Day 376

Much like my visit to St. Louis, I’ve come to find San Francisco is home to a very affable creative community. Part of this stems from the fact that many of the city’s shops reside in the neighborhoods of North Beach and Telegraph Hill. In these two adjoined northeast areas, you’ll find the likes of Razorfish, Heat SF, Publicis, Brave One, HUGE, FCB West, McCann and of course, Evolution Bureau. So, it’s not uncommon to see the various teams come together for a quick lunch or a few drinks after work. Personally, I’ve always been a fan of tight knit communities, so this discovery delights me to no end. Just because we’re all rivals, doesn’t mean we can’t become fast friends.

Another interesting tidbit I’ve noticed about San Francisco is the number of company campuses. Much like those I saw in Seattle from Amazon and Microsoft, several businesses here have purchased entire city blocks and transformed them into their own little branded worlds. I can’t help but feel this trend is mostly regulated to the west coast though. From what I’ve seen on my travels, most companies tend to expand up and not out. But, they don’t seem to follow that rule over here. Instead, they utilize their space to build parks, patios and accommodations for their employees. I only need look across the street to see a great example too, since the EVB office is adjacent to the Levi Jeans campus. 

All in all, it’s become rather apparent that San Francisco has a very unique ecosystem all its own. Things run a bit differently here and people are happy to go with the flow. That’s why I can’t help but wonder if EVB is nervous about their upcoming move to Oakland. With all the big players being housed here, EVB really is leading the way in many regards. They’re venturing out on their own and trying something new—a stance I fully commend them on.

I know they'll be fine though, because after two weeks of being here I can already tell it's the right thing for them to do. Not because they aren’t happy here, but because they truly enjoy being pioneers in the field. You can see it in their work, their philosophies, their overflowing ambition—and now—their commitment to change.

On a slightly different front, San Francisco is actually dealing with a rather annoying storm system at the moment (if you haven’t already heard). And it’s arrived just in time to postpone tonight’s EVB holiday party. I’m actually a bit relieved, because I don’t have any dress clothes with me. Ah, the joys of living out of a tiny suitcase. It's certainly something I won't miss come February. 

-Steve-

Day 368

I’ll be the first to admit that I was rather nervous about how my time at the Evolution Bureau would turn out. They’re an agency I didn’t have much contact with over the past year and I was unsure as to how they’d react to the project. Well, those anxieties have come and gone, and now I find myself sitting in the EVB office, eager to show the team what this little adventure is all about.

At first glance, EVB's digs remind me a lot of Recess Creative. It’s a smaller space that encompasses two levels and utilizes an open-floor plan to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Throughout the office, large wood beams, exposed ducts and plenty of crazy knick-knacks help create the space's rather unique and vibrant personality. And much to the dismay of my waistline, they also have a rather large stockpile of snacks. While I’ve only met a portion of the team, I can already gather that they’re a fun and energetic bunch. They continually exude a certain liveliness that fills the room with laughter and cheerfulness throughout the day. It’s a vibe I’ve grown used to on the trip, because it turns out happy people tend to be more creative—go figure. I have a feeling this is one of the many factors that helped EVB win their extremely impressive roster of clients, which includes Jameson, Facebook, Nike and HP. 

Much to my delight, I've actually come to learn that several people in the office already fully support what we're trying to do with #TGAA. In particular, I had a very nice conversation with EVB's CEO, Daniel Stein, where we discussed the trip's progress, as well as ideas on how to cap the whole thing off. We're also going to set up an in-agency Q&A session next week, so I can field questions from the team's younger members and also give everyone a better idea of why I'm there. As if that wasn't enough, they're also going to help put me in touch with other agency folk around the city and administrators at the Miami Ad School. It's only my third day in and already I can't thank EVB enough for how much they're doing to ensure I get the most out of my time in the bay area. Needless to say, December is shaping up rather nicely. 

-Steve-