We’re very proud to announce that for the third year in a row, DiMassimo Goldstein has made the Inc. 5000 list of the Fastest Growing Private Companies in America.
That’s three years in a row of award-winning growth. Three years in a row of growing by helping our clients grow. And three years in a row of Inspiring Action.
And in the spirit of the number three, this recognition means three very important things to us:
First, it means that our team members – the action heroes who deliver on our mission everyday — are growing. They are growing their expertise and their chops. They are growing as employees and human beings. And, they are growing as inspiring action marketers.
Secondly, it means that the Inspiring Action tribe, those who want to help people make more inspiring decisions and form more empowering habits, is growing.
And most importantly, it means that the world-class marketers and inspiring clients that we have partnered with are growing. As a true and un-conflicted agent of the client, we can only grow if our clients grow. So, congratulations!
And thank you for joining us on this inspiring journey of growth.
We’re building our clients brands and business, simultaneously driving brand value up and cost-per-acquisition down. We’re leading with transparent, accountable media. We’re pioneering new approaches to social-led, mobile-driven brand response marketing. We’re building the world’s leading brand response agency on Inspiring Action principles. And we’re not slowing down.
-The DiMassimo Goldstein Team
When it comes to staking out Web territory, Mark DiMassimo didn’t exactly have first-mover status. Up until a year ago, the 37-year-old founder of New York’s DiMassimo Brand Advertising wasn’t particularly interested in the Internet. A year ago, only 5 percent of his company’s billings came from dot com accounts.
“My attitude then, “ he recalls, “was ‘What’s all the fuss about?’”
Today, much of the fuss is about his 37-person ad agency, which so far this year has landed three Internet accounts- SmartMoney.com, Kozmo.com, and edu.com- worth more than $40 million, and recently added another two whose identities he declined to disclose. As a result, he expects dot coms to compromise more than 70 percent of 1999 billings, estimated to top $60 million, compared with 1998’s $25 million.
So how did DiMassimo go from Net no-show to hot dot-commodity? According to DiMassimo and his clients, it’s a combination of irreverence, prestigious offline experience- prior to founding DiMassimo in 1996, he worked at several agencies- and more irreverence.
Like many in advertising, DiMassimo has played agency hopscotch. After majoring in social science in college, he tried the life of a professional musician before staking his creative efforts on copywriting. (Today, he plays the drums to brainstorm.) After stints at BBDO and J. Walker Thompson, he moved to Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, a firm that appealed to DiMassimo because it took chances. Kirshenbaum, for instance, had created the campaign for No Excuses jeans, hiring Donna Rice, the Money Business shipmate of former presidential candidate Gary Hart, to be its first spokesperson.
That approach matched DiMassimo’s own penchant for flouting convention, which stems in part from his religious background. He’s not just an ex-Catholic, he’s a practicing ex-Catholic. “I find that among ex-Catholics there’s a certain kind of dark, irreverent humor, because if you’re Catholic, and you’re irreverent, that’s sacrilege,” he says. “It’s a pretty serious thing to be irreverent about religious principals, so when you make that move as a Catholic, you commit to it. It affects you deep down.”
At Kirshenbaum, he eventually became creative director, where that commitment was reflected in the Citibank AAdvantage card campaign, in which one of the ads shows an engagement ring on a finger and reads, “Was it love, or was it the miles?”
In 1996, DiMassimo decided to start his own firm; one that would blend creative with direct marketing. Having worked in direct marketing during his early agency years, DiMassimo says he sensed a gap in coverage. Companies launching new brands needed an agency that understood not only how to create brand awareness, but also how to reach consumers one-on-one.
It wasn’t until last year, however, that he realized the interactive Internet was the ultimate way to integrate the two. From that point, DiMassimo went after Internet firms “with a vengeance,” as he put it, by emphasizing his direct marketing and creative experience, and the irreverence that since has been revealed in campaigns for Kozmo and edu.com.
DiMassimo says that early on in this corporate makeover he learned a lesson in dealing with Internet companies. In the traditional advertising world, agencies are known by their work. Even if it’s a bad company, the good work will stand out, he contends. But on the Internet, your dot com clients’ identities also play a role. It’s not quite, “You are what you eat,” but more, “You are who feeds you.”
Says DiMassimo: “You’re known by your clients, and you’ll be positioned very quickly by whom you work with.”
Taking this advice, DiMassimo now finds himself interviewing potential clients as if he were investigating in the Internet firms. He spends most of his initial meetings with prospective clients asking questions: What’s your business model? Who are your strategic partners? Who’s your competition? Where did you get your money? What’s your budget?
“I have to interview and it’s not because of arrogance,” DiMassimo explains. “There’s so much of this kind of work chasing agencies that if people realize you’re in this business, you’ll be inundated with suitors in this area. My advice is: Be polite, but don’t waste more than 30 seconds on the phone with anybody who doesn’t have money. You can’t help that person. Also, learn to say no to people who have money but the wrong business plan.”
DiMassimo’s belief that your current Internet company lineup influences potential clients isn’t universally shared, even by his clients. During SmartMoney.com’s short agency review- it lasted only three weeks- the company wasn’t hung up on finding an agency with an Internet track record, says Peter Jurew, general manager of SmartMoney.com. In fact, he adds, some agencies with extensive Internet work have produced lousy campaigns, something he attributes to the current market in which Internet accounts can be plucked like low-hanging fruit.
