Spotlight on 86 the onions - "86ed the rest"

Hello world, I've been chatting with Chad Rea, founder and creative fountain head of 86 the onions in sunny Venice beach L.A. California, a full service, inside out, outside the box agency - or creative hub if you prefer. I asked him a few things, and to flaunt some of their recent work off. In the hot seat this month, 86 the Onions, with extra everything so it's in two parts, the interview part two is here.

DB: Show us 86 the onions creative hot spot. Where are the ideas born?

Chad Rea:

DB: What is currently the best to come out of 86 the onions?

Chad Rea: Hmm. Depends on who you're asking, I guess. Oh wait, that would be me. The best work to come out of 86 is the work for 86. We still believe that we are our most important client. And we demand a lot from ourselves. There has only been one project that was produced, a video game logo, that didn't turn out exactly how we wanted. And we blame the French for that one. If you're asking me to pick one thing, I'd say the campaign for upscale fashion retailer Sylvie & J. Not only did the campaign meet and exceed the client's objectives for virtually no money, it's probably the best demonstration of our media-neutral approach to creative problem-solving. I'm also very proud of our own philanthropic initiative Project Hello. It just feels good to do good.
Project Hello
Designed to give homeless people a name and a voice in the media, 86 is distributing 5,000 giant nametags to the homeless around the world. Photographs and films are being compiled for, a book, and a traveling outdoor exhibition in 2005.

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DB: How did Chad Rea, a Texan end up all the way over there in California? Did you make any pit stops along the way?

Chad Rea: Texan? Them's fightin' words! I was actually born in LA. I moved to Texas for elementary school, Colorado for middle school, Pennsylvania for high school, then back to Texas for college and my first job at The Richards Group/Pyro. I jumped the pond to London and Amsterdam to work for Mother, KesselsKramer, and 180. When Europeans asked me where I was from, I could only answer with the state I last lived in. It was fine for a while, even romanticized a bit, but then Bush got elected and suddenly everyone thought I was for everything they were against. Kids can be so cruel, especially where it rains a lot.

DB: Hehehe, yup that b' true. Bernbach said that advertising should be different to stand out. With this follows that an agencies culture should be different. What does 86theOnions do different within the agency? Apart from sticking their designers in their commercials. ;)

Chad Rea: Every agency likes to think they are different. While I can say we are unlike most advertising agencies and design firms, especially in the U.S., the reality is that we're a hybrid of all the great places we've ever worked. We stole what we liked, 86ed what we didn't, and added a few ideas of our own. As far as our culture goes, we might be likened to a, dare I say, mini-Mother or KesselsKramer, but how many agencies can you name where everyone went for a colonic? After reading this, my guess would be one.

DB: Show us some more work you did!

Chad Rea: Ok.
Hessenmob Skateboarding
Print and poster campaign for German skateboarding company Hessenmob.

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Click on image for bigger version

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Art Center College of Design
Advertising is rapidly changing. The old school rules are quickly becoming obsolete. While there might be other ad schools that teach tried and true methods and formulas, Art Center trains people for the new wave of communication. If you want to be prepared for the future of advertising, enroll today.

Click on image for a larger version.

Click on image for a larger version.
Motivation posters for FUEL TV. Part of an extensive multi-media campaign which centered around Dr. Richard Smiley, a crap motivation speaker whos mission was to motivate 15 year-olds to get their parents to order the cable channel for them.

Sylvie & J
Upscale fashion retail is all about the bag. 86 designed a new logo and shopping bag, then launched this boutique with a PR stunt at Fashion Week, an invitation to see the newly design retail space, a book, wildposters, postcards, and a bag scavenger hunt throughout LA for 20% off for life.

Continue to read about 86 the onions here on the next page

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