How Sockeye Plans to Bring a ‘Little More Portland’ to the World

Ad agency opens its first international office

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Who From left: Designer Julian Gese; group account director Shelley Stevens; co-founder, president Andy Fraser; executive creative director Peter Metz; creative director Tim Sproul; executive producer Ryan Crisman

What Full-service agency

Where Portland, Ore.

Since opening in 1997 in Portland, Ore., Sockeye has taken its mission to "do epic shit" global, specifically to Amsterdam. "The world needs a little more Portland where everyone is held accountable," noted Andy Fraser, Sockeye's president. "It's about spreading the love of truth." Counting clients like Adidas, The Oregonian newspaper and Mirth Provisions—a line of cannabis-infused drinks—the creative shop's first international office will open by the end of the year. But instead of fueling new business, it will serve as a creative outpost for its U.S.-based staff. "As Americans, we think we know everything," Fraser said. "We think being exposed to completely different ways of thinking about things will be great for the creative process." That creative thinking is key to Sockeye's success. For example, when Keen Footwear broke into the utility boot market with its first offering, Sockeye outfitted crews at a wind farm and a dam project with the new boots and created an engaging social media and ad campaign showcasing the men that wore them.

This story first appeared in the Oct. 12 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

@laurenjohnson Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.