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Author: James Nieman

Faster. Better. Easier.

Google launched into a market already dominated by NetScape.

Google had a behavioral strategy – get people to make Googling a habit.

There were three pillars:

1) Easier results.
2) Faster results.
3) Better results.

The first is the one most would miss.

Behavioral science tells us that most marketing strategies overemphasize motivation. Moderately motivated people are more likely to do what’s easy than highly motivated people are to do what’s hard.

Ease beats motivation. That explains the fate of most New Year’s Resolutions.

Google’s competition had gone in for massive cross-selling and indexing.
Yahoo and Netscape’s homepages were cluttered with links.

Behavioral economists confirm what direct marketers long knew – choice depresses response.

Why, because simple is easier, and ease is the single most important factor in designing for behavior change.

Google had a simple search bar, a logo and that’s it.
Faster is easier.

And, the distance in time between action and reward increases effectiveness geometrically.
That’s why Google uses a little of its precious homepage real estate – to tell you exactly how many nanoseconds it took to get your result.

Learn more about behavior change marketing, free:

Why Netflix Was The Big Winner At This Year’s Academy Awards

Netflix started out as a DVD rental business roughly two decades ago.

This past Sunday, the tech company was nominated for 14 Oscars.
They took home four.

Reminder: Netflix has been in original content for a mere six years.

(Photo from Mirror)

Their original film, Roma, was edged out by Green Book for Best Picture.
The loss was likely met with cheers from legacy studio heads and traditional media elite.
But the nomination speaks volumes for Netflix’s surging influence on the industry.
An influence that is only growing by the day.

Roma has Hollywood shaking in its suits.
A foreign black-and-white film, not likely to be greenlit by the major studios.
In theatres for just a few weeks before Netflix made it available for streaming online.
Much shorter than the 90-day exclusive window used by the old guard.

Roma had an A-list director in Alfonso Cuarón.
Putting Netflix’s power to secure Hollywood’s top talent on full display.
He would go on to win the Academy Award for Best Director.

Roma proved what many already knew to be true.
Netflix doesn’t just belong.
Netflix is the future, and it’s completely flipping the entertainment industry on its head.

Like a true challenger, they did it their own way.
The way of the master change agent.

With a direct-to-consumer business model, the user is the customer and the focus.
Not pleasing middlemen distributors or networks.

This model holds them accountable.
Cancelling a subscription is just one-click away.

Netflix knew the where was global.
Netflix knew the when was on-demand.

Netflix knew it was a membership-economy.
Which meant community and creating the right change for the people who care – their customers.

Netflix knew that content was king.
Lots of it.

Netflix knew that technology would bring these engaging stories to their audience.
And they knew the audience was everywhere – in their living rooms, on their laptops, or on their phones.

Netflix understood behavioral science.
Ease beats motivation.
Faster is better.

Netflix knew the power of experience and intervention design.
And revolutionized the way consumers watch television.
Giving them the freedom and control to binge entire seasons or watch at their convenience.

Netflix invented their own advantages.
By moving fast, and experimenting without the constraints of a legacy system.

Netflix is the reason Disney, WarnerMedia, CBS, and almost all of the other traditional media titans are now introducing their own direct-to-consumer business models, which will be costly.

For these Goliaths, the time is now, and the stakes are high.
Each of them will have to grow a new business.
While managing the decline of their traditional business.

But these mega corporations are now playing in a different marketplace.
One in which Netflix is the standard of greatness.

With smart data, savvy marketing, and 139 million strong.
Netflix has more than a head start.
The rest will play catch-up.

That little DVD rental business with nothing but a challenger mindset and an inspiring idea.
Is now both “what works” and “what’s great.”
An iconic brand that is defining an era.

That’s #inspiringaction.

Let’s say “No” to compromise. Let’s inspire greatness.

You are a change agent.

You want to create the right change for the people who care — your customers.

You want to inspire action, and now.

As you know, not everyone is a change agent.

And most agencies are not for the change agents.

They compromise speed to meet their own staffing needs.

They compromise outside-the-box thinking to fit their budget.

They compromise selling more and building the brand to play in their own sandbox.

The problem is that your customer doesn’t want to be compromised.

And doesn’t care if you are,

Let’s say “No” to compromise.

I’m Mark DiMassimo, and I’ve spent my entire career learning from change agents.

Iconic, visionary entrepreneurs the ultimate change agents have been my continuing education.

I’ve studied them up close by working with them, day in and day out.

I earn my place by helping those change agents grow their businesses while growing their brands.

This is all I want to do with my career:

Learn from the best. Use that learning to drive growth and value for myself and others.

Give it away to inspire more people to live the creativity, freedom and accomplishment of the change agent life.

Most of my work time is spent trying to keep up with and inspire these iconic change agents.

Through the years, when I could, I took some time to write down what I’d learned from them.

