Interview with Chicago-based Jones Ad Agency

April 9, 2010

8:48 am

In this episode, I’m chatting with the folks at Jones, a Chicago based boutique branding and advertising agency.

I chatted with founder Scott Maney about what Jones does:

Jones started as an ad agency and over the last six years has really morphed with how the market has changed. We’re much more of a hybrid now. I think we’re much more focused on branding and design and strategy. We work with a lot of private equity firms that have portfolio companies and they bring us in if they buy a brand and need to right the ship. We come in and partner with them, and work with the brands to build value.

The people at Jones are all very talented in their own way and they like to integrate their talents into their work. Creative Director Dan Madole explains:

Everybody that comes into Jones has to have a certain sensibility about the place and how you view creativity and how you interpret business. There’s a really cool way to work and I think we have that here at Jones. You take all those sensibilities that are just sort of inherent in the place that’s been creative, and you apply that to our clients businesses.

For example, we’ll have people here that are very much part of the creative process. I’ve found that in a lot of larger agencies, you have these silos and departments. Creative is at one side of the building, accounts is at the other side of the building and media is two floors down.

You’re meeting but you’re not. You’re not working together in a creative way. That doesn’t happen here at Jones. We’re very collaborative and any person can have a great idea.

One of the designers we have here is a jewelry maker and another is very good a silk screenings. He sells silk screened t-shirts and his own art. We embraced that and had him create one of a kind Cubs silk screen posters for us. It was a nice way to take the talent we all have here and use it in a way that is productive and that makes sense for the clients we have.

Founder Scott Maney says that the big strength of Jones is their good insights:

We’re really good truth seekers and I think we have a really high bar on aesthetic design. Our writing is high quality and overall, our output across the board is high quality. We don’t crank things out. Even if the brand isn’t a high level aesthetic brand like Tiffany’s, we still apply the same sort of filters to it. The design doesn’t have to be beautiful to be beautiful.

I think we have really good insights on brands, defining what’s relevant and what’s honest about the brand. We have a really unique filter to bring those insights to life through our writing and design, and the way we see branding. I think our filters on the world are a little more unique than others.

If you can’t see the video, please click here. The music featured during the intro and credits of this episode is a song called “Storm Of The Century” from local Chicago musician Mike Mentzer.

Editor’s Note: This video episode was created by Tim Jahn, a longtime Chicago TECH cocktailer and storyteller who produces the online video series, Beyond The Pedway focused on better telling the local business stories in Chicago. You can follow Tim on Twitter: @timjahn.

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Tim has conducted over 150 interviews on, a website he founded for creative entrepreneurs to learn from the successes, failures, and journeys of fellow creators. Follow Tim on Twitter @timjahn.

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