Updated: Apr 30, 2019

How Secret Fort CCO Jason Henderson is forging a new path for advertising through creative innovation.

How'd we get so far lost?

Out with the traditional advertising model and in with a new refreshed approach. Enter Jason Henderson; the founder of Secret Fort, and a leader in creative solutions with a vision for a better way of working.

Communicating a brand’s message to consumers should be a painless experience, but has become more of a pain than it should be. As a solution, both an improved agency model and a refuge for marketers was created within Secret Fort.

Jason gave the inside scoop on Chicago’s up-and-coming agency, provided insights on where traditional agencies are lacking, and explained how Secret Fort is gaining success by going against the grain.

Q: What initially spurred the start of Secret Fort? What was wrong with the ad industry?

A: If Ad people were wearing a mood ring today, chances are it would probably show the color black. In the past, meeting after meeting I was in, I saw a lot of unhappy people on all sides, whether creative, account, or client. There’s a lot of stress in the industry and a lot of unknowns. I wanted to create a place where it doesn’t have to be that way. Where it can be exciting, fun, and everybody gets along. A place where everyone can enjoy advertising again.

Q: What's really the “secret” behind the inner-workings of Secret Fort?

A: It’s something you can’t just go out and do. It’s our mindset and it's something we strongly believe in. It’s the will to win, and the will to make the people we work with and our clients happy. The more good we can do for everybody, the better.

Q: What’s a benefit of the Maker Network that works within Secret Fort?

A: Our creators are like our mercenaries who come in and get the job done in a short amount of time. We have over 250 makers in our network and they all know how to hit a brief. They’re always working on something different and every assignment is new and exciting. They don't get the same stone to chip away at every day. Those who are always working on the same account may not be open to new innovative ways to to solve the problem. This approach keeps things fresh.

Q: Does working within the Maker Network remove some of the redundancies that often happen at bigger agencies?

A: For me, it’s a lot less stress and drama. Our makers just come in and they get the job done. It’s both better and faster, and we get a lot of different approaches on every project.

Q: Is there a goal in mind for the future of Secret Fort?

A: I have a ton of respect for many of my fellow creatives. A goal would be that one day Secret Fort is the place where they'd really want to work. That to me is the ultimate win because that speaks to everything. It speaks to culture, word on the street, and also the type of clients you have. If we’re the shop where people want to work, that to me is a victory.

To discover more about Secret Fort email

Written by:

Meghan Rozman,

Secret Fort Creative Writer

  • White LinkedIn Icon
  • White Facebook Icon

312.988.0685 - 1008 W. LAKE STREET SUITE 2 - CHICAGO IL, 60607 - SECRETFORT.COM

© 2019 Secret Fort