This past January, our Chief Creative Officer Tom Christmann was invited down to Miami to be a guest speaker at the world-renowned Miami Ad School.
The campus, which is nestled among the mural-covered warehouses of Miami’s design district, is a creative utopia. The sun ricochets off the building’s vibrant pink exterior. The courtyard is full of abstract sculptures, all of which are equal parts wacky and genius. The inside is just as inventive, with denim-lined walls and a towering gorilla constructed of duct tape.
This is much more than just a school. This is a museum of ideas. A place of inspiration.
Tom approached the podium and addressed the student body as “the leading creatives of 2020.” In a way only he can, he inspired and challenged the room full of young writers, designers, planners, and thinkers to use their creative power for good.
Over the course of the next half-hour, Tom shared his unique perspective on advertising with the audience. He talked about the future of brands, the power of actions over ads, and the qualities needed to hone your creativity and direct it toward making a positive impact on the world around you. It was an empowering presentation. To view an excerpt from the speech, check out the video below.
Throughout the remainder of the week, Tom led two classes in an agency-simulation exercise. In a very real-world scenario, the students were assigned a client, handed briefs, and tasked with presenting campaigns in just two days. Watching the students, many of whom were from foreign countries and different cultures, come together as a team to collaborate on ideas left us feeling inspired. Creativity is the language of the world.
We’d like to thank all the staff and students of Miami Ad School for welcoming Tom as one of their Industry Heroes. We hope to be back again in the future!
To hear more from Tom Christmann, look out for his upcoming podcast titled “The A List,” in which Tom interviews a who’s who in the creative world.
How does a digital direct brand reinvent itself for the direct 2.0 economy?
For Quicken Loans, it started with a big, inspiring idea:
Revolutionize and reinvent the mortgage process for today’s digital consumer.
But how does a mortgage-lending company offer something that no other mortgage-lending company has offered before?
For Quicken, it was simple. They don’t.
They don’t reinvent the product. Instead, they reinvent the experience from top to bottom, with an objective to stand up to the expectations of a Dollar Shave Club, Airbnb, Warby Parker world.
The competition was the backdrop. Mortgage-lending companies were old, slow, and boring.
To be for the digital consumer, the new experience needed to be futuristic, innovative, and direct. They needed to think like a tech company.
And they did. They assembled a team of over 450 engineers to build this new digital service.
After five years of research, testing and development, Quicken Loans was ready to lift the curtain on their revolutionary masterpiece – and what better way than an iconic spot during Super Bowl XLIX?
RocketMortgage was launched! The spot went viral. Direct 2.0 had reached the mortgage industry.
So how is it different?
With RocketMortgage, you can get a loan approved within minutes. The entire process is completely paperless, and the interface has the technology to verify your bank statements on the fly. No other service can offer such a streamlined and seamless user-experience. For RocketMortgage, it’s all about the customer.
Emotional Match. Creative Fatwood. Momentum Fire. Rocket Mortgage assembled all of the most important elements we look for in a blazing inspiring action brand.
And unlike its competitors, RocketMortgage delivers on its expectations. They’ve generated the optimum action, prioritizing the consumer and designing every detail of the service around their journey, successfully ridding the process of any gaps, logs or blocks.
They’ve put the power back into the consumers’ hands, leaving them feeling impassioned and inspiring them in a visceral way. They’ve managed to turn their inspiring idea into relationships, as Quicken Loans is now the leading online mortgage-lender in the United States.
That’s why RocketMortgage is our Inspiring Action Brand of the Week!
My largest obstacle was finding a career that inspired me.
From the very first time I can remember thinking about what my career would be, I always knew I would be an attorney. As a child and teen, I prided myself on being able to argue with the best of them – and win. I entered college knowing that I was four years away from entering law school and finally being close to fulfilling my destiny. The first dent in this dream was being waitlisted by my law school of choice. I was devastated to learn that the rest of the world didn’t see my destiny as clearly as I did. The second dent occurred when I “settled” on a different law school and spent the first semester painfully bored in every single one of my classes and finding nothing in common with any of my fellow students. I wasn’t nearly as in love with being a year 1 law student as they were. I was stunned to realize that my own heart and mind weren’t in line with this dream I’d had since childhood. The third, and final, dent occurred when I took the second semester of law school off and spent a few months temping at a law firm. I thought that maybe living and breathing inside my ultimate goal would reignite my passion, help me find my way. It didn’t. It only solidified what I had slowly come to realize. I didn’t want to be a lawyer. But what does a twenty-something do when the one and only dream she’s ever had is no longer the reality she wants? I love to read and was an English major in college, so I explored going to graduate school for literature. But I was tired of listening and talking. I wanted to do. I’ve always loved tutoring and studying with other people. So I eventually ended up in the Golden Apple program, a competitive program that offered an accelerated path to my master’s in education and my teaching certification. I started my teaching career in Chicago and spent three years in education, contributing what I could to the community and my school. But I started to realize that while I absolutely loved my students, I still wasn’t in love with what I was doing. I was happy and comfortable. But that comfort didn’t feel right to me. I started to wonder if maybe my path needed to lead me outside of the comfort zone of Chicago, where I grew up and where my entire family lived.
