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Category : Thinking

The A-List Podcast with Jason Musante

This week’s episode of  The A-List Podcast features Jason Musante, Chief Creative Officer at Huge, Inc., where he oversees integrated creative output across the agency’s global offices. Prior to joining Huge, Musante enjoyed success at several award-winning agencies, such as Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners, BBDO Worldwide, and Co:Collective. among others. 

In this inspiring interview, Musante tells host and DiMassimo Goldstein CCO Tom Christmann all about how his love for history helped him become a better storyteller, why young creatives should look for people to work for and not places, and why it’s important not just to fail but to know when to fail.

This episode is packed with great advice for young creatives. Tune in to hear it all below! 

Show Notes:

  • [0:00 – 1:12] Intro
  • [1:13 – 9:05] Growing up in North Carolina, and when Musante first realized you could solve business problems with creativity
  • [9:06 – 15:28] Musante talks about his experience as a student at West Point before ultimately transferring to the University of North Carolina, and why his love for history helped him become a better storyteller
  • [15:29 – 23:45] Being young and hungry, his first advertising gig at McCann, and why young people looking to get into the industry should look for people to work for, not places
  • [23:45 –30:49] The interview he had with Richard Kirshenbaum, the current state of the industry, and why he’s excited for the future
  • [30:50 – 42:20] Musante talks about his first big break in the industry, the integration of story and technology, and what he learned working for Gerry Graf
  • [42:21 – 54:48] Musante talks about the important of knowing when you can fail, and reflects on his time at Saatchi & Saatchi, BBDO, and Co:Collective
  • [54:59 – 58:48] What is so unique about Huge, and what he looks for in young creatives
  • [58:49 – 59:38] Outro

“The A-List” is a podcast produced by DiMassimo Goldstein, an inspiring action agency, 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

The A-List Podcast with Greg DiNoto

In the latest episode of The A-list Podcast, host and DiMassimo Goldstein CCO Tom Christmann is joined by Greg DiNoto, an award-winning creative and the founder and CEO of DiNoto, Inc.

His agency, which is based in Brooklyn, unlocks the potential in brands with compelling platforms that define a uniquely ownable emotional space – and drive content, experience, and engagement. DiNoto’s clients include Disney/Freeform, Corcoran Real Estate, Synchrony Financial, Deutsche Bank, OnVocal, and Untuckit. Prior to opening up his own shop, DiNoto was a Partner and Chief Creative Officer at Deutsch, where he helped the agency grow significantly.

During their conversation, DiNoto talks about launching an agency without having a client, the pros and cons of awards, the importance of networking, how freelancing can help you develop your personal brand, and much much more. Full episode and show notes below!

Show notes:

  • [0:00 – 1:24] Intro
  • [1:25 – 6:38] Growing up in Garden City, Long Island, and the TV spot that cultivated an enthusiasm in him for the advertising industry
  • [6:39 – 16:30] DiNoto reflects on his time as a student at SUNY Albany and talks about the creative ways post graduates can stand out while hunting for a job
  • [16:31 – 27:45] The early days of DiNoto’s career as a writer at both Greenstone Rabasca and Bozell, and his first award-winning campaigns
  • [27:46 – 32:09] Donny Deutsch’s healthy disdain for award shows, being hungry, and the importance of networking
  • [32:10 – 41:34] The difference between making and managing, why rivalry can be healthy, the pros and cons of awards, and the growing pains of a growing agency
  • [41:35 – 49:43] Opening his own shop without a client, the advantages of freelancing, and how the advertising industry is all about people
  • [49:44 – 56:36] What he looks for in new hires, creative athleticism, and how to work through a communications strategy
  • [56:37 – 57:23] Outro

“The A-List” is a podcast produced by DiMassimo Goldstein, an inspiring action agency, 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

The A-List Podcast with Justin Gignac

On this week’s episode of The A-List Podcast, host and DiMassimo Goldstein CCO Tom Christmann is joined by Justin Gignac, a renowned freelance artist and co-founder of Working Not Working, a network that works to eliminate the obstacles between creative people and opportunity. Prior to launching Working Not Working in 2012, Gignac spent years in the industry as an award-winning art director and creative director.

Gignac is well known for helping create “Elf Yourself“, an interactive website built for Office Max in 2006 that instantly became a worldwide phenomenon, amassing over 36 million visits in just five weeks.

During their conversation, Gignac talks about the time he famously sold garbage in New York City to prove that packaging matters, growing up in the industry before eventually growing out of it, the value of a good support system, and how helping people get what they want is a good way to get what you want. All that and much much more. Full episode and show notes below!

