March 17 is a noteworthy date in America as it’s St. Patrick’s Day. And while almost everyone gathered at John Hawk’s Pub in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin were hoisting green beers in Celtic celebration, two guys were toasting day one as owners of an advertising agency.
That was 1986, and this is now — 34 beers and 34 years later.
Needless to say, the advances in technology, data capture, analyses and analytics make my early days in advertising feel almost Neanderthal. We wrote copy on typewriters with White Out. Art directors deployed pencils or markers to render layouts. Type was delivered in sheets by typographers, where paste up “artists” did their thing. SRDS books filled the media department. Reps schmoozed agency influentials, agency influentials schmoozed clients, and yes, the multi-martini lunch where we solved the world’s problems by 3 PM still existed. And our first fax machine? In the photocopy center on the first floor where our office was located, a buck a sheet.
As a would-be novelist with a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing and no advertising experience per se, I was lucky to land a copywriter job at a firm looking to bring in someone cheap. Fortunately, I was a fairly quick study but more importantly, I somehow stumbled into the ability to make connections with people — and brought in 2 new clients to that agency within 6 months of my hire. One of those clients was a destination marketing organization that followed me from first agency, to second agency, to my own agency.
I had a frustrating partner for 8 years who went off on his own, and a great partner for 10 years who left to chase his dream. I employed maybe hundreds of people — most of them talented, a few of them geniuses, a dose of fakers and the occasional malcontent.
Today, the 2020 version of NOISE Inc. has me as excited and energized as that first St. Patrick’s Day. Our team is highly talented, extremely passionate, perfection oriented, success driven, youthful, experienced, vested in client success and a joy to work with.
I’ve had the opportunity to create for more than 100 brands — and see my agency gain extensive expertise in a variety of consumer service industries including hospitality, healthcare, entertainment, real estate, retail, food, beverage, finance, insurance, recreation and causes. That work has been recognized by more than 1,000 awards, media praise and even university textbook profiles.
All that said and done, what I’m most proud of:
- The constant evolution of the agency to embrace new technology, new means of messaging, new media, new key performance indicators. Today, NOISE is a robust brand activation agency that’s leading edge in creative, methodology, delivery and accountability.
- The consistent emphasis of NOISE on data-driven strategy, innovative tactics, superlative messaging, the pursuit of perfection and the focus on revenue growth for our clients — proving that great creative, combined with thought leadership and delivered with precision, can positively affect a client’s bottom line.
- The belief from day 1 to day 12,410 (and counting) that it’s in the best interest of both NOISE and our clients to foster an environment that encourages, expects and rewards individual growth. I can’t tell you how many former interns or young professionals looking for a break are today amazing talents at firms across the country — but they’re plenty and I applaud each of them and their accomplishments.
- The focus on win-win client relationships — built on mutual respect, trust, confidence and the knowledge that (pardon the cliche, but it’s true) your success is our success.
Today, the 2020 version of NOISE Inc. has me as excited and energized as that first St. Patrick’s Day. Our team is highly talented, extremely passionate, perfection oriented, success driven, youthful, experienced, vested in client success and a joy to work with. I’m lucky to have a CEO owner who also doubles as my spouse, and a Partner who geeks out about branding, marketing, innovation and client success as much (if not more) as I do. Nothing is too big or too inconvenient or too early in the morning or too late at night for them. They are “for the win,” for NOISE and our clients.
After 34 years, that makes it easy to get up in the morning and go to work. I thank them for that.
So that’s who and what NOISE Inc. is. If that sounds like a fit for you — be you a national brand, boutique startup or wanna-be NOISEmaker — hit me up. And cheers to beers and years.
— John Sprecher