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We are ADwërks. We are advertising, media and marketing communications professionals. We are not a large advertising agency. We don’t want to be. We would much rather create handcrafted advertising and marketing communications strategies for a few very special clients than crank out a whole bunch of mediocre work for every advertiser with a pulse and checkbook.

Not to Brag: Part 1

This news is so exciting that we had to break it into two parts.  Our office is growing again. No, we didn’t add a third conference room, but we’re thinking maybe wMr. Ward Ertze should. We kicked things up a notch and brought in some accomplished talent to work directly with our valued clients. Ward Ertz accepted the position as Director of Client Services, and our clients will be thrilled to work side-by-side with him, creating strategic project plans, driving revenue growth, and building their businesses.

Ertz’s business background includes significant roles in organizational leadership and management, revenue and margin optimization, project management, P&L accountability, and admirable experience in advertising and marketing strategy.

We are so excited to have Ward here that we polished up our New Hire Orientation, which includes: the Office Tour, Icebreaker Challenge, Scavenger Hunt and New Hire Kit. Our new-and-improved Office Tour is a behind-the-scenes look at our two conference rooms, Carol’s office, newly-renovated printer area, and the hidden coal room. In the Icebreaker Challenge, introduce all the office technology and phone system, while trying not to break ADwërks. We encourage our new hire to participate in a self-guided Scavenger Hunt, for all his desk necessities and paper products. Ward passed this test with ease. Finally, our New Hire Kit includes a memorable ADwërks rocks glass, fashionable ADwërks hat, full access to our refrigerator, a guarantee we won’t tow your car from our parking lot.

Welcome to our playground, Ward.

P.S. We forgot to include in our handbook that all the discarded pictures from the New Hire photo shoot will be shown as entertainment at the Holiday Party.

Stay tuned for Not to Brag: Part 2, where we will share more exciting stuff happening at ADwërks!


There’s a Ton of Sh*t in this (S)hït

To make sure we have access to important materials and information—for personal reference, or in the scenario that someone gets hit by a bus–we have our communal folder called (S)hit. Everyone has a folder within (S)hit. For example: Jim’s Shit; Carol’s Shit; Nikki’s Shit…well, you get the point. It’s a lot of shit. Some people use it for stupid shit. Caryla, however, uses it for a bunch of shit. For your anniversary at ADwërks, Caryla, we’ve made a list of the top ten, elusive file names in your Shit folder. Also, to celebrate, we’re throwing around the hole-punch confetti that we found around your desk. Just kidding…we’re drinking.


  1. Lost Log-in Email
  2. Banana Stamp
  3. Hump Day
  4. The Door to the Room Next to Ours
  5. Wood Wood Stove
  6. Boys & Their Eyes
  7. Snail Hospital
  8. Feed Elves Tree
  9. Boom
  10. Not elusive, but Caryla has a shortcut to her Shit Folder…IN her Shit Folder. (Is this the equivalent to searching for Google…on Google??)


Notes from the Intern

Only a chosen few have been offered internships at ADwërks. We like to call these select few the lucky ones, the cream-of-the-crop, the pick-of-the-litter…well, you get the point. We want our interns to be successful, provide them with motivating experiences and insight, and show them that fun is not just exclusive to Friday’s Beer-Thirty or the holiday party. We asked Michael what his favorite part of the internship was:

“In our meetings, there were a lot of things said…a lot of things from the BINGO card, actually. But, I also learned a lot about budgeting and interaction between companies, while learning the marketing side of things. I want to thank Jim for giving me this opportunity. After graduation, I’d like to travel and eventually end up back in Texas where I want to open my own business. Jim’s story is inspiring, and I like the fun and professional culture here. They have lots of fun and get the work done.”

At the beginning of his internship, Michael was handed a mission:  How will you illustrate your experience at ADwërks? Here’s a glimpse at the Internship Chronicles, a documentary from Michael.

P.S. The big ‘who’s-making-coffee-now’ dilemma has been resolved.


The Art of Not Shaving

It’s been 11 days, 8 hours, and 41 minutes since Jim’s razor went into hibernation, and we weren’t sure if the stubble would abide for the No-Shave movement. We also weren’t sure if Kara was ready for this War of Whiskers, or if a protest would take place behind closed doors. Fortunately, Jim’s whiskers are stepping up their game and starting to look more like a beard and less like he’s homeless. This is great for Kara and great for the cause!

