This year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity brought some 15,000 creative minds from the advertising world to the South of France for a week of self-indulgent celebration and free Rosé, in honor of the past year’s creative work.
Here at DiMassimo Goldstein, however, we view creativity in a different light. We measure our creative ideas not by the number of Lions we bring home, but by our capacity to inspire action. To produce creative work that goes beyond commercial intent, by helping people develop more empowering habits and lead better lives. Creativity, we believe, should be used to make actions rather than award-winning ads. The latter is simply the means to an end.
So while the rest of the industry was toasting to ‘creativity’ on the beaches of Cannes, we held our 2nd Annual Festival de Cans on our very own DiGo beach last Thursday. Just like the other Cannes, but with less emphasis on navel-gazing, and more on helping others less fortunate than us.
Friends, family and acquaintances in New York were invited to bring a can of food to our office, in exchange for a can of beer, wine or soda on us. Not only did we make lasting memories with friends old and new, but we did so for a good cause: 83 cans were donated at the end of the night to St. Francis Food Pantries & Shelters, a local organization that provides food, clothing and shelter to those in need. We even built our own Cannes Lion last year using our collected cans, before donating them to a local food bank.
Ayn Rand has said that, “A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.” Rather than using our creativity to win awards, we’ll continue to build brands that inspire action and influence positive change in ourselves and others. If you’d like to do the same, we’ll see you at next year’s 3rd Annual Festival de Cans. Who needs bottled Rosé, anyway.
-Chloe Evans, Integrated Marketing Intern
The following post is an excerpt from Digital@Speed, authored by digital marketing guru Mark DiMassimo. Visit the official website here to download your free copy today.
I don’t shoot the messenger. Ever.
When someone brings up bad news, raises a controversial subject, or just tells the ugly truth in a meeting, I go out of my way to praise the messenger right there and then.
I want to make an example of them for everyone else. THIS is what I’m looking for. Honesty. Openness. Realness. Challenge.
If you don’t do this, you will hear less and less of the truth. And then where will you be?
I walk through the door of 220, my arms already stretching out for the up button on the elevator. As the golden, glistening doors glide open for me, I take a step into the enclosed space that will magically drop me off at the promised land all the way up to the treacherous heights of the…
So the day now commences. Walking through the tunnel of illuminated arrows guiding me to the reception, I routinely think I’ve been transported to some future version of “Follow the Yellow Brick Road – DiGo edition.” I emerge and see Sam, and I know I found my way for yet another day of adventure and learning. I walk closer to her to say hello, but the sound of Nick Jonas’ new album stops me short. I close my eyes. This my jam. Sam always knows just the right music to play that accommodates all employees, guests, and interns alike who breeze through the reception area.
I walk up to the ping pong table just a short sweep past the reception and channel my inner champion. And with full spirits, I head to my desk in the Creative Lounge, a comfy bungalow of colorful and stylistic chairs that vary in cushion thickness and lovability (directly correlated). I boot up my computer for the day. Dan, my computer named after its former master and fellow employee, sometimes is a bit slow. So I cheer it on as I help myself to a cup of coffee and chant “Go Dan Go!” inspired by my childhood favorite, “Go Diego, Go!” I remind myself to never lose my sense of curiosity, always ask questions, and push forward in all aspects of my work.
Once my computer is up, my screen populates with emails from my operations team. We set our objectives for the day – each of us emailing a list of five to seven main goals to accomplish.
I usually start with an ongoing summer long human resources project. In brief, it’s a bunch of Excel work. While many people begrudge the sound of that, my inner nerd has a strong affinity to this software program.
I start getting more emails as the people around me find more tasks for me to help with. Bertin, our finance coordinator, requests that I file some travel invoices and scan the documents. I’ve never used a scanner before. I walk up to the bulky machine looming oh so mysteriously in the corner. My heart is pulsating at a rapid speed as my hands start to push a myriad of buttons in a faulty order. Bertin sees the terror in my eyes and offers a helping hand. All is resolved and peace is restored. Invoicing is complete.
I meander back to my desk saying hello to the friendly faces around the office and resume my work on various operations projects, because soon I will have my meeting with my boss, Sydney. She’s the coolest gal on the block, and no one will argue that. With the tallest kicks in the game, I hear her walking toward the room where we are meeting for our weekly check in. As the Operations Manager, she makes sure everything runs smoothly, including my internship. We chat about our favorite brunch spots and after-work shenanigans before we bounce to business. She usually assigns me some new projects – both short term and long term.
