“Zeitgeist” Is Gyro Worldwide’s Middle Name

Steven Grasse of Gyro Worldwide is a skilled self-promoter, and I say that with all sincerity, for self-promotion is a necessary skill that’s hard to master. Too much self-promo and you’re tiresome. Not enough, and you don’t exist. Like a soufflé, you have to get it just right.
With the help of Harriet Bernard-Levy, a celebrated French cultural theorist, Grasse is getting it right. For what agency head doesn’t want a French intellectual poking through his old campaigns and family albums?
According to the publisher, Bernard-Levy’s new book, Virus: The Outrageous History of Gyro Worldwide, “frames the Gyro story as a business epic, the tale of an unknown Philadelphia ad agency that taught the world to “sell out” and, in so doing, laid the foundation of America’s cultural and economic hegemony for the 21st century.”
In the book, Bernard-Levy claims Gyro invented viral marketing, while also launching careers of such notables as Spike Jonze, Doug Aitken, Quentin Tarantino and Dayton and Ferris. Hmmm…there’s likely some truth in these claims, but I can certainly see why the word “outrageous” is in the title of the book.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.