“My advice to young people is to be the Richard Branson of advertising”
In the premier episode of “The A-List”, host Tom Christmann interviews Rob Reilly, the Global Creative Chairman of Mcann Wolrdgroup. Reilly is one of the most well-respected creatives in the industry and has been recognized at Cannes with multiple Titanium and Grand Prix Lions awards. His 20+ years of advertising experience have made this interview a must-listen for anyone in, or looking to get into the advertising industry. You can listen to the full episode and view the shownotes below:
(0:00 – 1:36) Intro
(1:37 – 5:49) Rob Reilly’s Background
(5:50 – 12:42) Presenting, selling, and being a charming provocateur.
(16:00 – 18:12) Millennials and the culture of instant gratification
(18:13 – 32:00) Reilly’s career journey
(32:20 – 39:35) An evolving industry, purpose-led marketing, and the future of advertising
(39:36 – 47:00) Advertising portfolios and landing a job
(47:01 – 47:58) Outro
The A-List is brought to you 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.
Our clients are responsible for building brands and businesses simultaneously.
This often means urgently lowering the cost of acquiring customers and revenue while launching, relaunching or refreshing the brand.
Brand + Business Building.
Often, before we started working together, these leaders felt they alone bore that responsibility and perspective. Lots of people had solutions to sell them, but fitting those solutions together into a whole wasn’t anybody’s problem but theirs.
When we started working together, for the first time they had accountable partners responsible for growing the business and brand, and able to speak in the language of the CEO and the board too – the language of results.
Not all of our clients are public companies, but recently some of our public clients have released results that I’d like to share.
Weight Watchers has just posted their fifth straight quarter of membership recruitment growth, and marketing is credited to helping drive the growth, of which DiGo played an integral creative role.
After last year’s tax season, Jackson Hewitt moved their account to DiMassimo Goldstein, and the company has just reported our first results together. The short of it is that we preempted the rest of the industry and, with our smaller budget, outperformed everyone, including H&R Block.
These are public companies turning a corner. Their management teams are tight and urgently focused on results. They can’t sacrifice brand for revenue or revenue for brand – they need both urgently.
In this, they have a lot in common with our growth-stage clients who are changing industries and bringing the new world of Direct 3.0. The marketplace is changing quickly around industries, and while we help our clients seize the opportunities in Direct 2.0 platforms and technologies, we help them transform marketing for the marketplace beyond with powerful direct brand experiences – Direct 3.0. (Here’s a video on Direct 2.0 to whet your appetite for learning more about Direct 3.0.)
If you are at a giant company with a strategic sourcing department and a matrix management structure, you probably can’t hire us because you probably aren’t on a team with a leader who really is responsible for building both the brand and the business, and because you probably can’t really use a truly integrated, accountable partner of our size.
But if you are at the moment of extreme focus in your business where both marketing results and brand value are urgently essential to building the value of the enterprise, then finding true partners may just be a possibility worth considering.
If the results referenced above prove anything, it’s that when your brand inspires action and those actions build your brand, some wonderful things can happen.
If that’s what you’re working on, know that we are with you!
Two weeks ago, we interviewed Media Director and SXSW veteran Rebecca Weiser on what she expected out of this year’s conference down in Austin.
We asked her to take over the DiMassimo Goldstein twitter account – which you can check out here – and share her experience with all of our followers. This year, like all of the others before it, was full of inspiring brand surprises and creative guest speakers. Having been to SXSW six years in a row, she also provided a few pointers and tips for first-time attendees. If you happened to miss her real-time coverage, don’t panic: we’ve got you covered here. Check out a brief recap of her incredible week below:
The Facebook house and the Chips Movie donut shop both had some truly inspiring actions.
As many expected, virtual reality played a major role at this year’s SXSW. Here’s a sneak-peak into some of Rebecca’s favorite VR experiences of the weekend.
Storytelling was a prominent feature in many of this year’s events.
We’re already counting down the days to next years’ event, and as always, we’ll be there!
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.