Commercials production vet Mary Lee Sjonell has announced her plans to open a new advertising agency, Bongo, based in Helsinki, Finland. Sjonell says target date for the agency's launch is set for April, but come this Valentine's Day, the doors will be open for recruitment for international creatives from New York and Stockholm for staff and freelance positions.
"We intend to recruit these freelancers to help create better ads for Finland," Sjonell says. "Secondly, we want to bring 'advertising' back to the concept of an advertising agency. Today, most agencies focus on strategy and boast of 360 marketing, even though most of the advertisers' budget is still used to buy media space, so we know that there is still space and budget for immersive advertising and great ads."
Sjonell says she has been planning the agency with top Finnish marketing professionals since last year's Cannes International Advertising Festival. The U.S native has produced more than 800 commercials over 28 years, working largely in the Scandinavian market. She's been credited as a spotter of great Swedish talent, having turned on Fallon's Bill Westbrook to the likes of once little known creatives like Linus Karlsson and Paul Malmstrom, and more recently, Calle and Pelle Sjonell (now at BBH/N.Y.). Sjonell is also a veteran scriptwriter and has worked on feature films like Passion Fish and Lonesome Dove. She is also the founder of Copeland, a creative consultancy through which she acts as a script doctor/producer and leads creative workshops and seminars.