St. Louis: A Great Place To Raise An Idea

by Jake Edinger


We get all kinds of credit for a free zoo, affordable housing and a business-friendly environment. Those are wonderful attributes of our fair city. But they can also feel like concessions.

It goes something like, “yeah, it’s not Chicago, but parking’s cheap.” Or, “that’s a pretty cool campaign—and somehow we pulled it off in little old St. Louis.”

As an incredibly biased participant in the St. Louis advertising community, I’d say we’re nearing the end of that sentiment. Just look at the work that won at last year’s ADDYs that went on to represent at the national level. Or grab a book that shows all the award-winning work from last week’s show that’ll move on this year.

And before you sneeze at it, look at the credits, the clients and the production companies who made it happen.

By definition, our local show highlighted great work by St. Louis shops, so that’s a gimme. When you flip through the pages, though, I defy you to walk away unimpressed. There’s incredible range in media, budgets and style.

Then, there are the clients. Enterprise could work with any agency in the country. And they have in the past. Instead, they’re doing comedy (Enterprise? Comedy?) right here in St. Louis with Cannonball and 90 Degrees West.

And that’s just one example. Boy Scouts of America, The Hartford, Dr. Pepper and AT&T are all loving us for our brains.

There’s beautiful work for local start-ups like Shift (by Toky) and Side Project Skateboards (Antidote). And there’s a ton of it.

Which brings me to our production community. If you didn’t notice, the film and video categories were the most highly-recognized and competitive within this year’s show.

As clients look for creative work that’s also nimble, more and more are looking to St. Louis. We can build a team and produce a finished product that isn’t just efficient. It’s also creatively impressive.

I’ll name some names, so you can appreciate the number of production companies that were represented at the St. Louis American Advertising Awards Show: Rukus Post, 90 Degrees West, Halski Studio, Antidote, Bruton Stroube, StoryTrack, Coolfire Studios, Once Films, Motionpath, Jay Fram and Electropolis.

All that to say, the tools are here. We have the clients. We have the production capability for any type of project, and the agencies here in St. Louis provide a wide and growing range of creative opportunity.

Makes me proud to be part of our scene, but more than that, it tells me that we are attracting and inspiring talent. And to completely misquote Frank Sinatra, if you can’t make great work in St. Louis, you can’t make it anywhere.

All produced right here.