Culture is about so much more than a ping-pong table. Which is why we also have shuffleboard, foosball, billiards, beer on tap, a candy dispenser, a Beauty Brands retail store, a spectacular view of the Kansas City skyline and pens with our company logo. But the truth is, our most valuable asset is our people.
We are artists, scientists, strategists, technologists, storytellers and data analysts. And every day, we put ourselves in the same room and figure out how to make an impact on the brands we serve. This is the approach that defines who we are and how we work. Also, we have a professional-grade coffee bar. Want to work with us?
Like no other time in history, companies are facing an unrelenting assault on their business and brand from a litany of unforeseen forces - from business models facing industry-wide step change (the “Uber effect") to the unrelenting proliferation of new always-on communication channels, and to consumers using ad-blocking technology to reclaim control over who reaches them. These are the very forces that we play offence against for our client's businesses and brands using an ever-growing range of marketing methods and modes, and we have a tremendous amount of fun doing it!
When not at work, Chris and his wife Misti often find themselves enjoying the naturally occurring "unforeseen forces" common to raising two wonderful teenagers.
With over 20 years experience, Lara's first decade in the industry was focused exclusively on the new and uncharted territory of digital. The next one was spent building out brands from logo development to print, digital and full-scale brand campaigns. Her clients have been both consumer and B2B: Optum, Lincoln Financial Group, L.L. Bean, Cargill, E-Trade and MasterCard to name a few. She has led teams comprised of strategy, creative and technical.
She has also grown the brands of the agencies where she's worked—as Creative Director with VML, President/Executive Creative Director for Lee Branding, President/Executive Creative Director for Risdall Marketing Group and as Vice President/Group Creative Director for Martin|Williams. Her work has earned recognition from The One Show, Clios, Graphis, CommArts and WebAwards.
The way I look at it, we lead by bringing creativity and problem solving together. We bring in the right people at the right time to find inspired solutions.
It’s our job to reimagine something greater than what’s in front of us.
Transformative thinking happens when imagination meets knowledge.
Frankly, I love problems. They keep us learning. They keep us motivated. They keep us pushing.
Encouraged by his Aunt Emma, Vernon first began singing and playing the piano at age 9. By 12, he was playing in church, by 14, he was competing. Today, he just sings and plays for the love of it. He appreciates the power of music to transform an audience. Vernon recently discovered his son, Noah, also has a good ear, but he’s into drums.
Give me a goal, a message and some data. And I’ll give you an integrated media strategy that creates impact and drives results. Media planning is both science and art.
I’ve built a team who understands that we are reaching people, not numbers.
So we need to understand more than demographics. We need to know what drives people to act. It says “media” on our business cards, but we’re idea people too.
Kelli’s penchant for numbers also plays a big role in her personal life. She admits to being fascinated by even numbers — whether it’s counting steps or the number of letters in her kids’ names. Kelli’s creative outlet is photo scrapbooking and tinkering in the kitchen. She tries never to confuse the two.
Yeah, advertising is changing—the channels are changing, the time and care consumers give to it are changing, the methods and metrics are changing.
One thing that’s not changing is that it’s still the art of persuasion. One-to-one, brand-to-human. And the human answers: Do I love it, like it, hate it, care less about it?
Experience still matters, and I’ve dealt with some of the biggest brands in the world—Walmart, McDonald's, Bayer, MetLife, Hostess, PetSmart, H&R Block, and others. Now I’m applying that leadership experience with a laser focus as Managing Director of a brand-new, cutting-edge agency model called Unbound. It’s a way to cut down on the number of people in the room and have only the ones you want thinking about your issues, and getting you results.
After growing up in the big cities of advertising—Detroit, New York and Chicago—Dave loves calling Kansas City home, where he's bound and determined to make Unbound live up to its name.
I could make one call for each client and be done with it. That’s what a lot of agencies do. They call a rep who then buys local broadcast and radio.
I believe there’s no substitute for being in touch with the markets and stations directly because it gives us the best path to current market conditions.
Involvement matters. Whether we are buying locally or nationally, whether it’s broadcast, print or digital, we need to be immersed to be good negotiators.
Vaughn is fascinated with locks and keys — each possessing the right cut to unlock a box, door or safe. Sometimes he wonders what secrets lurk in his 2,000-set collection. While Vaughn is the picture of mellow on the outside, he boasts several tattoos, including a Texas longhorn.
I don’t want to think outside the box, I want to create the box. That only happens if we start with a blank sheet of paper, really listen, and then bring our experience to bear.
A lot of agencies get access to data, it’s how we use the data that sets us apart.
In the end, we turn information into knowledge. Knowledge drives innovation and efficiency. Knowledge propels our clients past the competition.
When Steve’s not mining data, he’s fishing. Maybe he’s trout fishing with his son in Colorado, crappie fishing with his dad in Kentucky or deep-sea fishing with his buddies in Mexico. Steve enjoys fishing because he says it exposes the real you. Even if you don’t catch anything. Which we can only assume is a rare occurrence.
Clients aren’t interested in ads. What they want is impact. As president of BR, it’s my responsibility to see that we’re bringing real impact to our clients, not just advertising.
If we aren’t bringing impact, then we aren’t doing our job.
I also believe in creating a “be real” environment where everybody feels free to be themselves. A culture that embraces diverse opinions is one that fosters great ideas.
Steve projects a calm exterior, but the adrenalin rush of advertising is in his blood. Maybe that’s why he enjoys the rush of thrill sports like scuba diving, bungee jumping and skydiving. Next on his bucket list is base camp at Everest, if only the pace of running an ad agency would allow it.