Mike Byrne, Carl Johnson and Johnny Vulkan

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Byrne and a tiny Vulkan
Byrne and a tiny Vulkan
The traditional agency model is like the weather. Everybody—and we do mean everybody—complains about it, but no one does anything about it. The folks at Anomaly, however, have persuaded us that they're not just another press release by shaking up everything—and we do mean everything.When the three-year-old agency grew to a hundred people, Anomaly spun off an independent satellite, Another Anomaly—with its own space, its own partners, and its own clients—just four blocks away from its New York HQ.When they wanted to drum up publicity for pro bono client Keep a Child Alive, agency staffers took turns camping out at the Apple store in Soho, landing the first spot in line for the new iPhone—plus tons of free publicity and a big payday for the charity. The iPhone they bought, signed by Alicia Keys, sold on eBay for $100,000. When Virgin America's crew members needed cool new luggage, Anomaly cut a deal with Burton that actually made money for Burton and the agency by retailing the custom luggage to the public. And when Converse needed a new agency? Well, they chose Anomaly. As Johnny Vulkan, Anomaly's resident "commercial philosopher" explains, "It's really about provoking thought about the future of how businesses will speak to their customers and the future of media and technology.We think of ourselves more akin to Web 2.0 based businesses than to something from previous creative industries in that we'll always be evolving, we'll always be changing."

Vulkan, on hiring: "Curiosity is a big thing that we look for in people. Trying to create a culture that is inherently curious and finds ways to share that curiosity is very important to us. If you've got curious people, you can't help but constantly be stimulated and broaden your thinking."

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