Since The Creative Department's founding in the early '90s, two of the three founding partners, Lauren Anderson and Steve Deiters, are still at the helm. They credit their success to a mix of old-school and new-wave advertising.
"Since we're grown out of the traditional ad industry, we have a strong capacity to create ads the way they used to be done," explained Deiters. He's a writer and Miami alum, and Anderson got her visual design training in UC's DAAP program. "But since the mid-90s, we've built up our interactive prowess. So, we're uniquely qualified to handle many needs."
Indeed, The Creative Department has worked with over 180 clients. The many brand identities form a rich patchwork of Cincinnati companies and organizations. It's a credit to this optimistic team, who, in the words of Anderson, chooses to be "a force for good" in Over-the-Rhine.
Anderson and Deiters leased an office in Over-the-Rhine after deciding to try their own firm- she after a maternity leave, he after a layoff. "Economically, it was a tough time, like now," remembers Deiters. "We just wanted to do the creative end of the ad business - what we loved." Anderson adds, "Over-the-Rhine seemed bohemian - it had a cool vibe. People would rollerblade; we would work on ideas at The Diner, which was right across the street."
In 2001, The Creative Department purchased its own building on Sycamore Street. One week later, the riots broke out, badly depreciating the property's value. But Deiters and Anderson are proud of their decision to ride out the tough times. Today, Over-the-Rhine is experiencing a renaissance similar to that of the early 90s, and Anderson and Deiters are active in business-building activities with the neighborhood's Chamber of Commerce.
The Creative Department's web presence makes a strong statement of "good clean fun" with a shower video and concise, approachable descriptions of their services. A case study on Yagoot Yogurt shows a recent success. "In two years, Yagoot grew from one store to four, using only social media and in-store messages," said Deiters. For Senor Roy's Taco Truck, The Creative Department crafted the entire brand identity - including the business name, the look of the taco truck, and the "Shells on Wheel" slogan. The agency has also been instrumental in Busken's advertising and P&G's internal marketing.
Deiters credits The Creative Department's success to slow, steady growth. "We have a commitment to our employees - create a safe zone where they can do great work." If the staff of 28 expands and outgrows the current building, the agency plans to seek another Over-the-Rhine space. As Anderson said, "We've got to play our part to be part of the community."
Written by: Elena Stevenson
Source: Lauren Anderson and Steve Deiters, Partners and Creative Directors, The Creative Department