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Author: Team DIGO

The A-List Podcast with Anselmo Ramos

The wait is over… The A-List Podcast is back and we’re starting off HOT!

For the season’s premiere episode, host and DiMassimo Goldstein CCO Tom Christmann is joined by creative junkie and self-proclaimed ad nerd Anselmo Ramos, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of GUT, an independent agency for brave clients and bold brands with offices in Miami, São Paolo and Beunos Aires.

Prior to launching GUT with co-founder Gastón Bigio, the two partners also founded DAVID The Agency. Under their leadership, the agency became a creative juggernaut and in 2017 was selected as Adweek’s Breakthrough Agency of the Year and Ad Age’s A-List Innovator Agency of the Year. In 2013, while serving as Chief Creative Officer at Ogilvy & Mather São Paulo, Ramos led the famous “Dove Real Beauty Sketches” campaign, which considered to be the most watched piece of branded content in history.

In this episode, Ramos shares the story behind that campaign, talks about writing ads in secondary languages and how it can make you a better writer, the legacy of David Ogilvy, the importance of discomfort, and much, much more. Hear it all below!

Show Notes:

  • [0:00 – 1:58] Intro
  • [1:59 – 7:59] Growing up in Brazil, attending a very creative High School with no grades, and his first job in advertising
  • [8:00 – 13:34] Leaving Brazil to become a writer at Y&R Lisbon before moving again to Y&R Madrid
  • [13:35 – 18:44] Coming to the U.S. to work for Y&R Miami, how writing in a foreign language strengthened his writing skills, and the strong advertising culture of São Paulo
  • [18:45 – 24:47] His experience working at Lowe NY for Gary Goldsmith, turning down a dream offer from Tony Granger at Saatchi, and getting the call to become CCO at Ogilvy & Mather São Paulo
  • [24:48 – 30:54] Living David Ogilvy’s legacy, creative visualization and believing in yourself, and how he used “Moneyball” tactics to recruit and turn the São Paulo office into the most creative Ogilvy office in the world
  • [30:56 – 42:36] The story behind the famous “Dove Real Beauty Sketches” campaign, and the importance of finding brave clients
  • [42:37 – 45:17] Opening DAVID, the amazing partnership with Fernando Machado of Burger King, and why he ultimately decided to take the leap and start GUT
  • [45:18 – 49:22] Starting from scratch with GUT, the importance of discomfort, and moving fast and making mistakes
  • [49:23 – 58:30] Ramos talks about the importance of continued learning, the Harvard course he is currently taking, and shares advice on leadership
  • [58:31 – 1:02:55] The current state of advertising
  • [1:02:56 – 1:04:07] 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

Affinity Federal Credit Union & Inspiring Action With DiGo

When Affinity Federal Credit Union first came to us in 2014, the country was in economic disarray.

Following the second-worst financial crisis in U.S. history, seven million people had just lost their homes. More than that had just lost their jobs, and many lost both. Trust in financial institutions had plummeted by 50 percent, while trust in banks fell even more.

Still, the largest credit union headquartered in New Jersey needed new members, and quickly.

The challenge: Help Affinity grow in a post-recession economy where disillusionment with financial institutions was at an all-time high.

Together with our client, we needed to build an iconic brand, change behaviors, and inspire a new movement — and for a fraction of the cost of the marketing budgets of big banks on Wall Street.

We got started with a strategic exploratory of all the key messages that might help Affinity Federal Credit Union achieve its goals, and we found a key insight that did that far better than any other.

Affinity Federal Credit Union isn’t a bank.

You can, however, get a checking account, business loan or credit card there.

Our planning team talked to credit union members and discovered their desire to not see themselves as the victims or enablers of Wall Street. Instead, these members prided themselves on investing in their own community.

And unlike a bank, it had an inspiring idea above commercial intent — a not-for-profit public service mission that aimed to help people and small businesses.

We had our single thought …

“We’re not a bank, we’re Affinity”.

The creative message? All the financial services of a bank, but 100% Fat Cat free.

This was a brilliant example of reframing — positioning a company, a Credit Union, while at the same time de-positioning your competition. And it was based on a single compelling insight, which is way deep into our psyche: We consider all banks the same Fat Cat.

To really position the credit union apart from the bigwigs on Wall Street, Affinity needed to take this inspiring idea and dramatize it through a small number of iconic actions.

First, we created commercials that could never, ever have been done by any uptight bank.

