Direct response agency Douglas-Danielle, Chicago, opened for business this spring, with an emphasis on blending the creative and strategic sides of direct marketing at an early stage in the process.
“A lot of agencies are either tactical or creative, and we wanted to be both,” said Mike Browning, president of the agency he co-founded with Brandon Freed, director of client services. “We threw out the traditional organization charts and have set it up so a creative director can head up an account team or an account supervisor can head up an account team depending on what specialties are related to the needs of the clients.”
Browning and Freed, who left Target.com, Chicago, to form the new agency, specialize in financial services and initially will focus on attracting clients in that field. However, they eventually plan to work with healthcare, pharmaceutical and technology clients.
Among the assignments the two worked on at Target.com, was the launch of the Harley-Davidson chrome Visa card, including product development, marketing, initial acquisition and retention programs and event marketing. They also helped develop and manage the motorcycle-a-week sweepstakes giveaway that was used to draw attention and customers to the new card.
“They needed a catalyst, and the economics of the program leaned toward a sweepstakes rather than a points program,” Browning said.
The agency, which has a full creative and production staff, expects to make its first client announcements in the next 30 days. It takes its name from the names of Browning's two children, Douglas and Danielle.
“They represent everything in life that is positive — the urge to learn every day, to grow and to try new things,” he said. “That's what we want to be — it's what an agency should be.”