The family of online advertising agencies has an additional member this month, with the launch of fledgling ad shop barrettSF.
Aspiring art directors, copywriters and account managers may feel stirred into striking out on their own after hearing the San Francisco startup’s story. It’s the brainchild of veteran creative leader Jamie Barrett, who until recently was a partner and executive creative director at Goodby, Silverstein and Partners, and his erstwhile Goodby buddy, Patrick Kelly.
Barrett’s 27 year long career has won him accolades for his work on the NBA, Comcast and Nike. 2011 saw him hit his tenth year with Goodby. He also turned 50 years of age.
Barrett explained, “Those two things made me go, ‘I’ve got another big chapter in me, and what’s that going to be?’”
The rise of new small ad shops
He and Kelly are but one of a stream of creative leaders that have walked away from established agencies in the last two years to start new ad shops of their own. Other prominent names include Alex Bogusky, Gerry Graf and Ty Montague, each of whom, like Barrett, had reached an age where they could tap into an abundance of experience to launch their new ventures.
Commenting on the emergence of small new shops, marketing management consultant Ken Robinson of Ark Advisors said, “It’s a challenge for agencies, but a great time for clients because small, new startup agencies have a tremendous amount of top-level talent that is underutilized. It’s a terrific opportunity to get people who are going to work even harder to prove themselves and give you tremendous access and great insight.”
The secret ingredient: creative talent
And Barrett clearly plans to fall into that category. He’s already at work assembling a team capable of collectively doing “anything and everything well.”
The startup’s initial clients came through previous relationships. For example, Barrett was introduced to executives at the Redwood Association (a lumber firm which encourages the use of redwood for furniture or decking) by a mutual friend. Another client, Pac-12, came to barrettSF through its president, Gary Stephenson, who had worked with Barrett and Kelly while he was a marketing leader at the NBA during their Goodby days.
One thing’s for sure, this self-financed startup certainly appears to have all the talent it needs to make quite a splash.