The Change Agent’s Cookbook became one of the most successful email thought leadership campaigns ever.

It led to several billion dollars in sales, inspired founders of new categories and brought together change agents.

My team is putting together some of the greatest hits of the series in e-book and pdf format and calling it The Change Agents Cookbook: How Great Entrepreneurs Use Creative Destruction To Inspire Action.

This isn’t a marketing funnel. You don’t need to give your email to get this book. It’s free to download, and I hope you’ll find it inspires you as others have.

If you use it to ignite the intersection of business and creativity, I’ll be happy.

Let’s say “No” to compromise. Let’s inspire greatness.

Inspiring Action Brands of the Year: 2018

Following last year’s list of behavior change marketers, we’re bringing you a new and updated list of 2018’s most inspiring action brands and people. If there are any brands you think deserve to be added to the list, tweet us here and let us know!


For using two wheels to reach a $1B valuation at record-breaking speed


For giving the displaced a place to stay


For making technology and innovation its secret sauce

Epic Games

For rewriting gaming history and launching a global craze


For being world-class professionals at keeping it casual


For changing the way brands approach a changing world


For striking a chord with cord-cutters


For capturing the lion’s share of shared spaces


For making sophisticated data science and personalization the soundtrack to success


For busting out blockbusters at a record pace


For peddling fitness enthusiasts into the future


For reshaping the financial services industry


For elevating the way consumers fly


For connecting the globe through language


For making home-security mobile


For making consumers the masters of their own masters degree

The Wing

For shattering glass ceilings

Tough Mudder

For bringing a new definition to running a muck


For providing cinematic experiences outside the cinema

Rent The Runway

For extending the red carpet into your closet

Cards Against Humanity

For revealing its cards as being much more than a card company


For making conversations conversational


For being the meat and potatoes of a meatless category


For paving the road for the peer-to-peer car sharing economy

The New York Times

For putting a modern spin on a timeless publication

For showing that direct-to-consumer brands can be cooked up in the 1920s


For taking a stand on taking a knee

The Parkland Activists

For being the voice of a generation

Happy Holidays from DiMassimo Goldstein!

Over the years, we’ve built quite a reputation for our annual Holiday stunts and videos.

Last winter, we famously created a campaign to #SitOutSantaCon, which earlier this week, was named #8 on the CW Network’s Greatest Holiday Video Countdown.

We were thrilled just to make the list, but that excitement would reach new heights shortly after when the #1 video on that very countdown was also video we produced, “We Got Fired by Santa.”

But creating famous Holiday videos takes time, and after a year of agency growth, that time needed to be devoted to our long list of inspiring clients. 

Luckily, DiGo’s workshop has a large network, and in the holiday spirit, a few of our famous friends stepped in to lend a helping hand and deliver a holiday message on our behalf.

And, some of them even took to their personal networks to spread the holiday cheer for all to hear.

From all of us at DiMassimo Goldstein, thank you all for making 2018 such a momentous year. We wish you a warm and joyous holiday, and hope that the new year brings you laughter, peace, and plenty of inspiring actions to celebrate. 

The A-List Podcast with Ari Weiss

Photo from Campaign

The latest episode of The A-List Podcast features Ari Weiss, the first-ever North American Chief Creative Officer at DDB, where he oversees the agency’s 17 North American Offices.

Weiss’ reputation as an illustrious creative has been built working for many of the world’s most creative agencies, including 180 L.A., Wieden & Kennedy, BBDO, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, Cliff Freeman & Partners, and Saatchi, among others. Throughout that journey, he has collaborated with many of the industry’s most legendary icons, and he shares many of those experiences in this inspiring interview.

In his discussion with host and DiMassimo Goldstein CCO Tom Christmann, Weiss talks about why DiMassimo Goldstein was the “best first job you could ever get” and reflects on many of the magical moments, campaigns, and mentors that inspired his career. He shares useful tips about the creative process, offers his unique point of view on the shifting landscape of the industry, and explains why he feels it’s the most interesting time to be in the business.

Hear it all and so much more in the episode below!

Show Notes:

  • [0:00 – 1:28] Intro
  • [1:29 – 9:09] Growing up in California, his early aspirations of becoming a photo journalist, and the connection that landed him an interview with Jeff Goodby
  • [9:10 – 16:05] Weiss talks about his early infatuation with the industry and its culture, his internships as a college student, and the iconic campaigns that inspired him to make it a career
  • [16:06 – 21:40] His first taste of rejection and the discipline and organization that you need to become a successful creative
  • [21:41 – 27:10] Weiss talks about his creative process, the power of a true partnership, and how the industry has shifted to less traditional silos
  • [27:11 – 30:42] The current landscape of the industry and why innovation and technology must still serve the idea and insight
  • [30:43 – 35:55] What it’s like being a CCO, work that breaks into culture, and the value of having strong mentors who teach you attention to detail
  • [35:56 – 38:10] Weiss shares what it was like interviewing for a job during the dot-com crash
  • [38:11 – 49:59] Working for DiMassimo Goldstein and why it was the best first job you could get
  • [50:00 – 54:50] Weiss talks about the secret sauce at Cliff Freeman and the amazing people who worked there
  • [54:51 – 1:08:57] What it’s like sitting in Bill Bernbach’s office, working to resurrect the creative revolution he started, and why today is the most interesting time to be in this business
  • [1:08:58 – 1:11:51] Weiss talks about what he learned working for each of the agencies he worked for and how those experiences have shaped the creative he is today
  • [1:11:52 – 1:12:22] 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 Franklin Tipton and Libby Brockhoff

