Six Things You Didn't Know About Mekanism's Tommy Means

Agency Co-founder's Creativity Extends to Film, Flowers and More

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Mekanism's Tommy Means
Mekanism's Tommy Means

Mekanism first emerged on the scene in 2003 as a production shop dedicated to telling stories on new-media platforms, evident in highly entertaining integrated tales for the likes of Napster, Sega, Microsoft and more. Since then, though, the company has evolved into an independent agency unto its own.

With offices in San Franciso and New York, Mekanism is now known for integrated Super Bowl campaigns for PepsiCo, as well as broadcast and digital efforts for The North Face, Nike, Method, GE, The White House and more. The work has helped the company earn plenty of awards hardware, including honors at Cannes and Ad Age's Small Agency Awards and Agency A-List package.

At the company's creative helm is founder and Executive Creative Director Tommy Means, an Atlanta native who started out his career as a director but proves to have creative chops across a spectrum of "industries," as you'll see in this week's installment of Six Things.

1. His first exposure to creativity was his mom. She ran a flower shop out of the basement of the family's house in Atlanta. Her employees were Tommy and his three brothers, some eccentric Southern housewives and a few super-flamboyant gay men, he said. It was like a sitcom. Every weekend was a madhouse as they designed and delivered hundreds of flowers to weddings, debutante parties, and events. Their proudest moment was creating the medal ceremony bouquets for the 1996 Olympics. (Tommy made the bouquet in the picture above.)

2. He spent his twenties as a ski bum in Telluride, Colorado. He worked as a bartender, a bellman, a fly fishing guide, a landscaper, a camp counselor and a real estate agent. He lived 100 feet from the ski lift in a 125 year-old Victorian gingerbread house with five other ski bums, one big bong, and way too many dogs.

3. When he and fellow Mekanism co-founders started the company, they decided to spell it with a "k" because they couldn't get the URL to Everyone thinks it's a cool name until they hear that story.

4. His wife Gabrey is also the founder and executive creative director of her own agency, Grow Marketing. In a household with two agency owners, their kids have been pitched a lot of really bad taglines.

5. He produced a feature-length documentary film called "Surfwise." The film is about the Paskwowitzes, a legendary but dysfunctional family of surfers. It premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and played in theaters around the world. Doc and his family made a huge impact on his life and love of surfing.

6. He flies the American flag every day in honor of his late brother, Special Forces Staff Sergeant Ryan Means.

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