Our major character was a real fat cat behind a desk. The response was so tremendous that the spot ended up catapulting Affinity to a national story and was featured on Spike TV’s Funniest Commercials of the Year — twice.

The campaign went viral on social networks, dramatically increasing the efficiency of the advertising.  It was iconic.

Affinity Federal Credit Union – Fat Cats from DiMassimo Goldstein on Vimeo.

Next, to showcase Affinity’s low checking fees, we took the drama to an entirely new level.

Together with our client, we conducted a social experiment with real people, but one that took a turn for the extreme. We brought elite athletes and fat cat banking customers into the same gym.

Then, to demonstrate how commercial banks clobber their customers with enormous fees, we printed “ATM fees” and other fees on dodgeballs, blindfolded the customers and then let the athletes pelt them mercilessly. (Of course, our lawyers were present with ironclad releases and videotaped disclaimers.)

This insanely lopsided dodgeball game turned into a fully integrated campaign including digital banners, a landing page, and extra outtakes. Talk about an in-your-face advertisement …

It too went viral.

After a couple years, our client’s challenge had evolved.

We had helped Affinity successfully define who they weren’t — a fat-cat-run bank — but now, the credit union needed help defining who they were.

We looked deeper, conducting extensive primary research to learn all about what makes Affinity unique. We spoke with members, employees, stakeholders, and prospects and learned that Affinity members and employees feel proud to belong to something better. And that their tagline, “Belong to something better,” was the core of the brand. The message was authentic, and the sentiment was there, but the members weren’t embedded in the journey enough for this to be showcased to future members. All we needed to do was tell their story by bringing clear meaning to the tagline in a way that allowed every audience to relate to the brand. We needed to showcase the trustworthy human connections that make the Affinity experience so authentic, and who better to tell that story than the members themselves?

The new campaign, titled “A Community Connected,” was co-created with Affinity members. Through a series of regional OOH, display, radio, and TV spots, this innovative approach to advertising brought the brand’s mission to life in a transparent and iconic way. Using our patented Selfifesto® technique, we placed the members at the center of the marketing message and couldn’t be happier with the result. We asked members to record selfie videos detailing their inspiring experience with the credit union, and we worked to compile these videos into powerful ads.

The success wasn’t only measured in accounts and loans, but also by its ability to rally the brand’s employees under one flag. We helped throw a company picnic to celebrate them and build on the idea that they help make Affinity what it is. Our rebranding campaign brought the brand to life and educated audiences about what a credit union is, which is a huge barrier for the category. The campaign worked to tell Affinity’s story to prospects, members, and employees in a unifying way.

Affinity Federal Credit Union – A Community Connected from DiMassimo Goldstein on Vimeo.

The results? A campaign that drove down cost-per-acquisition while simultaneously increasing annual memberships.

During our partnership with Affinity, our client built a thriving community, helping bring the life-changing benefits of the credit union to more and more members each year.

By demonstrating the 10 Signs of an Inspiring Action Company, Affinity changed behaviors and got a new generation to open up accounts and form relationships with a credit union.

People want to be a part of an organization that has their interests at heart, and that’s exactly what Affinity is.

The A-List Podcast With Paul Fix

On the Season 2 finale of The A-List Podcast, host and DiMassimo Goldstein CCO Tom Christmann is joined in the studio by super freelancer and Adhouse NYC advertising teacher Paul Fix.

As a creative director, copywriter, and content creator, Fix has worked at many of the industry’s most renowned agencies, helping deliver world-famous campaigns such as Dos Equis’ “The Most Interesting Man.”

In the interview, Paul shares his unique journey into the world of advertising, talks about his class and teaching style, and offers valuable advice to any young creative trying to break it in the industry. Hear it all below!

Show Notes

  • [0:00 – 1:25] Intro
  • [1:26 – 15:30] Paul talks about the class he teaches at Adhouse and shares stories from his upbringing
  • [15:31 – Paul talks about how his band was almost signed to a label, the importance of independence, and the moment he realized he wanted to be in advertising
  • [26:45 – 44:30] Paul shares the story of how he broke into the industry by collecting data in media
  • [44:31 – 1:02:19] Backpacking in Europe, becoming a high school English teacher, and going back to advertising school
  • [1:02:20 – 1:05:00] Finally becoming a full-fledged creative at
  • [1:05:01 – 1:17:15] The advantages of working freelance, the importance of being kind, and what he loves about teaching
  • [1:17:16 – 1:18:46] 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

Weight Watchers & Inspiring Action with DiGo

When Weight Watchers first came to us in the spring of 2015, the brand was in an alarming state…

The previous months had been some of the worst in the iconic company’s history, with substantial dips in subscriptions, sign-ups, and revenue, leading to the stock plummeting from $25 to $7 per share.

