I would like to introduce to you a new segment to NE Creative where I "interview" Nebraska agencies. The guinea pig, is The EG Integrated in Omaha. You can visit them at www.egintegrated.com.
I had the pleasure of getting in touch, via email, with EG Integrated's Principal/Creative Director Bill Ervin. He was a good sport and answered some questions for me about EG Integrated. I hope you enjoy the interview and a sample of some recent work
The logo was something we did for Restored Hope. A transitional housing program for homeless mothers and kids.
The booklet was a community benefit report for Alegent Health. It contained some stories about people connected with Alegent that have made a difference in the community.
How long has EG Integrated been open?
Since July, 2007. But it's been 25 years in the making.
What is your staff size and what is the position break down?
13 people. Creative Directors, Art Directors, Writers, Account Service, P.R., Media Planning, Interns. We contract with a stable of other great talent around the Midwest as needed.
Why was EG Integrated started?
It's something my brother Tom and I always wanted to do. We have a ton of expertise in branding and we wanted to put it to work. Our father was a branding icon in Omaha. He spent over 40 years at Bozell and Jacobs where he created lasting identities for Mutual of Omaha, First National Bank of Omaha, Children's and Methodist Hospitals and Iowa Beef Processors, among others. We wanted to continue that legacy, and exercise our passion for branding and identity. And to bolster that, we thought it was vital to offer the things clients need in a full service agency.
So, we hired Jodi Hoatson, our P.R. director, who has a ton of experience in agriculture, culinary/hospitality, higher education and sports. We also wanted to offer media planning and buying services, so we created a strategic partnership with Dave Zemunski at Z-Media. Dave is one of the most experienced media guys in the Midwest and has a real expertise in the ag arena.
Our group has a very strong agriculture background and with the huge up swell in the agricultural economy, we saw a real need for agencies with ag experience. This is one of the best agricultural climates we've seen in decades, maybe the best ever. So, the timing was right to jump into it.
Beyond that, we have a vast amount of experience in healthcare, manufacturing and financial services that we wanted to put to work.
Who are the founders/partners/principals?
Bill Ervin and Tom Ervin
What/Who are your influences?
These are my personal influences: Frank Ervin (our dad), Herb Lubalin, Tom McElligot, Nancy Rice, Charles & Ray Eames, Paula Scher, Fred Woodward, M&Co, Michael Vanderbyl, Neville Brody, Frank Gehry, David Lynch, Lee Clow, Micheal Mabry. I could keep going.
What is the work environment like?
Pretty free. We have a group of extremely professional people that do a great job of managing their own work and life. We don't like to micromanage and we don't force people to conform to a certain profile.
At the same time, we don't tolerate people that are "too important" for the grunt work that every agency needs to do in-between the moments of brilliance. We all roll up our sleeves and get into the work and do it well.
What is the company philosophy?
Bring value to our clients through hard work, high level creativity and smart thinking. Don't settle for the first idea.
What is the creative process?
We like to work in groups to problem solve (thus the company name). And we don't limit brainstorming to just the creatives. Everyone has great ideas. And if they don't have great ideas, they might have crummy ideas that lead us to great ideas.
Who are your clients?
Alegent Health, Golden Harvest Seeds, Lindsay Corporation, Agrisure, GreenLeaf Genetics, Marian High School, Albeck & Associates Traffic Engineers, Lucky Bug Clothing and Flying Goat Cellars.
What is the company's short term, long term goals?
Short term? Keep our clients ecstatic about us and our work. Make money : ). For us and our clients.
Long term? Be the agency people seek out for great advertising, branding, and P.R. Not to become a bureaucratic agency. We want to remain nimble and responsive for our clients. That makes this a more enjoyable place to work and a more enjoyable place for clients to work with. Build on our ag, healthcare, culinary and hospitality expertise.