Ken Cook’s unique, integrated, tripod career blends design, branding, and advertising–traditional and digital–on both agency and client sides.

His background covers a myriad of disciplines, including design, brand strategy, marketing communications, packaging, corporate identity, advertising, interactive, Web, rich media, online experiential, e-commerce, CRM, digital/disruptive/guerrilla campaigns, and retail POS display, promotions, and experiences.

Brandtank is defined not by a single customer touch point, industry, or marketing category but by the collective engagements with which we are entrusted. Varied and broad, our good ideas get noticed. At our core is a creative approach to telling compelling stories that engage and an agnostic methodology that doesn't cloud our media recommendations.

With robust expertise spanning a full spectrum of clients in high tech, financial, consumer products, and sports marketing, Ken and his teams have created, launched, and managed successful global brand and advertising campaigns as well as targeted product launches for internal corporate marketing groups, agencies, design consultancies, and their clients. He has created identities for over 150 start-ups, established companies, and storied global brands through his past associations with brand firms (Siegel+Gale), major agencies (Chiat/Day, McCann, and Publicis & Hal Riney), and via his own creative consultancies (CookSherman and Brandtank).

Brandtank has been repeatedly recognized for doing great work across a full spectrum of business categories. Along with this recognition, Ken has garnered extensive C-suite-seasoned presentation experience, earning trust and respect as a leader and brand expert by agency creative officers, enterprise CMOs, CEOs, and boards alike. He's known for his consistently energetic approach, quick sense of humor, and intelligent thoroughness. Leveraging his idea-oriented designer core and high-level aesthetic point of view, he works both hands-on–when all hands are on deck–and as a visionary leader to bring out the best in his teams, thus performing at the highest level for clients doing business across the globe. He has built, led, or managed teams from five to 55-plus, using a flexible, insightful, and scalable approach to projects. He continues to bring about consistent success for collaborators and clients time and again.

With an easy wit, quick study, bright conclusions, and an inclusive coaching style, he has inspired many creatives and clients alike to seek him out year after year.

kencook@brandtank.com               510-457-6356 m


Daily impressions? Our work gets noticed.

The brand and retail look we created for Niman Ranch alone is seen by fine diners and supermarket consumers from New York to L.A., tens of thousands of times a day.

Our Capabilities

Strategy and Naming
• Brand and Integrated Marketing Strategy
• Brand Workshops and Internal Branding
• Digital/Internet Strategy
• Naming and Positioning
• Product Design Ideation
• Acquisition, Retention, and Loyalty Programs

Integrated Design and Advertising
• Branded Content
• Digital Marketing and Websites
• Online Advertising
• Experience Design
• Brand Communications and Advertising
• POS: Print, Collateral, and Packaging
• Identity Systems and Identity Development

Digital Solutions and Earned Media
• Viral Video
• Online Promotion and Events
• Social Media
• User Experience and Information Architecture
• eCommerce
• Mobile Application Design
• Web Multimedia and Interactive
• Motion Demos and Product Videos
• Interactive Sales Demonstrations

Nuts + Bolts

The grindstone.

The Brandtank offices and shooting studio operate out of a 4,000-square-foot converted circa-1948 nut-and-bolt machine shop near Pixar Studios in an area that's fast becoming a "valley" for advanced technology, healthcare, and environmental research. It is an ideal base. Our neighbors are emerging companies working to develop technologies, products, and services in biotechnology, science, high tech, and new media along the Emeryville corridor and Oakland border—companies such as Bayer, Electronic Arts, Jamba Juice, LeapFrog, Maxis Software, MobiTV, Novartis, Sendmail, and Title Nine. Also adding flavor to the area are several food and beverage brands, such as Peet's Coffee, Cliff Bar, Plum, and a range of emerging brands, from Amyris to TubeMogul.

Brandtank's ground-floor offices allow easy access for products and people, which comes in handy for comprehensive photo shoots and video/green screen productions. The space has appeared in Metropolitan Home magazine and has been used as a location for everything from healthcare to cookbook photo shoots.

Our shop is just the hub. Our many spokes, extending to San Francisco, Marin, Silicon Valley, Portland, and across the U.S., enable us to tap into creative, strategic, and production expertise from the Bay Area to New York. Our full-time and project-basis collaborators, including many who have worked with us repeatedly over the years, are brought on as projects call for expertise, specialties, and additional scale.

We've seen the light.

After years of working in design, branding, and advertising agencies, all of which wielded hefty freelance/contractor budgets and were partially or mostly staffed with contractors—many of whom we hired—we felt there was a better way for clients. Something more adaptable. Tailored. Nimble. And less of a cost burden on clients and the consultancy. A way for clients to avoid paying for the mistakes of a full-time, possibly inexperienced staff and big overhead that don't directly apply to the effort at hand.

What's in it for you?

• Fewer layers
• No missteps
• Faster turnaround

Brandtank's approach is not like the typical staffed agency with costly overhead, up-and-down head counts, and hourly rates of $500 and higher. Brandtank is a more competitive, flexible, creative brokerage led by a multifaceted creative officer with a depth of strategic acumen, brand expertise, strong leadership skills, and broad managerial experience.

Brandtank's extended team and production resources of a dozen or so curated and tested strategists, project managers, creatives, and production and interaction experts–brought on to client projects as needed–collectively possess deep expertise in film, video, interactive, UI/UX, advertising, interaction, motion, branding, design, packaging, copy/content, and brand strategy.

Our clients benefit from the just right talent applied only at the appropriate phase of the project development. Once the talent is engaged, we quickly build teams as dictated by the work plan that expand or contract with the ebb and flow of our assignment or project phases. We're about the work. The ideas. The solution. Not the HR department, the company party, or stocking the kitchen with fresh coffee capsules and energy bars.

What's in it for us?

Choice. By doing creative in this way, we can pursue projects that reflect our many interests, experiences, and passions and avoid the trap of too narrow a portfolio, specialization, or pigeonholing. After all, it's about creating cool creative, sticky campaigns, breakthrough disruptive ideas, and memorable branding no matter the expression or media through which they are projected.

As a highly experienced creative director, Ken knows that it takes a close-knit team to generate the best ideas: teams of talented people he has assembled many times, who possess the talents he respects and admires. These trusted collaborators work with each other and Ken to arrive at an end result that best suits the client's objectives and our collective desire for breakthrough creative.

Where to find us.

Pixar's backyard:

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Recognition and Awards


Ken's work has been honored by national and international design, advertising, and branding competitions such as Communication Arts, the L.A. Art Directors Club, One Show, The New York Art Directors Club, Society of Publication Designers, Graphic Design USA, and the San Francisco Show. Ken's work has also been featured in many books and industry publications, including The Annual of the Type Directors Club, American Corporate Identity, Graphic Design USA (annual of the AIGA), The AIGA Book Show Annual, Graphis, and quite a few Print Regional Design Annuals. He also is a Cannes Finalist and has many local, regional, and national Addys to his credit.

Ken's work has been recognized by and resides in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and the communications archives at Columbia University, New York, New York. His work has been on display at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C.

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