In October of 2013, Charles Pinkerton, one of the founders, and leaders of The Media Kitchen left The Media Kitchen to start Theseus Communications. He was the principal architect of the unorthodox and iconoclastic yet highly-effective approach to Communications Planning that led The Media Kitchen to be the fastest growing media company and most-awarded for its size from 2001 to 2006.
Theseus Communications is a channel-agnostic group of strategists, who combine the disciplines of Account Planning, Media Planning and Semiotics and have unparalleled knowledge and experience crafting campaigns and messaging for some of the most successful brands in history.
Theseus creates strategies for and works with Brands, Creative Agencies, PR Agencies, Corporations, Programmatic Buying Companies, Trading Desks, Demand Side Platforms.
The agency also invests in Artists, Musicians, Fashion Designers, Film-Makers and Start-Ups by offering them low or no-cost marketing advice, planning and implementation.
And, Theseus has a number of Lecture and Training Modules for Universities, Corporations and Agencies to help better understand and craft effective Communications and Advertising.
For more about Theseus Communications and what we do click here
The Media Kitchen -- an Early History
In 2001 , The Media Kitchen opened for business guided by a philosophy based on four major tenets:
- Where you say something is as important as what you say -- the consumer will associate your brand with the environment in which it appeared.
- Media and Creative are not separate disciplines -- Creative and Media need to work together to achieve communications success in a fragmented media universe and one in which the consumer was taking control of their media exposure.
- Channel Planning and Buying must be fully integrated -- there is was no Digital Planner, no TV planner, Radio Planner and so on. Every "Chef" (the internal name for employees) must be fully conversant in every channel and would be called "Strategists"
- Advertising and hence Media only succeed to the degree that it enters and enhances the culture it was in. It was every Strategists job to fully understand the behaviors of their intended target and if the media didn't existing to reach them, the Strategist was expected to make the media that does.
The Advertising and Media Trade Press and the industry gave The Media Kitchen little chance of survival. The President of one of the largest buying agencies at the time was quoted as saying "I'd be surprised if they are around six months".
At that time holding companies had split their agencies into vertical offerings: Creative, DR, Media, Digital, Search, and most media pitches were won on buying clout and buying efficiencies alone. A Media agency which didn't even seek to compete on what was the principal deciding factor in most new business pitches of the time seemed to be lunacy.
The industry's skepticism was not only fueled by disbelief of The Media Kitchen's approach but also their hiring practices. Many of their early hires were not from media agencies and in fact many of the employees had backgrounds in and had studied Philosophy, English Literature and Psychology which was unheard of for a industry that heavily recruited from the ranking of Mathematicians, Business Administration and Engineering.
For several months it looked as if the predictions would come true, the Kitchen's offering was not fully understood by many clients and The Kitchen wasn't asked to any pitches, and the frosty business atmosphere in the months following 9 11 didn't help matters any.
But through the t of tenacious and brilliant marketing and networking of then President, Paul Woolmington. The Media Kitchen was able to shoulder into a number of pitches and by the Fourth Quarter of 2001 and in early 2002 The Media Kitchen won a succession of new business which stunned the industry.
Sci Fi Channel (now Syfy)
Verizon Yellow Pages
Song Air Lines (a short-lived subsidiary of Delta Air Lines)
World Wrestling Federation
and project work from Citibank, Converse, HBO and Puma
The Kitchen's Strategists taking the "if the media doesn't exist, create it" credo to heart, ran a number of campaigns which weren't anything like the "media" campaigns at the time. They ran ads on telephone poles for roommates, created and sent box games to journalists, left "secret plans" in the backs of cabs, placed advertising on the back of people's own photographs (this was before the full implementation of digital photography), advertised on money, advertised via staging mock police investigations, by mock UFO landings and the first-ever use of a pop up store for Song Air Lines, which became a case study for leveraging modest budgets that would become part of marketing studies at Emerson college and the University of Paris.
During this period The Kitchen was recognized by a number of awards two Gold Effies, one Silver Effie, a MediaWeek Media Plan of the Year and was a finalist for two Gold Lions and one Silver Lion at Cannes.