“There are agencies who are so busy that they’re not going to really change or try and reinvent themselves,” says Jurew. “They’re sticking with what they’re doing because they’re getting so much work. So we saw agencies who were good, but nothing that knocked us out. Their stuff was the stuff you see all over the place.”
SmartMoney narrowed the list to four before choosing DiMassimo; a decision Jurew says was based on the agencies penchant for irreverence, its direct marketing experience, and on DiMassimo’s work at Kirshenbaum.
How Irreverent is DiMassimo? He doesn’t go for the Outpost.com approach, the gratuitously irreverent commercial in which mice are shot out of a cannon against a brick wall and viewers are told to send complaints to Outpost.com. Instead, he strives for relevant irreverence. Some of the firm’s work for shopping and delivery site Kozmo.com is brassy bordering on vulgar, but it calls for readers to buy a product, not register complaints. For instance, DiMassimo placed Kozmo posters in bar restrooms. The ad in the men’s room reads: “That girl’s a bitch. Why don’t you go home and rent a movie?”
DiMassimo explains, “You’re in a bar, talking to some girl, and you’re getting nowhere, and then you go into the bathroom and see this sign.”
Edu.com radio spots, meanwhile, brazenly make the point that the site is for students only. The campaign uses respected figures such as a nun or a police officer to rudely explain how they are not welcome at edu.com. In one, an announcer details the daring exploits of Officer Hanrahan then states, “We couldn’t give a rat’s ass” about Hanrahan because he’s not a student.
Popular with students, the campaign was what edu.com expected from DiMassimo, says Rob Levinson, edu.com’s director of marketing communications. “Mark had an edgy quality,” he says. “He understood how to approach our market and we’re in the college space, which is even more irreverent that the rest if the Internet space.”
One thing the edu.com spots don’t do, DiMassimo notes, is explain too much- a continual problem among Internet companies. Many Internet firms are introducing entirely new products or business models and their executives are often frustrated that consumers don’t understand exactly what they do. So they become fixated on the idea that they should explain it all in their advertising. This preoccupation, DiMassimo argues, leads to misguided expenditures of time and money.
“It doesn’t matter if people understand what you do, or how you do what you do. What matters is, are people buying your product or service?” he says. “I try to get my clients out of the explaining business, which is usually a frustrating, expensive, and fruitless business in advertising, and get them into the attraction business, attracting people to their sites and learning who they are.”
It’s a preoccupation DiMassimo essentially mocks in the non-restroom potion of the Kozmo campaign. Kozmo promises to deliver orders in less than an hour, which seems an almost ludicrous boast. Naturally, consumers are keen to know who it intends to achieve this, and DiMassimo built an outdoor radio and TV campaign based on explaining the process. The catch is, the ads lie. Rocket skates, turbo go-karts, and a delivery boy shot out of a cannon are all used to describe Kozmo’s impossible mission.
This offbeat, impious approach seems particularly well suited to young Internet firms and their youthful target markets, and the willingness of Net firms to push the envelope make them fun to work with, says DiMassimo. Then again, he notes, they can be also unusually demanding, preoccupied with quick results, and more volatile than offline clients. “They can be,” he says, half-laughing, “a pain in the ass to work with.”
In some quarters, that type of comment might put people off. But on the Internet, it appears to be a rather winning approach.
New York Health & Racquet Club (NYHRC) put fitness on the map in NYC when it first opened its doors in 1973. Now, of course, New Yorkers have more exercise options than NYC has pizza joints. Yet they keep coming back to NYHRC, the original NYC health club, where they feel part of a tight-knit community of health-conscious people in pursuit of fitness and vitality.
At any of NYHRC’s nine Manhattan locations, virtually any fitness need or interest can be met, whether on your own and taking advantage of the well-equipped gym floor, or with the guidance of seasoned group fitness instructors and certified personal trainers.
NYHRC is truly in a class by itself, with amenities you won’t find at many other health clubs, including saltwater pools, squash and racquetball courts, basketball courts, a beach club and a yacht, perfect for beautiful sunset cruises around Manhattan.* (more…)
MediaPost News, By Amy Corr
Pinnacle Entertainment has selected DiMassimo Goldstein as AOR for its L’Auberge branded casinos in Lake Charles and Baton Rouge, LA. The agency is charged with developing and implementing an overarching brand strategy and bringing a new campaign to market including advertising, direct, digital, social, design and media planning and buying.
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A couple months ago, On Deck, the company that uses big data to evaluate whether or not a small business is worth lending money to, landed a healthy $42 million Series D investment of its own. Today, that same round got bigger.
On Deck announced this morning that Google Ventures has led an additional $17 million investment with participation from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel and Industry Ventures. Other investors in the round include Institutional Venture Partners, RRE Ventures and First Round Capital.
That round comes on top of a $100 million round of debt financing raised last year from Goldman Sachs and Fortress Credit Corp., and a $15 million Series C led by SAP Ventures in 2011.
Gene Ostrovsky, Medagadget
AliveCor has announced at the American College of Cardiology annual meeting in San Francisco that its iPhone based ECG heart monitor is now available by prescription. Essentially the same device has been given approval for veterinary use on dogs, cats, and horses, and finally now humans can place their front paws on the electrodes for immediate ECG readouts. These can be sent to a physician, printed out and stored for further reference.