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

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. Dan is also a columnist for TalentZoo.com and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.