McGarrah Jessee

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McGarrah Jessee
Industry Advertising
Founded 1996
Headquarters Austin, Texas, United States
Key people
Founders: Mark McGarrah, Bryan Jessee

McGarrah Jessee is an independent brand development and integrated marketing agency based in Austin, Texas. The firm is known for its broad definition of branding, which includes retail design, packaging, merchandise, nontraditional and digital executions in addition to traditional advertising,[1] and has achieved notoriety for its guerrilla marketing campaigns, most notably for Shiner Beers.[2]

McGarrah Jessee was named “Southwest Agency of the Year” by Advertising Age in 2009.[3]


Longtime clients include: Frost Bank (15+ years),[4] Whataburger (10+ years),[5] Shiner Beers (10+ years)[6] and Costa Sunglasses (5+ years),[7] in addition to more recent partnerships with YETI Coolers[8] and Lemi Shine.


The agency was founded in 1996 by Mark McGarrah and Bryan Jessee, who were colleagues at The Richards Group and GSD&M.[9] Early clients included Seiko and Gatti’s Pizza.[10] The following year, McGarrah Jessee became agency of record for Frost National Bank.[11] By 2000 the firm had added seven more clients and grown to 27 employees.[12]

Over the next several years, McGarrah and Jessee broadened the agency’s capabilities by launching a business planning group,[13][14] a design studio,[15] and a public relations firm,[16] initially as independent partner agencies, which were later folded into a single multi-disciplinary agency.[17]

In 2009 the company began restoration of the historic American National Bank Building (pictured), one of the exemplars of mid-century modern architecture in the state of Texas. The building, which features a mural by 20th-century artist Seymour Fogel and interior design by international style architect Florence Knoll, became the firm’s new home in November 2010.[18] The McGarrah Jessee Building, as it is now known, has received honors from the American Institute of Architects.[19]

In 2012, McGarrah Jessee acquired boutique digital agency Exopolis, deepening its in-house digital capabilities.[20]

In 2014 the agency celebrated hiring its 100th employee.[21]

Industry Recognition[edit]

McGarrah Jessee has been named a Best Place to Work by Outside Magazine[22] and “Southwest Agency of the Year” by AdAge.[23] Its work has been recognized nationally by The One Show, the OBIE Awards, the ADDY awards, AIGA, Graphis, Type Directors Club and has been featured in Communication Arts Advertising, Design and Typography annuals.



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