SOURCE: Traction Corporation

January 07, 2008 15:00 ET

Traction Is Gaining Some... Er... Traction

San Francisco Interactive Shop Ends 2007 With Stream of New Business

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - January 7, 2008) - What do Wal-Mart, Adobe, Bank of America, Virgin Mobile, Clos du Bois and SAP all have in common? A little-known (outside of the Bay Area) interactive agency in San Francisco called Traction Corporation that is turning heads with an approach to advertising integration they call "engineered marketing."

"Engineered marketing," says Traction CEO Adam Kleinberg, "is essentially about architecting a marketing infrastructure that ensures the right prospects get the right message at the right time with right vehicle -- and each communication includes measurable next steps. We're an interactive agency, but we're using traditional and emerging advertising tactics to design interactions that extend beyond digital. We're designing brand experiences that bring together all the touch points from awareness to conversion and managing prospects every step of the way."

At a time when marketers are faced with an ever-growing buffet of media tactics and challenged with making them all work together effectively, Traction's approach clearly is resonating. In the second half of 2007, the agency has won a steady stream of new assignments for a diverse array of clients. Wal-Mart, Clos du Bois, Adobe and CaesarStone Quartz have all come onboard over the last four months of the year.

General Manager, Russell Quinan, joined the agency four months ago. He was formerly a founding partner, and head of client services and business development at SF Interactive, a leading digital shop during the first internet boom. "Traction's thinking, creativity and passion attracted me. Traction is a creative agency with a digital core -- which is a very powerful combination," says Russell. "Interactive is our DNA. That means we're able to provide sophisticated interactive solutions that can attract users with anything from wildly creative and innovative social networking strategies to emerging digital tactics to more traditional tactics to provide brands with a larger and better-managed consumer brand experience. And we measure it every step of the way. What we do requires a deeper understanding of how interactive communications really work, now and into the future."

The agency was founded in 2001, a phoenix rising from the ashes of the dot-bomb implosion that devastated the San Francisco ad scene. Despite hanging a shingle at this most turbulent of times, Traction has flourished. The four founders, Adam Kleinberg, Theo Fanning, Michele Turner and Paul Giese, consisted of three creatives and a web programmer (in that order). What may have been an odd group to start an agency, has led to a collaborative atmosphere that Kleinberg directly attributes the agency's grasp of technology to. According to Kleinberg, "The tech geeks are part of the creative process."

A new campaign for client Livescribe is a great example of Traction's brand experience design at work. Livescribe, which announced its platform last summer at Walt Mossberg's D5 conference, will be launching a revolutionary new smartpen at the end of January that will record audio and attach it to what you write on paper.

The campaign leverages a broadly seeded, unbranded viral video that sets up the problem of missing words. An end card directs viewers to, a spoof pharmaceutical site for a treatment for the growing problem of "Restless Mind Syndrome" (RMS) -- the Livescribe smartpen. The campaign integration extends to experiential marketing, outdoor, managing buzz, even the product packaging. Site visitors can also enter to win one of two smartpens being given away every day until the product launches on January 28, 2008. All they have to do to enter is join a sponsored group on Facebook, a key component of Livescribe's social networking marketing strategy.

"Right now, a lot of brands are going into social networks like Facebook and trying to pull customers out of them," says Theo Fanning, Creative Director and co-founder of Traction. "But people don't want to be pulled out. What we're doing, what I've never seen done before, is driving people into Facebook. We're enhancing the social network experience by providing entertaining content and a cool offer, rather than trying to bend people to our will. If they want to expand upon that interaction with Livescribe, we'll give them options to do that too."

About Traction (

Traction is a full-service creative shop that provides compelling marketing and advertising to some of the world's greatest consumer and B2B brands. While other agencies offer integrated communications, Traction's team consists of integrated people who understand branding and advertising as much as they get technology. The agency was founded when the industry took a downturn in 2001 and has grown steadily every year since. The agency's portfolio can be viewed online at

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