Sarah and Jonathan attempt to assemble a coffeepot

Our coffeepot went on the fritz a few weeks ago. Good ole Mr. Coffee had never let us down before, but now he just beeped and beeped no matter how many times we pressed the “brew” button. All possible solutions having been exhausted, we caved and bought a new coffeepot.

Sarah came back with the new machine in hand. Thinking the hardest part would be opening the box, Jonathan brought some scissors into the kitchen to help.

The new machine came with a lot of instructions. There were no pictures. The intended audience of the instructions was clearly not people who hadn’t had their morning coffee. This was going to be rough.

About 30 minutes later, coffee was dripping peacefully into the pot. The smell of hope filled the air, and everyone was able to get work done just by inhaling it.

The pot was almost full when disaster struck. Let’s just say it looked almost exactly like this picture (I search-engined “coffee explosion”).

Maybe we should switch to tea.

Jack Beeson: Saying goodbye to an advertising legend

It’s been almost a month since we lost our head cheerleader and dear friend, Jack Beeson. The atmosphere around the office has felt less exciting without his unbridled enthusiasm, less grand without his over-the-top ideas.

Whenever he came into the office, Jack brought a storm of energy and vigor for life. There was never a private conversation with Jack—we could all hear him on the phone negotiating rates with media reps, discussing baseball strategy with car clients, and telling Myrna he loved her.

Jack always reminded us how great it is to work in marketing and advertising. We have the power to help failing businesses succeed, to connect people with products and services that matter to them, and to make our city a great place to live.

He pushed us to do creative, outlandish things that no one else had the guts to do. One of our favorite Jackisms (and there are a lot) refers to the other guys: “We’ve got to be the best of the best. I mean if they’re here, I want us to be HERE.” Jack Beeson never settled for second place—at least not quietly.

Jack, we will miss your love for big ideas, Costco apple pie, and all of your “Field Groupies.” It’s hard to imagine Field Group without you, but somehow we’ll carry on and continue to be inspired by the exuberant spirit that you instilled in each of us. We hope to continue your legacy of good work and honor the man who made it all possible.

The Squirrel Effect

Around here, we use the expression “squirreling” quite often. I didn’t know that was an actual word, but my spellcheck didn’t underline it. Apparently it means hiding money or valuable things in a safe place. Well, that’s not what we mean when we say it. We prefer our own definition, which refers to when someone gets distracted or goes off on a tangent during a meeting.

Squirrel Bowl

Since Field Group is chock-full of wizards, geniuses, and specialists of all kinds (it’s true… just check our website), you can imagine how meetings full of impassioned experts might occasionally splinter down rabbit trails.

Squirrel 1

Now, the average squirrel might think that getting distracted and having short attention spans would be negative traits when it comes to getting work done. But we’re a little smarter than your average squirrel. We look at distractibility as an advantage, since it often helps us discover ridiculously creative ideas. What might seem like a short attention span is really a willingness to explore—an openness to possibilities. We’re proud of that. And, we have a pretty serious nut stash.

Squirrel 2

If we all thought in straight lines (“inside the box,” as they say), we wouldn’t have been able to come up with any of the stellar designs, campaigns, and other work that we’re known for.

Dancing Holiday Squirrel

The great part about working at Field Group is that we don’t have to be perfect; it’s ok if we’re, you know… different, or if we have short attention spans, or if we’re not mindless-employee-zombie-people. (In fact, we only hire people who don’t eat brains, but don’t tell the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. I can tell if you click that link, so don’t do it.)

Squirrel Drinking Wine

No one at Field Group could be called a “cog in the machine.” We aren’t easily replaced, because we’re all so unique. Our different personalities make us stronger together. Since we don’t all think the same way, we can offer multiple perspectives and points-of-view to make sure we’re seeing problems and solutions from every angle.

Squirrel Army

I’ve heard there are workplaces where they don’t allow squirrels, but I wouldn’t want to work at any of those places. It’s much better working at a place where I get to be myself, even if that person is so full of ideas that he could barely focus long enough to write this blog post.

Posted by Jonathan.

What the heck is a “Field Group” anyway?