Show notes: 

  • [0:00 – 2:07] Intro
  • [2:08 – 8:04] Gignac talks about growing up in Connecticut to a father that was an actual clown and a mother who was a class clown, and how that influenced his creativity
  • [8:05 – 14:30] Aspiring to be in advertising at an early age, and the Jasper Johns painting that convinced him he could turn those dreams into a reality
  • [14:30 – 26:00] Gignac reflects on his time as a student at the School of Visual Arts, what he loved about advertising, and the time he famously sold NYC garbage
  • [26:01 – 33:33] Working at Ogilvy with the “young guns”, why it’s important to have a healthy ego, and how every brief presents an opportunity
  • [33:34 – 41:22] The backstory behind the viral “Elf Yourself” website, and why challenger brands need to be courageous to make something great
  • [44:10 – 1:07: 30] Gignac talks about growing out of advertising and launching Working Not Working, how the network has evolved over the years, and why having a strong support system is crucial at every moment of your career
  • [1:07:31 – 1:08:34] Outro
“The A-List” is a podcast produced by DiMassimo Goldstein, an inspiring action agency, 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

Inspiring Action with Package Design

A few years ago, HelloFresh came to us to help strengthen its positioning in the U.S. market. Together, we designed and launched an iconic, award-winning rebrand that quickly transformed HelloFresh into the #1 leader of the meal kit delivery service category, surpassing both Blue Apron and Plated along the way.

Today, on Halloween, that branding has taken on a different meaning. HelloFresh home cookers from around the world are taking the brand experience we designed and reimagining it for the Holiday.

Using our zesty branded packaging as inspiration, consumers are ingeniously recycling the materials and crafting them into Halloween costumes. Here are just a few examples of how resourceful consumers are creatively adapting HelloFresh’s identity into their own:

 

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Savannah LOVES cooking with @hellofresh . She made a Fairy costume. USE PROMO CODE HEATWOOD15 FOR $40 off your first box!! . . #HallowFresh #hellofresh #food #foodie #yum #instafood #yummy #amazing #instagood #photooftheday #sweet #dinner #lunch #breakfast #fresh #tasty #food #delish #delicious #eating #foodpic #foodpics #eat #hungry #foodgasm #hot #foods

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Kloie dressed in recycled #hellofresh 📦 kitchen Range 🤣 #hallowfresh @hellofresh

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Recycling beautifully designed packages and turning them into boo-tiful Halloween costumes. That’s inspiring action.

A Flashback to the Famous “Flamingo Girl”

About a year ago this time, “Flamingo Girl” was introduced to the world.

Flocking around in an adorable pink Flamingo costume with matching sunglasses, she charmed the streets of New York City, spreading word downtown and building anticipation for “the biggest, bestest Halloween event in New York City,” the Bronx Zoo’s annual “Boo at the Zoo.”

She instantly became a viral sensation, appearing all over social media and the internet in cute TV spots and in print ads offline. The TV spots were even named an official honoree of last year’s Webby Awards.

By the time we created an experiential pop-up to generate awareness in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, she was already a superstar, but of course, she made time to fly on over and say hello to all her newfound fans.

A year later and a year older, the “Flamingo Girl” campaign remains a classic. Turning an old tradition into something completely new, “Flamingo Girl” was fresh, memorable, and iconic. It was an inspiring action, and one of our favorites of the past year.

On its 1-year anniversary, we felt it was only right to flap our flamingo wings down memory lane and revisit the work that made waves in New York.

Flamingo Girl :45 from DiMassimo Goldstein on Vimeo.

Flamingo Girl: Statue from DiMassimo Goldstein on Vimeo.

Flamingo Girl: Cab from DiMassimo Goldstein on Vimeo.

Flamingo Girl: Chess from DiMassimo Goldstein on Vimeo.

Flamingo Girl: Yell from DiMassimo Goldstein on Vimeo.

The A-List Podcast with Linda Kaplan Thaler

This week on The A-List Podcast, host and DiMassimo Goldstein CCO Tom Christmann is joined by industry icon and Advertising Hall of Famer, Linda Kaplan Thaler.

Over the course of her illustrious career, Kaplan Thaler created some of the world’s most famous advertising campaigns, such as the Aflac duck. She also authored and composed two of the most globally recognized advertising jingles: “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up, I’m a Toys ‘R’ Us Kid,” and “Kodak Moments.”

Kaplan Thaler’s impressive résumé extends well beyond advertising. She is a nationally acclaimed author with several best-selling books to her name; she has worked on two presidential campaigns; and she has become a familiar face on several television programs.