At the same time, the category was facing fierce and unfamiliar competition in the form of wearable tech, free fitness and calorie counting apps, and niche diets that were sweeping the internet. The consumer was now living in a choice-filled world, which led to powerful defenses. Inaction is exacerbated by the unprecedented level of emotional distance and skepticism that people are feeling, primarily because they are overwhelmed.

The conversation shifted, and no one was talking about Weight Watchers. With the brand on the “brink of irrelevance,” they needed more than just an agency – they needed an ally.

That’s when they came to us to inspire action.

The client couldn’t afford to be patient. Like any true change agent, our client couldn’t sacrifice brand for revenue or revenue for brand – they needed both, and urgently.

The challenge: refresh the brand to drive both recruitment and brand value.

The timeline? One month.

30 days to diagnose the previous failed strategy, create and choose offers, plan channels, agree on a brief, conceive and write scripts and concepts, and then produce, launch and traffic two television commercials and a digital campaign.

We accepted the challenge, and with confidence. From our work with Reader’s Digest, Netflix, eBay, Fresh Direct, and many others, we knew subscription-model businesses. We knew the health and wellness category. We knew the immense pressure and responsibility our client felt. We knew we could help.

Executing a process that most agencies require four to six months to complete in just 30 days would require all hands on deck and inspiring collaboration with our client. With both teams excited by the new partnership and the challenge ahead, we immediately went to work.

There are two ways that we can change behavior: by increasing motivation and by making it easier for our audience to take action.  

Weight loss is one of the toughest behavioral challenges of our times. Sometimes people might be very motivated to lose weight, but lack the skills to do it. They don’t know how to do it, and the environment does not make it easy for people to lose weight. Life gets in their way.

To overcome these challenges, Weight Watchers needed to hit both, motivation and ease.

With our first campaign, we tapped into people’s natural desire to change by modeling behavioral change. People learn new ways of behaving by watching others. Modeling can be very powerful when it creates a new social norm. And there’s generally a tipping point when not participating in the action becomes the odd behavior.

In a four-week sprint, and with our client involved at every step, we conceived, developed, and went to market with a winning campaign that focused on the brand’s secret ingredient – its members – while highlighting the special offer of a free starter kit to increase ease.

The starter kit was a key. Everyone’s journey to weight loss is unique, but almost always, making the commitment to start is the hardest part. Most diets only last a few days because results don’t happen overnight.

With a free starter kit, the consumer now had something tangible to symbolize this new chapter of transformation. It gave them the tools they needed to succeed, and made them feel confident they could stay the course. It was a constant reminder of the empowering path they were on.

Weight Watchers – Knockin’ Em Down from DiMassimo Goldstein on Vimeo.

The campaign generated excitement and restored consumers’ motivation to act, leading to the first up quarter of recruitment in years. The stock price went back up, and for the first time in a while, the future was hopeful. Still, our work was far from finished.

In 2016, our brand planners helped us strategically prepare to launch a campaign around Weight Watchers’ new program, SmartPoints, one of the brand’s biggest innovations in 50 years.

Understanding the human behaviors that would ultimately drive action, our client doubled down on our consumer-centric approach and engaged the members like never before. We worked with Weight Watchers to cast real members talking about their experiences, capturing the values of the brand and its audience at the same time.

New signups surged, with increases in subscribers, meeting attendees, and an immediate 5% North American revenue lift.

With a new program in place, our client had something others didn’t – real results with real people.

Our Fall 2016 sprint started with a happier problem; Members were losing 15% more weight on beyond the scale.

How could our client get the news out in a way that would get noticed? Once again, the client inspired action, reaching out to real members and super fans. But this time, through Weight Watchers’ own app, Connect, which has been called the most positive social network on earth.

We asked members to film themselves telling us their success stories and living the program. A technique we’ve dubbed, the Selfifesto®.

Weight Watchers – It Worked :30 from DiMassimo Goldstein on Vimeo.

And like the program, the campaign worked, inspiring the audiences to act in ways that benefit them.

