KC is seeking an Office Administrator to manage front desk duties, provide organizational support to the agency and assist all teams. We are looking for a driven individual looking to become part of an engaging culture with opportunities to grow their career. If you are self- motivated, curious, and passionate about finding a job you love in the agency world, send your earliest start date and resume to jobs@kctruth.com.

Responsibilities are varied and include:

  • Being the face of the agency and running the front desk
    • Opening and closing of the office
    • Answering phones
    • Meeting preparation and set-up
    • Mail, couriers and shipping management
    • Parking validations
    • Keeping up office appearances/Light housekeeping
    • Stocking and ordering supplies
  • Assisting multidisciplinary teams
    • Anticipate needs of staff, owner and clients
    • Meeting/calendar scheduling
    • Book travel
    • Proofing agency and client work
    • Managing status documents
    • Scanning, filing & saving documents
    • Support Finance team with clerical duties
  • Supporting agency growth
    • Process management
    • Maintain mailing lists, CRM software
    • Assist new business pitches, presentations and projects
    • New business content tracking
    • Support new agency initiatives
    • Planning Help
    • Assist with planning agency outings, agency and/or client parties and other
    • Truth Bar activities
  • Making yourself indispensable to everyone in the agency!page1image55703232 page1image55703424

Applicant Must:

  • Be able to multi-task and track a lot of details
  • Have excellent interpersonal skills
  • Be proactive in providing support to our busy teams
  • Be able to work independently AND as part of a team
  • Have strong written and verbal skills
  • Be self-directed and able to ask for help when needed
  • Be proficient in Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, PPT)
  • Undergraduate degree preferred
  • Previous office/administrative experience a plus

KC Values:

  • Passionate: Give a shit about KC, what you do and the people here with you
  • Curious: Listen, ask insightful questions, have a point-of-view, learn and grow
  • Collaborative: Be humble, confident, and respectful and assist in generating ideas
  • Resourceful: Willing and able to do what it takes to get the job done right, including
  • asking others for help
  • No BS: Straightforward, authentic, and accountable

Position Pay:

  • Salary depends on experience
  • Health Insurance
  • Retirement Plan
  • Paid Time Off

The problem with working on-the-go: You can’t take the cubicle with you.

3M, the experts in screen privacy, wanted to raise awareness among business travelers that visual hacking can happen anywhere (especially while traveling for work), but that it’s easy to protect the sensitive information displayed on their screens with the help of a 3M Privacy Filter.

What better place to show someone how they can get some privacy in a public place than at the airport? 3M wanted to reach these business travelers to get the message purchase a privacy filter on the spot or request privacy filters from their organizations’ IT manager. To sweeten the deal, 3M partnered with CDW to provide a 20% discount on laptop privacy filters.

Photo of a 3M Privacy Airport Banner with the headline "Leave visual hackers at the Gate"

The airport takeover approach.

To get the word out, and make it stand out in a busy airport terminal, KC created an airport takeover campaign that splashed the campaign messaging all over, including multiple window clings, backlit signage, CNN tv spots, video ads, IP targeted programmatic ads, and even an installation in one concourse manned by a street team.

The middle seat will never be the same again.

Photo of a 3M Privacy Airport Display with the headline "Going to LGA? Make sure your private information doesn't go to SFO."

The program was such a success, that not only did 3M see a massive sales lift, but they have extended and expanded the campaign to other airports across the country.

Animated GIF of a 3M Privacy geofenced digital banner advertisement

Geofenced digital display ads appeared when business travelers entered targeted airports.

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Agency brings in new leader with focus on growth and innovation for clients. 

Chris Actis PresidentMinneapolis, MN – Kruskopf & Company (KC) announces the arrival of Chris Actis to the agency as President and Chief Growth Officer. Chris is a digital native in marketing communications and media and has worked in client and executive leadership roles across the US and Asia for the past 22 years. He joins KC from his role as President of the Midwest region for IPG’s Initiative in Chicago.

“Over the last 30 years, KC has navigated a complete transformation of our industry and evolved into a modern full-service strategy, creative and media agency,” said CEO and Founder Sue Kruskopf, “With Chris’s diverse background and focus on innovation, KC is setting itself up for the next 30 years of transformation.”

