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DiMassimo Goldstein blog

Welcome to our blog! Each week, our inspiring action content creators work hard to update this page with the latest and greatest in the world of DiGo.

The A-List Podcast with Gerard Caputo

On this week’s episode of The A-List Podcast, host and DiMassimo Goldstein CCO, Tom Christmann is joined by Gerard Caputo. A celebrated creative with a career spanning more than two decades, Gerard Caputo is the Chief Creative Officer of BBH New York and an instructor at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn as well as being a notable name in advertising. Mr. Caputo has received a number of industry accolades including an Emmy award an ANDY, recognition at the Cannes Grand Prix and more!

After graduating from Boston University in 1996, Mr. Caputo began his career at Boston-based Mullen (now MullenLowe) and worked at a number of the industry’s top agencies such as BBDO and Ogilvy as a creative director before arriving at BBH, where he has assumed his current post for nearly 6 years.

Check out the latest episode of The A-List podcast here!:

Show Notes:

  • [0:00-2:06] Intro.
  • [3:01-7:55] Growing up in Little Falls, New Jersey.
  • [10:52-14:00] Discovering photography in school and creative writing.
  • [14:01- 18:35] Transitioning to advertising and becoming an intern at Mullen.
  • [20:17-26:36] Building his book, ‘finding the fire’, and becoming an art director.
  • [28:12-31:30] Emerging as a creative and moving on to Fallon, in Minneapolis.
  • [32:18-34:01] Tips for young people who relocate to new cities.
  • [34:30- 38:20] Being stubborn and pushing to make great ads.
  • [40:14-44:00] On the rise of digital storytelling.
  • [45:00-50:33] Leaving Fallon for BBDO and meeting Tom!
  • [54:24 -1:00:23] Leaving BBDO and evading complacency.
  • [1:01:12- 1:06:55] Moving to BBH and the challenges of being a senior level creative.
  • [1:07:00-1:10:30] 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 Mark DiMassimo

On this week’s episode of The A-List Podcast, host and DiMassimo Goldstein CCO, Tom Christmann is joined by none other than, our chief and the founder of DiMassimo Goldstein, the most Inspiring Action agency in the world, Mark DiMassimo!

Okay, we can’t lie, we’re obviously excited about this episode. As chief, Mark has overseen the production a lot of great work in the advertising space over the past 23 years. However, Mark was not always the leader of an ad agency…

After a career as a young entrepreneur and musician, Mark DiMassimo began his second career at twenty-five years old in the direct marketing division of BBDO. There, Mark apprenticed to the Direct Marketing author, Ed Nash, and soaked in the atmosphere at a time when direct marketers were entrepreneurial, and brands where built through direct marketing.

As an account executive and without asking permission, Mark started writing ads for a client that had frustrated the creative department into mass creative block. Instead of being fired, he was invited into the creative department with the proviso, “But you won’t be able to tell us what to do anymore.” With time, he emerged as a pre-eminent creative with his career took off due to his track record of success.

Mark worked on choice assignments and launched major brands with the philosophy of exploiting the blind spots of fellow direct marketers by using brand insights to create integrated brand response advertising campaigns that dramatically out-performed more tactical work.

Mark led integrated creative departments and produced notable work at some of the best creative agencies in the world before founding his own in 1996. He founded DiMassimo Goldstein in the spirit of leading the charge for “a brand revolution among direct marketers and a direct revolution among brand marketers” as well as laying the groundwork for our practice of #InspiringAction.

On this episode, we follow Mark through his career and delve into his gritty origin story from start to finish.

You’re not going to want to miss this one. Listen here!

Show Notes:

[0:00-3:00] Intro.

[3:01-7:25] Mark talks about growing up in NJ and his early upbringing.

[7:26-9:29] Mark’s imagination and first forays into creativity as a profession.

[9:29-13:46] Mark’s super-dark childhood short story and learning how to express himself.

[13:47-16:11] Wayne Dyer’s ‘Erroneous Zones’ as a marketing inspiration.

[16:13 -20:23] SUNY Fredonia, majoring in music, and discovering the library.

[21:17-24:45] Transferring to Cornell and Industrial and Labor Relations.

[24:54-27:44] How he made the switch to communications and ultimately deciding on Advertising as a career path.

[25:00-32:30] BBDO Direct and Mark’s first job working on brand accounts in advertising.

[32:31-40:20] Mark discusses his first creative experiences as a copywriter and being challenged for the first time.

