reason #4 we believe in young isaac

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back in may, strawberryfrog founder and ceo scott goodson announced on his blog that strawberryfrog was getting ready to run a national ad campaign for … strawberryfrog.

here’s the ad that ran that month in fortune:

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“why not?” and “it’s about time!” we say. we love creative agencies that run advertisements for themselves. frankly, we wish more did.

sure, a strong portfolio and dynamic client list are important. but there’s something telling in the way an agency chooses to present itself to prospective clients in ad format.

two more from the strawberryfrog campaign:

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dropping down (in size) from a global agency running adverts for itself in a national publication, to a local agency with both local and national clients but advertising at the local level, young isaac’s been running full-page ads opposite the top 25 advertising agencies list in business first‘s big book of lists for the past 10 years.

at the s’more party last week, i noted to artie the interesting contrast between the late-’90s, copy-heavy “how to be a supermodel” versus the almost stark-white and copy-less “your ad here” that ran in the 2005 book (young isaac came in at #19; the 2006 book will be published later this fall).

artie’s reply was something to the effect of, “it’s because we didn’t know what we were about that year….” (i beg apologies if my recollection’s faulty here, artie). an interesting and honest answer, i thought.

both ads are evocative; i love the longwindedness and disregard for convention in the first (no one’s going to read all that copy!) but i also reacted immediately to the open space and confident reserve of the second.

expressed another way: the 2005 ad is the one that turned me on to young isaac and compelled me to take note; the 1999 ad is the one that’s pinned to the bulletin board on my office wall.

noting the marked difference between the ’99 and ’05 ads — plus, because young isaac does it so well — i thought it’d be instructive to see these annual ads together in a series….

… so here’s a ten-year retrospective of young isaac advertising young isaac, in chronological order, from 2005 – 1996, reproduced without permission.

there are only two repeats: “hop out of bed with a smile (and 29 more lessons clients have taught us)” ran in 2000 and 1997; and “every agency on the list is a great agency (a humble, team-spirited statement that we hope will prove self-serving)” ran in 1998 and 1996, though there are some entertaining changes in the copy between the two versions.

[ed note: depending on your browser, it may be easiest to view the below images by first downloading them to your computer and then opening them in a separate application, for image optimization and zooming.]2005-advert-compressed.jpg

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One Response to “reason #4 we believe in young isaac”

  1. Ashley V. Routson Says:

    I love your enthusiasm and appreciation for Young Isaac! Thank you!!

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