Starting his career with the Messner agency in NY, Chris was part of one of the first true digital departments within a 4A’s agency where he worked on MCI WorldCom and Volvo. His other roles have included heading up the Warner-Lambert/Pfizer portfolio at JWT, running Kohl’s and Wendy’s at MRM/McCann, time spent as brand strategist at Scient and an ad tech startup called United Virtualities, and media agency leadership at Mediavest where he ran the Walmart and Walmart.com digital investment. Prior to his most recent stint at Initiative, he spent five years in Asia handling the digital media investment for P&G China in Guangzhou and in Hong Kong as APAC Managing Director at Ogilvy’s performance marketing agency Neo.

“Our clients will immediately benefit from Chris’s focus on innovative media and marketing strategies and his deep experience in account service, strategy, planning, analytics, and technology implementation,” said Kruskopf, “He’s done everything from helping to develop digital products that employ search and social data to helping implement content and UX roadmaps for clients across multiple categories including travel, CPG, B2B, and tech.”

Chris will be an executive leader across all client accounts, overseeing strategy, thought leadership, and investment guardianship while ensuring the agency continues to deliver smart strategies, bold creative and modern media solutions that deliver against client objectives.

“Businesses and brands live in an ever more complex environment. Now more than ever, clients need an agency that is smart, agile and continually exploring fresh new ways to help them connect with their customers,” said Kruskopf, “KC is answering the call by adding a leader willing to push boundaries, evolve and innovate for both our client’s and our agency’s success.”

Why an ancient print ad might be just what we need in advertising today.


Photo of Robb Burnham

Robb Burnham, Creative Director

Great ads are timeless. Many of those great ads get even better with age.

Like this ad for the Toyota Land Cruiser. Aside from the sexist bit of copy in the 3rd sentence, this is bolder, more informative and more persuasive than 99.9% of ads you will see today. It’s probably even better than whatever Toyota is saying about today’s Land Cruiser. My guess is it’s something like “There’s no telling how far you will go” or “You have arrived.” (Nope, it’s worse. I just looked it up. They’re going with “The peak of capability and comfort.”)

The copy is brilliant. “The Land Cruiser doesn’t have sleek styling.” I get goosebumps when I read a line like that. But there’s not a client alive today that would approve that copy. And yet, it’s perfect. It’s honest. It’s bold. And it’s true. The way this would work today is the client and agency would sit around the table wringing their hands trying to figure out how to talk around the not-so-sleek looks of the Land Cruiser. Meeting after meeting and revision after revision they’d try to find a way to talk about the styling without admitting the obvious.

So we know what the Land Cruiser doesn’t have, but what does it have? “It’s made of steel, heavily reinforced. held together by nuts and bolts, rivets and welds.” (Copy so good, it almost reads like poetry.) “Not by sheet metal screws.” (A nice swipe at the competition, which I always love.) The ad also goes on to point out there’s a chain connected to the gas cap and oil cap so you won’t lose them. Very smart.

The ad is a joy to read. That’s something I notice about the copy in a lot of older ads. Particularly those from the late 60’s and early 70’s. The copy is natural and conversational. It’s persuasive. It’s sets up a problem, offers a solution and informs the reader. The reader can decide from there if this product is right for them.

Imagine this ad today, but recreated in video and run as pre-roll on YouTube. A simple photo. The camera pans over the vehicle with cut-ins to show the various features the voiceover is describing–a voiceover that is confident, friendly, direct and a matter of fact, but coming off like a conversation you’re having with someone in the know. This ad would stand out, it would be informative, fun to watch and above all else, persuasive. Which is the point of what we do in advertising. I’d buy one.

Now, is this a really great ad? Like one of the best ads of all time? No. In fact it’s no where near my top 50 of all time. But the directness of language, its clarity and honesty as to what the vehicle is and isn’t is so clear. We need more of this direct boldness in advertising today. Tell me exactly what you are and what makes you good. Don’t pull any punches. Don’t try to convince me that you are both capable of off-roading and a comfortable ride. Don’t make your product something it’s not, and don’t apologize for what it is. In a world where you should be zigging while the others are zagging, an approach like this would be very effective today.

It’s also good to note that I saw this ad framed on the wall in the bathroom of a trendy restaurant. So clearly it worked (and still works) with a non-advertising audience as well. I’m not sure exactly how we could collect the data on this ad’s effectiveness and put it in a dashboard. (I’ll leave that in our media team’s capable hands.) But from my perspective that’s some serious liking and sharing of something that ran almost 50 years ago.