[40:42-49:00] Being laid off, freelancing, and getting copywriter positions.

[49:15-55:59] Mark on his rise through the ranks and deciding to start his very own agency.

[56:00-57:37] 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 Steve Sandstrom

On this week’s episode of The A-List Podcast, host and DiMassimo Goldstein CCO Tom Christmann is joined by Steve Sandstrom, the Executive Creative Director of the Portland-based, strategy and design firm, Sandstrom Partners and a board member of the One Club for Creativity.

We are grateful to have Steve with us this season.

Steve is also one of the founding minds behind Tazo, a tea company that challenged consumer perceptions and spawned a litany of brands in its wake. Steve’s work with Tazo resulted in a number of accolades and recognition in major competitions for over a decade.

Steve has been instrumental in launching some of the most iconic brands of this decade and revitalizing many well known brands, most notably having worked on Converse, Nike, Coca-Cola, Miller Brewing, ESPN, Jordan, adidas, Levi Strauss, and more.

In this interview, Steve shares a bit with us about his journey, his upbringing in Portland, and the stories behind some of his most famous designs.

Tune in now to this episode of the A-List Podcast!

 

  • [0:00-2:33] – Intro
  • [2:34 – 7:40] How to pronounce ‘Oregon’ and Steve’s upbringing in Portland.
  • [7:41- 9:52] Steve’s early inspirations and first exposure to art through his family.
  • [9:52- 14:17] Learning design fundamentals in school and discovering graphic design in college.
  • [14:18 – 17:33] Steve’s first design job as an illustrator and standing out in class.
  • [17:34 – 21:00] for the love of drawing.
  • [21:01 – 26:50] University of Oregon and developing a unique style at the Daily Emerald.
  • [26:51 – 30:17] Deciding on commercial art and getting notable exposure for designing.
  • [30:18 – 34:15] Starting a design career in advertising and advice to young artists
  • [34:16 – 37:10] Turning a local radio station into a design opportunity.
  • [37:11 – 46:33] Being picked up by Nike and working as a creative director.
  • [46:34: 53:59] Starting Sandstrom Partners and discovering a design niche
  • [54:00 – 1:03:40] Problem solving and favorite challenging projects
  • [1:05:55 – 1:07:22] 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 Michael Bierut

On this week’s episode of The A-List Podcast, host and DiMassimo Goldstein CCO Tom Christmann is joined by Michael Bierut, current partner at Pentagram and former employee of the renowned Italian designer Massimo Vignelli. Michael has designed some of the most well-recognized logos in the world, including the Hillary Clinton campaign logo, the Saks Fifth Avenue bag, the Slack icon, and many more.

We are so lucky to have Michael join us in our design series, as we interview some of the industry’s biggest and brightest.

For ten years Michael worked and learned from Vignelli Associates, before joining Pentagram as a partner in 1990. He has won hundreds of design awards and his work is represented in several permanent collections including: the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York; the Library of Congress in Washington, DC; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA); the Denver Art Museum; the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, Germany; and the Museum of Design, Zürich, Switzerland.

In this interview. he divulges how he turned his natural artistic inclination into a giant career in graphic design. Be sure to listen then check out his site https://designobserver.com/ for creative inspiration.

 

Show Notes:

  • [0:00 – 1:56] Intro
  • [1:57 – 4:27] Growing up in non-starstudded Ohio and discovering his drawing talents.
  • [4:28 – 7:20] Serendipitously stumbling on the book “Aim High for a Career in Graphic Design / Art by S. Neil Fujita” at age 14 and starting art as a vocational trade.
  • [7:21 – 12:10] The benefits of social ineptitude and the nerve to push yourself creatively.
  • [12:10 – 17:57] The curse of ‘knowing the rules.’
  • [17:58 – 26:16] For the love of rules and parameters.
  • [26:17 – 28:16] Helvetica and 70’s font style at the University of Cincinnati
  • [28:17 – 33:35] The magnetic pull to New York City and working with mastermind Massimo Vignelli.
  • [33:36 – 36:10] The healthy side of a workaholic.
  • [36:11 – 38:16] Wisdom gained from 10 years with Vignelli and the importance of compelling ideas.
  • [38:17 – 43:08] Leaving Vignelli to become a partner at Pentagram in 1990.
  • [43:09 – 48: ] Working on the top-secret Hillary Clinton campaign logo.    
  • [52:49 – 54:59] 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 Mike Lescarbeau

On this week’s episode of The A-List Podcast, host and DiMassimo Goldstein CCO Tom Christmann is joined by Mike Lescarbeau, former President and Chief Creative Officer of Carmichael Lynch, and current CEO of Person, an HR consulting firm that helps companies create better workplaces through diversity, inclusion, and best hiring practices.

