Another Advertising Week has come and gone! This year proved to be just as eventful as years’ past. Our team on the ground seemed to have do and see it all (although we know that would be impossible…)
The UCB Comedy: Seriously Funny session was hosted by none other than the Upright Citizens Brigade comedy theater. For those not as familiar with the New York comedy scene UCB is one of the most notable and prestigious theaters in the city (and country) and was the starting place for many famous actors in the industry, not to mention launched by Goddess Amy Poehler. This session was run by UCB Director/Producers Nathan Russell and Julie Gomez and covered the business side of the theater. Some may be surprised to learn that in addition to their hilariously innovative shows the organization also works with both brands and marketing/advertising agencies to create unique branded content that breaks through the clutter by way of comedy. Some takeaways? Collaboration is key, and when pressured about ROI metrics make the brand/product seem as approachable as possible. — Emily Donoho, Junior Designer
I attended a few sessions over the week, but there were two that really stuck out to me. On Thursday, I attended the ‘From Minibar to Megahit’ panel, where Partners + Napier’s CEO and Associate Director, Marketing & Business Development were on stage with the Co-Founders and leading lady entrepreneurs of on-demand, alcohol delivery service, Minibar. The four ladies led a compelling conversation, on what the road to success looked like for Lara Crystal and Lindsey Andrews, as they took on the challenge of opening their business. One of my favorite moments of the session, were when the ladies admitted that the challenge of opening an app in the alcohol space is often intimidating to business people, but Lara and Lindsey saw it as intriguing and took the industry by storm. Check out their app and get your drinks for tonight ;) — Peyton McCarthy, Account Executive
At Project: WorldWide’s “Stories of Creative Invention” the audience was exposed to a wide breadth of innovation from engineering blocking with Little Bits’ founder, Ayah Bdeir to street art with Bradley Theodore to fitness-like business clothing with Aman Advani. It became abundantly clear that creative invention is around us more than we might have originally imagined. Each speaker radiated inspiration; each story just as captivating as the last. Advertising Week is programmed with many sessions that discuss the future of advertising, the problem with ad-blocking, the new creative talent, and so on and so forth. That said, to attend a session that put pure creativity and inventive spirit on the stage was a breath of fresh air to say the least. Leaving the session you couldn’t help but think, “What am I doing wrong with my life?” — Jackie Berte, Senior Account Executive
The political season was alive and well at Advertising Week. During the panel on how technology is shaping political advertising, panelists explained that too often, we frame how we see politics through the lens of the presidential campaigns themselves which includes advertising. It’s all about the messaging during these campaigns and the media serves as the most popular delivery mechanism. Speaking of media, Facebook is making a name for themselves on the media side with 61% of millennials consuming their political news on the platform. “The Donald” was a hot topic. Thoughts from the panelists across the board? When we call Trump a master of social, we’re doing a disservice to those who are doing it right and that we “confuse noise with signal.” And who is doing it right? All panelists agreed that Ben Carson has a strong presence across the board on social platforms. But what is king during ads in this election season? Creative. The quality of creative is key to delivering the message that will ultimately win voters over. — Ali Colangelo, Account Director
My other favorite panel of the week was the ‘Creative & Technology: Lorraine Twohill & David Droga in Conversation’ on Wednesday. From the Google side, it was super interesting to hear from Lorraine, the tech company’s SVP of Global Marketing on the brand’s recent logo change, especially since she was a leading force behind the change. The audience learned a few fun facts about the change, like the ‘e’ is tilted, simply because the guy behind Google’s doodles every day, asked for it to look like it was smiling. The conversation was also centered around Droga5’s relationship with Google as a client, and the work that the agency has done of late, including the adorable ‘Friends Furever’ spot which came out earlier this year and took a different and more loving approach for a tech company ad. David also discussed some of the agency’s other famed work, like the Under Armour spots with Misty Copeland, where he dug deep on the ways that Droga5 thinks about advertising and looking beyond just content itself, but looking to when and where consumers will be consuming the content before creating an ad. As a lady who was inspired by the spots, learning more about the creative strategy was a huge takeaway for me. — Peyton McCarthy, Account Executive