There are many prevailing theories on the origins of the name “Field Group,” but no one knows for sure which (if any) is true. Our owner, Jack Beeson, is the only person who knows the truth, but he’s not talking.

Jack—This guy can really keep a secret
Jack—This guy can really keep a secret

Today, I will share three of my favorite theories about our company’s mysterious beginnings. You will have to decide for yourself which to believe.

1. This is the most common rumor I’ve heard. It goes something like this: On April 21st, 1989, Jack was driving home after a midnight showing of Field of Dreams. As everyone knows, Jack is a huge fan of both baseball and Kevin Costner, so he hadn’t slept for several days in tense anticipation of the upcoming blockbuster.
Basking in the thrill of his new favorite movie, Jack knew he wouldn’t be able to sleep when he got home. He decided to drive around for a bit to help take his mind off things. With the windows down and radio blaring, Jack turned his Volkswagen bus onto a highway and pushed the accelerator all the way down.
At that moment, a golden weasel of pure light jumped onto the road. Jack slammed on the brakes and struggled to take control of the wheel as he swerved, careening off the road and flipping over several times. When he came to, nauseous and confused, he was hanging upside-down, suspended by his seatbelt. He struggled out of the open window and found himself in the middle of a large field. The creature he almost ran into was nowhere to be seen.
Jack decided then and there that it was time to make a change in his life. Words from the movie echoed in his mind: “Build it, and they will come.” He figured he might as well start a marketing and advertising agency, and he would call it… the Field Group.

How were we established in 1985 when Field of Dreams came out in 1989?
How were we established in 1985 when Field of Dreams came out in 1989?

2. Words and phrases in Latin always sound important and epic, and “Fieldus Groupus” is no exception. According to this theory, Jack first read the phrase while vacationing in Rome. It was engraved on a statue depicting Caesar Augustus’ marketing division. This little-known group worked tirelessly and thanklessly to promote their ruler’s initiatives. Unfortunately, they were all beheaded following Caesar’s assassination. After learning its rich history, Jack wanted to use the name Fieldus Groupus (which a local Roman informed him meant “Field Group” in English).

3. The last theory (about which I have many doubts) is that the name is more of a description of how we work. It has something to do with the fact that we are willing to work “in the field” with our clients, and that we become so invested in their success that we essentially become a part of their organization. Their goals become our goals, and we do anything and everything to make sure those goals are met.

As you can see, all of these theories are completely plausible, which is why it’s so hard to know the truth about Field Group.

Posted by Jonathan.

Mad People

After I interviewed with the Field Group, I told my mother that my interviewers handed me a martini the moment I walked in the door. Her only knowledge of what happens at an agency came from watching Mad Men, so she believed my story despite my being a terrible liar, and even went so far as to repeat the story to my grandmother.

mad people
What my mom thinks I do

Unfortunately (or perhaps, fortunately, since I’m a notorious lightweight), I was only offered bottled water during my interview. I was, however, greeted by a blonde mannequin, with whom I almost struck up a conversation, but luckily I closed my mouth before saying anything and instead just awkwardly avoided eye contact for several seconds until being welcomed by an actual human being.

Liz Longbottom—mannequin and receptionist extraordinaire (and by “extraordinaire,” I mean she’s a terrible receptionist)
Liz Longbottom—mannequin and receptionist extraordinaire (and by “extraordinaire,” I mean she’s a terrible receptionist)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working at an agency allows us the freedom to have fun and express ourselves, which in our case mostly means being weird. It’s all part of the creative energy that flows around the office. You can’t experience this level of openness to ideas and thoughts at a lawyer’s office or in a hospital, but it’s a vital ingredient in making us successful. Our ability to think outside the proverbial box allows us to come up with genius ideas in a world that is full of remakes and sequels.

Field Group the Movie 18!
Field Group the Movie 18!

 

 

 

 

Agency life might not be glamorous like Mad Men (I’ve never actually seen that show, so I don’t know if it’s really all that glamorous), but we do get to spend more time being creative and helping clients achieve things they couldn’t do on their own. We also have a fully stocked bar at the office. It’s only used on Fridays—mostly.

Posted by Jonathan.