Perhaps because they were sick and tired of being confused with a worldwide sandwich conglomerate, Philadelphia-based Gyro Worldwide is changing their name to…Quaker City Mercantile.
Goodbye Gyro Worldwide. . .Now Quaker City Mercantile
Posted: June 12th, 2009
Gyro Worldwide, the Philadelphia ad agency known for its iconoclastic makeovers of some of the world’s largest brands, is undergoing a metamorphosis into a new creature, like caterpillar becoming a butterfly. As of today, Gyro Worldwide is no more. In its place is Quaker City Mercantile (QCM), a company that aims to produce much more than advertising.
Philadelphia ad agency Gyro has officially gone public with a name and identity change, now called Quaker City Mercantile the Philly agency is attempting to bring an old world merchant approach to todays ad agency. With the additional purchase of a 72-acre farm in New Hampshire for the purpose of being a “laboratory for America’s new culture of agrarian traditionalism” the future of philadelphia advertising, while still bloodied from the current economic climate, will at the very least be intresting.
A Philadelphia ad agency is making some big changes -- and taking greater control of its destiny.
Gyro Worldwide, which was founded in 1987 and has reveled in a kind of edgy reputation, is changing its name to Quaker City Mercantile, a name that hearkens to Pennsylvania’s industrial past and befits the shift to producing more actual products in addition to creative advertising.
“What’s happened is we’re creating more brands from scratch. Now, we’re taking a name that reflects that. [Gyro] always sounded like a Greek sandwich. I don’t think I should be stuck with a name I picked at age 23,” said Steven Grasses, founder of the agency, which has its headquarters on 13th Street in Center City.
This summer it will launch Root, a birch beer-like alcoholic beverage that is in Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board warehouses and will be in liquor stores soon.
The agency also made what Grasses termed as a substantial investment in a Rhode Island beer brand, Naragansett Brewery, a brand that dates to 1890 but was all but dead in the early 1980s. In 2005, Rhode Island investor Mark Hellendrung brought the dormant brand from Falstaff Brewing Corp. and started to revive it. Quaker City’s involvement gives it a needed cash infusion while also providing an agency to create a new campaign.
Reinvention To The Extreme
We're always talking about how media companies need to reinvent themselves to survive in the new world, but this is a bit extreme:
We got this press release last night. It begins:
Philadelphia creative, Steve Grasse, is always up to something big. It's just the way the guy works. His latest BIG IDEA entails moving to the country and making things with his hands. "The go-go excesses of the millennium is over," Grasse said. "Now America needs to get back to fundamentals--hard work, brilliant inventions, and the manufacture of useful things." Grasse has purchased a 72-acre farm in the White Mountains of New Hampshire that he plans to use as a laboratory for America's new culture of agrarian traditionalism."We spent twenty years celebrating the wild decadence of American consumerism" Grasse said. "The time has come to begin a new chapter." He's also decided to rebrand his ad agency, Gyro Worldwide. As of today, Gyro Worldwide is no more. In its place is Quaker City Mercantile (QCM), a company that aims to produce much more than advertising. Drawing on Philadelphia's heritage, QCM hopes to recapture Philadelphia's mighty industrial past and weave a new version of this greatness into its future. QCM will operate out of the old offices of Gyro Worldwide. It will offer clients the same array of branding, identity, promotion, and new product development services. But in addition to creating work for other companies, QCM will be developing its own line of artisanal products, many developed on Grasse's farm. "I aspire to be a true Renaissance man," Grasse says, "a pre-robber baron capitalist in the tradition of Franklin, Jefferson and Washington."