Our team was both inspired and awed at Sheryl Sandberg’s poise, knowledge and overall demeanor during her fireside chat with Bloomberg’s chief content officer, Josh Tyrangiel. Sheryl’s session touched on a variety topics, including the risks people take in business, why Facebook is the place to be for television advertisers, feedback within the work place, leadership and talent. In a moving moment towards the end of the session, Sheryl discussed how expressing herself on Facebook helped her in the days and weeks after her husband’s death, stating “when we know and understand each other, the world becomes smaller and more peaceful.” She cracked jokes, rattled off impressive facts around mobile and advertising, and discussed navigating Facebook’s role in the rest of the world, including India and China. The session was an-hour long, but it was packed with information and inspiration. Our team sat in awe as we watched Sheryl, and left ready to tackle our own jobs with the same fire that Sheryl tackles hers. — Lexi Hewitt, Account Executive
We’ll soon be preparing for next year, but until then…adios!
After Day 1 of Advertising Week, DGC pulled together our top picks from the first sessions of the week. Check back here each morning for some of our favorite content from the day before.
At the “Breaking Down Social and Mobile” Mobile Media Summit session with Bob Hall (SVP of RadiumOne) and Shenen Reed (President, Digital, MEC North America), both offered unique insights. Shenan shared that positive brand association, rather than number of shares, is a strong indicator of campaign success. Bob spoke about how 72% of sharing happens on a desktop, but 54% of viewing is happening on mobile. — Scott Berwitz, VP
During the “Impossible to Ignore” panel with DDB New York’s CCO Icaro Doria, there was an insightful discussion around how advertisers and marketers should always stay on top of what’s current and culturally relevant to create content that’s ‘impossible to ignore’ by the audience. Icaro said, “When it comes to ad blocking, Apple just made bad advertising go away really fast so only good ads with a compelling message can stay.” — Sylvia Zhou, Senior Account Executive
“The Power of Sports: The How and Why of Fan Passion” took a look at the sports stories that often get overlooked in mainstream news coverage. Ryan Eckle, VP of Brand Marketing for Dick’s Sporting Goods talked about some of Dick’s original content and “building brand through cause.” — Ali Colangelo, Account Director
Deep breath in, deep breath out. As odd as it seemed in the midst of the craziness of Advertising Week, that was how this reflective session started. In this session, MEC’s Global Chief Talent Officer, Marie-Claire Barker and panelists explored mindfulness in the workplace and how companies can use it to improve overall employee happiness and workplace culture. Panelists agreed that it’s not about the industries, but about the human beings in these industries, and that the people are what companies need to focus on if they truly want to be “mindful” in the work place. — Lexi Hewitt, Account Coordinator
At the Cross-Screen Summit: Why Does Context Matter? Because Context Matters! session with Hulu, ESPN, @radical.media, Olson and TubeMogul, there was a lot of discussion around how marketers now must produce multiple creative executions of a campaign around a unifying theme to better meet the needs of today’s multiplatform and multi-device audience. With the industry’s focus on using data for its targeting abilities, Hulu’s SVP Advertising Sales Peter Naylor remarked on the necessary components for ad effectiveness, saying, “Marketers have to have a healthy dose of data and context.” There was agreement among panelists that data needs to be used to inform creative, but that telling a relevant story for the target audience still has to be the primary foundation of any campaign. — Lauren Leff, VP
