Self-proclaimed “stagna-phobe” Daniel Stein says he’s terrified of standing still, which explains his position at the helm of a company behind innovative, integrated brand campaigns seen by billions of consumers. When Stein co-founded the agency 11 years ago, he named it Evolution Bureau because doing so “gives us permission to change” – and acknowledges that the ways in which people connect, relate and find meaning in the world always are shifting.
EVB, as he and his colleagues call it, always strives to be what Stein calls “next year’s agency,” the source for ideas that transcend traditional media models and connect with consumers in effective new ways.†The agency’s clients include Nike, Altoids, Facebook, Skittles, Juicy Fruit and Firefox. Its most recognizable work includes “Mob the Rainbow” (Skittles), “Elf Yourself” (Office Max) and the “Facebook Studio” (Facebook) and “Gagaville” (Zynga).
Before EVB, Stein worked in all four industries that constitute the pillars of the agency: public relations, advertising, entertainment and technology. At Time Warner Interactive, he helped create CD-ROMs for that company’s properties at a time when that technology was seen as groundbreaking. At Saatchi & Saatchi, Stein managed a variety of needs for Hewlett-Packard. As an executive producer for Anderson & Lembke, he worked on ideas for Microsoft that laid the groundwork for online advertising. The reputation Stein garnered from his work led to his meeting and working with Francis Ford Coppola for American Zoetrope, for which he served as virtual studio producer.
Stein believes the toughest and most inspiring thing about his field is knowing where the creative bar is – and when and how to raise it higher. In that spirit, he is most proud of two things: the work his team creates and the culture of EVB, which inspires employees to work collaboratively and without ego as they seek to make their mark on pop culture.