Someone you should know: Lee James of Charlotte-based Mythic advertising firm

Lee James is president and chief creative officer at Mythic, a Charlotte-based advertising, branding and public relations firm.
Lee James is president and chief creative officer at Mythic, a Charlotte-based advertising, branding and public relations firm. Mythic

Lee James of Mythic, the Charlotte-based advertising and public relations firm, loves funny television spots. Humor is goal behind the firm’s 15-second “On with life” commercial spots for Meineke, airing now, which show how customers don’t have to spend all their time on car maintenance by choosing the brand’s repair services.

James says Mythic wants to be known for its branding work in more managed sectors, too - “regulated spaces” such as the financial sector, and insurance. Its current regional and national client list includes Maaco, Time Warner Cable, Wells Fargo, Ally, Crescent Communities and Charlotte Ballet. The firm is also doing commercial spots now for a large national health insurance company it won’t name, at the company’s request.

“We tend to thrive on complexity,” James said recently, speaking from the firm’s new uptown Charlotte space, a 1961 building that was the corporate headquarters for NCNB, predecessor of Bank of America. “Those are opportunities where it’s more of a challenge.”

Within its new space, James, the president and chief creative officer, notes there’s a lot of clean white space, for putting up and taking down projects, like a gallery. “We’re their canvas” he says of clients.

Founded in 2012, Mythic has 40 employees and reports annual capitalized billings of $42 million.

Here's more from James on how the firm does business:

On why they do the projects they do: James says while they enjoy working with big national brands, the firm also loves doing work in Charlotte. “We love the work that we did with the Charlotte Ballet re-brand,” -- a promotional campaign for the professional dance company that included bus advertisements and posters.

For Crescent Communities, Mythic is working on branding for the Tryon Place development,a 27-story office tower with hotel, restaurant and retail space at Stonewall and Tryon streets. It’s “a new take on Charlotte, and what Charlotte can do,” James says.

On landing national clients: Mythic's CEO, David Soliday, is a former executive at Wachovia (now Wells Fargo) and Bank of America.

“Having people here who worked with big banks and big brands…they didn't shy away from going after other big brands, because that's what they knew,” says James.

If you had the opportunity to brand Charlotte, so to speak, what would that campaign look like? “I think it would be about people. You look at any advertising for cities and states and they hit the high notes, the mountains and the beach and the wine country. It’s things everybody has... Go a layer deeper. Tell me a real story, underneath that layer.”