So I begin to work on these from the late morning into early afternoon, but my stomach interrupts me around 1:00pm. I gather a #squad of other available interns and see if they want to grab lunch and sit in Madison Square Park for a few minutes. We venture out into the land of buildings and working professionals dressed in monotone suits (thank goodness for DiGo’s business casual dress code). We whisk down 23rd Street, passing by aromas of exquisite cuisines until we arrive at….
A salad place.
But it’s ok because we will be getting bagels at the office tomorrow so we should probably pursue a healthier option today anyway. As we eat our salads in the park, I look around as the sounds of the city and the banter of my fellow interns fills the air. Summer is a beautiful time of year indeed. Feeling refreshed and properly nourished, we trek back to the office for a full afternoon.
The remainder of the day is spent completing various operations tasks and making progress on my larger projects. When I’ve had enough of working in solitude, I group email two of my ‘terns, Chloe and Hannah. We are planning DiGo’s 20th Anniversary Party – keep your fingers crossed that you get invited because it will be the party of the decade. We like to hit the DiGo beach to do our party planning – we do our best thinking here. The three of us envision the majesty and splendor of luxurious décor and the finest of fancy foods. If I could give more details here I would, but it must be kept as a guarded secret for the time being.
I take a lap around 5:00pm and grab one last cup of coffee.
The final sprint.
In the last hour, I wrap up my work to a good stopping point, chat with my fellow interns about their evening plans, and check in with boss one last time. Another day passes in which I have made stronger connections with those I just met mere weeks ago, formed valuable time management skills with the several projects I’m on, nurtured my caffeine addiction, and felt truly inspired.
I felt inspired by the work ethic and natural flow of creativity harmoniously juxtaposed by a strong foundation – a structure spearheaded by the operations team. I felt inspired by the optimism of the office and the drive to move forward with every project in the works. I walk out a little less intimidated and more inspired by the grandeur, knowing that I am becoming a part of this company’s inspiration and core, along with all of my new interns and friends.
-Shelby Strattan, Operations Intern
It’s often said that if you choose a job you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. Despite battling an army of pigeons and dripping air conditioners to get to the office this morning, I can honestly say that this quote resonates with me. As I arrive at DiGo for the third week of my summer internship, I grab a bowl of Cap’n Crunch and head to my desk in the cozy Creative Lounge, excited to begin my day.
9:10am: I start with a trip to Adage.com for an update on industry news and trends, hoping to pull some inspiration for today’s social media activities. As an Integrated Marketing Intern at DiGo, no two days are ever the same. My daily tasks range from creating content for our social media platforms to planning agency events with other interns, social ‘listening’ and monitoring, and crafting client profiles to leverage in our content marketing strategy. In lieu of coffee runs and dry cleaning pick-ups, my complete involvement in the agency’s Integrated Marketing efforts has made me feel trusted and valued in my three weeks here. Needless to say, I’ve learned more at DiGo than a textbook could ever teach me.
10:00am: James, my manager, asks me to gather some clips to be included in Mark DiMassimo’s sizzle reel. After Googling what ‘sizzle reel’ means, I get started.
11:30am: I’m working with Shelby, the Operations Intern, to film a video that perfectly captures the life of a DiGo Intern. We hope that by providing some insight into the work that we do, the people we work with and the environment in which we work, we’ll be able to leave the agency with a helpful tool to prepare future interns for their months ahead. In search of some great footage, we set off on a tour of the office to find our first subjects. Thankfully, in an agency as lively and creative as ours, we didn’t have to look far for some inspiration. For any future interns who may have stumbled upon this post, below is a sneak peak of what’s to come in our video.
12:30pm: Lunch at DiGo on Wednesdays is like a Michelin-starred meal. While I don’t generally get this worked up over salads, believe me when I say that the Wednesday salad bar, perfectly timed after the weekly meditation session held in our office, is the perfect mid-week pick-me-up. Between Wednesday salad bars and Friday bagels, there’s certainly no shortage of brain food here.
1:00pm: Back to work. Of the many projects I’ve been working on this summer, one of my favorites has been collaborating with three other interns to plan DiGo’s 20th Anniversary celebration. The creative ideas that have emerged from combining our different backgrounds in marketing, strategy, operations and design have taught me the value of working with people whose skill sets are vastly different from my own. Today, we’re meeting with the party committee- Julia, James and Kevin- to present our thoughts and receive feedback. Despite some of our ideas being wildly unfeasible (can we rent robots?), I’m grateful for a job that allows me to use my imagination.