During our over three-year partnership with Weight Watchers, our client achieved 10 consecutive quarters of recruitment growth. The stock grew from $7 to $107 per share, and Weight Watchers reached its highest marketing efficiency since 2008.

Together, we helped revitalize the brand, breaking down the barriers to motivation to gain over 1 million new members a year. We increased their commitment, made the path easy, and helped them each make more inspiring decisions and form more empowering habits.

That’s the master change agent way. That’s inspiring action.

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!

 

 

A Day in the Life of an Operations and Finance Coordinator

At DiMassimo Goldstein, every member of our team plays an important role in bringing our clients’ ideas to life and helping them inspire action.

“A Day in the Life” is a new blog series that shines a light on the many faces behind our agency and the different roles that we each play, showcasing the creativity in every corner of our office.

This week’s post provides a glimpse into the daily routine of  Operations and Finance Coordinator at DiMassimo Goldstein, Hannah Mardini!

I wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy.

JK.

In truth, my alarm blares angrily at me and I slam my finger down on the SNOOZE button. Finally, after a couple more angry prods from my alarm, I am up and getting ready for work at DiGo.

Cue the montage of getting dressed, frantically brushing my teeth, applying a bit of mascara, and grabbing my bag. A short drive away is the Riverside train station where I take the 8:08 (as long as it’s not late) and arrive in New York, New York at 9:00 a.m.

The subway can be a pain, so we’ll skip that part.

At last, I arrive at DiGo.

I genuinely enjoy where I work, which is something a lot of people don’t have the luxury of saying. I work on both the Operations and Finance teams, starting as a tiny, naïve intern and becoming the full-time, full-fledged employee I am today. It’s incredible to think that a few short months ago, I had no idea where I would be – now I am working at an agency that Inspires Action in New York City.

In Operations, I’m at the forefront of all renovations and major agency changes from birth to life. When I was just starting out, at first, it was overwhelming! The agency relies on my team to create change that is not only efficient, but benefits everyone and allows them to work more cohesively. But hold on to your hats, because while it might be daunting to think about, creating that change is an amazing and fantastic thing to experience.

As an example, there was a large discussion for a better communication method between team members. People were using different methods with different people and there was no streamlined channel, leading to confusion and general discomfort because of all the channels being used. (Insert the amazing ops team here!)

Over the course of a couple months, after meetings and streamlining and planning, the Google Drive was chosen as the medium to go forward with. It is where all team members can connect and share documents and media with clients and fellow members in one cohesive hub.

Over the course of a couple more months, after meetings and streamlining and planning, the moment had come – the rollout itself. Our tech support staff was assembled…. the Creative Lounge was equipped for an agency-wide meeting… and a hush fell over the room as the reps from tech support began the meeting.

Myself and the ops team were a bit nervous for this part. It was all finally happening! (Quick shout-out to Deb! You were amazing!)

Which brings us to today, where I can look back on everything with a feeling of pride. Already the Google Drive has impacted team members across the board. The Google Drive helps people connect, communicate, and inspire each other on a daily basis. Being a part of something greater than yourself is something I and everyone at this agency strive to do every single day and the fact that I could play a greater part in making this happen is absolutely wonderful.

Where I used to be overwhelmed, now I see an opportunity. Where I once didn’t have a clue, now I can solve the mystery. Where I once thought I was alone, I now have a kick-ass team at my back. (Another quick shout-out to Desiree, Bertin, Chayenne, and Maham!) My team consistently challenges and helps me to get better, work things out, investigate, and act. I owe so much of what I’ve learned to working with such a close-knit, inspiring team, and I am grateful that I get to work with them each and everyday.

After each day, I try and think about the bigger picture of my role here at DiGo. Even though the every-day minutiae can get exhausting, I think about the friends I’ve made here and how the work I do impacts them and the clients they work with on a daily basis. After this reminder, it’s back to Grand Central, back on the train, and back home to reset for the next day.

A Day in the Life of an Assistant Brand Manager

At DiMassimo Goldstein, every member of our team plays an important role in bringing our clients’ ideas to life and helping them inspire action.

“A Day in the Life” is a new blog series that shines a light on the many faces behind our agency and the different roles that we each play, showcasing the creativity in every corner of our office.

