Mithun Agency

Mithun was an advertising and marketing firm, founded in 1933 by Ralph Campbell and Ray Mithun. It was part of Interpublic Group of Communication Companies. The core business was consumer advertising through radio, TV, print, digital, mobile and out-of-home.[1] The company was based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. On January 27, 2016, Mithun ended its 83-year history through a restructuring that consolidated Mithun, Compass Point Media and McCann Worldgroup’s Minneapolis-based General Mills account team into newly formed McCann Minneapolis.

Subsidiary of IPG
IndustryAdvertising, Marketing, Media
FateMerged with Compass Point Media and McCann Worldgroup’s Minneapolis-based General Mills account team, and became McCann Minneapolis on January 27, 2016
Key people
Ralph Campbell
Ray Mithun


Early history

Ralph Campbell and Ray Mithun started their advertising agency as "Campbell Mithun" in the midst of the Great Depression during a time of widespread business closings and bank failures. Ralph 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, earned a reputation as a visionary founder when in an internal memo he proclaimed that "Everything Talks." This statement and tenet, which remained as a staple of the agency, explains how every component of communications should work together seamlessly, like cogwheels.[2] Mithun remained involved with the agency until his retirement in 1978 and died 20 years later.

Within the first decade of business, anchored by a client roster including Andersen Windows, Land O’Lakes and Northwestern National Bank - Ray Mithun, at the age of 34, was named president and billings had grown to $2.7 million by 1943. A 1274% increase since 1933.


By the late 1950s and early 1960s, Campbell Mithun was highly regarded[3] 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.[4] The success of this campaign led to many other accounts across the country such as Toro, Interstate Bakery and General Mills.[1][5]

Campbell Mithun becomes the largest advertising agency in Minneapolis.[6]
Silent film and comedy icon, Buster Keaton creates one of the first musical icons in advertising history with the Northwest Orient Airlines TV campaign.[6]
Campbell Mithun works with puppeteer Jim Henson on campaigns for La Choy canned chow mein and Wilson's Certified Meats.
Billings hit $75 million.[6]


The Master Lock "Marksman" campaign becomes the first Super Bowl specific strategy.[7]
The agency started Cash Plus Media Services, a media buying service, now called Compass Point Media.[8]
"The Incredible, Edible Egg" campaign launches for the American Egg Board.
Ted Bates Worldwide acquires Campbell Mithun.[6]
With $250 million in billings, Campbell Mithun becomes the largest agency west of the Mississippi River.[6]
Campbell Mithun helps client, Dairy Queen conceptualize and produce the DQ Blizzard Flavored Treat.
London-based Saatchi & Saatchi, a publicly owned company, purchases Ted Bates Worldwide, and Bates subsidiaries Campbell Mithun and William Esty. In the same year, ConAgra's Healthy Choice is added to the client roster.[1]
Campbell Mithun and William Esty agency merged to become Campbell Mithun Esty (CME), with combined billings of $740 million.[1] The merger paves the way for the iconic Corona beer campaign featuring Gulf Coast beaches.
Ray Mithun was inducted into the American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame.[6]


Campbell-Mithun-Esty announces the merger of CME and London-based KHBB to form a new international advertising agency network. CME-KHBB Advertising, Inc., with combined billings of $1.2 billion, is listed as the 17th largest ad agency in the world.[9]
CME management and Interpublic Group of Companies entered into joint ownership of CME.[9]
Campbell Mithun helps develop the tagline, "Hey! Where's the cream filling?" for Hostess CupCakes, Twinkies, Ho Hos, and Ding Dongs, a tagline that will remain until 2013.
At the age of 89, co-founder Ray Mithun dies.
Campbell Mithun parts ways with Esty and returns to its original moniker.
The agency tops $1 billion in billings and airs its first Super Bowl spot for H&R Block. As part of the Interpublic Group of Companies, Campbell Mithun also has offices in California and New York and continues to operate from its headquarter-offices in the newly named, Campbell Mithun Tower in Minneapolis.[3]
The Lucky 13 Internship program is created to honor Ray Mithun's sentiment of courage, perspective, and opportunity. The Lucky 13 Internship program recruits talent from around the world and helps prove just how lucky the number 13 can be.
On April 1, 2008 Campbell Mithun celebrates its 75th Anniversary. "You Got People" wins top Account Planning honors in the Service Brand category for the 2008 American Association of Advertising Agencies Jay Chiat Planning Award. Campbell Mithun is the only Minneapolis agency to win an award of this kind.[10]
The agency wins a silver pencil from the One Show for The Unconvention campaign.[11]


