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Small Agency of the Year, Northwest, Silver: Creature

Seattle Ad Agency Even Sells Its Hometown on the Power of Advertising

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The team at Creature.
The team at Creature.
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You have to work overtime to make a dent with advertising in the Pacific Northwest. "Seattle doesn't necessarily care about marketing the way they do in New York," said Jim Haven, co-founder of agency Creature.

Mr. Haven was well aware of this when he started Creature with Matt Peterson in 2002. And the region's skepticism has helped the 75-person shop tackle national clients' problems in a different way (and international problems as well, with the opening of an office in London).

"We basically build all of our strategy on walls," Mr. Haven said. The team puts a business objective on a floating wall, then an insight or a design idea, then another insight, and so on. The finished product winds up being something that the client can literally stand in the middle of and look at the opportunity in a unique way.

The approach helped Creature identify "beautiful problems" for clients like Truvia, Double Down Casinos and Dickies.

The agency also helped the entire city of Seattle sell out with a campaign for the Seattle Office of Film and Music that was tasked with growing commercial production in the city -- with a whopping media budget of zero dollars. The effort not only garnered national media attention, it doubled the number of registered businesses and applicants.