There was no shortage of amazing content on Day 1, but for me the main highlight was definitely Margaret Gould Stewart, Facebook’s Director of Product Design at IAB MIXX. Margaret discussed the importance of maintaining humility in design, and following “desire paths” to design not only for people, but with people as well. A great example she shared was the “Missed Call” product Facebook developed in India to meet the demand of how people throughout the country were calling each other and hanging up, to avoid being charged. Different numbers of missed calls mean different things, almost like a modern day Morse code. Facebook recognized this and incorporated it into their features, allowing people to connect more easily to the people who matter to them. — Megan Sweat, Senior Account Executive
One of the first sessions of the day was the unveiling of new research by Ogilvy & Mather. The session titled, “Do Brands Still Matter”? was posed to the audience before diving into the findings from the study. Colin Mitchell, Ogilvy & Mather’s Worldwide Head of Planning discussed the research findings which revealed that brands do still matter… just not like they used to. It’s an interesting topic they tackled that also engaged in further discussion with guest speakers, Jennifer Healan of Coca-Cola and Hope Cowan of Facebook — both very different, but extremely relevant brands in the lives of consumers today. Both Jennifer and Hope shared various examples of how and why their brands are successfully mattering to their targets today – from happiness to helping people stay connected – it was evident that they were hitting home on the top factors of mattering in the lives of today’s consumer. — Kelsey Merkel, Account Director
Enjoy Day 2 – it’s already off to a great start!
It can be all too easy to lose sight of the big picture in our “have to,” ultra-packed, always-connected day-to-day workflow that has the power to both energize and tire out the average advertising executive. Where is the industry going? What are the key issues that are re-shaping the business?
Enter Advertising Week, the industry’s once-a-year, week-long event that brings together the brightest minds from brands, agencies, tech companies, startups, etc. to take that much-needed step back and have the broader, high-level conversations that are as needed as they are rare. Next week kicks off the 12th Advertising Week, and it will no doubt continue to spark the exciting conversations and ideas that have made it the coveted tent pole industry event it has become.
As always, DGC will be on-site, supporting a vast array of clients at this year’s festivities and tweeting, Instagram-ing, Facebooking and Hit-Boarding (read: blogging) about the most exciting news and insights offered by this year’s incredible roster of speakers – which includes Sir Martin Sorrell, Gloria Estefan, Elizabeth Vargas and Ryan Seacrest, to name just a few.
Here are some of the sessions we will be attending:
- Do Brands Still Matter — Monday, 10:00am at the Liberty Theater
- Capitalizing on Mobile Video — Monday, 10:00am at Times Center Stage
- Breaking Down Social and Mobile — Monday, 2:05pm at the Grand Hyatt New York
- Connecting in a Mobile World: A Conversation with Sheryl Sandberg — Tuesday, 10:00am at Times Center Stage
- Frito Lay: The Intersection of Marketing & Technology — Tuesday, 10:15am at Liberty Theater
- People, Not Pages: What Does “Buying Audiences” Mean for Media and Marketers — Tuesday, 2:00pm at the Metropolitan Pavilion
- Stories of Creative Invention — Tuesday, 3:00pm at B.B. King
- Getting Away: Inside the Vacation Mentality — Wednesday, 3:00pm at B.B. King
- Are We On Target?: Making The Most Of Mobile’s Unique Power — Thursday, 9:15am at the Metropolitan Pavilion
- The Instagram Effect — Thursday, 10:00am at Times Center Stage
- WIRED CMOs — Thursday, 12:00pm at the NASDAQ
- Two Start-Ups, One Mission — Thursday, 4:30pm at Times Center Hall
Party’s over. Such is the sentiment of many people this time of year. As we kick off the first official day of fall, our fun-in-the-sun vacations, weekend shares/getaways come to a close. For me personally, the moment my Mom starts talking about the Jewish holidays and all the kugels that go along with them, I know it’s back to the grind for me. Oy vey.
So, I’m taking a new line on the beginning of fall – and giving you five reasons why the changing of the seasons is something to welcome rather than dread. Here goes:
- Everyone’s Back! – You know that close friend you haven’t seen since May since she/he has been away every weekend you’ve been in town and vice versa? Well now you’re both in the city again and can finally catch up, go out, reconnect, etc. The city feels more like home when it’s fully re-populated with your favorite people.