Day 7

Day 7

Day 8

Day 8

Day 9

Day 9

Day 10

Day 10

Day 11

Day 11

The last time Jim put the razor down for an extended period-of-time (and

Jim and Monday

Jim and Monday

wore a kilt) was roughly 16 years ago. No wonder he is getting so many observations on this epic beard!

Follow along throughout the month, as we track his beard’s progress and how much this grooming challenge has raised for cancer research. Remember, Jim will match donations up to $250! We’re very excited about the donations received so far, but there’s still time to seize the opportunity and help cancer research and awareness, by donating https://no-shave.org/member/ADwerkerJim . It’s also not too late to participate in your own No-Shave November fundraiser. Every little bit helps, and it’s never too late to support a great cause. If you would like to participate, but are unable to grow a beard, please take one of our complimentary mustaches and get out there and raise some coin!


Complimentary Mustache

The Nightmare on Main Street

Jim’s ghosts are roaming eight to five,

Dead at Work

And coffee makes them come alive.

The agency now gleams with fright,

Ready for this haunting night.

Married to the handsome Devil,

Kara’s the queen of office revel.

With black magic and a bottle of Boos,

Carol does the work of two.

Back in the office of Sleepy Hollow,

Kirsten summons those that follow.

Despite any competition Hocus Pocus,

Kitchen turned Dungeon

Tyler keeps the client in focus,

And if ideas start falling flat,

Sara’s got a spell for that.

Resting witch-face and potions flying,

Nikki’s magic is copy writing.

Lurking around like Frankenstein,

Mike’s the monster of design.

Beware, if you see a smiling zombie,

Know Caryla’s finally had her coffee.

Office Dungeon

And after Sarah’s cast her media spell,

Her dark magic has results to tell,

Which will summon Kristi from her lair,

To find the best time on the air.

Foreseeing numbers through her crystal ball,

Heather never lets advertising fall.

After Jolene’s mastered her witches’ brew,

She’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog too.

So, pick your poison, Trick or Beer,

It’s a Monster Mash when Tonic’s here.

Beware of Zombie in the Basement

Beware of Zombies in the Basement

Follow us if you dare (just not in clown masks; that sh*t is creepy)



Syntax Architect

Yes! (That’s What She Said)

We have big news. We asked and she said YES! This definitely calls for an open bar. We are eager to announce that we’ve recruited another ADwërker, and another similar name for Caryla to mangle. Sarah Van Westen accepted our proposal as Digital Medialogist, to work with our team on one of our largest accounts.sarah-vw_for-blog

Sarah, a Sioux Falls native, completed her bachelor’s degree at SDSU, and went on to finish a master’s degree at University of Washington. Sarah’s background includes working for Sanford Health and The Seattle Public Library, as well as in-depth experience with writing and editing, information organization, and HTML elements. We were so fascinated by Sarah and her credentials that we could only do one thing: Hire her! Now, let’s celebrate!

When Sarah’s not kickin’ tail with her mad digital skills, she can be found enjoying a variety of local food and spirits, spending time with her adorable animals, or being a sophisticated traveler. Best of all, she’s got one of the shortest commutes in the entire office, or perhaps the entire world. Not as convenient as when someone has to crash on the couch in the “Cool Room,” but pretty darn close. Welcome to ADwërks, new workmate and neighbor.

ADwërks Gains Brave Intern

We’re on our best behaviors again, which means that we have a newcomer in the office. We found ourselves a Fall intern from Augustana University (or rather, he found us) and we couldn’t be more excited because we know those Augie scholars are pretty awesome. We can’t wait to introduce him to the day-to-day tasks (i.e. coffee) and get him acclimated to the activities that ensue the agency life. To break the ice and loosen things up a little for our newbie, we’ve provided him with our Office Bingo Card. The only rule to Office Bingo is, “Thou Shall Not Holler False Bingo.” Good luck, and Welcome to ADwërks, Michael.


