The Tip Post
Duncan Channon, the advertising/design/consulting firm, formerly of Marin County, first heard of the Adam Grant Building and, yes, the Tip from the one man who knows it all, a freelance advertising copywriter by the name of Grant Montero.
Montero is not only a distant relative of Ulysses S. and Adam Grant, he is the great-great-great grandson by her first husband of Maria Montero-Sanchez, Captain Plumpot-Brambley’s wife. A master’s candidate in US history at Princeton, where the hotel registry for the Tip is centerpiece of a 19th Century California collection, Montero was intrigued by the wild stories surrounding the saloon and soon was pursuing the story himself. In the process, he would be astonished to discover his own multiple connections to the Tip, after which it seemed “inescapable,” as he put it in his preface, that this colorful history would form the basis of his masters thesis, “Just The Tip: Alcoholism, Sexuality and Decadence in Early San Francisco.” (Which is precisely the basis of this website entry.)
When executive creative director Parker Channon mentioned to Montero, his go-to freelancer, that Duncan Channon was considering a move south to the city and was looking for a building with “character,” Montero instantly replied that he had just the place. “Maybe more character than you even bargained for.” Whereupon the copywriter spun the short version of his tale for the instantly impatient Channon and then sent over a copy of his thesis. The DC partners were immediately on the phone to Sealane, insisting that they not only see the 14th floor, but the Tip on 15 as well.
It was not clear that the Sealane representative on the phone had ever even heard of the Tip, let alone seen it. And the moment the prospective tenants and the Sealane guy creaked open that dusty door to reveal the storied room — now barely visible behind a dense skein of cobwebs — it was clear that the next chapter in the story was about to be written. Above the bar was the name “The Tip” and beneath it, in barely legible Latin, the motto: “We never give you the shaft.”
The DC guys were in love.
Actually, they were probably in love from the moment they finished Grant Montero’s book. And over the next six months, like modern-day (if way poorer) Mickey the Millionaires, in the face of apopleptic financial advisors and sobbing significant others, the three — P. Channon, A. Berkenfield and R. Duncan — would maniacally pour their company’s and then their own fortunes into this magically bewitching place high atop the old Adam Grant.
And so it was that on 29 March 2008, a man in a bunny suit clipped the satin ribbon across the doorway and “The Tip on 15,” as the new logo outside had styled it, was re-opened for business in its 221st year.
Inside, the vast throng of guests marveled at the tufted-leather bar and silver-edged mirror, the moonroof and flocked wallpaper, the “wine cellar in the sky” and the viticultural best of France, Italy and Spain. Indeed, Mickey Haff would have felt right at home. And as the debauchery commenced, as the drinking turned into dancing and nudity and bizarre sex and more drinking, so would Nigel Langhorne and Spanky and the high-living Lord Lucky, the heroic Adam Grant and his drunken dad Ulysses, Ivanovich the bartending blacksmith and maybe even the man who erected the original residence on San Somme and surely never imagined what it would become — the ex-pirate Plumpot-Brambley, back from the sea looking for the best damn time in the whole damn town.
Previous · Chapter 13
For your eyes only
Work + News
Nicotine = Brain Poison = Clio
Our work for CTCP has awakened parents to the teen vaping epidemic and won a slew of awards in the process (not nearly as important, but nice). The latest is that most venerable of ad accolades: the Clio.
SGX NYC | #hairgoals
SGX NYC wanted to increase awareness around winning two Allure Best of Beauty Awards and reinforce the brand’s positioning with cost-conscious consumers looking for premium products. We hit the bullseye with three well-known #hairgoals influencers.
Citi | “Citigrammers”
Citi wanted to increase awareness and favorability on social media, particularly within the music and dining categories. We assembled a team of influential visual artists to create the sort of shareable content the brand couldn't.
Million-dollar talent from Upwork
To support COVID-19 projects, Upwork is donating a million dollars of time from their network of independent professionals. And who better to tell us about it than the pros themselves?
e.l.f. Cosmetics | Coachella
e.l.f. wanted to launch Beauty Shield, an all-new skincare line powered with antioxidants and SPF to help protect your skin against environmental aggressors. DCLA provided the perfect testing ground.
Cotteleer in Campaign US
DC’s chief experience officer speaks with Campaign about the virtual world and how COVID-19 has actually brought DC’s SF and LA offices closer.
Empowering the pandemic parent
Amy, along with our CEO Andy, talking to MediaPost about the agency’s support plan for working parents suddenly at home with kids.
Loyalty or discount program advertising often dwells in the downscale world of the coupon clipper — a turnoff to savvier online shoppers. Our strategy was to present Rakuten as every bit as premium as the brands it offered rebates on.
While the competition focused on transaction and technology, Grubhub really understood the near magical moment that occurs when the “food’s here.”
California Tobacco Control Program | Social Smoking
Daily smoking has been on the decline for decades and yet casual smoking is actually on the rise. How do we get at-risk groups to see social smoking for what it is: plain old dangerous, unhealthy smoking.
Cotteleer talks COVID-19 in Adweek
As we seek to chart our way through the uncharted, DC’s Amy Cotteleer shares her thoughts on brands’ best course of action during the pandemic.
Another sweet new client
If you missed it in Adweek and Ad Age, DC went to the Black Forest and hit the gummy bear motherlode.