3:00pm: After our meeting, I begin to think of some ideas for an exciting new podcast that James has been working on. For a change of scenery, I head to the beach. How many interns get to work from a beach inside their office? Pretty few. 10, to be exact, and I’m sitting beside them all right now. There’s nothing like dipping your toes in the sand to get your creative juices flowing, and I spend the rest of the afternoon brainstorming from my chair on the beach.
One lesson I’ve learned over the past few weeks is the importance of being inspired by your job. How can you help to build inspiring brands if you aren’t inspired by the work yourself? For me, what I’m inspired by most at DiGo is the free cereal. Just kidding – it’s the people. Good people doing good things: from Jo who offered us donuts for breakfast, to Jeff, Antonio and Katie who took me out for buddy lunches in my first week, and my amazing managers, Julia and James, who make me feel like part of their team. The cereal is just an added bonus. I can’t wait to see what the next few weeks have in store.
-Chloe Evans, Integrated Marketing Intern
Agency Partner and Chief Creative Officer Tom Christmann has been a busy man as of late. Aside from spearheading our awesome creative department, he’s been recording podcasts – and great ones at that.
This time it’s the Don’t Get Me Started Podcast, hosted by Dan Balser, the advertising head at the Creative Circus in Atlanta. For a little over fifty minutes, Tom takes us through a timeline of his career, recounting pivotal moments and events that have altered his philosophy and the processes behind how he works. Other topics Tom and Dan discuss are subcultures and how they align with the advertising industry; the advantages of game theory; the importance of a work-life balance; how to review a portfolio; the Mad Men Bowling league; and the challenges facing the industry today.
This podcast has been years in the making, but the conversation was well worth the wait. Listen to the the full episode below.
And, if you haven’t already, be sure to check out Tom’s last podcast appearance HERE.
The following post is an excerpt from Digital@Speed, authored by digital marketing guru Mark DiMassimo. Visit the official website here to download your free copy today.
It’s not hard to find the smartest person in the room. Just listen for the best questions.
Take time and care to develop your questions. Think about what’s most important. You’ll get better answers. And more importantly, you’ll get answers you can use.
Ant think about using questions to create engagement in social and digital media. Questions are a great way to engage, and the answers can be surprising and valuable as well.
Our Chief, Mark DiMasismo, takes to the DiGo Beach to shed some light on the controversy surrounding the recent Association of National Advertisers (ANA) report on media kickbacks. To see the full transcript, scroll down below.
Mark DiMassimo On Media Kickbacks from DiMassimo Goldstein on Vimeo.
“So a lot of folks want to know what’s all this fuss about kickbacks – media kickbacks – that the ANA (the Association of National Advertisers) and the 4A’s (the American Association of Advertising Agencies) are squabbling about in public. In fact, the ANA, which represents the nation’s largest advertisers, is about to release a report that is predicted to say that most holding companies and agencies are taking kickbacks. Now I don’t know that that’s the fact, and I don’t know that that’s in the report, but that’s what’s being said in the press. And the 4A’s, which represents all the large agencies and holding companies, is coming back and saying ‘before you release your report, ANA, make sure that you have the facts’.
So what is this? What do they mean by kickbacks? I wanted to talk to you about this. I care a lot about it because I run an independent agency. And Independent agencies aren’t necessarily represented by either of those groups.
So we’re on the DiMassimo Goldstein beach here. Let’s look at these bowls of sand. Advertiser: let’s say that this is your media budget (holding bowl 1). And here it is again (holding bowl 2). And this is the independent agency bowl (bowl 1); as you can see, it’s transparent and nearly full. And that’s all your sand right there. In this other bowl, the holding company bowl (bowl 2), they’re probably going to tell you there’s more in this bowl than there is in the other bowl (bowl 1). But if you were to get really close, you would see that there is actually less – maybe 15% – 20% less – sand in this bowl (bowl 2). Why is there less sand in this bowl? I’ll tell you why. Because what is predicted to be finally reported by the ANA is that the holding companies are taking a little bit of the sand from each of those bowls and filling up their big, hidden crystal bowl that they keep in the back room, and are now challenging the 4A’s to prove that they have. But let me tell you, as an independent agency competing against the holding companies for years, I have long suspected and heard from many people on the inside that this bowl does, in fact, exist. And that while holding companies will promise clients ridiculously low commissions in order to get business, in fact, clients are paying bigtime in ways that they can’t track or see. Because the big bowls of media money are hidden, and the only things they see are the small bowls on their report.
