What Christina Yu sees in her new agency home

The award-winning creative has joined Patrick Scissons as a partner at OstrichCo, which has been evolving its offering.
Christina-Yu

Christina Yu and Patrick Scissons have always wanted to work together, but they couldn’t get the timing right – until now.

Yu was among the many senior-level talents who were laid off – or opted to leave – agencies at the start of the pandemic. At its onset, she was CCO and partner at Rethink, but she was part of a wave of layoffs at the agency. She then spent the year freelancing and running her own creative consultancy.

Though she was extended offers from several agencies, Yu says she was “looking for something different.” She found it in Ostrich Studios, Scissons’ unique, “maker-oriented” creative and production company, which she says “brings a different flavour and structure to the idea of the agency.” And – after years of wanting to work together – Yu has now joined Scissons as a partner in the company.

Ostrich launched in 2018 as the Ostrich Algorithm, a privately-funded digital product development studio with a helpful app called Regi. Since its founding, the company has expanded into professional services, production and media. In 2020, it became a founding partner of global independent agency collective By the Network.

The agency aims to bring a more holistic approach to its creative work, Scissons says, with “a desire to see through the vision from a director’s standpoint in the same way we’d want to see through a mobile app build or digital.”

“Our ambition isn’t to add billable scope and headcount and all of those measures typically associated with client success. We have an ambition to be vertically integrated and measure our success based on impact,” he explains. “We are much more production-minded from an integration standpoint, because that delivers cost efficiencies to the client – simply put, they’re working with fewer entities to create a deliverable.”

Ostrich’s approach to the work – and Yu’s directorial vision – can already be seen in the agency’s global campaign for Fiverr, which launched Wednesday on digital, TV and OOH. It includes more than 50 assets in several languages, and hinges on the idea that “a lot of people sit on their dreams,” says Yu.

“They think things are too difficult to execute or create,” she adds. “With Fiverr, you don’t have to have a ton of money to make your dreams come true. You can get there a lot faster, and with a lot of quality.”

Though Scissons wouldn’t name any new clients specifically, he said the agency has had “a significant amount” show interest in its model. Brands Ostrich has worked with include Freshbooks, Post Foods, Lee Valley Tools, Kits Eyewear, Second Cup, Beattie’s Vodka and Hemisphere Cannabis.