Memphis ad agency opens tinkering lab for workers

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A Memphis advertising agency has opened a space for employees to do some creative tinkering, with the idea that it will supply inspiration for their work.

The Memphis Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/1hcqvHC ) the "lab @ archer-malmo" is on the fourth floor of the Cotton Exchange Building, where archer-malmo has its offices. The lab includes things like circuit boards and a 3D printer and serves as a place for workers to unwind creatively and try out new ideas.

The lab tinkering already has begun to find its way into work for clients.

Robby Grant is archer's director of digital development. He said the firm did an event for a client where it used the lab equipment to create what looked like game pieces based on the client's logo.

"So we've had our creative people in the creative department kind of cross over to help with some of that stuff and working with the 3D printing," Grant said. "We've also fleshed out some of the other prototypes we've been working on in the lab."

Archer CEO Russ Williams said that managing creative people involves "setting them free" in the sense of giving them the resources to put their talents and creative energy to full use.

Gary Backaus, archer's chief creative officer, said the lab also is a place where elements of several different archer teams can come together.

"It might seem a little unusual for an ad agency to get into this, but we want to be open to all possibilities for what a company like ours can do — and that means making things," Backaus said.

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Information from: The Memphis Daily News, http://www.memphisdailynews.com

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