Trolley Time

If you’ve ever stepped foot on the Sioux Falls Downtown Trolley, then you know that it has the ability to transport you back in time. Not like the DeLorean in Back to the Future, but more like a revelation into the early 1900’s Cable-Car era, when streetcars operated in the historic pathways of downtown. Rows of wooden benches, enormous windows, brass pillars, and other vintage components provide an authentic interior to this modern replica. With stops located throughout historic downtown, it’s incredibly convenient for locals and tourists to hitch a ride. Alas, as summer winds down, so does the Downtown Trolley service. Business and community donations kept thTrolley 6e historical street car rolling this year, and thanks to all the charitable people who supported the Trolley, it was another successful season for tourists and locals alike. Being located on the ‘Main’ drag gives us the opportunity to enjoy a piece of history, from our vast windows and by catching a lift. Trolley 7Come venture downtown to enjoy the last full week of looping the inner-city streets in style. Since the Trolley is like clockwork, you have the flexibility and leisure to plan your Trolley 5day doing casual activities or exploring. And, if our calculations are correct, when this Baby hits 88MPH, you’re going to see some serious…Sorry, we’re still thinking about Back to the Future. 

Happy Travels,


Tonic Turns Two

Monologue:  It’s My Birfday and I’ll Bark if I Want to.

I didn’t want to celebrate my birfday this year, but these jolly jackholes decided otherwise.

Instead of laying around the house, and having a nice, relaxing day watching for the mailman–he doesn’t bring phone books anymore, so it’s fun–I took a car ride to the office.

I toddled in on my leash, as usual. It looked and sounded like another typical day. Tyler was on the phone, so I couldn’t play with my squeaky toys. My tennis ball from yesterday was still wedged under the Craftsman, and the coffee snobs were hard at it again. Today should be a doBlog 1g-gone good time. Ruff.

These birfday bandits must not think I have any friends because they only invited themselves. Well, the UPS guy stopped by for a minute and brought me a treat, which he does every day. Oh, and the guy from the dry cleaners stopped in, but I don’t think he knew it was my birfday. He just nodded. Hazel wasn’t even here to Paw-ty. Her mom probably doesn’t think she’s mature enough for a shindig of this caliber. Ruff.

I figured I better check out the ballyhoo going on downstairs.  Maybe someone took the last Diet Coke from the fridge and all hell was breaking loose. Then, I spotted the massive white bone. Blog 2‘Guys, you shouldn’t have,’ I thought. Even new food bowls packed with tasty treats, just for me?!  I sat and waited patiently as the Empress and the Scribe held the camera in my face. “Smile, Tonic,” they said at this angle. “Stay, Tonic,” they begged at that angle. I only smile when I’m about ready to puke. They should know this by now. The Cog Whisperer turned into the Dog Whisperer by using Milkbones as a decoy to get my attention for the party hat. Party Hats?! You know I don’t like hats! Why did you bring hats?! You should have just put phone books all over the kitchen if you wanted to scare me silly. Ruff.

The treats weren’t even scratch and sniff. But, there were Milkbones. I love Milkbones. And toys. The front office now looks like a dog-toy crime scene. The party was over in less than 30 minutes. Thanks, party animals.

Blog 3


P.S. Mike is still my favorite, and Nikki ate three cupcakes.

(Ghostwriter: Syntax Architect)


ADwërks Announces Royal Recruit

Well, we did it again. We weren’t able to clone anyone, but we were able to recruit fresh talent for the office, to join our jolly bunch of jackholes, conceptual connoisseurs and marketing masters. We’re pretty excited that we found someone with great energy, and eye for creativity, and who partakes in our office shenanigans (and doesn’t get offended when Caryla mispronounces their name). We’ve committed to being on our best behavior and haven’t scared her away yet, so we’d like to introduce the newest media strategist, our Empress of Engagement, Kirsten Smith.

A recent graduate from Augustana University, where she was a star on the Augie Women’s Soccer Team, Kirsten brings with her a Business Administration and Marketing degree. Yeah, she’s a smarty. She’s the type of smarty an agency is proud to have on their team. Whether her team is oKirsten_forBlogn or off the field, her stunning skill-set, and qualities of leadership and positivity, earned her the title of Empress. She will be engaging in social and digital media strategies for some of our largest accounts, including McDonald’s. In addition to being results-driven and an exceptional problem solver, Kirsten’s competitive demeanor is a perfect fit for our client’s brand.

When Kirsten isn’t at the office, she enjoys exercising, painting, and shopping. She’s an Omaha native with Sioux Falls roots, and revels her free time with friends and family.