38. All roads lead NORTH

22 Nov

When you first visit NORTH’s website it looks more like an ongoing blog about new trends and branding than a professional agency. NORTH, a creative agency out of Portland, prides them self on being “part ad agency, part creative boutique, part crash-pad for artists, designers, film makers,  bloggers, bands and big-thought thinkers.” NORTH has managed to cut out the middleman entirely by not only using strategy and thinking of stuff,’ “we usually draw it, film it,  score it, tweet it and construct it too.” All of the employees of NORTH contribute to their website by blogging about their work, new projects and recent trends. Even their employee photos are unique to the company, following their ideology:

Brand Engagement for the Digital and Natural Worlds

NORTH works with companies like Deschutes Brewery, PG&E, Starbucks, Umpqua and many more. They also work for causes like Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Right Brain Initiative and Portland Parks. Each partner is picked because they hold some or all of the same beliefs and business tactics. NORTH is a compass pointed forward. Their streamlined and concise method of working funnels down through their employees and even their newly remolded office. Check out the video they made to show the evolution of the build of their new office: NORTH Building Evolution. The NORTH office is clean and simple with pops of color and some raw wood finishes. This mirrors the work of the company, clean and put-together with a hint of pizazz and raw texture.


NORTH Main Work Station

Dave Allen, rock star and Director of Insights and Digital Media for NORTH, visited our group of creative strategists to teach us about the differences between digital and traditional advertising. Dave went over the characteristics and effects of both traditional and nontraditional media. Traditional advertising can be expensive to create and change, but with the right placement you will reach the right people. Competition is limited and the message is very focused. Digital advertising is more experience focused, simple and low cost. Competition is everywhere and not just limited to brands. NORTH works with digital media, where technology and context are in constant flux.

Thoughts from Dave Allen:

  • To fail harder means you will only succeed a few times
  • When any brand or company tries to act like a person, I say bullshit
  • Twitter is not a social network, it is a significant news source
  • Your job should be an extension of your hobbies

    For a better look at NORTH’s work, check out their Vimeo site or website. Maybe if I work my butt off and pray to the advertising gods I can one day work for a company as cool as this.


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