DC’s thrilled to announce that Gary Stein joins us today as our first chief integration officer. He’s here to accelerate collaboration between our strategy, media and expanded creative team, which now includes experiential and influencer experts thanks to our recent acquisition of A2G. We think Gary says it best:
“The team here has this earnest, heartfelt belief that brands can show up for consumers – and our society – in a meaningful and authentic way. They’re not chasing shiny objects to sell more programs. They’re making major moves to help clients make a bigger impact on people, culture and commerce. DC is an ascendant independent agency with the talent, capabilities and desire to take the next leap. I want to be part of that.”
Gary joins DC after nearly five years at Eleven, most recently as associate partner and head of activation overseeing media, planning and data insights. His career includes nearly twenty years in strategy and work on clients such as Nike, Jim Beam and Google Cloud, including the Cannes Lion-winning ‘Know What your Data Knows’ campaign which featured the first-ever live TV spot created from real-time data during NCAA March Madness.
“We promise clients a holistic view on how creativity can move people’s emotions and actions – online and in real life,” said CEO Andy Berkenfield. “With Gary as our first chief integration officer, we’re ensuring that everything we do across paid, earned, shared and owned channels advances a singular creative vision that helps our clients grow.”
Cheers to that.
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.
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?
Definitive facts. I’m sure we can figure something out.
For yesterday’s midterms, a big chunk of DCers added the title poll worker to their already sparkling resumes. Spearheaded by our own J. Moe who worked the polls in 2016, employees volunteered for training and were assigned to precincts across the Bay Area. The persuasive Ms. Moe even convinced the crotchety old partners to pay for the time off, striking a blow for democracy everywhere. And the fine folks at MediaPost were kind enough to cover the effort.
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.”
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.