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DiMassimo Goldstein blog

Welcome to our blog! Each week, our inspiring action content creators work hard to update this page with the latest and greatest in the world of DiGo.

The A-List Podcast: Episode 012 with Dan Kelleher

In the latest episode of “The A-List” podcast, host and DiMassimo Goldstein Chief Creative Officer Tom Christmann sits down with creative maestro Dan Kelleher, Chief Creative Officer at Deutsch. Dan has worked at many of the world’s most renowned agencies, including Saatchi & Saatchi, BBDO, Cliff Freeman & Partners, and DeVito/Verdi. His work for brands such as BMW, DIRECTV, General Mills, FedEx, and Guinness has earned some of the industry’s top awards. Bill Clinton once said that his favorite commercials were the “Cable Effects” spots for DIRECTV, which Kelleher helped bring to life. Dan was also responsible for bringing us the BMW Super Bowl ad, “Newfangled Idea,” which Ad Age ranked among the best Super Bowl ads of all time.

Tune in to hear Dan discuss how perseverance paved his path to success, what today’s creatives can learn from the “funny vs. not funny” wall, and why honesty is the key to great client relationships.

Show Notes

  • [0:00 – 1:35] Intro
  • [1:36 – 7:04] Growing up in Plainfield, New Jersey, being passionate about art and deciding that medical illustration wasn’t the right field for him
  • [7:05 – 11:35] The Rocky of advertising: how perseverance landed him his first job in the print production department of Ammirati & Puris
  • [11:36 – 20:39] Working on his portfolio, attending ad school, and learning the ropes from great bosses 
  • [20:40 – 29:32] Getting hired in his first creative role as junior art director at DeVito/Verdi
  • [29:33 – 34:36] Moving to Cliff Freeman & Partners and selling his first TV spot for Staples
  • [34:37 – 43:44] Lessons for young creatives from the “funny vs. not funny” wall
  • [43:45 – 49:14] Dan and Tom discuss their time at BBDO working for Gerry Graf
  • [49:15 – 54:32] Working at BBDO, getting more client interaction, and filming with Burt Reynolds
  • [54:33 – 59:50] The importance of honesty in developing great client relationships
  • [59:51 – 62:24] The value of building a strong agency culture
  • [62:25 – 69:20] What Dan looks for in a portfolio today and his one piece of advice for young creatives
  • [62:21 – 70:50] Outro

“The A-List” is a podcast produced by DiMassimo Goldstein, recorded at the Gramercy Post, and sponsored by the Adhouse Advertising School, New York’s newest, smallest, and hippest ad school. You can subscribe and rate the show on iTunes or listen along on SoundCloud. For updates on upcoming episodes and guests, be sure to like the A-List Podcast on Facebook and follow host Tom Christmann on Twitter. If you want to be interviewed for an upcoming episode, contact us at AdhouseNYC.com.

Selfies That Change Things

Facebook is thirteen years old.

So it’s not exactly breaking news that we live in a direct-led and socially connected world. We’ve been living in it for over a decade now. It’s not going to change our lives; it already has. The way we talk. The way we think. The way we act. As people. As consumers. And, for those paying attention, as brands.

Even the line between brand and consumer is becoming blurred. With brands like Lyft and Airbnb, the platforms themselves have become communities where brand values and benefits are communicated through daily interactions, rather than through headlines. Actions, not ads, have become the coin of the realm.

46-inch TVs sitting in living rooms have become 7-inch smartphones constantly moving. From couch to desk to coffee shop to grocery store. From Facebook to Twitter to YouTube to Instagram to Snapchat. Seamlessly. “Word of mouth” has become “likes,” “shares,” “comments,” and “snapchat follows.”

People are literally carrying your brand around in their pockets. So it makes sense that marketing has become more personal. Now, more than ever, people want to be a part of the brand. They expect to have a voice.

And this is why we invented The Selfifesto® – a new and innovative co-creation process that puts your brand’s most devoted fans at the center of the process to bring the brand truths to life.