During the interview, Mike delves into his successful start in advertising and his natural transition towards helping companies develop positive work cultures. Mike has been awarded the American Advertising Federation’s 2014 MOSAIC Award for Diversity Achievement, and serves on the board of directors for The BrandLab, a Minneapolis-based consortium of over 40 companies working to bring more people of color into advertising and marketing.

Mike’s transition is an unusual one. In this interview he gives us invaluable advice about how to lean into people’s natural tendencies to create a higher retention rate and keep your people happy.

Sit back and take a listen to the most interesting interview you’ve ever heard about Human Resources.

Show Notes: 

  • [0:00 – 2:22] Intro
  • [2:23 – 7:50] Writing 200 headlines with Tom McElligott and growing up in Minnesota
  • [7:51– 18:14] The natural ease of writing copy and early advertising experiences
  • [18:15 – 25:50] Moving from advertising to HR
  • [25:51 – 31:25] How to make interviews safer spaces
  • [31:26 – 37:42] Embracing Millennials and dealing with hard clients
  • [37:43 – 50:10] Breaking down barriers with other people and being inclusive
  • [50:11 –:] First steps in helping a company hire
  • [58:18 – 1:00:07] 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.

The A-List Podcast with Nick Law

Doing just enough, just isn’t enough

On this week’s episode of The A-List Podcast, host and DiMassimo Goldstein CCO Tom Christmann is joined by Nick Law, previous Chief Creative Officer at Publicis, who made the recent leap to become a Marketing Executive at Apple. Yes, that Apple company.

Nick’s unique integration of design, storytelling, and technology give him a unique perspective in the advertising industry. He observes behavior to create brands and believes big ideas can come after the product’s medium.

Before Publicis, Nick worked at R/GA for 17 years, where he helped expand the company up from 100 to 2,000 employees.

Nick has twice been named in the Creativity 50 list and is a force to learn from. We were very lucky to have him on The A-List Podcast. Make sure you tune in below!

Show Notes: 

  • [0:00 – 2:10] Intro
  • [2:11 – 2:20] Growing up in Sydney, the benefits of a “feral” upbringing, avoiding school & enjoying art
  • [4:46 – 8:18] Drawing, discovering graphic design, getting into art school 
  • [8:19 – 11:06] First jobs and how to become a master 
  • [11:07 – 12:54] Are big ideas that important? 
  • [12:55 – 15:16] The importance of not taking the first job you land, the difficulty of unlearning bad habits
  • [15:17 – 21:58] Taking a gap year, starting at Pentagram and moving in advertising in 1988, moving to New York in 1994, entering the dot com boom and the internet
  • [21:58 – 27:40] The “strange delicious isolation” before the internet and the unavoidable future of it
  • [27:41 – 42:40] How creatives can use the newest tools and executing ideas at the speed of thought
  • [42:40 – 1:05] Observe behavior before building a brand, the power of storytelling, technology connectivity
  • [1:06 – 1:03:24] 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 A-List Podcast with Karl Lieberman

On this week’s episode of The A-List Podcast, host and DiMassimo Goldstein CCO Tom Christmann is joined by Karl Lieberman, Executive Creative Director and Creative Head at Wieden + Kennedy New York.

I don’t always launch campaigns that generate thousands of memes for years to come, but when I do, it’s awesome. Remember Dos Equis’s The Most Interesting Man in the World campaign? Of course you do. Well, that was Karl. He co-created that iconic campaign and many more.

Raised in New Jersey by an artist mother and a doctor father, Karl’s creativity and ambition was nurtured early on. However, it wasn’t until visiting his sister at work at her digital marketing office in D.C, did he learn about the world of advertising.

After studying fine arts at the University of Delaware, Karl got an internship at Mother London, where he learned his portfolio sucked, got an art partner, and learned to write from an honest place.

Karl has worked at several big-name agencies including Gyro, Mother, and Wieden + Kennedy, where he’s helped create famous work for huge clients, including Bud Light, Dos Equis, ESPN, Yoplait, Velveeta and more.

