Reinvention To The Extreme

We’re always talking about how media companies need to reinvent themselves to survive in the new world, but this is a bit extreme:

We got this press release last night. It begins:

“Gyro Worldwide, the Philadelphia ad agency known for its iconoclastic makeovers of some of the world’s largest brands, is undergoing a metamorphosis into a new creature, like caterpillar becoming a butterfly.”

Gyro, the release says, is now Quaker City Mercantile. They have a kick-ass logo. And now instead of “just” working on ad campaigns for other companies, QCM is getting its fingers in its own business lines–it’s bought a stake in a brewery and is launching a new drink it calls Root.

Founder Steve Grasse has purchased a farm in New Hampshire where he’ll experiment with growing “artisanal products” that QCM will then sell.

What’s the impetus behind all this?

“The go-go excesses of the millennium is over,” Grasse said. “Now America needs to get back to fundamentals—hard work, brilliant inventions, and the manufacture of useful things. After all, the ‘manu’ in manufacture comes from the Latin root manus. Manus means hand. I’m ready to move out to the country and make stuff with my hands….. “I aspire to be a true Renaissance man. A pre-robber baron capitalist in the tradition of Franklin, Jefferson and Washington.”

Well, that’s a reinvention if we ever saw one.