Campbell Mithun

Campbell Mithun

Campbell Mithun
Type Subsidiary of IPG
Industry Advertising, Marketing
Founded 1933
Headquarters Minneapolis
Key people


Ralph Campbell
Ray Mithun

Campbell Mithun is an advertising and marketing firm, founded in 1933 by Ralph Campbell and Ray Mithun. It is now part of Interpublic Group of Communication Companies. The core business is consumer advertising through radio, TV, print, digital, mobile and out-of-home.[1] The company is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


Early history Campbell Mithun opened in the midst of the Great Depression during a time of widespread business closings and bank failures. Mr. Campbell was president for 10 years and chairman for four years before retiring in 1947. He died in 1949 at the age of 63. Ray Mithun hired Albert R. Whitman, a top executive at Benton & Bowles in New York City.

1950s–1960s By the late 1950s and early 1960s, Campbell–Mithun was highly regarded[2] within the advertising industry for its creative work. One of the ad campaigns that propelled the company was the "Land of Sky Blue Waters" television spot for Hamm's beer. The success of this campaign led to many other accounts across the country such as Toro, Interstate Bakery and General Mills.[1][3]

1960 Al Whitman is named agency president; Ray Mithun becomes chairman.[4]

1965-67 Campbell-Mithun works with puppeteer Jim Henson on campaigns for La Choy canned chow mein and Wilson's Certified Meats.

1970 Stan Blunt is named president.[4]

1972 George Gruenwald becomes president.[4]

1976 The agency started Cash Plus Media Services, a media buying service. Now called Compass Point Media, the company helps clients maximize return on their spot broadcast investments by using in-market negotiations.[5] They offer stations a combination of cash plus high-quality TV specials that deliver superior media efficiencies for client schedules.[4][5]

1980 With $250 million in billings, Campbell Mithun became the largest agency west of the Mississippi River. Campbell Mithun partnered with some of Minnesota's largest corporations and with major consumer and business-to-business clients across the country. Bill Dunlap becomes president and CEO.[4]

1986 London-based Saatchi & Saatchi, a publicly owned company, purchased Ted Bates Worldwide, and Bates subsidiaries Campbell Mithun and William Esty. In the same year, ConAgra's Healthy Choice was added to the client roster. Campbell Mithun and William Esty agency merged to become Campbell Mithun Esty (CME) in 1988, with combined billings of $740 million.[1]

1989 One of the icons and legends of Minneapolis advertising, Ray Mithun, was inducted into the American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame.[4]

1990s CME management and Interpublic Group of Companies entered into joint ownership of CME in 1995. In 1998, at the age of 89, co-founder Ray Mithun died.

2001 The agency airs its first super bowl spot for H &R Block And Campbell Mithun got the naming rights for its headquarters building, Campbell Mithun Tower. As part of the Interpublic Group of Companies, Campbell Mithun also has offices in California and New York and continues to service clients from its headquarters offices in the Campbell Mithun Tower in Minneapolis.[2]

2005 In 2005, Jonathan Hoffman joins Campbell Mithun. He is named Campbell Mithun President and Chief Creative Officer. Previously, Hoffman was a vice chairman at Leo Burnett. In addition to agency management responsibilities, he led notable campaigns, including efforts for Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain, Polaroid i-Zone, Nintendo, Procter & Gamble, The U.S. Army and the Beef Council. Hoffman's honors include six Cannes Lions, three Clios, six EFFIES (three of which were Gold), and three Finalist honors from the Kelly Awards. He received an Addy Award for “Best of Show” and has been featured in the D&AD Book. A native New Yorker, Hoffman started his career at Campbell Mithun before moving to DDB Needham in Chicago. He joined Leo Burnett in 1991. During his tenure at the agency, Hoffman spent two years leading the Warsaw office with Jarek Ziebinski where they achieved significant business and creative success.[6]

2007 In 2007, Steve Wehrenberg is named Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and Executive Vice President for Campbell Mithun.

2008 On April 1, 2008 Campbell Mithun celebrated its 75th Anniversary. “You Got People” won top Account Planning honors in the Service Brand category for the 2008 American Association of Advertising Agencies Jay Chiat Planning Award. Campbell Mithun was the only Minneapolis agency to win an award of this kind.[7]

2009 This year started out well for the agency when they won a silver pencil from the One Show for The Unconvention campaign.[8]

The agency is currently managed by CEO Steve Wehrenberg and President Rachael Marret[9] and is 1 of only 13 North American agencies that have been in business at least 75 years and are still operating under their original name.[1]


  • "We treat you right" for Dairy Queen
  • Penny Marshall & Rosie O'Donnell for Kmart
  • "The Incredible, Edible Egg" for the American Egg Board
  • "Change your latitude" for Corona Beer
  • "Where's the cream filling?" for Hostess snack cakes
  • "What would you do for a Klondike bar?" for Unilever's Klondike ice cream bar
  • "Every body needs Milk" for the American Dairy Association
  • "Tough Under Fire" for Master Lock featuring a commercial with a bullet shot through one of the locks on one of the first Super Bowl telecasts
  • "Come home to Andersen" for Andersen Windows
  • “Oh, Those Golden Grahams” for Golden Grahams cereal
  • “Count on it” for Toro lawnmowers and snow throwers
  • Willie Nelson in tax trouble for an H&R Block Super Bowl commercial
  • “Where’s Your Nature Valley?” for Nature Valley Granola Bars
  • “The Bold Look of Kohler” for Kohler kitchen and bath fixtures
  • “There’s only one Jeep” for Chrysler’s Jeep SUV



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