Mullen Advertising Leads Wave of Hip Businesses in the Strip

By Emily Lamielle

Amid restaurants, produce markets and artisans hops, you’ll find Mullen Advertising, an innovative marketing organization that promotes clients such as First Commonwealth Bank, Random House and the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium.

Eric Ash, a Duquesne University alumnus and director of public relations and social influence at Mullen, explained that the firm has changed with the times. “It started out more like a boutique, a creative shop. Over the years, [it] grew with digital online space, PR and social media.”

Today, Mullen is fueled by the cultural diversity and art of the Strip, paired with its own contemporary creativity and hightech expertise.

“Mullen invites the creativity of the Strip into its offices, specifically the cultural atmosphere of various ethnicities, food venues and wares that are sold on Smallman and Penn Avenue,.” Ash says.

In a progressive company where new media and technology dominate, the atmosphere of the Strip is soothing to Mullen’s employees. Ash says, “If all of the conference rooms are full, sometimes the creative team members will go to a coffee bar or restaurant where they can enjoy a sense of escapism, out of the realm of the office work space.”

Not only does Mullen utilize the creativity of the Strip, it also recreates its own originality in the confines of the office space.  A unique fusion between old and new permeates Mullen’s interior.

In the entryway of the brick building, a beach cruiser bicycle rests alone in the corner. A colorful array of “ideas” notes and drawings on sheets of paper cover a wall in the lobby space. In a lounge area, a vintage Coke machine lies between a white board and a brick wall.

What’s more, a locker and shower area also hides on the second floor of the office. Why?  For the employees to utilize after an afternoon run, of course!

Ash says, “Our president and executive creative director is a strong advocate for balancing work and hobbies. We have a shower room and lockers, so it’s common to go running at lunch or before work and then have a chance to clean up and get ready to go.”

Not only does Mullen benefit from its comfortable location on 24th Street, it has also reached out to its community, such as Neighbors in the Strip. Mullen has established relationships with several small businesses in the Strip, representing their mission and brand.

Ash says, “When the Pittsburgh Public Market opened, we helped with the logo treatment and branding aspects. It was an opportunity that befell from our location in the Strip.”

Ash says that Mullen Advertising has watched the Strip grow into the dynamic area it is today.  “I’ve seen the evolution of the area for the past thirteen years, working in the building in the same space, seeing shifts in the Strip from commercial to retail to residential to expansion. It’s been exciting,” Ash explains. “Visually, looking out the window, I can see what’s here and remember what used to be here. I look at how things have come and gone; how the Strip is a hip, cool spot that people love.”