So my husband and I packed up our car and moved to New York. From that first scary night in a new city, I knew that we had made the right move. The day I was offered an internship at DiMassimo Goldstein, I just knew that, again, I was on the right path. My entire family and all of my friends thought that I was crazy taking such a big risk. That, at my age, an internship, followed by a full-time position as the agency’s first-impression manager, was a huge step back from my years as an award-winning teacher. But I told them to have faith, because it felt right to me. Even with how strongly I believed that I had finally found my path, I never could have imagined the amazing 11 years that I’ve had with this agency. Eleven years of inspiration, challenges and amazing growth. From intern to CFO and partner. What an amazing dream.
What are the lessons that I’ve learned from this incredibly long story? Don’t settle. Use whatever opportunities you’re presented with to seek out what inspires you. What makes you feel challenged. What helps you grow. What allows you to feel alive and engaged. Look for chances to make yourself uncomfortable. Allow yourself to feel the butterflies and the nervous energy.
A social world favors brands and businesses that are social to the core.
Too many marketers think of social as a channel, and others think of social as merely an opportunity or a challenge.
Social is more than that, as we’ve seen with the dramatically outperforming campaigns of a series of near-instant billion-dollar brands, from Dollar Shave Club to Warby Parker to The Honest Company. But social brand thinking can also relaunch, refresh and revive brands with their roots in the pre-social age.
We proved it for Memorial Sloan-Kettering when we shifted the center of its brand marketing from reiterating its superior care and outcomes to empowering and giving voice to heroic cancer patients through our “Talk Back to Cancer” campaign. The growth of Memorial Sloan-Kettering since the launch of that campaign has been phenomenal.
We proved it again when we helped Weight Watchers put its members in the center, using our patented Selfifesto® process, and helping to turn around recruitment.
Refreshing a brand for the social world means starting with reversed assumptions. Instead of thinking of a “target” whom we need to seduce, we think about how a prospect becomes a user and then becomes a brand-lover and loyalist.
We reimagine the brand from the user’s point of view. We realized that in a world of choice, what matters is people choosing to use our brand and our marketing as part of their own campaigns for themselves! If we become part of the user’s campaign to be more, better, happier … we win.
For us, the old way is anti-social thinking, and the new way is profoundly social thinking. Social brands just win.
We track all the KPIs on our brands, every single day. So, I can assure you that this isn’t some crunchy philosophy, but rather a key insight with geometric effect on the bottom line.
No, this doesn’t mean that I conduct my work with awards in mind. And it doesn’t mean that I’m selfish, or narcissistic. It means I’m human.
And yes, it’s possible to like awards and still be virtuous. In fact, most award winners are. They hold their work to a higher standard. They put in the extra hours. They care.
But they care about the award too, because awards carry influence, and award winners know that better than anyone.
Not just for the athlete or the recording artist, but for the restaurant owner, the real estate agent, and the business executive as well.
So I don’t feel bad when I say that awards matter, and you shouldn’t either.
That’s why I am so thrilled to announce that I have been named one of the judges for this year’s Gramercy Institute Financial Marketing Strategy Awards!
Having been to many of Gramercy Institute’s events over the last five years, I have been fortunate enough to experience firsthand just how much value this award can offer — and my business is better for it.
This particular award recognizes strategic excellence in financial marketing, and the winners will be invited to and recognized at a ceremony in front of the world’s best financial marketers. If this interests you, the deadline to submit an entry is February 15. You can enter and find additional information on the website HERE.
When a brand inspires action in a way that demonstrates love, courage, and understanding like Airbnb did this past week – we celebrate them.
As part of their new campaign titled “We Accept”, the company recently announced that the Airbnb community will provide free housing to refugees and those recently barred from entering the US.
Airbnb believes in the inspiring idea that no matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love, or who you worship, you deserve to belong. They then sprung that idea into action in a meaningful and iconic way. It’s a powerful stance from a brand committed to helping people live better lives.
So on behalf of all of us at DiMassimo Goldstein, we’d like to thank Airbnb for putting humanity first and reminding people everywhere that empathy wins.
If you want to inspire action as well, you can donate here to assist those in need.
Our Chief Mark DiMassimo has been a very busy man these past couple of weeks, speaking with different journalists and providing commentary on this year’s big game. If you’ve missed any of articles, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a look back on the biggest week in advertising!
Mark talked stunts and events with Mae Anderson of the Associated Press. Her article can be read here.
Mark chatted with Bertin Pellegrin of B on Brand to discuss the role of politics in this year’s commercials.
Read what Mark had to say about that buzz worthy Budweiser spot in this article for Quartz.