This week’s post provides a glimpse into the daily routine of an Assistant Brand Manager at DiMassimo Goldstein. Matt Zani brings unrivaled enthusiasm and energy to every account he works on, including TradeStation, Sallie Mae, National Jewish Health, and Starr Companies. To learn more about a day in Matt’s life, read his story below.

Having spent exactly a year at DiGo, the five images below accurately represent my every day at the leading Inspiring Action and Behavior Change Agency.

Stepping into this beautiful world isn’t bad every day. The agency aesthetically reflects its inner soul which can be seen clearly through the walls teeming with award-winning work. A glance at the décor and a cup of coffee from the DiGo kitchen is all I need to get my day going.

DiGo breathes strategy. The agency’s process and work are strategically infused, bringing insights and measurements into creative work that allow it to work harder.

Don’t even get me started about the eats. I don’t know what I like more: Salad Wednesday, Bagel Friday, Friday happy hours or Mimosa Mornings?! Not to mention, we have some of the best snack-sharing in the ad agency game. A bowl of Cocoa Puffs is never more than 10 steps away.

DiGo is a culture designed for growth. The employees inspire each other to achieve and tease the most out of the work. The leadership team has instituted structures and programs that allow for employee transparency. There is opportunity for development and learning for whoever is hungry and willing to seek it.

The people are truly what bring this place to life. At the end of the day, DiGo is filled with bright and beautiful minds infused seamlessly to create campaigns, branding and work that hit home in the universes they aim to reach.

– Matt Zani, Assistant Brand Manager. Photographs by Will Jellicorse.

Buddy Lunch: The Best Things in Life Are Free

Starting out somewhere new is never easy. You’re tasked with figuring out a boatload of new information for yourself: what those acronyms stand for, which conference room you’re supposed to be in, or what your coworker’s name actually is because you’re pretty sure it’s Pat, but maybe you misheard him and it’s Matt, but it’s too late to ask now so you just decide to play it safe and avoid calling him anything at all.

It can be tough to navigate these new waters – unless that place is DiMassimo Goldstein.

I’ve had the privilege of being DiGo’s Client Fulfillment intern since December, and I can honestly say this transition has been seamless. From day one, I’ve been met with nothing but warm smiles, welcoming coworkers, and great opportunities to get to know them better. Perhaps the greatest opportunity of them all has been the Buddy Lunch.

I realize that this is not a widespread term, as I’m lucky enough to be at the company that’s at the forefront of the Buddy Lunch Revolution. To better clarify this DiGo terminology for our readers, I’ve created a definition:

Buddy Lunch (noun): a midday meal paid for by your company during which you get to  better know one or several of your coworkers, and thus, make new friends.

Example: “Hey, John. You seem like a really cool guy. Let’s go to Panera and chat it up!”

This might not sound typical, but keep in mind that nothing about DiMassimo Goldstein is typical. This is the same company where within my first two weeks, I experienced things like team karaoke, meditation, cats and dogs in the office (and no, that’s not a metaphor). So, a free lunch during work as a way to make new friends? That just seemed like classic DiGo – and I was all over it.

Unfortunately, my execution was not as effortless as my excitement. After several drafted emails later, I still couldn’t think of the right words. How exactly is the best way to say “Hey, you probably don’t know me, but that’s why I’m emailing you. Should we get some lunch so that we can learn each other’s names?” Didn’t exactly work. Luckily enough, some kind soul in the office saved me from my own awkwardness and invited me out to lunch. If you know anything about DiGo’s employees, you’ll know that this display of kindness is par for the course. To no surprise, it was a great time: flowing conversation and plenty of laughs over a pizza that was definitely fit for more than two people. Was I sure this was the dreaded “work” that all my employed friends were warning me about?

After that, I felt comfortable. I had a friend in the office, and I had the momentum to make some more. With every Buddy Lunch I went on, I felt like I became more a part of DiGo because I got to know the people who made it so special. Each person imparted their wisdom on me, wanting to give me the best possible advice on how to succeed at this company. Though I valued their input greatly, it was their willingness and enthusiasm to help others that most resonated with me.

I quickly realized that everybody at DiGo wanted the best for their peers, and the feeling was contagious. Whether it was pizza with someone from Studio, dumplings with the Account team, or salad with someone from the Marketing team, I felt such a strong sense of support from the people I was surrounded by, and it made me want to do the same for others. To me, that defines success at a company.

If that isn’t #InspiringAction, I don’t know what is. Power to the Buddy Lunch!

— Claire Holleran, Client Fulfillment Intern