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DIGO Brands Your True Face
August, 22nd 2010

In the spring, Mark DiMassimo, CEO and chief creative officer of DIGO, and Eric Yaverbaum, president of Ericho Communications  residents of Rye and Larchmont respectively — founded Offlining Inc., a campaign that calls on dads to forego their wireless devices to create blocks of family-only time between Father’s Day and Thanksgiving. The following are excerpts of an e-mail exchange between reporter Patrick Gallagher and the marketing duo.

Q: What inspired you to launch Offlining Inc.?

A: We were experiencing some degree of failure to put our online lives in their place. We have kids, we have people who want our attention. Technology provides some amazing tools for connecting, managing and playing, but at some point we just started to ask ourselves — are we holding the strings or are we the puppets?
The best way to get our full attention is to build the aspiration into a brand and a movement, so we came up with Offlining.

Q: In the past several years since the launch of devices such as the iPhone, have people become too attached to their wireless devices?

A: We think it’s great that these products are so good that you can’t imagine living without them. But, we think your relationships will be stronger and your life will be richer if you learn to use the off button from time to time. Trust us.

Q: It would be unrealistic to think people will entirely abandon their Blackberries, iPhones and laptops. What do you think would be a good middle ground?

A: We’ve suggested 10 Device-Free dinners between now and Thanksgiving. That’s a good start. We’re not giving up our devices and we’re not asking you to either.

We’d like to be able to reach you, so out of pure selfishness, we want you to keep your device. We just want you to do enough to make some room for offline life in your life.

Q: Since launching the initiative, what feedback have you gotten from dads who have taken the pledge?

A: We expected some criticism, we even tried to provoke a bit with our cheeky cards, but so far we just keep getting a lot of “Right on!” People just really feel that this is a real issue in their lives, one that they struggle with, and they like the acknowledgement that this is a real issue.