News
Duncan-Channon-and-A2G

Today we’re thrilled to announce the acquisition of A2G, a widely recognized experiential and social influencer agency. The acquisition extends our reach to two new major markets, adds a robust suite of complementary services to our offering and brings us a powerful new partner.

Amy Cotteleer (she’s the stylish one on the right) founded her agency in 2005 and was a pioneer in the experiential and influencer space. The LA- and New York-based agency created experiences and campaigns with social and digital engagement built into their fabric — from Gap’s award-winning Be Bright campaign, to Nintendo’s Wii video challenge that delivered 900 million earned impressions, to Flo’s Rockin’ Rally for Progressive that engaged a quarter million bikers.

So why’d she sell to the likes of us? We’ll let our new partner tell it: “The last thing we wanted was to be absorbed by a big agency who just wanted to staple us to a long list of capabilities. DC implicitly understood that A2G has an established brand and reputation for a reason. We’re incredibly excited by the possibilities to do great things creatively as we grow together.”

And here’s what our CEO Andy said on behalf of the rest of us: “This move is about a shared vision to help clients succeed in the evolving world of integrated marketing. The days of simply buying attention are dead — and winning brands need to build relationships with consumers online and, ya know, IRL.”

Big thanks to our friends at McCracken Advisory Partners who acted as exclusive M&A advisor on the deal.

LazyTyranny

Our ECD John Kovacevich challenges whether Facebook’s “best practices” are really the best we can do. He is also aware that he uses lots of ironic quotation marks. Check them out below:

“Make the logo bigger.”

This piece of client feedback is such a cliché, it’s been an advertising meme for decades (even before we called them “memes.”) But in recent years, a new demand has taken its place: “Put the logo FIRST.”

The rise of Facebook, Instagram and YouTube as the premier digital channels to deliver ads has created an army of “experts” on how to get the most out of the dollars you spend on these channels. Facebook’s sales army has said it so many times, it’s become gospel: “You need to make a ‘brand impression’ in the first 2 seconds of your ad.”

As a result, creative briefs regularly include the line, “Digital versions must include the logo at the top of the spot.” Except…maybe it’s not true?

Read more

DuncanChannon-John-Kovacevich-169

After arm-twisting, haranguing and even shedding the occasional tear, DC finally convinced the multi-talented John Kovacevich to join us full-time as executive creative director. John comes to us us after three years as one of the city’s most sought after freelance talents. Before he broke up with the agency world, John worked at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and FCB West. So how did we get this confirmed bachelor to tie the knot again? Better if we let him tell it: “5 Reasons I Hung Up My Freelance Shingle to Go Full Time.”

Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 2.21.17 PM

With pre-season underway, our Purpose Practice Director, MJ Deery, recommends some serious changes to the NFL’s playbook in Adweek.

“Today’s consumers, especially younger audiences that represent the sport’s future, expect brands to stand for more than product and profit. Yes, even sports teams need values beyond winning.”

MJ goes on to share her POV on four things we should learn from the NFL’s missteps.

1. Consumers have no tolerance for lip service — In January, the league announced its “Let’s Listen Together” program, an $89 million seven-year initiative to support social, education and criminal justice reform, only to undo it with its anthem actions. Such a seismic shift between words and actions can call question to the NFL’s authenticity.

2. Brands must make room for diverse voices — Business leaders need to tap diverse perspectives across race, culture and gender in their workforce or risk sounding tone deaf.

3. Purpose requires the long game — Forward-thinking business leaders aren’t bandaging short-term injuries like the ratings drop and the president’s disparaging tweets at the expense of long-term brand health.

4. Attempts to silence voices often amplify them — Players took to Twitter to re-up their commitment to the cause. And owners like the New York Jets’ Christopher Johnson said they’ll cover fines for players who continue to kneel.

“The NFL anthem saga shows the perils for brands navigating our purpose-driven economy without clear, inclusive values. That said, the NFL still has time to make good on its promise to “Listen Together” and to use the league’s influence to fight systemic racism in a way that builds their business. I hope the NFL finds its way back to its social purpose, by the dawn’s early light.”

See MJ’s full article here and get yourself educated.

adweek-purpose-practice-duncan-channon-deery

If you didn’t see it, DC’s director of social purpose, MJ Deery, was featured in a recent Adweek outlining a best-practices reset on rules for the burgeoning conscious economy. Check it out here. Ignore at your peril!

north-bay-fires

We were all touched by the devastating fires and did what we could in the moment, but what about now? With the holidays approaching and media attention turning elsewhere, how can we still help and what are the best places to focus our resources and time?

A group of concerned DCers created the following resource for our people to refer to, but we thought we’d publish it for anyone out there looking to help, too.


Donate money

The easiest way to help is simply to donate money, and there are many legitimate ways to do that. We made our donations to Tipping Point Emergency Relief Fund and did so through Google.org’s fundraising campaign that matches donations up to $1 million.


Donate things

Here’s a link to a community-generated document that outlines household items that are most needed.

The Redwood Empire Food Bank continues to help the community by accepting and distributing non-perishable food donations. You can drop non-perishable food (no glass) at their location at 3990 Brickway Blvd. in Santa Rosa. You can also donate gift cards to Hands on Bay Area.


Donate time

A lot of companies, ours included, offer employees a day (or days) of service option. If yours does, helping out in the North Bay would certainly be a great use of that time. Because while it’s going to take years to recover, a willing pair of hands, even for a day, will help the work go faster. It should be noted that they don’t want people, no matter how well-intentioned, just showing up. Here’s a current list of organizations looking for volunteers.

Together, we can make a real difference. Happy holidays to you all.

duncan-channon-2017-ad-age-agency-of-the-year

DC sidestepped the sophomore slump to bring home a silver Small Agency of the Year in the west award for the second year running. Announced last night at Ad Age’s Small Agency Conference in Nashville, the award takes into consideration business results, agency culture as well as a range of creative work across accounts.

To bring home the award last year from among the hundreds of entries was a thrill. But to win in back-to-back years has us positively blushing. Thank you to Advertising Age and, of course, our clients who made it all possible. Kegger at our parents’ house!

thedrum-anne-elisco-lemme-duncanchannon

 
Our own ECD Anne Elisco-Lemme is featured in the latest edition of The Drum’s Beyond The Brief with words of wisdom for all you creatives out there looking to make your mark.

In addition to relaying her trenchant career advice, the article teasingly makes mention of her Led Zeppelin tribute band, Black Dog, while providing no photographic evidence. Let’s rectify that egregious oversight right now. (Anne’s the one holding it down in the middle.)
 

BlackDog
Work