Over the course of the pandemic, we’ve seen a number of startups sprout up on the scene, led by agency vets (like Mischief @ No Fixed Address and Slap Global), marketing vets or a combination of both. Now, you can add publishing to that mix.
Marvin is a new independent media and entertainment company led by advertising and marketing leaders Geoff Cottrill and Gary Koepke and publishing veteran Marvin Scott Jarrett, founder of magazines Nylon and Ray Gun. Together, the trio say they say they are trying to shake up advertising by bringing together creative and marketing expertise with the direct distribution of an in-house media outlet.
“We are a storytelling company, not an agency,” claims Marvin’s chief brand officer Cottrill, who last served as senior VP of strategic marketing at Coca-Cola. Prior to that, he was president of MullenLowe Boston and also served in top marketing posts at Starbucks and Converse, where he led a number of entertainment-oriented initiatives including the Rubber Tracks Studio, which offered recording studio time and mentorship to up-and-coming artists. “We’re trained to think: brand, agency, publication," Cottrill says. "I question why they have to be three different things. Why can’t they come together, use all available platforms, put our heads together and don’t even think about the boundaries? We will tell a lot of different stories in a lot of different places—print, digital, episodic programming, film."
Jarrett, who serves as the company’s CEO, approached Koepke with the idea of creating a creative company that could partner more closely with brands on content while providing an-in-house media outlet (such as a magazine) rather than treating them as clients. In the agency world, Koepke, Marvin's chief creative officer, last served as exec VP group creative director at Hill Holliday Boston, but also previously held top posts at Sapient Nitro, where he was VP, North American chief creative officer. He also co-founded indie Boston shop Modernista! and was a creative director at Wieden+Kennedy. Prior to that, however, he had been the founding design director at Vibe magazine.
“I’m a lifelong marketer,” said Cottrill. “I’ve run an agency, worked at brands. As a leader of brands, the avenue of how brands can communicate with consumers can be quite boring. I got tired of ads.”