GERTRUDE Chicago Agency 11 Years of Innovation Red Star


GERTRUDE Celebrates 11 Years Of Innovation

Global innovation, brand development, advertising, and marketing services consultancy GERTRUDE, INC. surges into 2016 after a milestone year #10, celebrated with some exceptional highlights: relocation to a new global HQ office in Chicago; opening the agency’s new Branded Architecture division RAYE, launching three new innovation brands: a legendary bourbon, premium ready-to-drink cocktails, and a brand new Chicago-based craft beer; and as of January 1st, GERTRUDE announces a new online address to ring in the agency’s next decade of leadership in global brand innovation.

GERTRUDE starts its 2nd decade with leading expertise in the global brand innovation space, continued focus on delivering smart, forward thinking, expertly crafted ideas, and reinforcing the agency’s global creative leadership through strategic partnerships such as the Art Directors Club and Luerzer’s ARCHIVE. February 1st, 2016 also marks the 2nd birthday for GERTRUDE’s Design and Production branding division, OZ MFG. COMPANY.

The entrepreneurial spirit and passion for ideas that have made GERTRUDE, and the agency’s Design + Digital division OZ MFG. Co., a leader in innovation space show nowhere clearer than within the agency walls. To meet the needs of its growing business and elevate the agency’s culture of disciplined creative leadership, GERTRUDE & OZ MFG. COMPANY. stepped forward with a move to a dynamic creative arts mecca located at 2150 S. Canalport Ave. The agency HQ, designed by GERTRUDE Founder, CCO Otis D. Gibson as an “industrial meets mid-century modern innovation gallery,” was once the loading dock of the historical Viviano Bros. Macaroni Company. A remarkable front entrance beckons guests to enter the agency through a 20’ x 10’, custom-finished, bright red shipping container.

GERTRUDE’s big move was matched by big client work, as the agency to led strategy and creative for two new innovation brands: I.W. HARPER Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and STUDEBAKER Expertly Crafted Whisky Cocktails.

In Spring, GERTRUDE completed the renovation and launch of 143-year-old I.W. HARPER bourbon, reuniting the brand with the U.S. for the first time in nearly 20 years after a journey spanning 110 countries. GERTRUDE’s “Welcome Home Mr. Harper.” campaign rolled out via Trade, Print, Digital, Brand Film, and Retail. As a centerpiece for the launch, GERTRUDE’s design division OZ MFG. COMPANY transformed an original 1928 Ford Model A Huckster, a make famously used for whiskey running, into a customized, I.W. HARPER vehicle. Following its Chicago launch event debut, the “Huckster” toured retail, events, and the Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky. GERTRUDE continues to lead creative duties for the legendary bourbon.

Next up, GERTRUDE spearheaded the same duties for new-to-world brand, STUDEBAKER Expertly Crafted Whisky Cocktails—a premium, full proof, crafted whisky cocktail featuring Prohibition inspired classics such as the STUDEBAKER Old Fashioned and STUDEBAKER Manhattan. Developed by historians and mixologists, STUDEBAKER masterfully blends the finest Canadian Whisky with select premium ingredients to replicate unique tastes of cocktail history, perfected from bottle to glass. GERTRUDE’s campaign brought these “famous cocktails inspired by an infamous era” to a modern audience with a taste for exquisite classic cocktailing.

GERTRUDE once again oversaw the brand launch event in Chicago, which invited guests aboard the STUDEBAKER “WHISKY 6iX”—a converted 2200 Series CTA Train Car reimagined by GERTRUDE & OZ as a one-of-a-kind 1920s inspired Club Car, complete with custom exterior/ interior, signage telling the brand’s Prohibition era history, handmade whisky crates, 1920s era swing jazz, and of course, bartenders serving up STUDEBAKER Cocktails.

From bourbon to beer, GERTRUDE rounded out an impressive alcoholic beverage portfolio with the launch of Chicago-based Around The Bend Beer Co. Capitalizing on the ever-expanding realm of brewing innovation in the craft beer scene, ATB focuses on “balancing tradition with experimentation,” masterfully adapting traditional recipes with unexpected ingredients like galangal (a root similar to ginger) found in flagship American Pale Ale brand, ATB Silk Road. OZ MFG. COMPANY designed ATB’s steampunk-inspired identity, packaging, and creative to tell the story of what’s next—or better yet, what’s “around the bend,” in the world of craft beer.

As a new year begins, GERTRUDE is excited to announce another important new address, GERTRUDE’s digital home now at, and OZ MFG. COMPANY at The .agency domains clearly signal “what’s next,” a fitting space for an agency with a 10-year edge on brand innovation.