Maybe in 50 years someone will go back and frame tweets from a brand and hang them on the bathroom wall of a trendy restaurant. Maybe.

On Lee Clow’s retirement, we’re reminded of the importance of trust and our commitment to finding simple, bold ideas.


Sue Kruskopf, CEO

Sue Kruskopf, CEO

There was big news in the advertising community on Feb 14th. Lee Clow was retiring from his job as Chairman at TBWA Worldwide. Some of you may not know who he is, but you will know his work. The most memorable were his TV spots for Apple: “1984” which launched the first Macintosh, and “The Crazy Ones” which relaunched Apple with the tagline “Think Different” and became the ethos of the brand during it’s legendary rise.

Lee’s was the kind of work that made me want to get into advertising.

Yes, at age 75, he is ancient by today’s ad agency standard, but he was a friend of Steve Jobs for thirty years. That partnership between two visionaries is a big part of why Apple is the brand it is today. “He was always demanding that [Apple’s advertising] be better, always demanding that it be breakthrough, different—’Ah, that looks like shit like everybody else does,'” Clow recalled Jobs saying. “And for whatever reason, he and I built a long trust that I wanted to do what he wanted to do. He believed that in your heart, you cared about the same stuff that he cared about.”

So much trust. So much wisdom. So much creativity. And so much simplicity.

We understand that the true value of a simple idea goes beyond any spreadsheet or metric. But these ideas are becoming much harder to come by in today’s environment. “What’s throwing our industry for a loop is the complexity of putting messages out there in the world with all these new tools and all this new technology. The tools and technology are overwhelming,” Lee says. “I think a search for simplicity and pure ideas is the only route back to making it more fun again,” he continues. “More than ever, finding brave, different ideas has to be the goal.”

Words of wisdom. I’d add that those simple, brave ideas can really only ever exist on a foundation of trust. And this is what we strive for every day.

Kruskopf & Company adds global concrete and refuse vehicle manufacturer to growing list of clients.


McNeilus Truck with KC agency logo

KC was recently named agency of record for McNeilus Companies, a division of Oshkosh Corporation. They are one of the largest manufacturers of refuse vehicles and concrete mixers in the world, and located in Dodge Center, MN.

“We ultimately chose to work with KC because we thought they could give the edge to our branding/messaging that we’re looking for and we really liked the insights and leverage the Truth Workshop can potentially offer us,” said Kelli McConahey, Senior Marketing Representative for McNeilus.

McNeilus Companies is an industry-leading provider of refuse vehicles and concrete mixers, as well as parts and services. KC is excited to bring their strategic and programmatic media prowess as well as creative services to help McNeilus grow.

Meet our newest KCee—Rowdie Erwin, Digital Media Strategist. Rowdie received his Bachelors in Marketing with a minor in Psychology at Winona State University. Since then, he’s been executing paid-media strategy across a variety of brands and industries, including: Subaru, Target,

3M, Dunn Brothers and Columbia School of Business, to name a few.

Born in Austin, Texas and raised in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Rowdie is always up for new experiences and challenges: he has his belay license from Vertical Endeavors, jumped out of two perfectly good airplanes (sans tandem) in the last five years, and just finished his second half-marathon. Then there’s the near-death experience while working on an oil-rig in West Texas, and the summer he spent bartending weddings (both harrowing events).

Rowdie is excited to continue his career in digital at KC, which he sees as an opportunity to continue sharpening his skills in the ever-important world of programmatic advertising. We’re just as thrilled to have him.

Are major outdoor apparel brands in peril?

Aron Shand, Creative

Once an industry that made products for risk-takers and adventurers on mountainsides and roads less travelled, outdoor apparel brands seem to have reached the dreaded parody point. Other than logo placement, it seems harder to separate what makes one brand stand apart from the next.

Look at the 3 jackets in the slideshow below. With the logos removed, can you actually tell which jacket belongs to which brand?

Harold Hotelling was a Stanford University economist who defined an economic theory involving a principle of minimum differentiation, or law of averageness, which says that “rival sellers tend to gravitate toward each other — in location, price, and product offerings — because otherwise they risk losing some of the broad mainstream of customers.”

