Wake The Town
Gear Seven/Arc Studios/Shift
Contemplative Reptile
  • International Edition
  • USA Edition
  • UK Edition
  • Australian Edition
  • Canadian Edition
  • Irish Edition
  • German Edition
  • French Edition
  • Singapore Edition
  • Spanish edition
  • Polish edition
  • Indian Edition
  • Middle East edition
  • South African Edition

An Experiment in Unplugging: The World's Most Remote Agency Outpost


Casey Gilford, BBDO's VP director of strategic planning on turning a classic Minnesota ice fishing house into the perfect hot box of creativity

An Experiment in Unplugging: The World's Most Remote Agency Outpost

At BBDO MW we’ve made a conscious effort to get back into the office on a hybrid schedule. It has offered a great balance of what this crazy collaborative field needs – a mix of in-person energy, plus some quiet work time (and the ability to throw a load of laundry in.)

But it’s hard to fully be in the moment, even when we are together. We’re constantly plagued by pings, dings and little red bubbles vying for our attention. This winter, we decided to do something about that. 

Introducing a little experiment called, The BBDO Fish Haus. 

At its core, it’s a classic Minnesota ice fishing house. But it’s designed to be our agency’s winter oasis, a hot box of creativity, and an incubator for out-of-the-box ideas. 

How? Well, it starts with the remote location – it sits in the middle of one of Minnesota’s very frozen 10,000 lakes. That means a day at the Fish Haus is a fully blocked day on your calendar. Oh, and did I mention there’s no wi-fi? When’s the last time you had a fully unplugged workday? 

What will you find inside? For those unfamiliar, an ice house has holes in the floor so you can drop your line into the icy fish-filled waters below. Ours is also a thoughtfully designed agency outpost. The brightly branded exterior will catch your eye from a mile away in the white of winter. It’s tricked out with comfortable seating, snacks, and a specialty cocktail aptly named the Auger. The Minnesota-themed décor features our BBDO mantra, The Work, The Work, The Work. A leader board to inspire friendly fishing competition hangs on the wall. And don’t worry, it’s well heated so you’ll want to linger.

The Results?

The season is short, so we spent the better part of February on the ice. As an agency, we’ve been out there brainstorming and team building. The real magic though, has been taking clients out on the ice. Amid the bonding of doing something new together, we’re able to broach the conversations we’ve always wanted to have. Those pie-in-the-sky chats that require stepping away from our desks, our budgets, and our annual briefs. The discussions that require abandoning our preconceived notions of what’s possible. The freedom to look at the brands we know so intimately from a different angle. 

Those magic moments are what I’ll remember most about this winter experiment. The moments on the ice, that broke the ice. The way the Fish Haus took our relationships, and our ideas, somewhere new. 


Agency / Creative
view more - Thought Leaders
Sign up to our newsletters and stay up to date with the best work and breaking ad news from around the world.
BBDO Minneapolis, Fri, 24 Feb 2023 13:48:10 GMT