Tapping into today’s selfie-culture, we ask brand loyalists to record videos of themselves on their smartphones. Then we package the video into an ad where they become the stars. We provide the brief, strategy, concept, scripts, and editing, but each consumer is their own director, actor, and camera operator. An ad co-created between the brand and consumer.  It’s not just our campaign; it’s theirs as well.

In return, the brand develops a greater understanding of their target audience, increasing customer satisfaction through the back-and-forth interaction. A community is built, and engagement is only further intensified when the superstars themselves spread the spots online.

It’s an experiment we first tried with WeightWatchers a few months back, and then again with Affinity Federal Credit Union. Real customers with real stories… a celebration of their success with the brands, all for a fraction of typical production costs.

No one knows your consumers better than they know themselves, and when you give them the voice they want and invite them to join the conversation, some amazing things can happen. Remember, a brand is not what you tell people it is. A brand is what people tell people it is.

If you want to learn more about how we can do this for you and your brand, we’d love to talk. Email tom@digobrands.com for more on The Selfifesto®.

 

Affinity Means Belonging To Something Better

We’re proud to announce that our new campaign for inspiring action client Affinity Federal Credit Union officially launched last week!

Affinity is an organization built around empathy, and those values and behaviors are communicated on every level and throughout every brand touchpoint. Affinity members are unified, supportive and inclusive. It’s their money. It’s their organization. We wanted to bring that emotional connection to life in an iconic way.

The new campaign, titled “A Community Connected,” showcases the life-changing benefits that each member provides one another. Using real members with real stories, this campaign perfectly captures how belonging to Affinity means belonging to something better.

The highlights of the campaign are the three videos in which Affinity members themselves are the stars. We asked members to record selfie videos detailing their inspiring experience with the credit union, and we worked to compile these videos all into powerful ads.

We continue to be inspired by how Affinity improves the lives of the members and communities they serve through community credit, and we couldn’t be prouder to be their agency.

 

 

The A-List Podcast: Episode 11 with Kash Sree

In this week’s episode of “The A-List” podcast, host and DiMassimo Goldstein Chief Creative Officer Tom Christmann chats with the brilliant Kash Sree, Group Creative Director at gyro New York. Kash has worked at many of the top agencies across the world, from SS&K to Perreira & O’Dell, JWT, BBH New York, and Wieden + Kennedy. Working on such global accounts as Vaseline, DeBeers, Axe, Nintendo and Nike, Kash has helped create some of the industry’s most iconic campaigns, including Nike’s “Hackeysack” spot with Tiger Woods. Kash was also the recipient of an Emmy and a Cannes Grand Prix for his inspiring work on two different Nike campaigns in the same year.

Tune in to hear Kash discuss his journey from martial arts teacher to art director to copywriter, what he looks for in creative talent today, and why kindness – to yourself and others – is key.  Full episode and show notes below!

Show Notes

  • [0:00 – 1:55] Intro
  • [1:56 – 7:42] Growing up in East London, eating Kentucky Fried Chicken every day, and trying not to be noticed at school.
  • [7:43 – 10:20] Working as a kung fu instructor and trading in martial arts for design school
  • [10:21 – 18:19] Beginning his journey into advertising and proving his professor wrong
  • [18:20 – 20:52] The importance of research in being a great creative and making a great ad
  • [20:53 – 30:05] Getting fired from Ogilvy after 5 months and moving to Singapore
  • [30:06 – 34:22] Learning to stand up for his work and switching from art direction to copywriting
  • [34:23 – 39:05] Getting a crash course in advertising
  • [39:06 – 44:09] Seeking inspiration in culture and applying lessons from martial arts to advertising
  • [44:10 – 50:12] “Staying stupid” to avoid bad briefs
  • [50:13 – 61:43] Being motivated by fame, getting sued and winning an award
  • [61:44 – 69:42] How today’s creatives can impress Kash
  • [69:43 – 71:06] Outro

“The A-List” is a podcast produced by DiMassimo Goldstein, recorded at the Gramercy Post, and sponsored by the Adhouse Advertising School, New York’s newest, smallest, and hippest ad school. You can subscribe and rate the show on iTunes or listen along on SoundCloud. For updates on upcoming episodes and guests, be sure to like the A-List Podcast on Facebook and follow host Tom Christmann on Twitter. If you want to be interviewed for an upcoming episode, contact us at AdhouseNYC.com.