In this case, the top outdoor apparel brands have become parodies of each other. Many produced gear for niche markets (alpine skiers, climbers, hikers) fairly exclusively. Around the ‘80s-‘90s, consumers became more familiar with outdoor brand products, and marketers figured out how to sell the idea of “outdoor lifestyle” to people willing to spend sums of money on products that were “tested-in-the-field tough.”

Now, all the top brands have branched into other areas, making everything from running apparel to swimsuits to button-down shirts you could wear to work on Tuesday.  Instead of buying a $500 jacket to climb the edge of a cliff in the Andes Mountains, most people are sporting these coats waiting in line for coffee at Starbucks.

Sure, you could justify such a purchase because “if it works in the mountains, it’ll work in the suburbs.” But most of the new technology and premium features (like thumb holes, wicking materials and waterproof pockets for mobile devices) can be found in jackets for much lower prices and fairly similar quality. For example, Target’s C9 brand sells seasonal, functional activewear clothing at one-fourth the cost. And these less-expensive products will most likely continue to piggy-back the newly developed tech features from the established brands, all the way up the mountain.

Another example. Look at these catalogue images from different outdoor brands. Can you tell them apart? To me, it looks like it could have been the same photoshoot!

Consumers can buy most anything without leaving their home. And even with comparing price and certain qualities with a product, as well as fellow-consumer reviews for quality verification, what really sets your brand apart? What gives you an emotional edge? What should your brand do?

How about make a bold move and give your brand a relevant voice with purpose.

One example of a brand making a move: Patagonia. Recently, the brand has become very vocal about preservation of land and fair trade practices—although they point out they’ve been politically active since the 1970’s—by responding to President Trump’s decision to decrease the protected land of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments and suing the President of the United States of America. How many other brands have ever done that?

Of course, your brand may experience backlash for planting a flag. For instance, the recent small frenzy of consumers destroying their YETI coolers on social media, after the NRA complained that the YETI Corporation had ended special discount programs for their members. So, yes, there’s a risk that consumers may turn on your brand, but as famed advertising creative Bill Bernbach, founder of DDB, once said, “A principle isn’t a principle until it costs you money.”

And you have to believe that for every potential brand loyalist lost, one or more will be gained.

A numbers-driven person comes face-to-face with KC’s culture of creativity. (Gasp!)

Cory Ober, Finance Assistant

Cory Ober, Finance Assistant

I had only been at KC for 3 months when I went to my new co-worker’s baby shower. I was a little anxious about it, I didn’t know everyone going, I didn’t have any responsibilities to keep me busy at the party, and I was going to be a bit late. For all my worries, though, the party was actually really fun and welcoming. We ate delicious food and there were these adorable llama themed cookies. After lunch they set up a station to get your picture taken with the mom-to-be. This is fun, I thought. But then they showed us what to do with the picture: create and scrapbook page and write something memorable about parenting. Panic. Despite working at a creative agency, I’m not a creative person. At all.


Creative people seem to have this innate ability to walk into a space and see all its potential. I really admire them for it. As someone who works on the business side, I come from a more historically focused data driven space. I walk into a space and want to understand its history, when was it built, what has it been used for, if anything in the space is original. This is perfect for what I do because finance is often digging through records and retracing where money is coming from and anticipating where it should be going. And reporting. Lots of reporting. Creativity in finance is generally frowned upon, Enron anyone?


This also means finance people don’t usually throw the best parties. In a previous job with the Tax Commission, my coworkers threw me a baby shower. It was a bunch of middle-aged accountants in a room with no windows, sitting around a conference table. No games, definitely no scrapbooking, a no-nonsense potluck. The topic of conversation wasn’t about what I was going to name my baby, but whether or not I was going to keep working after the baby came. It felt like a going away party. 


The KC party felt completely different. People were genuinely excited and happy. There was no “Goodbye!” just “Enjoy your time off, we’ll cover for you until you get back.” There’s a community in our creative agency that I haven’t experienced in more traditional finance organizations. And that means that even though I’m on the business side I get to hear all kinds of interesting things about what people are working on, what’s new in the industry, and what’s working for our clients. 