(Photo from Ad Age)

This week on “The A-List Podcast”, host and DiMassimo Goldstein CCO Tom Christmann is joined by the inspiring duo of Libby Brockhoff and Franklin Tipton.

In 2011, Libby cofounded Odysseus Arms, where she currently serves as the CEO, with Tipton as an agency partner and Head of Copy. Odysseus Arms is a San Francisco-based independent and modern agency that is well known for its unique strategic and creative approach “ThirdeyeTM,” which they  dive into in the episode. In 2014, Odysseus Arms was recognized as an Ad Age “Agency of the Year.”

In this informative and inspiring discussion, Franklin and Libby tell stories from their undergraduate days at the University of Delaware; talk about the brand planning revolution and the importance of consumer insights; share what it was like working in London (where Libby launched the agency, Mother, at age 27); and explain what they look for when viewing a portfolio. Tune in below!

Show Notes:

  • [0:00 – 1:51] Intro
  • [1:52 – 12:00] Franklin and Libby talk about their childhood, how boredom can contribute to creativity, and the rigorous visual communications program they both studied in at the University of Delaware
  • [12:01 – 18:47] The two tell tales of the program’s teacher, Ray Nichols, and how they benefited from his culture of fearlessness
  • [18:48 – 26:55] Franklin talks about working for JWT in his first year out of college, the importance of having a strong portfolio, and the value of solving problems visually
  • [26:56 – 29:39] Franklin tells the story of how Libby ushered the University of Delaware program they’d both graduated from into the modern age
  • [29:40 – 37:40] Libby talks about her first years after graduation, the unique culture at Chiat Day, and the brand planning revolution, and why Wayne Gretzky is her spirit animal
  • [37:41 – 45:40] Moving to London, zigging when others zag, and stories of the legendary Dave Trott
  • [45:41 – 50:03] How Libby launched Mother in London, the importance of wearing different hats, T-shaped people, and how she landed on the name Mother
  • [50:04 – 1:04:50] The two talk about coming back from London and launching Odysseus Arms, explain their unique “third-eye” approach, and chat about the value of consumer insights and planning
  • [1:04:51 – 1:08:55] Learn how you can get in touch with Franklin and Libby, and why it’s essential to get out of your comfort zone
  • [1:08:56 – 1:09:51] 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 Evelyn Neill

This week on “The A-List Podcast,” host and DiMassimo Goldstein CCO Tom Christmann interviews Evelyn Neill, Executive Creative Director at TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York. With over two decades of experience creating award-winning work for some of the industry’s most renowned agencies, Neill is about as “A-List” as it gets. She has led creative for many of the world’s biggest brands, including Nike, Microsoft, and Coca-Cola, among others.

Prior to joining TBWA\Chiat\Day, Neill spent the bulk of her career at Wieden & Kennedy, where she was one of six people who were handpicked to help launch the agency’s Amsterdam office.

In this inspiring interview, Neill talks about her life before advertising, what she learned working under Dan Wieden, why a true partnership isn’t about roles, and the importance of being astoundingly courageous. Tune in below!

Show Notes:

  • [0:00 – 1:48] Intro
  • [1:49 – 8:10] Growing up in Birmingham, Alabama and how she was first introduced to advertising
  • [8:11 – 13:13] Neill reflects on her first days in the industry and tells the story of how she got an offer to move to Portland, Oregon to work for Wieden & Kennedy
  • [13:14 – 21:28] Why she considers herself so lucky to be in advertising, how to achieve your goals, and why hierarchy isn’t a pain when used right
  • [21:29 – 26:40] Why true partnership is not about roles
  • [26:41 – 33:30] The secret to not getting pigeon-holed creatively, and the importance of being astoundingly courageous
  • [33:31 – 40:50] Launching Wieden & Kennedy in Amsterdam, and how the work there differed from the work in Portland
  • [40:51 – 49:00] What she learned from co-founding her own business, The Sanibel Sea School, and how it helped her become better at advertising
  • [49:01 – 54:38] Why she’s so excited for the future at TBWA\Chiat\Day, and advice to young creatives
  • [54:39 – 56:02] 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