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August, 22nd 2010
In the spring, Mark DiMassimo, CEO and chief creative officer of DIGO, and Eric Yaverbaum, president of Ericho Communications residents of Rye and Larchmont respectively — founded Offlining Inc., a campaign that calls on dads to forego their wireless devices to create blocks of family-only time between Father’s Day and Thanksgiving. The following are excerpts of an e-mail exchange between reporter Patrick Gallagher and the marketing duo.
Q: What inspired you to launch Offlining Inc.?
A: We were experiencing some degree of failure to put our online lives in their place. We have kids, we have people who want our attention. Technology provides some amazing tools for connecting, managing and playing, but at some point we just started to ask ourselves — are we holding the strings or are we the puppets?
The best way to get our full attention is to build the aspiration into a brand and a movement, so we came up with Offlining.
Q: In the past several years since the launch of devices such as the iPhone, have people become too attached to their wireless devices?
A: We think it’s great that these products are so good that you can’t imagine living without them. But, we think your relationships will be stronger and your life will be richer if you learn to use the off button from time to time. Trust us.
Q: It would be unrealistic to think people will entirely abandon their Blackberries, iPhones and laptops. What do you think would be a good middle ground?
A: We’ve suggested 10 Device-Free dinners between now and Thanksgiving. That’s a good start. We’re not giving up our devices and we’re not asking you to either.
We’d like to be able to reach you, so out of pure selfishness, we want you to keep your device. We just want you to do enough to make some room for offline life in your life.
Q: Since launching the initiative, what feedback have you gotten from dads who have taken the pledge?
A: We expected some criticism, we even tried to provoke a bit with our cheeky cards, but so far we just keep getting a lot of “Right on!” People just really feel that this is a real issue in their lives, one that they struggle with, and they like the acknowledgement that this is a real issue.
At kids soccer games around the country, hyperconnected Dads tweet about trivia to pass the time. Meanwhile, as you walk into a supposedly social event, people all around you pull out their devices to “check in” on Foursquare or Gowalla. Through the night, people continue sharing their real feelings and thoughts not with the person in front of them but to their audience of “followers” on Twitter, making a real life social event feel decidedly ANTI-social. Sound familiar? As technology allows us to share every moment instantaneously online, are we missing out on what is right in front us? And if so, is the only solution to turn our gadgets off, or is there some imaginary line of balance that we can strike? This session will explore those questions, and the anti-social path that our always-connectedness may be leading us towards. Most importantly, we’ll try to uncover how you might fight back and reclaim your humanity from the social media bubble around you. We like the idea, let them know what you think! … To read more click here.
Even though it was only a few years ago, life in the year 1999 B.C. – Before Cell Phones – is difficult to imagine now. More than a platform to play ‘Bejeweled’, cell phones have become an essential tool for communicating in today’s modern world. With text messaging, e-mail and evenTwitter now used as vital modes of communication, life without a cell phone seems little more than a a Yakov Smirnoff “In Soviet Russia…” joke — or if you’re truly tech-obsessed, a total nightmare.
But even with the added convenience and ease that a cell phone brings, there are some definite downsides. Some experts believe excessive use can cause us to become more impatient, impulsive, forgetful and even more narcissistic, reports the New York Times. A recent poll conducted by the paper found that people think cell phones are intrusive and increase stress levels. To read more click here.
DIGO, the agency that builds brands and businesses, is now getting to build out some new space due to building its own business. The lease of new space contiguous with the current agency offices at 220 East 23rd Street has both architects and agency team-members delighted. The new space will contain more offices and project rooms, a common area. Rumors of a wet bar are all wet, however the agency ping pong table will remain. Clients and visitors will enjoy a new reception area, and Lee will finally achieve his dream of a state-of-the-art conference room. If you haven’t been to the space lately, may we suggest stopping by for a visit and a tour in the next few months.
B2C Marketing Insider
July 27th, 2010
Has Technology Become a Drug? Providing Balance with Offlining, Inc.
A new initiative has been launched — Offlining, Inc.— that urges (initially) parents to turn off their mobile devices and computers, and focus more quality attention on the people that matter most in their lives. The ‘Offlining’ founders are Eric Yaverbaum and Mark DiMassimo, the innovative marketing entrepreneurs behind the environmental movement Tappening and the political and educational Read To Vote campaign. In our technology-obsessed modern world, Offlining offers an opportunity to foster more balance between technology and our humanity, by encouraging us to incorporate traditional communication modes into our everyday lives.
Says DiMassimo, “Eric and I have spent most of the past two decades convincing people to click, log on, trade stocks in their underwear, go shopping online, and spend more time with their digital friends. We’re still doing that. But now we’re also selling the Off Button! We don’t believe we’re starting a trend.’ To read more click here.
July 26th, 2010
Mark DiMassimo’s one on one interview with the host of Your World with Neil Cavuto on Fox News Channel.
MISTAKES NOT TO MAKE IN A SOCIAL WORLD.
CNN has fired senior editor of Middle East affairs Octavia Nasr. As Daniel Halper pointed out the other day, Nasr wrote on Twitter on July 4 that she was “sad” to hear of the death of Hezbollah’s Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah–a man for whom she has “respect.” Fadlallah had justified suicide bombings, is believed to be responsible for the Marine barracks bombing, and had said that “Zionism has inflated the number of victims in this Holocaust beyond imagination.”
Mark DiMassimo, CEO and Chief Creative Officer of DIGO and Eric Yaverbaum, CEO of Ericho Communications, talk about their new movement, Offlining on ABC TV.
NEW YORK (WABC) — A new campaign to spend more face to face time is called “Offlining”. Eric Yaverbaum is a PR head, and Mark DiMassimo is a marketing executive. They frequently work together, but these days, they are the client. “We got together and said what’s bugging us about the world, and we said the off button. No one is selling the off button,” Yaverbaum said. In other words, everyone is yapping, texting and typing away. So, Eric and Mark are spending their own money to get people to turn off those devices, they call it Offlining. “We would like to accelerate a conversation of building offline time into life, that’s basically it,” said DiMassimo. To read more click here.