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Sunday, April 26th, 2015

Eight years and counting

October 9, 2012 by Jon Finkelstein

Illustration by Hiten Patel

This Thanksgiving I celebrated eight years at Grip. When I joined, Grip was only two years old. We had just won Bell Canada, and the ad industry had a big hate on for us. “Grip is a heretic and won’t last a year,” naysayers said, “with all those egotistical partners, the agency is sure to spontaneously combust.”

We’re well into our 10th year now, and we have the benefit of hindsight. It’s been the most adrenaline-pumping, euphorically-charged ride I have ever experienced. Yes, we’ve experienced meteoric success: winning awards, creating our fair share of industry firsts. We were the fastest-growing agency in Canadian history, and showed the naysayers what we were made of. But yes, like every other shop in town, we’ve also had substantial losses along the way. Most recently, Bud & Bud Light.

Agencies prefer to discuss wins, not losses. Yet I believe there is a lot to be learned from losing assignments. It shows you who you really are as an agency. It invites you to take a good look in the mirror. Moments of loss test your mettle and your beliefs, and can change you if you’re not careful.

I am grateful and immensely proud that despite our occasionally frenzied EKG, Grip has always managed to stay true to our founding principles of trust and transparency. Being privately owned, we’ve had the luxury of taking a more philosophical look at business decisions and profit. It’s a quiet dignity, mixed with fiscal responsibility.

We know our good people drive the agency. So our focus has always been on creating a positive culture and doing our best to ensure the well-being of our staff, even when times are challenging. It’s one of the main reasons I have spent almost half my career here and why I will continue to call this place my home. It’s also why I know Grip will be around to celebrate our 20th anniversary.

Here’s to you Grip. Happy 10th anniversary.

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