In this interview, Kaplan Thaler talks about leading with kindness, how to write a good jingle, what it was like interviewing Warren Buffet and Jay Leno, and much, much more. Check out the full episode and show notes below!

Show notes:

  • [0:00 – 1:59] Intro
  • [2:00 – 13:30] Growing up in the Bronx, and how Kaplan Thaler first got into singing and writing both music and comedy
  • [13:31 – 16:38] The famous jingle she wrote for Toys ‘R’ Us, and the worldwide reaction it received
  • [16:39 – 22:19] The secret to writing a good jingle, the story behind “Kodak Moments” and putting humor into advertising
  • [22:20 – 27:53] The moment she knew Robin Koval would be a perfect business partner, and the importance of leading with kindness
  • [27:54 – 33:57] Working on presidential campaigns, and the story behind her interviews with both Warren Buffet and Jay Leno
  • [33:48 – 38:10] Her latest book, Grit to Great, and what “grit” means to her
  • [38:11 – 42:30] The one big piece of advice she has for young creatives
  • [42:31 – 43:58] Outro

“The A-List” is a podcast produced by DiMassimo Goldstein, an inspiring action agency, 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

The A-List Podcast with Jamie Barrett

On this week’s edition of The A-List Podcast, Jamie Barrett calls in to the studio for an inspiring interview with host and DiMassimo Goldstein CCO, Tom Christmann.

Barrett is the Founder and Executive Creative Director at barrettSF, an agency he launched in 2012. Before opening his own shop, Barrett made a name for himself as an esteemed creative, delivering world famous campaigns for many of the most renowned agencies in the industry, such as Goodby Silverstein & Partners, Fallon, Wieden+Kennedy and Chiat\Day.

In this episode, learn all about Barrett’s life before advertising, when he spent one summer teaching tennis and windsurfing in the French Riviera and the next at a boot camp in Virginia. Hear what he learned working under some of the most iconic names in advertising, why he views his job as a glorified hobby, the importance of great account people, and much more. Full episode and show notes below!

Show Notes:

  • [0:00 – 1:27] Intro
  • [1:28 – 12:22] Barrett reflects on his childhood, talks about teaching tennis and windsurfing in the French Riviera, and talks about his experience spending one summer at a boot camp in Virginia
  • [12:23 – 18:15] His time at Princeton University, aspirations of becoming a sportswriter, and the moment he realized he wanted to go into advertising
  • [18:16 – 29:42] Trying to break into the industry, being denied 15 straight times, and the awesome story of the dinner with Pat Fallon and Tom McElligott that landed him a gig at Fallon
  • [29:43 – 36:00] Barrett reflects on many of the amazing mentors he worked under before ultimately leaving Fallon to take a job at Chiat/Day in New York
  • [36:01 – 39:40] His short yet meaningful time at Fallon, and the transition between being a writer and becoming an Associate Creative Director
  • [39:41 – 50:00] Barrett talks about his different experiences at each of the agencies he worked at, and how they all helped shape the creative he is today
  • [50:01 – 53:56] The importance of great account people, the emotional intelligence required of good creatives
  • [53:57 – 1:01:26] Launching his own agency, why he doesn’t shy away from the word “advertising,” and the meaning behind the agency’s tortoise mascot
  • [1:01:27 – 1:04:14] What he looks for in young creatives
  • [1:04:15 – 1:05:24] Outro

“The A-List” is a podcast produced by DiMassimo Goldstein, an inspiring action agency, 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

The Top Four Adweek 2018 Trends All Marketers Need To Know

By: Matthew Zani

It has been a wild week! Thanks to #AWNewYork 2018, I had the pleasure of immersing myself in panels ranging from Data and AI solutions to VR, AR, Voice, Blockchain, Next Generation Production, Prototyping and beyond. As marketers, we can be easily overwhelmed (and also excited) by the number of shiny objects and metaphysical solutions that we are presented with. In this era of transformation, it’s important to understand all evolving realms of marketing, business and technology in the context of providing great customer experiences that connect to our business goals. All of our activities must be analyzed within the same ecosystem and then strategized and executed upon accordingly.

Knowing this, we MUST cut through the clutter and determine the key factors of change that matter to the businesses we seek to build and grow. Let’s take a look at the four main themes from my experience at Adweek New York 2018 and how they relate to our evolving responsibilities as marketers:

1. Marketing Responsibility = Business Outcomes

The advertising industry has experienced a shift of responsibility, from advertising and marketing outcomes to business outcomes. We now have the ability to attribute marketing metrics to business results, which shifts the modern marketer’s scope of responsibility well beyond messaging and media KPIs and channel strategy to business infrastructure, technical solutions and innovation.

