show’s “We know what men are really thinking” campaigns.) The agency also boasts a diverse client list that includes ABC Sports, Georgia Pacific and Conseco.”He looks for really strong ideas illustrated in a simple way,” Roddy says of Barrett. “He is very into, ‘I want to look at that and get the idea very quickly.'”

Barrett would joke that it’s simply a product of Attention Deficit Disorder. Regardless, his department, which has grown from five to nearly 30 in the two years since he’s joined Fallon, benefits from his attention to detail, as well as his sense of humor. “In the first year and a half, I felt like I had to touch everything,” says Barrett. “Now I feel we’re stronger on every level. We can divide and conquer.”

Though Minneapolis and New York share resources on occasion, the two creative chiefs usually work independently. “He’s got his own thing going,” Lubars says of Barrett. “I think we’re good at knowing how to use each other.” The creative team behind the campaign for MTV, a New York client, came from Minneapolis, for example, while New York has provided teams for assignments on Minneapolis clients such as United and EDS.

Reflecting on his counterpart, Barrett notes they’re both over 6 feet tall and concludes, “We’re very much alike. The only difference is I have an outside shot.”