Mekanism is a spin off from an animation and production house in San Francisco, established at the turn of the century. Beginning as a production house, they have worked with serveral tech and FMCG brands, making story telling the core of their view. Now they have established themselves as a formal advertising agency and split their work between film making, game making and social media work. With a 60-strong team, of which 11 are in the social media team, they associate themselves with brands and projects that are a little out there and interesting.
The company has found that their clients do tend to understand the opportunity of social, but will often be conservative in what they adopt for social strategies. They notice that budgets are getting bigger and organisational risk is opening up.
The majority of Mekanism’s brands are in New York, but their presence in the Bay area gives them capability to work with emergent products. They find out about products as they are launched and Mekanism start to work with such products in advertising, thus positioning themselves as an experimental tech advertising agency.
Director of Social Media, Brendan Gahan says that the clients they have worked with become friends because they have acted as a source of the development of those companies.
While there is a strong relationship with research communities from places like Stanford, there is now so much money in the Bay area, that the area is effectually self-sustaining. The point is made that the sheer number of start-ups is probably not sustainable, but there will be an investment culture for perhaps bigger projects and more competitive projects down the road.
Mekanism notes that startups cannot take the financial risk to work with them, but they can give them the insight into what technology is coming up. As a result, their primary strategic focus is with major brands, with a focus on mobile and viral meme generation.
Facebook has the most mature social platform for ad spend and to guarantee shares for content. And the development of Facebook in the mobile space and twitter as a platform independent communications channel is an obvious focus for future business.
Like other companies in the area Mekanism does struggle to hire quality people in the area. But they are clear that they want to sustain the culture of the organisation.
They have an office in New York and feel there is momentum there but the main reason for growing their office there is primarily to access Pepsi, their key client.