Campbell Mithun merges with MRM Worldwide and names its first female president, Rachael Marret.[12]
Campbell Mithun celebrates its 80th anniversary.[13] Rob Buchner becomes CEO[14] and the agency announces plans to move to the 510 Marquette Building.[15]
David Carter joins Campbell Mithun as chief creative officer.[16] Carter formerly worked at BBDO New York and created two of the One Show's Top Ten campaigns of the decade: BMW Films and HBO Voyeur.[17]
Campbell Mithun drops the name Campbell, changes identity and becomes Mithun.[18]
Loses the Land O'Lakes account to The Martin Agency after a competitive review, ending an 80 year-long relationship.[19]
Goes defunct as McCann Worldgroup consolidated Mithun, Compass Point Media and McCann Worldgroup’s Minneapolis-based General Mills account team into newly formed McCann Minneapolis. CEO Rob Buchner and CCO David Carter, together with other staff members, were fired due to their inability to competitively position the agency in the digital age, win new creative business, and for losing multiple, major, historic accounts including Land O'Lakes and Toro.[20][21][22]


  1. Interpublic Group Company Detail , Retrieved on 11 May 2009
  2. "Campbell Mithun Now Simply Mithun". The Minneapolis Egotist. 2014-11-11.
  3. "Campbell-Mithun-Esty, Inc. History". Funding Universe.
  4. "Ad Age Top 100 21st Century Advertising Campaigns". Advertising Age. 1999-03-29.
  5. Mithun website Retrieved on 11 May 2009
  6. McDonough, John (2003-03-10). "Campbell Mithun at 70". Ad Age.
  7. Steinberg, Brian (2015-01-26). "Super Bowl Ads: 11 Commercials That Forced The Big Game To Change Its Spots".
  8. Compass Point Media website Retrieved on 23 June 2009]
  9. "Campbell-Mithun-Esty, Inc. - Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on Campbell-Mithun-Esty, Inc".
  10. American Association of Advertising Agencies . "2008 Jay Chiat Planning Award Winners." Retrieved 5 May 2009
  11. The Inspiration Room Retrieved 10 May 2009
  12. Kristine Olson (2010-08-16). "Rachael Marret Named Campbell Mithun President". Campbell Mithun. Retrieved 2014-02-03.
  13. : Steve Wehrenberg. "What endures 80 years: Ray Mithun's values and ideas". Campbell Mithun. Retrieved 2014-02-03.
  14. Morrison, Maureen (2013-06-26). "Campbell Mithun Taps Fallon's Rob Buchner As CEO". Advertising Age. Retrieved 2014-02-03.
  15. "Ad firm Campbell Mithun relocating to 510 Marquette building". Star Tribune. 2013-12-08. Retrieved 2014-02-03.
  16. Morrison, Maureen (2014-01-21). "Campbell Mithun Names David Carter Chief Creative Officer". Advertising Age. Retrieved 2014-02-03.
  17. Kristine Olson. "Campbell Mithun hires David Carter as chief creative officer and bolsters creative offering". Campbell Mithun. Retrieved 2014-02-03.
  18. Phelps, David (2014-11-11). "Campbell Mithun is now just Mithun". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2014-11-16.
  19. Coffee, Patrick (2015-10-13). "After 80 Years With One Ad Shop, Land O' Lakes Hires The Martin Agency". Adweek. Retrieved 2015-11-09.
  20. Coffee, Patrick (2016-01-27). "Mithun Closes, Becomes McCann Minneapolis". AgencySpy. Retrieved 2016-01-27.
  21. Hammerand, Jim (2016-01-27). "Mithun's top executives are gone — and so is its name". Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. Retrieved 2016-01-27.
  22. Norfleet, Nicole (2016-01-27). "Mithun name going away as firm rebranded as McCann Minneapolis". StarTribune. Retrieved 2016-01-27.
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