The Keiler agency is set in the scenic Connecticut countryside, has prestigious national clients in sophisticated, complex industries, is led by a former Madison Ave exec with a true appreciation for the classic art of advertising, is majority-women-owned and is staffed by professionals dedicated to strategic rigor and creative excellence.
That alone would make Keiler unique and special in its own right.
The fact that some of its staff members co-habitate premises with the ghost of some poor soul who passed away over a hundred years ago makes it.… umm…. well…… sort of surreal.
“There’s an old farmhouse on the site where our building stands,’ CEO Lynn Taylor explained. ”A few years ago, we moved our account group out there. Since then, staffers have been bothered by some mysterious presence when they work late at night. I think our ghost is a bit snarky about the ad biz.”
Keiler (www.keiler.com) has an interesting history of its own. The agency was founded in 1973 by Dick Keiler. Since then, Keiler has been housed in the same building in Farmington, Connecticut, beginning in the basement and now occupying the entire premises – all 25,000 square feet, testament to the agency’s growth. The aforementioned old farmhouse was built in 1713 -- but more about that later.
“B2B and integrated marcom services have always been vital parts of the agency’s DNA,” Taylor told us. And that leads to the agency’s obsessiveness on strategy. “We have a keen appreciation for the entire continuum of strategic thinking – from business strategy to marketing strategy to branding and positioning strategies and then right down through execution,” Taylor said. “Our creative work absolutely reflects the brand’s key strategic insights.”
Keiler lists Lockheed Martin and Deloitte as its largest two clients – both competing in industries which require understanding of complex technologies and issues.
Recently, the agency began a new division. "We launched a health care business unit with a uniquely-Keiler twist," Taylor said. When most people think of health care advertising, they think of television ads featuring long walks on the beach and couples holding hands. But Keiler Healthcare's focus is on medical device manufacturers, hospitals, bio-tech startups and other medical-related businesses that will benefit from the agency's strategic approach toward the challenges health care marketers are currently facing.
Despite the agency’s emphasis on clients in complex, sophisticated categories, “we never try to dumb things down,” Taylor added. “Our goal is to make the story as human as possible without making it simplistic.”
Now back to the agency’s snarkiest staff member.
“We tried to look at historical records to figure out who the ghost might be,” Taylor said. “But over the years many people lived there – farmers, blacksmiths, candlemakers …so it's difficult to tell.” Although anonymous, the “occupant” in the old farmhouse has left a lasting imprint.
The agency’s twitter handle is @Keilerghost.