It might not be Wall Street, but walleye street is working just fine for a vibrant young marketing firm that is winning top advertising awards and hooking an impressive clientele.
Call and Associates - Creative Marketing Professionals can be found behind a bait shop in the small area town of Milford, but with a boatload of ADDY Awards recently won signifying the best work the American Advertising Federation has seen in the region, the firm is making waves in the industry.
Call's Becky Rasmussen is currently working with the Storm Lake Destination Park planning process.
"I don't think people realize who our agency is and where we are," said Gena Hamilton, Director of Media Solutions for the firm. "We are a full-service advertising agency featuring print design, programming web sites, multi-media, video and audio work. We have built quite a client base."
In fact, the Iowa Great Lakes Maritime Museum, which operates the Arnolds Park Amusement Park, Queen II excursion boat, concert Green Space and the popular museum has just named Call and Associates to handle their marketing and advertising.
"To secure an agency with the skills of this young group of professionals who are literally in our backyard is wonderful and I am sure they are going to be a significant factor in our future successes," said Jim Frost, IGLMM director.
The company may have a hand in everything from your brake pads to your lunch - they work in the area with the likes of Arnold Motor Supply, Picadilly Circus Pizza, Cellular One of the Iowa Great Lakes, Pure Fishing and more.
The firm has been known as Call Concepts; in March of this year, the name was changed to Call and Associates.
Brothers Casey and Joe Call started the company in 1997 in their recreation room, and it quickly took off.
"They are the biggest creative geniuses I've ever met," Hamilton said of the young brothers.
They are joined as principals by Tiffany Call as office director and Larry Alger as vice president. Hamilton came to the firm two years ago, after 14 years experience in television.
Most recently, they landed Rasmussen, an area native who has returned to live in Alta after several years in the high stress environment of advertising work with the NBC television affiliate in Kansas City. She also happens to be Hamilton's sister in law.
Becky's father-in-law, Gene, and husband Chris, work with Rasmussen Ford dealerships. Gena's husband, Ross Hamilton, works with the dealership in Cherokee as well.
With the additions, Call and Associates has become a multimedia production house that can handle virtually any advertising challenge.
"We do web sites for clients in Denver or Washington D.C., yet there are people in our own backyard who don't know what we do," Hamilton said.
What they do, they do well enough to report a 300 percent growth in business in the past year, and to add a branch in Sioux Falls and salespeople in markets accross the country.
"We can offer market analysis - we look at what a business is doing, and what they should be doing.
We back it all up with advertising to meet the individual needs of that business - from a brochure to a full multi-media campaign and vertical imaging," Hamilton said. "All it takes is one phone call, and we do everything here in-house."
In their modest location next to the bait shop, a full digital recording studio is now featured, where everything from a radio commercial to a music CD can be recorded. In fact, Iowa Great Lakes singing sensation Damon Dotson recently recorded his newest CD there, which is drawing national interest.
"People are blown away by the equipment we have here, off of Highway 71, including a crane system for television production," Hamilton said.
The 2004 Addy Awards, presented by the Sioux City chapter of the American Advertising Federation, came as welcome validation to Call and Associates successes, with eight honors to their credit.
Their work on the anti-casino gambling campaign "Iowa Great Lakes Quality of Life" won Best of Category for TV Commercials and Best Multi Media Platform.
They also won major awards for web sites, logo design for Realtors, collateral material for the Princess Diana U.S. Memorial Fund Lessons Report, and the ADDY Award Show's own "Ad-dicted" award - beating out much larger competing firms with up to five times the Call and Associates budget.