'booming' recess creative brings advertising into the digital age

Recess Creative, a full-service digital advertising and marketing agency, is a product of a 10-year-old conversation between friends. Chris Jungjohann and Tim Zeller were roommates while students at the Cleveland Institute of Art. Jungjohann, a photography major, and Zeller, a graphic design major, discussed a vision for an advertising agency that could not only serve the traditional needs of clients, but also incorporate mobile and digital aspects into campaigns.

Jungjohann and Zeller graduated and went on with their lives and careers. But in 2009, Jungjohann and Zeller came together and picked up the conversation they had started some 10 years prior and, thus, launched Recess Creative. “We’re kind of a hodgepodge of everything great about advertising and marketing in the digital age,” Jungjohann says. “We literally started by connections that we knew.”
And business has been booming. Boasting clients like Key Bank, Pierre’s Ice Cream and the Cleveland Museum of Art, Recess recently has entered the national market. The company landed Sony Pictures Television in Los Angeles, taking on a movie channel that overdubs action movies into Spanish.
A highlight of last year was when the founders' partner and developer Tom Nolan’s mapping app, Plotter, won best app in South by Southwest’s business accelerator social division competition. While investors on the West Coast tried to lure the group to relocate, Jungjohann says Recess Creative’s roots are firmly planted in Cleveland.
“There’s so much going on in Cleveland right now with startups and technology,” Jungjohann says. “We couldn’t have done it without the help of local businesses – from little mom and pop shops all the way up to Key Bank.”
The company already has a number of exciting projects in the works for 2014. Recess Creative has steadily grown from just four people in 2009 to six employees after moving to its new Lakeside Avenue offices last summer, to 12 full-time employees today. “At any given time, there are 15 of us,” says Jungjohann. “We’ve been so busy.”
Jungjohann only plans on continued growth. “We have the greatest tech team in the world, I think,” he boasts. “It’s been an amazing year. We’re planning on strategic growth. The only challenge is we want to be really smart about the people we bring in -- people who are dedicated and want to stay in Cleveland.”

Source: Chris Jungjohann
Writer: Karin Connelly
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