Tag Archives: fallon

nuveen root, root, roots for the cubbies

There is nothing like baseball season…even if you don’t love baseball there is so much to commend to it from the lazy, sunny days of summer to the Americana feel of the snap of the mitt as two people play catch. It’s kitschy, it’s classic, it’s the best game ever invented and it’s the subject of innumerable ad campaigns for brands that want a little borrowed interest or need to reinforce themselves as a “hometown brand.”

Line Nuveen Investments in their new campaign from Fallon:

There used to be a time that Fallon would not tout something like this…not because the work is bad, these ads are just what they are: regional ads that tie one brand to a partner brand. They are nicely traditional and recognizably Cubbie and just sort of are. And that is the point. They are regional ads that do what they need to do quickly and efficiently.

There was a time when, whatever the merits of the Nuveen campaign (and my Chicago-based sister just loves ads), it just wouldn’t be news.

fallon’s downward spiral

The word on the street is that Fallon’s Minneapolis office is down to around 75 people from around 400 a mere five years ago. It is sad news and it leaves observers in Minneapolis in a bit of a pickle.

Everyone likes to indulge in a little schadenfreude from time to time, taking sweet and delicious enjoyment in the precipitous fall of an agency that had been flying so high for so long.

Interestingly, the ex-Fallonites that I have spoken too are among those taking the least pleasure in the agency’s decline….even though who were caught up in the massive layoffs following the loss of most of the agency’s account. On the one hand, this feeling is self-serving. Fallon is on their resume as much as their alma mater is. Just like you want your alma mater to get more selective after you leave, you want your old agencies to do well if only because it makes you look like you are that much better. On the other hand, they are genuinely disappointed at what happened to the shop. A lot of people drank the Fallon kool-aid, not just because the agency did great work, but because the agency put Minneapolis advertising on the map. It is hard to watch them fade.

There is a lot of hiring going in Minneapolis as Olson + Company, Colle + McVoy and Carmichael Lynch in particular try to digest big account wins.

A common complaint, however, is that it is harder to attract talent from other parts of the country since Fallon started their downward spiral. Other agencies in town may be growing by leaps and bounds and doing excellent work, but Fallon is still the headlining shop in the city and with them down out-of-state prospects just don’t have Minnesota on the top of their list of possible destinations.

There is also a little bit of the “Austin Syndrome” where prospects have a niggling fear that should things not work out at whichever agency they move to that there will be no other shops to get work at unless they move back home. The worry is baseless, at least in Minneapolis, but that sort of niggling fear tends to keep prospects at home, making it tougher for Minneapolis agencies to get fresh blood.

Though there are occasional comments that delight in Fallon’s humbling, most of the commentary around the Twin Cities is hopeful that they will right the ship.

just who works at all these places anyway?

I am a Twitter follower of Zeus Jones Partner Adrian Ho and he had a comment about the LinkedIn company profiles, so I just had to check them out.

They are pretty cool. Even Y&R’s:

The most interesting thing for me, and perhaps for you whether out of general curiosity or because you kind of like numbers or even because you are thinking about accepting a job offer from a place and want to check them out, are the company statistics.

Not only can you see new hires, promotions and the like, but it will break down (based on the information in the profiles on LinkedIn of course) things like median age, gender split, common colleges and even the places that most people worked at before and after that specific agency.

So you can tell if it’s a dead end or not.

I took a look at a number of agencies in New York, Minneapolis and Los Angeles (wanted to see if there were any geographic anomalies…there aren’t) and everyone sort of fell within similar age lines and gender splits.

Outliers in my totally unscientific sample were Fallon which skewed older with its median of 33 and Goodby which has a sprightly median of 29.

That, of course, means nothing because pretty much everyone else’s median was 31.

The gender split was a little more interesting. There Cramer Krasselt was an outlier at 59% female while Carmichael Lynch was a perfect 50/50 split. AKQA, as you might expect in an un-PC moment skewed heavily male…like freshman in college party male with 68%.

Don’t believe it? Check it out and do a bit of searching and waste away your morning just like I did.

It’s worth it.

fallon snags wiggins & jobs aplenty in minneapolis

Fallon Minneapolis has joined the ranks of other Minneapolis shops and has started hiring again, according to Agency Spy they’ve stockpiled some interactive talent including former Zeus Jones partner Chris Wiggins.

Wiggins just couldn’t stay away from Fallon for long…especially not with the pay packet rumored to be on offer.

After a steady drumbeat of bad news out of the city for the past year or so driven primarily by the now-hiring Fallon and the still-not-hiring Martin/Williams (who have been in the tank for a while now) things have really been looking up.

Currently Carmichael Lynch, Olson + Company, Colle + McVoy, Kerker, Campbell Mithun and Fallon are all sporting a bunch of open positions, not all of them in interactive.

Advertising is a cyclical business, it seems.

And, as Fallon goes, not necessarily goes the entire city, though you wouldn’t have known it over the past few months.

It’s almost enough to get me to move back home, especially in the summer when it’s easy to forget how brutally cold and miserable winters on the plains are.

fallon is moving

Today is the last day for Fallon Minneapolis’ 50 South Sixth Street office. As of Monday morning they will be back in the AT&T Building, where they had been located from 1991 to 2001…it’s a nice building that kind of looks like an artichoke:

Fallon moved into five floors of the 50 South Sixth Street building during the good old days when it looked like they were going to hit 1,000 employees and $1 billion in revenue in Minneapolis. Things didn’t quite go to plan and slowly but surely the building started to empty out.

First it was one empty floor and then another, following the expected progression until they picked up and moved back to the old office.

But it’s not quite the same old office.

Instead of moving back to the AT&T Tower penthouse, where the agency had been, they are moving to some floors lower down. Sure, they have done a good job in making those floors look nice and respectably ad agency-like, but this is a real step down.

every agency looks the same

It’s true. The interior of every agency looks the same, only with different colored carpet.

ogilvy\'s foosball table

There is a little bit of hyperbole in the statement, sure, but anyone who has visited enough agencies knows that the mix of concrete floors, garishly-colored carpets, funky cubes, foosball tables and ping-pong on the creative floors and exposed beams and factory-like ceilings just sort of blends together to the point that after a while you could be dropped into any number of agencies and not know where you are until you see the color of the carpet in the entryway.

Then you see it is red and know that you are at Ogilvy.

Whereupon you immediately wonder what you are doing there and hightail it out of Dodge as quickly as your little legs will carry you.

Some agencies truly have unique workspaces, and the site Ain’t No Disco makes it easy to see which places are cool, which are desperately trying to be hip and relevant and which are sort of cookie cutter. Not that it really matters for creativity.

In fact, in a lot of ways it stops creativity. Like the concrete floor at Fallon’s old South Sixth Street office…they put a basketball hoop up and people played often, but I sat near there and as long as there was a game on there was no work being done in my cube. Which was awesome, especially on deadline. And like the pool table at the House of Biz, which I sit on the floor directly below and which reverberates with the sound of balls skipped off the table by the awful players at my agency. Another thing that does not help with my concentration.

But in a lot of ways it’s better than a typical cube farm.

And even if ad agency interiors are unoriginal when compared to other ad agency interiors, they do beat just about any other industry and that helps when you want to show off to a friend.

So it’s sort of a wash. As long as you don’t sit next to the basketball hoop.