These founding principles fly in the face of a heavily self-centric industry. It's a difficult, rewarding path we'll never abandon.
This is the heartland.
Where it’s far more powerful to say what you believe than what you think. It’s why the ace up our sleeve has become the indissoluble thread weaving through our work. Authenticity. Time and again it proves to be the one element that faithfully resonates.
Our people are a rare hybrid of tradition and trailblazing. It’s a blend that continually attracts some of America’s most iconic brands. We do not take it for granted. In fact, sit in on a brainstorming session and you’ll hear it. When the concepting crescendos, there’s a long, electric pause as the realization washes over each person in the room. We get to do this for a living.
Challenges are welcome here. We believe they stoke the fires of greatness. In an industry that attracts ego, our path is neither easy nor popular. But it is powerfully effective.
Using our talents, we engage and influence. Through our character, we serve with strength and honor.
If great were easy,
you’d see more of it.
Great isn’t easy. It takes longer, is more elusive, and requires more effort than “good.” We are committed to great — in everything we do from creative to media, proofreading to production. We never stop and always press ourselves with the question most agency people shudder at, “Is this the best you can do?” It’s a fair question. It’s a good question, and when you’re being paid to impact the bottom line, it’s a question you’d better be comfortable answering.
If they have to ask,
we have failed them.
We’re in the service business. If our clients have to ask us anything, we blew it. When will the copy be done? What’s this item on my bill? Why is the photo this color? I don’t understand the research? Why did you buy this station? Are the pre-rolls going live today? It doesn’t matter. It is our job to anticipate the needs and questions of our clients, and proactively address them — without them having to ask.
Win their hearts, and
their minds will follow.
Compelling advertising almost always begins with an emotional impact. Consumers are not waiting to hear or see our message, in fact the opposite is true — they are waiting to switch the channel, turn the page, click the mouse, toss it in the trash or look the other way the microsecond you bore them. And that becomes the world’s most expensive advertising. Effective advertising must connect emotionally. After that, you can build your brand, communicate your benefits, sell your products, and assure your future.
It can’t be compelling if it isn’t relevant. It can’t be relevant if it doesn’t hit home. And you can’t hit home if you don’t know where home is.
Sure as a sledgehammer versus a box of crystal. A campaign without a clear picture of the target audience is destined for mediocrity. At Brothers & Company, our President started our research department. This fosters a culture of due-diligence. Advertising is expensive. Making sure your messages hit the target exactly where they tick makes it infinitely more effective and greatly increases the return.
Early in Paul’s tenure as our President and Creative Director, he called a meeting with the leadership team. It defined the core of who we are today, what we do for a living, and how we approach service to our customers: We do not make anything. We do not have stocking inventories, proprietary technologies or long-term contracts — we serve at the will of our customers, and if we do a good job, they just might have us back again tomorrow.
Jay Brothers was a fine artist by God-given talent, a commercial artist by training and an Ogilvy-inspired adman by profession. He started “The Brothers Company” in 1974, in the shadow of a recession. It was the classic American dream — a big idea guy bravely moving forward in the face of a scary economy.
Jay grew the agency with infectious enthusiasm and a personal flair for advertising. Eight years later, Paul shows up. Recalling the training under his father, “An irreplaceable opportunity to be mentored by a true creative with patience only family can muster.”
The Macintosh revolution of 1984 saw Paul’s move to the creative side as a self-taught graphic artist, eventually becoming Creative Director. “My Dad gave me a front row seat to see what worked, and what didn’t work. It wasn’t complicated — do more of the former and less of the latter.”
Jay died in the Spring of 1999. He was 64. One of his last encouragements to Paul still resonates, “Hire people that are better than you, and you’ll do fine.”
Not long after, during a private tour of Walmart Home Office, Paul saw firsthand the high-stakes battles customers must fight to get their products on shelves. It brought definition to a deep dissatisfaction he had with the ad business, and forever changed our company.
“There is a profound lack of understanding in today’s agency business about our lot in life — we are here to serve. Yes, creative. Yes, strategy. Yes, planning and insight. But above all, we serve. Everything else flows (or not) from there.”
The little creative agency is now 60 people strong, with offices in Tulsa and Wichita. We show up each morning, eager and honored to work for some of the most respected brands in America.
This is the company that Jay founded. The one we’re building together.