StrawberryFrog Places An Ad For…StrawberryFrog

A few years back, I wrote a column in which I wondered why more ad agencies didn’t place ads for themselves. I mean ads targeting prospective clients, not the inside industry kind (think “humping lions”). Of course, decades ago the big ad agencies did, but the only recent example I had found a few years back was for a Houston agency.
It’s one thing to advertise in Texas Monthly. But StrawberryFrog takes it to a whole new level, advertising in the current issue of Fortune.
Click on the ad to enlarge it.
What strikes me right away is that there are actually three paragraphs of body copy. Oh, the blasphemy! Don’t they know how little attention today’s CEOs and CMOs have? Who in their right mind has time for all that verbage?!?
Actually, I kinda think the ad is very Howard Gossage-like in its approach, with a question for a headline and a focus on a T-shirt rather than directly focusing on the agency’s current work. You actually have to read the ad to get the whole idea.
Whether this effort will pay off with the Fortune audience, we’ll see. But I love the fact that StrawberryFrog is trying. The rest of Fortune is filled with ads for such venerated names as Morgan Stanley, Acura, Visa, and GE. Obviously, StrawberryFrog thinks they deserve a place alongside those other companies.

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 Dan published the best of his 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.


  1. If they have time to read Fortune, they have time to read the ad.
    Maybe Fortune wasn’t the best buy.

  2. i like this. i hope it starts a trend. i’ve always wondered why we don’t advertise ourselves more often. and i actually think this is a pretty nice ad. it says something intriguing (can you pass the t-shirt test), which makes me want to read more. for me, fortune is a smart buy because it puts sf right in there with the big guns. as an industry, we need to be thought of as a necessary tool for big business if we are going to survive. i think this is a step in that direction.

  3. I don’t know, the ad seems to say exactly the same stuff that tons of other ad agencies say.
    Strawberry Frog is a good shop, so i guess they figure they can actually support their declarations with good work and results.

  4. We run advertising for our agency. Yup, we think that they deliver a strong selling proposition — and, no they do not show our “creative.”
    In our case, they are about smart ideas that we do for clients like the Napa wine industry, a big regional bank, a power company, etc. The ads, unlike the direct marketing we also do for the agency, is ad-like, just like strawberryfrog’s.
    I do wonder if doing “branding” ads is an efficient idea. After all, we want to generate a call. But then, my partner says I am ADD and we should give the ads time.
    So, small Ralston360 advertises. I bet other agencies do as well. Bravo to strawberryfrog for spending the big bucks, but others do too.
    PS. Saatchi launched with a full page ad way back when. This really isn’t a very new idea after all.

  5. If you run an ad in a national business pub implying that the reader’s branding efforts are sub-par and yours is great, it had better be. Otherwise, the only thing you advertise is how off-base and arrogant you are.
    Does SF’s own brand pass the t-shirt test? I’d be most curious to know what the readers would say to that.