Following last year’s list of behavior change marketers, we’re bringing you a new and updated list of 2018’s most inspiring action brands and people. If there are any brands you think deserve to be added to the list, tweet us here and let us know!
About a year ago this time, “Flamingo Girl” was introduced to the world.
Flocking around in an adorable pink Flamingo costume with matching sunglasses, she charmed the streets of New York City, spreading word downtown and building anticipation for “the biggest, bestest Halloween event in New York City,” the Bronx Zoo’s annual “Boo at the Zoo.”
She instantly became a viral sensation, appearing all over social media and the internet in cute TV spots and in print ads offline. The TV spots were even named an official honoree of last year’s Webby Awards.
By the time we created an experiential pop-up to generate awareness in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, she was already a superstar, but of course, she made time to fly on over and say hello to all her newfound fans.
A year later and a year older, the “Flamingo Girl” campaign remains a classic. Turning an old tradition into something completely new, “Flamingo Girl” was fresh, memorable, and iconic. It was an inspiring action, and one of our favorites of the past year.
On its 1-year anniversary, we felt it was only right to flap our flamingo wings down memory lane and revisit the work that made waves in New York.
At the inaugural Brandweek conference this week in Palm Desert, CA, I learned a LOT.
I learned that marketers at big brands don’t want to be sold to, but they do want to embrace their brand’s problems — and sometimes even faults, when they are in a safe space.
I learned that the newest brands on the block, like Away, are able to be so consumer-centric, that adding in an agency wouldn’t have a bigger impact than what they’ve built internally.
I learned that everyone who works in marketing is always going to be chasing the next ad tech and working hard — like, really hard — to explain that to anyone who will listen.
I learned that there are so many things I would have never learned if I hadn’t made the time to get out of our office and see what everyone else is talking about.
But today, I want to talk about something that all agencies need to learn. If you are an agency, and you aren’t focused on the value you provide to clients, then you are doing it wrong. If you work in an agency and you aren’t focused on the ways you can help brands better communicate, engage and interact with their consumers, the ways you can help them UNDERSTAND their consumer better, than you could take some advice from the people behind the brands that I met at Brandweek.
This was a well-attended conference. Marketers like Rick Gomez from Target, Jen Rubio from Away, Michael Dubin from Dollar Shave Club, and Leesa Eichberger from Farmers Insurance were in the audience and on the stage talking about what ground they are breaking and what problems they are facing. I even got the opportunity to sit next to Victoria Russell, the Chief Diversity Officer of Papa John’s, during a workshop. Yes, she knew about the scandals before she took the job, and yes, I believe she will be the person to turn that brand around.
Between the varying degrees of brand awareness and brand loyalty, the thing that everyone had in common was the fact that they are all SO laser-focused on their consumer. What is their experience? How do I draw them in? How does their feedback shape my product lifecycle? How does their feedback save my business?
We got to hear about all of these issues from the marketers themselves, but even better, we got to work through them together during two different break-out workshops. People were asked to connect on issues and topics like “collaboration” and “the brand’s role in society.” They were asked to think about new media opportunities and new technology that could solve problems. And then entire rooms of people got to connect on those issues and problem-solve together.
So, what did I learn that I will take back to my team that I think will REALLY make a difference? It’s all about the consumer.
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.
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!
Think about it. Whether you’re making a product, delivering a service, designing, marketing, innovating or financing – doesn’t the result happen only when you get people to actually do something different?
Actions are the fundamental currency. No actions, no cash.
So, success in business – and in achieving any worthy end – is a battle between manipulation and inspiration.
Manipulation is when we use tricks to get people to do things.
Inspiration is when they do those things because those things are meaningful and satisfying to them.
A business can be built on manipulation for a while. Offers. Urgency. Price manipulations. Sales. Scarcity. Emotional hyping. There is a whole business literature of tricks. Direct and interactive marketers have proven them. Persuasion designers have honed them. Behavioral economists have proved them in double-blind studies.
Manipulation works. For a while.
But manipulation doesn’t satisfy. In fact, it sucks meaning. Organizations that rely too heavily on manipulations build a house of cards, without coherence, loyalty or passion.
Inspiration, as Simon Sinek has said, starts with Why.
When people are doing because they are inspired to do, they value their own actions differently. We saw this when we attracted more customers for an online broker by offering a stuffed monkey (really) than by offering $350 dollars cash, just for signing up.
The monkey meant, “I’m in this crazy tribe.”
The money meant, “I’ll take the bribe.”
Which do you think acquired more valuable customers? Correct. The monkey.
Which do you think acquired more customers in the first place? Also, the monkey.
Most people are surprised by that. Knowing all I do about inspiring action, I was also surprised.
This broker built an incredibly powerful and valuable brand. It inspired passion that converted into fast growth, intense engagement and rock solid loyalty.
Want a metric to measure and manage this by? Call it your Inspiring Action Quotient.
How much do you lead, market, attract, convert and build through Inspiration? That’s the numerator, the number on top.
How much do you manipulate in order to generate the actions that grow your business? That’s the denominator.
Next Friday, May 5th, the agency will officially turn 21 years of age.
As an agency so focused on the future – accountable for building our clients brands and driving results – we seldom have the opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments of the past.
But for this, our coming-of-age party, we will make an exception. We’re finally legal to drink, and there’s a lot to raise our glass to.
First and foremost, for 21 years of building truly inspiring partnerships with our clients, both old and new. Together, we’ve been able to bring so many beautiful and inspiring ideas to life. BIG ideas. Ideas that inspire people to make more inspiring decisions and form more empowering habits. These are the ideas that help change the world, and we couldn’t be more grateful to have collaborated on them with you.
To 21 years of always remaining true to our core values of love, courage, and understanding. While the industry has changed over the last two decades, our values have not. They are the pillars that this agency was founded on, and we’re proud to have never wavered from them.
To 21 years of being fully transparent and honest with our media, and using these practices to create powerful brand associations and increase acquisition efficiency. Where much of the industry has fallen short, we have not. We have and always will be completely accountable to our clients, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.
To 21 years of designing phenomenal fulfillment experiences and iconic actions. These are the experiences that emotionally connect the brand to the consumer. They take brand advocates and turn them into devotees, and they start well before most people realize. Every interaction and every touchpoint is designed with the user in mind.
All the people, relationships, hard work, innovations, creativity and undying displays of empathy have made these past 21 years so rewarding.
So with that in mind, please join us at our agency next week as we celebrate 21 years in business. You can RSVP to the event on Facebook HERE. We’d love to see you there.
Our match has been struck, and it’s burning hotter and brighter than ever. We can’t wait to see this marketing blaze grow. Here’s to the next 21.
When a brand inspires action in a way that demonstrates love, courage, and understanding like Airbnb did this past week – we celebrate them.
As part of their new campaign titled “We Accept”, the company recently announced that the Airbnb community will provide free housing to refugees and those recently barred from entering the US.
Airbnb believes in the inspiring idea that no matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love, or who you worship, you deserve to belong. They then sprung that idea into action in a meaningful and iconic way. It’s a powerful stance from a brand committed to helping people live better lives.
So on behalf of all of us at DiMassimo Goldstein, we’d like to thank Airbnb for putting humanity first and reminding people everywhere that empathy wins.
If you want to inspire action as well, you can donate here to assist those in need.