20 years ago this month, we started our agency. The original name was DNA Brand Mechanics. We figured naming it after ourselves, “Gross Brown Advertising” might present some challenges.
Armed with two clients, two desks, a landline, a hard-wired internet connection and more blind hope than sense, we hung out our shingle. Within a month, we’d lost one of our two clients, so that really sucked. And at that point, we didn’t know if we’d last two more months or two years. But we never thought it would last 20.
It’s been quite a ride. We’ve weathered the ups and downs of the tech boom and bust, a big earthquake, the financial market meltdown, a tech client going bell up leaving us with $1 million in unpaid invoices, and the rise of Amazon. In spite of the craziness, we’ve been able to do some work that we’re proud of, that has made a big difference for our clients – notably the ever-popular PEMCO Insurance “Northwest Profiles” campaign, various campaigns for BECU, and the “Why Here” campaign for the National MS Society.
Campaigns aside, DNA has always been about people. The amazing clients who have hired us, challenged us, supported us and encouraged us to do our very best. And the 250 DNA’ers past and present who bring their talent, passion, curiosity and caring to the agency. When you hear something is a “people-business”, no other industry compares to ours.
As we start down the path of the next 20 years, we’re optimistic, excited and as full of hope as we were back in 1998. But today’s hope isn’t blind – it’s crystal clear as to how we got to where we are and what’s ahead. And we’re looking forward to it with an amazing group of people.