So in short, since we don’t know all the facts and can’t know all the facts until this report comes out, and the lawsuits ensue, the fighting between the big advertisers and the big media companies works its way through the court, and there are decisions, etc. Since we can’t know, I would offer you this: in the meantime, there are many good independent agencies. DiMassimo Goldstein and our media arm, Proove, are completely transparent. Clients do not have to wait for a court to tell them where their money is, because it’s 100% evident and transparent, because there only is 1 bowl. There’s only 1 business here – only 1 bowl – and all of the sand that’s in it is your money, the client money. It’s all in there, 100% accounted for. So all of your money goes to helping you build your brand and sell in media. I hope that solved it.”
Last week, we attended the New York Festivals – World’s Best Advertising creative sessions and awards show. Going in, we didn’t know what to expect. Throughout the day, we listened in on four panel discussions and saw an inspiring award show in the evening. By the end of the night, we felt extremely motivated to create work that will positively impact and change the world.
The 4 panels:
Content Disruption with Beth Collins Ellard (AdCouncil), Maya Draisin (WIRED), David Angelo (David & Goliath), and Jennifer Bremner (Unilever)
Is Content Marketing the Only Marketing Left? with Andrew Hanelly (Manifest), Duncan Milne (Imprint), Jacquie Loch (St. Joseph Communications Media Group), and Rachel Jo Silver (Love Stories TV)
Pushing Buttons – and Cultural Boundaries with John Mescall (McCann), Gary Osifchin (Mondelez International), Josy Paul (BBDO India), and Jenna Young (Weber Shandwick)
Beyond Your Portfolio with Raj Ramamurthy (Ogilvy), Jessica Shriftman (Weiden & Kennedy), and Nick Smatt (BBDO)
What We We Learned:
1. Know Yourself: In the first panel, Jennifer Bremner, brand director for Dove Beauty, said “If you know what you stand for, it’s easier to take risks.” If you don’t know who you are, you can’t create anything with real confidence. It’s okay to make mistakes along the way, but strive to always be an authentic brand, agency, or individual.
2. Matching Values: “When an agency and a client understand their core values, and share in these values, genius and magic happen.” – David Angelo, founder of David & Goliath. Agencies and clients who are driven by the same purpose will naturally create awesome work together. If values do not match, relationships will inevitably suffer.
3. The Moment: Not every moment is the right moment. Put your idea out into the world when it makes sense, and has the potential to inspire change. Jessica Shriftman, art director at Wieden & Kennedy, waited for the perfect opportunity to share her creative idea for Father’s Day with the right client at the right time. And Delta thanked her for it. You can watch the finished product HERE.
4. Smart Decisions: Jacquie Loch, vice president of content solutions at St. Joseph Communications Media Group, said, “Don’t feel the need to cover every social channel. Find the ones that work for your brand identity and own them.” Rachel Jo Silver, founder of Love Stories TV, also stressed the importance of brands keying in on social media that fits with who they are and reaches their audience: “Think small when selling on big social media.”
5. Channel Emotion: “Goosebumps good” – David Angelo. Content that stirs an emotion you can’t put into words, but can feel, indicates greatness. Underheard in New York, made by Jessica Shriftman and team, is a perfect example of creating lasting emotions and all the feels.
6. The 70/20/10 Rule: This applies to the usage of advertising budgets. Spend 70% on traditional advertising, 20% on nontraditional advertising, and 10% on experimental advertising. This allows for growth while maintaining stability. The 10% may not work out all the time, but when it does it will certainly pay off. And if an agency believes enough in a new idea, it shouldn’t be afraid to financially pitch in to bring that idea to life.
7. Don’t Be Afraid: “At the core, there is a force of courage in all of us and shame/guilt/fear suppresses it.” – David Angelo. Don’t simply look at numbers. If 20% of people hate your campaign and 20% love it, remember that positive reception almost always outshines negative reception. “Without hate, there’s no love.” – Gary Osifchin, VP, Global Brands and Communication, Biscuits Global Category Team, Mondelez International
8. Live Your Truth: It takes bravery and effort to live your truth. “Staying true to yourself will inevitably alienate people. This creates room for the people that support you for being you.” – Gary Osifchin. See how Gary and his team helped Honey Maid live its truth HERE.
More Inspiring Work We Saw
Touch the Pickle: watch HERE
McWhopper: watch HERE
Love Has No Labels: watch HERE
Today I’m Brave: watch HERE
Winners from the 2016 NYFA awards show HERE
Being in the presence of these great marketing minds reinvigorated our purpose as creatives. We aren’t here just for the sake of making print ads and TV commercials. We are here to change society and impact the world for the better. We are here to inspire action.
– Erica Grau (Art Director), Dan Hickey (Junior Copywriter)