But this isn’t the atmosphere of just any creative agency, it’s a culture that’s unique to KC. Where anyone—from any area of the agency—is invited to contribute ideas to help solve our client’s problems. Or to share something that inspires them. Or even to write an observational blog post for the agency website. (Wink, wink)


So, back to scrapbooking. After subtly eyeing the work of those around me and making motions of gathering supplies and trying out different designs. I finally gave up and looked for inspiration on the Internet. Much to my surprise a few of my coworkers were turning to the Internet too. Looks like we aren’t so different after all. 

How Plasti Dip navigated from a specialty hardware product to auto aftermarket to the Pinterest set.

Shannon Burgess, Account Manager

Shannon Stark, Account Manager

Your brand and products won’t appeal to every consumer in every market. No news flash here. But in some cases, your brand will appeal to multiple markets with vastly different interests and demographics. Which is something that may not happen all at once, but over time and over the life cycle of the brand. As a result, your products could be gaining traction with audiences you’ve never targeted in the past.


So what do you do next? Do you care? Well, fun facts: before bubble wrap was used to wrap fragile items, it was marketed as wallpaper. The original Frisbee was used as a pie tin. Neither of which would still be around if they were limited to their intended uses.


Don’t be afraid of new markets

Take our client Plasti Dip. Plasti Dip is a peelable rubber coating that comes in gallons or aerosol cans in an assortment of colors. It’s a product and brand that started out very differently from where it is today.

Originally conceived as a household handy product for adding extra grip to tool handles, Plasti Dip eventually expanded to–and exploded in–the automotive aftermarket, when consumers began using the aerosol cans for spraying vehicles and car accessories, which could then be peeled off and re-“dipped” again and again. We deemed this following our loyal “Dipheads” and the product continued to gain traction, from “dipping” car emblems, rims, grills, to full car paint jobs. It was dippin’ awesome.

Then something funny happened. Consumers continued to find new ways to use it –all the rules went out the window (although Plasti Dip would appreciate that I point out to use your discretion and please see the Plasti Dip label for proper use). Beyond car applications, Dipheads, DIYers, and crafters started to use Plasti Dip for tons of projects: paintings, vases, jewelry, costumes, theater set design, grips for socks and slippers, protective covering for electronics, shoe repair, and most recently, Cosplay armor…just to name a few.

Follow your customers

Companies don’t always make the time to listen to their consumers, especially if they aren’t using their product the way it was intended. But this felt like something big, and Plasti Dip saw the potential to tap into a new market and segment: the Pinterest and Etsy set.

Their target audience since inception had been primarily male, with an interest in home improvement and car modification projects. Plasti Dip had to figure out how to talk to an entirely new audience emerging within the craft market.

According to a Venveo consumer market report, the DIY consumer market is nearly 50% women, where previously it was a male dominated market. How would they establish a tone that reaches more women than before, without abandoning their current audiences and automotive markets? The key is learning about the consistencies between this audience and the loyal Dipheads. What does this new audience like, what they don’t like, what drives them and their use of the product? Is it a fad or have they found a use for the product that will stand the test of time? Then create a communication plan that meets both audiences needs.

The next burning question: is an investment in this new craft audience worth it? The crafters and DIY market is a 29 billion dollar market that continues to grow among age groups. Plasti Dip used this to their advantage and decided to move forward with new product development, specific to the craft audience, launching Plasti Dip Craft.

With new product labels, colors, and a reformed tone, Plasti Dip Craft was carefully designed from the get-go to target the new craft audience. Not so much so that they’d steer away from existing Plasti Dip users and Dipheads, but enough to make a splash in a market that is saturated with DIY products.

The goal of Plasti Dip Craft is similar to that of the original Plasti Dip – get creative with a variety of colors, spray customize whatever your heart desires, and when you’re bored with your project, peel it off and try something new. And as Plasti Dip learns the best ways to engage and interact with this audience in conjunction with Dipheads, they continue to diversify the brand and as a result, increase revenue potential. Cha-ching!


Is your brand ready to evolve?

The reason the Plasti Dip Craft product opportunity emerged is because consumers started using Plasti Dip in ways the manufacturer never truly intended. Listening to your consumers, learning from them, and letting them drive how you talk about and execute strategies around your brand can open up new doors you otherwise thought were closed. It’s a reminder not to become complacent within your existing market, and not to ignore potential opportunities that have (or haven’t yet) presented themselves.