Inspiring Action Brand of the Month: Bombas

Five years ago, Randy Heath and David Goldberg stumbled upon a quote that would change their lives forever.

“Socks are the number one most requested clothing item at homeless shelters.”

Not coats. Not gloves. Socks. The very same items that we subconsciously put on every single morning also happen to be a luxury to millions of people in need. Socks are what’s called a “wear through” item, which means that you cannot donate used pairs due to hygenic issues. This makes sock donations particularly difficult, putting them in high demand in homeless shelters across the country.

Surprised and upset by this heartbreaking insight, the two began to brainstorm. They wanted to help bring awareness to this under-publicized issue. They wanted to make a change. They wanted to inspire action.

So they did just that. They quit their jobs and launched Bombas, a sock company built from the ground up with an inspiring idea above commercial intent. To help the over 560,000 homeless people in the United States, Bombas would use the same buy-one-donate-one model made famous by TOMS Shoes and Warby Parker to help deliver to those in need.

But a brand is only as strong as the product and experience it delivers. If Heath and Goldberg were to succeed, they would need to design a product that was superior to whatever was already offered in the marketplace.

They spent over two years on research and development, studying the industry, experimenting with countless fabrics, and dissecting every pain point associated with socks.

The result was a perfectly engineered sock, with every minute detail designed with the consumer in mind — perfect for both athletic performance and leisure.

But the needs of the homeless and the needs of the Bombas consumer are very different. With that in mind, Heath and Goldberg reimagined the structure of their donation sock. The donation sock is engineered with reinforced seams for greater durability and a longer lifespan. It contains an anti-microbial treatment that prevents the growth of fungus and odors, and the socks are in darker tones to show less wear and tear. The refashioned sock is a testament to Heath and Goldberg’s commitment to fight homelessness with innovation and further solidifies Bombas’ reputation as a brand that’s driven by purpose rather than profit.

Stitched inside every Bombas sock is the brand’s mantra “Bee Better.” The name Bombas is derived from the Latin bombus, which means bumblebee. Bees are small, but together, they can make a huge impact. Bombas is no different, and the mantra serves as a constant reminder that we are all connected, and that even the smallest of actions can make a big difference.

Anxious and excited to share their product with the world, they went to market with the goal of donating 1,000,000 socks by 2024 – but it took just two years.

Word of their inspiring brand story spread like wildfire, and people flocked to be a part of it. It was human to the core, and consumers felt emotionally connected to the brand’s purpose and mission. It’s much more than just a pair of socks. It’s an experience that leaves you feeling impassioned, rewarded and inspired.

Today, Bombas has donated 2,287,666 socks to charity – a number that rises by the thousands with each passing day.

2,287,666 random acts of kindness. 2,287,666 inspiring actions.

That is why Bombas is our inspiring action brand of the month!

 

The A-List Podcast: Episode 010 With Eric Silver

This week on “The A-List” podcast, host and Chief Creative Officer of DiMassimo Goldstein Tom Christmann chats with award-winning creative genius Eric Silver, McCann’s North American Chief Creative Officer. Since kicking off his career as a copywriter in the 90’s, Eric has left his creative mark on some of the top agencies across the country, working on many of the biggest brands in the world from Nike to ESPN. Recently, Eric brought us the renowned “Fearless Girl” statue that famously stares down Wall Street’s “Charging Bull”.

Tune in to hear Eric discuss his circuitous journey from aspiring attorney to copywriter, the value of attending ad school, and the one piece of advice he gives to new creatives entering the advertising industry today. Full episode and show notes below!

