gyro creates campaign promise written in concrete


Since I have been covering stories about Chicago ad agencies for Reel over the last year, and with an even more intense effort since Ruth’s passing, I am beginning to rediscover (and get reminded of) how great some of the creative work coming out of the Windy City really is.

This is the case of what Dentsu Aegis Network ad agency, and 2016 Ad Age B2B Agency of the year, gyro has created — an eye-popping USG campaign, which broke six weeks ago in structural engineering trade pubs and online.

The campaign is a disruptive and creative effort all centered around the question, “How do you do something creative for oh, concrete structural panels?”

The octopus, hippo and turtle are all effective metaphors for concrete holding a builder back from completing a mid-rise project on time.

Did I mention it uses concrete octopuses, hippos and turtles?

I spoke with gyro’s Executive Creative Director, Doug Kamp, to talk about the challenges and gratification when it comes to creating something like this.

“We’ve been working with USG for over decade now. And what you find is building and construction’s biggest challenge is inertia. Structural engineers find a way, or method, that they like to do things and continue to do it that way until something really significant happens,” he explained.

“They know what they have done and what they know. So, when USG came out with concrete structural panels, we had to demonstrate in a disruptive (and relatable) way that the old method of pouring concrete was holding them back.”

He went onto explain that in many cases, poured concrete tends to be more product than what a structural engineer actually needs.

“It’s heavy, slow, and expensive. USG Structural Panels have the durability and defense against rot and mold, and fire resistance of concrete while also significantly reducing the weight of a structure,” he added.

gyro's campaign for USG includes animated gifs

So, with the challenge of delivering, in a short period of time, a campaign that would resonate and speak to structural engineers, Kamp and his team, which included Creative Director Ted Wahlberg, ACD Mark Sedlacek, ACD/Copywriter Greg Fioretti and Senior Art Director Matt Olson, decided to use empathy and understanding of how engineers and builders go about construction.

The bold creative demonstrates effectively that poured concrete can slow down the building process and the USG panels offer a simpler solution that is faster and easier.

“We tried to just think of heavy things holding back. All the time frames that go into building a building,” says Kamp. “The weight of the concrete and all issues it causes. People can relate to that concrete weight is a really big problem. The octopus, hippo and turtle are all effective metaphors for concrete holding a builder back from completing a mid-rise project on time.”

The results are working according to Kamp, as the audience has found the ads relatable. And it serves as a reminder to me, what great work can be found in Chicago. You can see USG’s landing page here.


Executive Creative Director: Doug Kamp

Creative Director: Ted Wahlberg

Associate Creative Director: Mark Sedlacek

Associate Creative Director and Copywriter: Greg Fioretti

Senior Art Director: Matt Olson

Production Director: Natalie Snyder

Production Manager: Laura Martinez

Director of Digital Delivery: Vic Edmond

UX Engineer: Juan Lozano

Account Director: Dusty Williams

Assistant Account Executive: Taylor Ion

Photographer: Jackson Bittle/Bracket Studios, Chicago

Retouching/CGI: Robert Frolich – Filtre Studio

Twitter: @colincostello10