During the interview, Karl offers insights about coming of age in the business, being true to himself, and making it big. Listen in for the whole scoop

  • [0:00 – 2:55] Intro
  • [2:56 – 7:42] Having an artistic childhood in New Jersey with a painter mother and a doctor father
  • [7:43 – 13:00] Exposure to the advertising world, learning jobs don’t have to stuck, pursuing art at The University of Delaware
  • [14:30 – 25:29] Interning at Mother London, getting a portfolio invention, partnering with art director Brandon Henderson and landing first jobs
  • [25:29 – 30:05] Working with hero Jeff Kling (Miller High Life) in the creative department, writing a basketball blog, connecting the dots between writing and writing ads
  • [30:05 – 37:35] Writing Dos Equis’s The Most Interesting Man in the World campaign
  • [38:40 – 39:57] Working harder post Dos Equi’s campaign
  • [39:58 – 52:40] From Gyro to Mother then eventually Wieden + Kennedy, and the importance of briefs
  • [39:58 – 55:45] Defining “good ideas,” the future of advertising, and the power of the internet
  • [55:45 – 59:16] Droga5 Superbowl spots Walking Dead and Game of Thrones
  • [59:16 – 1:00:38] 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.

Advertising Awards Are Stupid. But Also Important

Advertising Awards Are Stupid. But Also Important.

I have a piece of art made by Rohitash Rao on the bookshelf in my office. It’s an award. A golden (plastic) statue that sort of looks like an Oscar stands on a wooden base. On the base, in wonderfully frantic hand-painted white letters, it says “YOU DIDN’T EARN THIS.” I love it because it reminds me of the foolishness of awards. Especially advertising awards.

Next to it, on the same shelf, sit my advertising awards. A One Show Pencil. A Clio. Some Addys. A Telly or two. I can’t seem to find the Cannes Lion (bronze), but when I do, that’s where it will go. I’m proud of these awards because they remind me that I have participated in doing work that was recognized by my peers as “great”, whatever that means. And that inspires me to try to do it again. And to know that I can.

Am I stupid? Not really. I know that winning an award doesn’t necessarily mean that the work “worked” on consumers. Many award-winning creative solutions didn’t have any effect on sales, as the haters love to remind us every year during award season. The very worst examples of this are the fake ads made by unscrupulous creatives who just want to win an award to soothe their fragile egos. Most award shows have tried to squash this by making new rules, but the award-addicts will always find ways to get around the rules. This is infuriating.

But in another way, I am stupid. I’m human. Like all humans, I have an ego. We are imperfect creatures. We need lots of ways to inspire ourselves to action. An action as simple as looking at our naked bodies in the mirror can inspire us to go to the gym. (Or maybe to buy roomier pants.) Tracking your finances can inspire you to make changes that help you save more money. These are ways that we hack our imperfect human brains.

I was always very disorganized. I thought it was just a part of being “creative”. But I’ve recently started Bullet Journaling as a way to inspire myself to stay on task and get more done. The simple act of writing everything down by hand somehow connects to a part of my brain that has way more organizational skills than I knew I had. And the work has gotten better for it.

Awards can be an inspirational tool. Awards are not the goal. Great work is the goal. But by hacking our egos, we trick ourselves into pushing the work to a better place. The result is surprising, novel work that can better spark the imagination and move people to act. At DiMassimo Goldstein, we call this Inspiring Action. Sometimes, it’s a traditional television spot. Sometimes it’s an experiential pop-up made to be shared on Instagram. Sometimes it’s a web-enabled doohickey that helps volunteer types find like-minded dates.

Awards are also a kind of shorthand for creative minds. The same way hobos marked houses with weird symbols to let other hobos know if they were safe or not, awards are a secret language that tell the makers of the world: “this agency will feed you and give you succor”.

Awards help us push past the obvious. Getting the work to a place that is “award-worthy” is an important way to check our inherent bias towards our first thoughts. We are forced to find elegant solutions to our clients’ business problems that can stand alone. Or to rethink the problem entirely. This is a good thing for business.

Our campaign for Shutterstock is winning a lot of awards. A shorty. Two webbys. A One Show shortlist (grumble grumble!). And a coveted, hard-to-win D&AD pencil. I haven’t checked the Cannes results yet, but it’s got a shot. And this may be the one case where awards are a part of the marketing solution itself, because creative people are the target. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t on our minds as we worked on it a way it normally isn’t at first. We had to impress the creative class and we did. Sales are up big.

So the shelf in my office will have more awards. But the Rohitash Rao piece will always stand in the middle, reminding us all that awards, in the end, are just tools we use to get to great work that works. 

– Tom Christmann, CCO of DiMassimo Goldstein