Show Notes

  • [0:00 – 1:25] Intro
  • [1:26 – 4:34] Eric’s childhood in Orange, CT and sneaking into movie theaters
  • [4:35 – 8:25] Attending law school in Los Angeles and realizing that law wasn’t right for him
  • [8:26 – 10:20] Considering a future in advertising for the first time after seeing a Nike ad
  • [10:21—17:19] Eric’s journey into advertising and why he advises young creatives to attend ad school
  • [17:20 – 21:15] Landing a job at Larsen Colby, finding his first partner and building a tribe
  • [21:16 – 30:10] David Angelo’s passionate speech at TBWA\Chiat\Day New York and moving to Earl Palmer Brown
  • [30:11 — 31:54] Eric and Tom’s advice to young creatives today
  • [31:55 – 35:07] Finding his mentors at Wieden & Kennedy
  • [35:08 – 44:07] Eric’s first big TV spot: the retail assignment nobody wanted
  • [44:08 – 49:15] Leaving advertising for David Letterman
  • [49:16 – 56:33] Working at Cliff Freeman & Partners, BBDO and DDB
  • [56:34 – 1:02:26] Collaborating with Rob Reilly on “The Fearless Girl”
  • [1:02:27 – 1:03:44] Outro

“The A-List” is a podcast produced by DiMassimo Goldstein, recorded at the Gramercy Post, and sponsored by the Adhouse Advertising School, New York’s newest, smallest, and hippest ad school. You can subscribe and rate the show on iTunes or listen along on SoundCloud. For updates on upcoming episodes and guests, be sure to like the A-List Podcast on Facebook and follow host Tom Christmann on Twitter. If you want to be interviewed for an upcoming episode, contact us at AdhouseNYC.com.

The A-List Podcast: Episode 009 with Megan Skelly

In the ninth episode of “The A-List” podcast, host and DiMassimo Goldstein Chief Creative Officer Tom Christmann chats with his long-time friend Megan Skelly, the Group Executive Creative Director at R/GA. Megan has been the creative lead on some of the world’s biggest name brands such as Coca-Cola, Target, Stella Artois, and most recently Verizon Wireless. Last year, Business Insider named her one of the “30 Most Creative Women in Advertising” – an honor that she fully deserves.

Tune in and hear Megan and Tom talk about their time together at Kirshenbaum, stepping over dead bodies, not being afraid to be stupid and so much more. Full episode and show notes below!

Show Notes

  • [00:00 – 01:36] Intro
  • [01:37 – 09:24] Megan talks about her childhood in Connecticut and her aspirations of becoming a painter
  • [09:25 – 13:40] Living on a pull out couch for three years in Westport and trying to get a job in the recession
  • [13:41 – 19:20] Moving to New York City and working at Wonderman
  • [19:21 – 26:00] Megan talks about her role models in the industry
  • [26:01 – 31:03] Working on Cablevision at KBS and becoming a storyteller
  • [31:04 – 37:16] “Making it”, using fear as a motivator, and trusting the process
  • [37:17 – 44:20] Not being afraid to be stupid and knowing your strengths
  • [44:21 – 46:05] Why the industry is more exciting today than ever
  • [46:06 – 54:50] The different DNA of R/GA
  • [54:41 – 55:52] Outro

“The A-List” is a podcast produced by DiMassimo Goldstein, recorded at the Gramercy Post, and sponsored by the Adhouse Advertising School, New York’s newest, smallest, and hippest ad school. You can subscribe and rate the show on iTunes or listen along on SoundCloud. For updates on upcoming episodes and guests, be sure to like the A-List Podcast on Facebook and follow host Tom Christmann on Twitter. If you want to be interviewed for an upcoming episode, contact us at AdhouseNYC.com.

7 Things Challenger Brands Do Differently

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.

Apple. Virgin. Southwest. JetBlue. Crunch. Snapple. Groupon. BlueFly. Zappos. The Motley Fool. What do these brands have in common? They’re challengers, and successful ones at that.

They’ve mastered the art of zagging where others have tended to zig. They’ve taken on the goliaths of their industries and come out on top. The truth is, it’s a challenging world out there, and every marketer these days needs to be a successful challenger or go down.

