We recently learned that “Minneapolis advertising powerhouse Fallon” (as the Star Tribune likes to call it) will soon be moving in across the street. That means 200 more “agency” folks will be wandering around the North Loop neighborhood—or what one of Fallon’s bigshots referred to as “a young, killer neighborhood”.
Our first reaction to this was “hey, we moved into this neighborhood when your creative director was in kindergarten!” (We have no idea if that’s true, and they probably have at least 20 creative directors, but I digress).
This isn’t the first time we got that uneasy feeling that the big kids were moving into our fort and claiming it as their own. Olson arrived a few years ago and took over Darby’s (the bar in the basement of our building that admittedly, without Olson, may not still be there). Modern Climate moved in recently and plastered their name on the side of an old brick building that, until then, had not allowed anyone to deface it with something so outrageous as a business name (other than Gardner Hardware who had been there since 1884).
Not to mention all the other boutique agencies like us that have inundated the 1-mile radius around our offices over the past 18 years. But, as far as we know, we were the first ones here. That means we are the real trailblazers. And by “we”, I mean the founding partners Megan, Maureen, and Fred, who took a chance on a scrappy little building in an off-the-beaten-path section of downtown and created a space that they and their employees would enjoy coming to on a daily basis.
As one of their employees, I’m grateful for that.
But I’m also okay with the Fallon hipsters moving in. After all, they’re not really our competition. They are a gigantic ad agency and we’re small marketing agency. They like to work with clients who have gigantic budgets, and who can pay gigantic retainers. We like to work with mid-sized companies who need our marketing smarts and strategy (and our flexibility).
So, to Fallon and all the other agency folks wandering around our neighborhood, I say “Welcome…we’re glad you’re here! But don’t forget who started the trend almost 19 years ago”.