A HIGH FIVE THEY'RE SMALL, THEY'RE FUN AND THEY DON'T HAVE BIGTIME REPUTATIONS-AT LEAST NOT YET. HEREWITH, A HANDFUL OF SHOPS WHOSE WORK WE USUALLY LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING: DEYOUNG GINSBERG WEISMAN & BAILEY

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IT'S NO SECRET THAT THE LOS ANGELES AGENCY COMMU-nity's perception of Orange County is that of a creative backwoods. Dominated by stodgy high-tech and real estate clients, the mostly suburban area tucked between L.A. and San Diego has for years struggled to shake its sleepy reputation.

But at least one shop, the Costa Mesa-based deYoung Ginsberg Weisman & Bailey, is taking pains to rouse this creative snooze. In the last three years, the seven-year-old, $25 million shop-better known as dGWB-has almost single-handedly increased the area's visibility with offbeat, comic work for clients like STA Travel, for which it created an eclectic group of posters that combined weird photos, funky type and headlines like, "Does your travel agent know why you should bring nylons on your surf trip to Queensland?" The agency's raw, homespun print appeal extends to b&w scrawled ads for Shimano fishing gear as well as Pacific Snax, for which its dino-decorated Jurassic line helped earn the agency's then freelance arm, Acme Advertising, four top awards at L.A.'s Beldings show last year.

More recently, CD Wade Konaikowsky directed a low-budget TV campaign for Vans footwear documenting the juvenile antics of a Gen-X dude let loose in a shoe factory. "We're doing better," admits Konaikowsky, who's been with dGWB about two years. "But it's not like we've grasped the Holy Grail yet." Maybe not, but since the departure of Sakol Mongkolkasetarin, who launched Acme Advertising as a full-time gig, the 40-year-old Konaikowsky has grabbed some established talent, including writer Ellen Shakespeare, who's freelanced at Goodby Silverstein, Cole & Weber and The Bomb Factory, and AD Eric Springer, formerly at Goldberg Moser O'Neill in San Francisco.

A native Texan who grew up in San Diego, Konaikowsky, who earlier worked at San Diego's Franklin & Associates, has rejected recent job offers in L.A. and elsewhere, he says, "because I'm not a big city person and I like the challenge of living in an outer market."

Led by the $6 million El Pollo Loco restaurants, the shop's client list includes Clarion car audio, Thermador kitchen appliances and California Tan, which bill around $3 million apiece.

Konaikowsky considers it a major coup to have recently been invited to pitch the $20 million Vons supermarket account, now whittled down to four bigger, more seasoned L.A. agencies (Dailey & Associates, McCann-Erickson, Lintas Campbell Ewald and Saatchi & Saatchi DFS/Pacific). To what does Konaikowsky attribute the invitation? "Well, it's not like we're cinematic geniuses," he says. "It must

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