While Memphis, Tennessee, and Austin, Texas, are separated by 647 miles of road, the two cities are linked by rich traditions of music, barbecued meats and – since last year – advertising. It’s been one year since Archer Malmo expanded from its Memphis headquarters to a second home base in Austin. As we celebrate our one-year anniversary, two AM Memphis natives reflect on the 512 acculturation and their vision for the Austin office.
Martha Hample, director of operations, quickly picked up on Austin’s eclectic vibe and barbecue pilgrimage: “It just seems there’s something cool happening around every corner. Whether it’s a great new restaurant with a line of people standing outside, some sort of art or theatrical event or a ton of food trucks all in one place. I feel like it’s one of those cities where there’s always something new to discover. Franklin Barbecue is next on my list, but I was already blown away by the Salt Lick.”
One of Martha’s priorities for the Austin office is to become an important part of the city’s creative community: “We’re looking to grow the office over the next few years, and move downtown so we can be in the thick of things. Part of that is also getting more involved in local organizations like the Austin AdFed and in inter-agency events. In short, we want to be a big part of the Austin scene.”
Gary Backaus, chief creative & strategy officer, is equally clear on why he enjoys being in Austin: “The energy of the place. There’s always a lot of stuff going on. Austin also has fun and quirky things that are different from other places. You know, all of the stuff that it’s known for. Did you go to any shows? Did you eat breakfast tacos? I get that a lot in Memphis. What I also like is that this is a vegan and vegetarian friendly city: Arlo’s vegan bacon cheeseburger is unbelievable.”
Culture plays a big part in Gary’s plans for the Austin office: “We want to make sure that both offices share the same great culture. Over the past year, many Austin people have come to Memphis and vice versa. Besides collaborating on projects, we wanted to make sure everybody feels the same way about the culture and enjoys it. And that’s certainly happening.”
Naturally, growing the Austin office is on Gary’s mind as well: “We want to be recognized as a force in Austin. We want to get on the map as a great place to work and as an agency that’s doing really good work. If our Austin office grows to the same size as our Memphis office that would be really cool.”
And there you have it: As the city of Austin booms with opportunity, Archer Malmo intends to grow with it. With one year under our oversized-buckle belt, Archer Malmo Austin continues to work hard and play hard. Here’s to nurturing a talent-first culture; mixing into the city’s creative community; and using brand thinking, data and tech to make things happen for our clients. We’ll pass on the champagne for now and raise our beers to our one-year anniversary in the Lone Star State. Cheers, friends!