Evan Peter: Brings big ideas to small startups 

As a former creative director for advertising behemoth JWT Communications, Evan Peter made a name for himself as a leader in one of the industry’s most visible entities.

But it was his time spent at several small startup agencies in the mid-1980s that proved to be his most valued experience — experience that ultimately led him to San Francisco-based advertising group Visual Resource, where he was recently named chief creative director.

"We had creative control, but there was still plenty of bureaucracy we had to deal with," Peter said of his experience with JWT Communications. "When I walk in here [Visual Resource] I just feel this spark of energy that was so common with the startup agencies. It’s like I’m going back to my roots with the boutique agencies and getting that sense of freshness and vitality."

Founded in 1999, Visual Resource is a small but growing integrated advertisingagency that has tripled in size since 2003, from seven to 21 people, and has begun to make a name for itself with its hiring of high-profile industry veterans such as Peter.

With clients including Gap, Hitachi and Abobe, Visual Resource has proven to be an effective marketer for successful companies. With the advent of new media tools at its disposal, Peter believes that the agency will continue to grow and prosper.

"The playing field is so even now," said Peter, a San Francisco State graduate. "Traditional advertising giants now have to compete with small startups, because of the emergence of cheap outlets such as the Internet, flash models and viral campaigns."

Peter, who has been awarded a TELLY and several Addys for his work on past advertising campaigns, will look to infuse his 20-plus years in the field into the effusive atmosphere of Visual Resource.

The key, Peter feels, will be finding the right mix of new media tools to help their current clients grow with the agency, as well as using those tools to attract prospective companies to Visual Resource.

"We want to continue to focus our efforts on our current customers, while looking to expand with new partnerships," Peter said. "The landscape in this industry is so interchanging, it’s not about following others — it’s about taking the lead."

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Will Reisman

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