Market leadership doesn’t create an exception. Look at Citibank and IBM, for example. By becoming their own best competition, they’ve looked like ready challengers, reinvented their businesses and continued to grow.

Here’s what challengers do differently:

1) The top dog is INVOLVED. Intimately.

Some folks think the reason they got degrees and big titles was so that they could independently run their own empire. Some of these people are actually pretty smart. But nine times out of ten, this attitude will do them in.

A boss is not a meddler to be avoided. If you were playing chess, you wouldn’t leave your Queen in the background and try to fight it out endlessly with your lesser pieces. Or would you?

Forget the org chart. Every player on the board is on your team. Use them!

If you want to make things happen @speed, you want the least distance between you and your boss. And you want to access the power your boss has to smooth situations and to make good tactical decisions into great strategic initiatives. Plus, you want the power to change things that you’re not personally responsible for, because changing those things will make all the difference in your ability to create success. So, you bring your boss in as a collaborator and ally. As much as possible, you lead hand in hand. It’s the challenger’s way to use every last person.

2) The advertising conversation and the business conversation are THE SAME CONVERSATION.

Don’t separate what you’re doing from why you’re doing it, even for a moment. You never want to be the one saying, “But we failed with work that was on the strategy we were given!” That is a level of responsibility, but it’s the wrong level.

You want to be responsible for the success of the enterprise. You want the brand and business to reach its full potential. You want to use not just your authority but your influence. Because nothing beats being a part of something great and you don’t want to leave that to chance.

In this context, great advertising is advertising that works for the business and brand. It brings the business strategy to life. It creates the connection that reflects the intentions of the business while both suggesting and fulfilling its promise.

This is where experience meets selling meets branding.

3) The work is seen as the ultimate weapon for conquering the competition.

Where is the unfair advantage to be found? You are not in a position to outspend. You’re not going to break the law. Or trying to change it to favor you. But you can pack more power into the product, the packaging, the service, the story, the propaganda. You can be smarter about the technology, the testing strategy, more ingenious and industrious about the optimizations.

You can win it in the marketplace of ideas. So, do that.

4) The brand is seen as a precious asset and the ultimate defensive fortification against copycats and commoditisers.

Challengers build unique brands and they value them above all else. Customers are intensely loved, but they come and go. Employees are highly valued, but the sort who are attracted to a challenger business can only be held by a great brand. A unique culture and point of view is often the only thing to hold onto in the perfect storm of growth.

A brand is armor and a full tank of gas. A brand is everything. And you only need a business to build one!

5) The VISION of the top dog drives the advertising.

Steve Jobs met every other week for intensive sessions with Lee Clow, the creative chairman of his advertising agency. In the most successful challenger businesses, the vision for the brand and advertising comes from the top. No question about it.

That kind of courage and purity of vision can’t be bought. It can’t be outsourced. No committee could sustain it. For a business that has its founder to get the full advantage of that fact, the vision must be owned and driven from the top.

6) The vision of the agency and the vision of the client are complimentary and synergistic.

The mutual inspiration society should include client and agency, vigorous discussions, sharing inspiration, lots of choices, and plenty of going back to the well.

The most sophisticated team wins.

7) Decisions get made in meetings, not just in between.

In big, bloated bureaucracies, meetings only ratify decisions that are made elsewhere. Which is why most people in those places feel that there time is wasted in meetings. Because it is.

But you don’t have time to waste. So you’re not going to protect your own ego or anyone else’s by pretending for a second to agree with what you don’t. You’re going to have real conversations. In front of whoever is there. And when some people complain about that and they try to negotiate with you to stop the open, inclusive, challenging, passionate dialogue, you are going to say, “I understand how you feel. And, no. Absolutely not. Because that would be replacing occasional discomfort with the endless pain of mediocrity and failure. Which you wouldn’t tolerate for long… you’d be gone. So, no! Let’s just agree to be respectful to each other, to put the good of the work first, and to say exactly what is on our minds.”