Interactive In The Hood–River, That Is

This is another entry in AdPulp’s ongoing “Agencies In Strange Places” series.
As I was kayaking near Hood River, Oregon last week, I wondered why I didn’t live out there where it’s so gorgeous and the town has such a cool feel to it. Thinking that the urban realities of the advertising business limited my lifestyle options, I was curious to know if anyone could live–and work successfully–in paradise. Yes, it turns out–the folks at Blue Collar Interactive showed me it can be done.
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The partners, Tom Lehmann, April Donovan, and Rob McCready, are all interactive vets who’d worked together at another local shop–but stayed in Hood River for the lifestyle. So it’s true, you can work on big brands like Nike (like they previously did) and manage to get in a little windsurfing at the same time.
Why do a bunch of folks who work on computers call themselves “Blue Collar”? Well, as Rob explained to me, the agency prides itself on being hard working, delivering great work without the fluff. We’ve all heard the adage that big, traditional agencies are full of bloat and fluff, but Rob said something I’d never heard before: that even today’s prominent interactive shops are way too bloated–and therefore, overpriced.
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So Blue Collar delivers a model they call full-service, as they believe strategy and planning are as important to the product as development, programming, and analytics. With clients like Sigma Photo, MailChimp, LG and Yahoo!, they can hang with some big brands while staying small and focused.
I know there are a whole bunch of under-the-radar shops like Blue Collar Interactive out there. But few have such a kick-ass address, though.

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About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for TalentZoo.com. Dan published the best of his TalentZoo.com columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.

  • http://www.adpulp.com/ David Burn

    @Dan – I appreciate you making room in your vacation schedule to do some reporting last week.
    The web is a hard working place, so I appreciate this shop’s brand name and their lean and mean approach to the business.
    One note on Blue Collar’s location…agencies in Bend, Oregon also mix doing work for national clients with totally insane recreational opportunities right outside the door.