Moniker HQ has moved


3.5.10 :: Update your address books, rolodexes, google contacts, mobile phones, outlook lists, web-based project management tools and notify the mail room– we’ve moved.

After a year in what can only be called a traditional office space (minus the ping pong table), we’ve taken up residence in a loft office building in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. It’s safe to say we’re happy about the open space, natural light and something they call an ‘elevator’. As Julie said the other day,”Food even tastes better here.”

The new digs are located here:
Moniker Creative
833 W. Chicago Ave. Suite #206
Chicago, IL 60642

If you don’t feel like typing in any new information, download our new vcard and add it to the program of your choice. We’ll be updating Facebook and the blog with some new pictures once we remove the boxes. Other than that, be prepared for a brand new look this summer along with some new work.

Ready, Set, Different

3.16.09 :: At Moniker, we’ve always believed being different is good and being amazing is great. The difference between the two is often about timing. Point in case:

Pepsi Ad

This Pepsi ad breaks one of the immutable laws of food advertising– appetite appeal. Or does it? In a saturated industry where slapstick humor and lifestyle photography are the norm, is it so weird to have a lime relieving itself into your product? The answer is no. It garners attention and opens the doors to a new playing field that Pepsi’s audience was ready for.

With that being said, designer, Chip Kidd still warns us, “An idea, no matter how good, ahead of it’s time, is a bad idea.” (Just think about doing Dove’s 2007 real beauty campaign in the 50’s.) We operate in a complex marketplace of thoughts and the question of difference always has to do with timing– finding the swell before the wave. The best clients know this. We strive to jump atop it.

So, when can you achieve critical mass for amazingly different?

1. When boredom sets in
If your business is not stimulating you and/or your customers, there’s a reason, and it usually has to do with ‘business as usual’. Remember– work is not boring.

2. When there is a major untapped consumer generated trend
Think Hush Puppies or Facebook, both of whom saw a trend and then surfed it.

3. When everyone else is distracted
I.e. during a financial crisis. While everyone is worried about what they do and how they spend, by taking a little risk you can stand out and maintain a healthy business.

Did we pack the Open sign?


1.20.09:: Just a little over a year ago I started my first assignment as Moniker Creative out of my basement (no joke, I lived in a studio garden apartment at the time.) Now, three trips, one damaged door jamb and six pots of coffee later, we are happily installed in a four room office (complete with what is known as a lobby). Within that time, we have built a fine roster of clients, found some great people to work with us and purchased a ping-pong table to hold ’status’ meetings at. Can anyone argue that this is not a pretty charmed life?

So, as I sat down to my coffee warmer and Google reader articles today, and it occurred to me, “How did this happen?” Well, ask any baby boomer and they’ll reply, “hard work.” Yes, this is true, hard work and achieving goals are correlated. But hard work does not necessarily mandate individual achievement. Just think of every hardworking stereotype–the coal miner, the steel worker or the hurried office assistant. Now, while some derive a sense of achievement out of this (in the form of a pension or respect), in order to feel a sense of personal satisfaction as a business owener, you have to have to have two things: (1) passion for that thing you do and (2) a vision of how that thing is going to play out.

Looking back at every other business owner/entrepreneur I know, they knew how many people they were going to have work for them, what client or customers they would cater to and what color their office walls would be BEFORE they had made a penny. Needless to say, these ideas came from a mixture of excitement, foresight and a fair amount of OCD (i.e. I determined the exact position of my monitor in my office one year ago.) Once this is achieved, you simply get excited about the next big thing and visualize the next step. Isn’t this positive precognition what the esoteric book  The Secret is all about?

Luke Sullivan, an award-winning advertising copywriter and author, had this to say about the ad biz: ” You should remember this. You’ll never have to do any heavy lifting [in this business]. Never have dirt under your fingernails or an aching back when you come home from work. All you have to do is think. You’re lucky to be talented. Lucky to get into the business. Stay humble.”

Well, Luke, maybe that’s what vision and passion are: luck we make.

P.S. In an attempt to limit this post to an acceptable size, (and to prevent the Oscar Commitee from blinking yellow lights), I’d personally like to thank all of our clients, friends and family for making this possible. [Cue exit music].