100 years ago, a New York ad man and a Southern belle fell madly in love at a dinner party, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Our history, to be precise.
This year, Doe-Anderson is celebrating 100 years in the business – a century of adapting, evolving and thriving in a world of relentless change. And though our humble beginning is the stuff of a Nicholas Sparks novel, we have a much bigger story to tell. So big, in fact, that we’re working with a local history museum to help tell it.
Every once in a while, we like to use this space for shameless self-promotion. This is one such occasion.
Doe-Anderson has been named the seventh-most-successful ad agency in the 2015 Graphis Advertising Annual competition, a show that highlights the best work from thousands of international advertising entries.
And so we’re clear, that’s seventh out of 109 ad agencies — from around the world.
Our ‘ohana just got a little bit bigger. Maui Jim, the fastest-growing premium polarized sunglass maker in the world, has named Doe-Anderson its media agency-of-record. Doe-Anderson will handle Maui Jim’s strategic media planning, buying and placement, brand loyalty programs, national broadcast and other creative projects moving forward.
While the agency has yet to secure a Maui Jim modeling agreement, certain founders (left) appear to be making strides in that direction. And we must say, it’s the best they’ve looked in years. Aloha, indeed.
It’s no secret that Doe’s been growing. But – aside from cramping the company fridge – our recent client and employee additions have landed us a spot on Business First’s “Fast 50” list, an annual breakdown of the fastest-growing private companies in the region. We’ll take a little less space in the breakroom for that (provided a second fridge is up for discussion, of course).
“Every state has ‘that agency.’ The one you can’t help but admire, or envy. The one where you’d like to work—or if you’re lucky, where you do work. The one that’s hard to beat. The one that critics moan is overrated. The one that, more often than not, just gets it right.”
Read more about what Adweek’s saying about Doe-Anderson, and about the other top agencies in the U.S., here:
The United States of Ad Agencies
Elmer Doe, Copy Chief at J. Walter Thompson in New York, tires of New York and sets out for greener pastures. Days after stepping off the train in Louisville he falls head over heels with a local debutante. An agency is born.
Doe hires paint salesman Warwick Anderson as a copy trainee for the grand sum of $0 per week.
Anderson gets even with Doe by putting his name on Elmer’s business cards, as Anderson’s success in landing accounts causes the agency to be renamed Doe-Anderson.
Doe hires Louisville’s first female media director, Pat Porter, who leads the department into the TV era.
Doe-Anderson incorporates and begins offering equity to all employees – a point of difference that endures to this day.
Warwick Anderson steps down as president, naming Larry Barker as his successor.
Hillerich & Bradsby, makers of the Louisville Slugger, arrive at Doe for the start of a 39-year (and counting) home stand.
Robert Allison becomes the agency’s fourth CEO, leading the agency onto the national stage. As the agency’s presence grows, Allison is named to the 4A’s National Board of Directors.
Armed with an impressive set of strategic tools and a very large cavalry saber, Jim Lindsey arrives at Doe-Anderson. Over the next 25 years he will guide the Maker’s Mark brand from regional obscurity to international prominence.
Maker’s Mark creator Bill Samuels, Sr., hires Doe-Anderson, then proceeds to write all the ads himself. His son, Bill, Jr., has followed in his father’s footsteps for the past 30 years.
Doe-Anderson acquires its first $1 million account: American Air Filter. (The world was a much dustier place in the ‘70s.)
Doe-Anderson plays a key role in helping turn KFC mogul John Y. Brown, Jr., into one of Kentucky’s most effective and high-profile governors. Perhaps surprisingly, the chicken does not become state bird.
Our radio campaign for North American Van Lines featuring Hollywood legend Orson Welles sweeps the CLIO Awards two years running. Welles is alleged to have commented, “Working with Bob (Beggs, CD) and Phil (Payne, Account Director) was perhaps the crowning achievement of my career.”
Art director Marty Jewett wins his first OBIE Award for a Maker’s Mark outdoor board. To date the campaign has received over 150 OBIE citations, making it one of the most recognized out-of-home campaigns in the world.
Doe-Anderson becomes the first agency in Kentucky to open a separate Public Relations division; it’s still winning clients and shaping opinion 25 years later.
Doe-Anderson’s TV campaign for Ashland Oil promoting keeping kids in high school is honored for its effectiveness by being read into the US Congressional Record.
The agency moves into expanded new quarters in the midst of Main Street’s historic Iron Quarter, in the conveniently named Doe-Anderson Building.
After 20 years of leadership, Bob Allison retires. Dave Wilkins succeeds him. Over the next 10 years, the agency more than doubles in size.
Doe-Anderson appoints only its sixth CEO in 92 years of existence, naming 15-year agency veteran Todd Spencer to the post. Insiders concur that Spencer was “clearly the tallest man for the job.”
Doe-Anderson trademarks its unique strategic planning process as Brand Enthusion™, turning traditional brand planning upside down, inside out and every which way but loose.
Doe defines, names and launches the world’s first ultrapremium rye whiskey, (rī)1. A barrelful of accolades rolls our way, including a Communication Arts Design Award for the brand’s package.