IBM’s 2018 report, The Modern Marketing Mandate, was widely quoted around the conference. The report states that four out of five of the modern CMO’s responsibilities are directly related to business building and results. We see CMOs getting promoted to CGO, president and even CEO. An example of this can be seen in Bonobos, Micky Onvural, who went from CMO to co-president to CEO in just two years at the company.

That said, if the business outcome and related operational factors are not in sight from the second a marketer sets foot in the door, it’s going to be a tough road and for any marketer. As Kristin Lemkau, CMO of JPMorgan Chase, mentioned during a panel on the evolution of the decision-making funnel, “If you’re a CMO coming into a role and your first move is to look at a traditional customer journey or funnel, you’re probably going to be an 18-monther.” That may sound harsh, but that’s reality.

2. Great Business Outcomes Come From Great Omnichannel Customer Experiences

Not only are we responsible for the business, but stakes are higher and it’s more competitive than ever. Markets all over the world are becoming increasingly cutthroat as disruption has become the norm. The world is flatter, and reviews are accessible everywhere. Every moment within this customer journey is a chance for a great (or terrible) experience. And that cannot be overlooked.

Companies such as SoulCycle, with life-changing missions driven and optimized by customer data and technology, are capturing the hearts and minds of consumers. These companies are built around impactful and immersive customer experiences, and they construct every single one of their actions throughout the omnichannel experience around that notion.

With that understanding, marketers must look at every touchpoint throughout the customer journey and factor each into the marketing and business strategy as an opportunity to drive great experiences. No channel should ever be looked at as if it’s in a silo. Think about what your brand provides, what problems you can solve through new and existing channels, and how they all work together. Every area in which a business interacts with a consumer should be strategized, measured and optimized to create less friction and drive great experiences.

Additionally, customer experiences and employee experiences need to align. If you’re not mapping your employee journey and responsibilities against the experience of the customer, you’re missing 50 percent of the equation. Businesses must understand employees’ roles in creating great experiences and, in turn, construct strategies for all parties that add up to their common goals.

3. New Technology Makes Great Experiences Possible

The reason we are able to attribute marketing success to business outcomes is grounded in technology. We can use technology to build great experiences, from identifying customers early on in their journey and serving them highly personalized messages throughout the relationship, to creating immersive brand experiences that strengthen affinity for the brand.

It was said throughout the week that marketers need to get their tech stack “on one page.” We need to understand the pieces of technology that are important to driving great experiences and focus efforts around them. If data consolidation is a central priority to providing a personalized experience, then focus on getting the infrastructure in place to enhance customer experience. If an automated customer service strategy is necessary, then understand how that fits into the customer journey of the audience and test it thoroughly.

New technologies such as AI are all the rage, but understanding their role is key to using them in a way that makes sense to your business. AI is going to change the way we work and begin making trivial decisions for us so that we can focus on experience strategies and innovation. Machines will worry about the “when” and “where” for a given message, and as marketers we can stay focused on the “why.”

One of my favorite quotes from the week was provided by Mark Penn from The Stagwell Group:

“Numbers + Creativity = Strategy.”

This notion is critical: As we use technology throughout our business to provide us with data and insights, we should also bring our human decision-making strengths to the table. Use numbers and technology to reduce friction and inform creativity. This will ensure that we’re always keeping the customer in mind as we make decisions based on new technology.

4. And stay innovating

Once our business machine is up and running, we can’t stop. We are responsible for taking the data from customer and prospect activities, content interests and reviews and then building innovative products and experiences out of them.

At Adweek New York 2018 we saw examples of companies going to new lengths to bring innovation to their businesses: Subway partnering with Tastemade to bring data from content strategies into product innovation. SoulCycle getting into the audio and media space, turning insights from the final five minutes of class experiences into inspirational audio experiences that can be taken anywhere. Jordan Brands using Snapchat’s AR capabilities as an immersive platform to market and sell new shoes. Monster.com using first-of-its-kind technology to bring new CGI experiences to its omnichannel strategy.

We must be setting up systems and structures that allow for us to turn old functions into NEW ideas, business models, practices and audiences. We must never stop at a well-oiled machine, but rather look at the pieces of our business that we can grow, the channels we should bring our message and experiences into, and the communities we can create and cultivate through our work.

Thanks for the memories, Adweek NYC 2018! Until next year!