- Find Your Center (again) – It’s difficult to find your center and get into a routine – with work, gym, family, etc. – when every week is different than the one before. With summer’s end comes a return to more normal schedules that bring with them a feeling of ease, zen and productivity.
- It’s Beautiful Out There – The beginning of fall brings gorgeous sunsets, changing leaves, warm days and brisk nights. In my opinion, the Northeast is never more beautiful than it is in September and October.
- Food, Glorious Food! – With the beach behind us and our bathing suits neatly tucked away, feel free – even entitled – to dive into that bowl of pasta, slice of pizza, steak, etc., you’ve avoided like all summer. Enjoy – next summer is never farther away than it is right now!
- Two Words (well, letters): TV – Your favorite shows (and some soon-to-be favorites) are back on with new episodes. For me, that means Homeland, Modern Family, SNL, and a disturbing amount of reality programs and cooking shows. I fully admit my entertainment tastes are not universal, but no matter what programs you enjoy they are back in full force during the autumn season.
It’s true that summer is officially over, but the party isn’t. This is a beautiful time of year – and we haven’t even discussed all the wonderful times to be had with family and friends during Thanksgiving and the December/January holiday season.
And just when you can’t take it anymore – the freezing cold, jackets, scarves, gloves, snow, sleet and pale skin – next summer will be upon us once more.
By Scott Berwitz
At DGC you might say we have an unhealthy obsession with one of our favorite fast-causal restaurants, Chipotle. It isn’t uncommon to run in to colleagues while in line, or take trips together for the sweet meal. So, because our obsession runs so deep, we each decided to let the world in on our sacred Chipotle orders – of course each of us thinking our own is, by far, the best.
If you’re in the mood for some mouth-watering content, continue to scroll down and decide for yourself what the best order of the bunch is.
- Steak burrito bowl: Extra white rice, Light black beans, Fajita stuff (if I remember), Corn, Mild salsa, Cheese, Sour cream, Lite lettuce, GUAC!!!! – Peyton McCarthy, Account Executive
- Steak burrito bowl, brown rice, black beans, mild salsa, corn, sour cream, cheese, guac (don’t be stingy with the guac) and a whole lot of happiness. – Gab Berman, Senior Account Executive
- Hard shell barbaco tacos and an iced tea. Makes me feel like I’m eating healthy despite the sour cream and cheese. – Kathleen Ruane, Vice President
- Two chicken tacos with chips and guac. Gets the best of both worlds. Add in some hot Chipotle sauce on all parts and it’s a terrific, well balanced meal. – Pat Wentling, Senior Account Executive
- I love the burrito bowl with chicken, black beans with all the salsas, lettuce & guacamole plus a TON of Tabasco Green Sauce. – Theresa Piti, Office Manager
- Chicken burrito without rice. – Bridget Bulters, Senior Account Executive
- Black bean burrito with pork and guac. – Kathy Sampey, Vice President
- My go-to is a veggie burrito bowl – extra guac, extra cheese – Soraya Hanzus, Senior Account Director
- Salad, no dressing, a little brown rice, black beans, chicken, fajita veggies, mild salsa, medium salsa, corn, a little sour cream, and guac if I’m feeling crazy (I usually am.). Mmmmm Chipotle. – Claire Higgins, Account Executive
- Oh em gee, the chicken bowl dude. No problems exist when you got yourself a chicken bowl. – Emily Donoho, Junior Designer
- My go-to staple at Chipotle lately has been to get 3 flour tortilla tacos with white rice, pico de gallo, cheese and sour cream. The taco option allows me to get a variety of the meat options…I typically get two steak tacos and one chicken taco. I usually walk into Chipotle with the intention of getting the salad but that quickly goes away once I get up to the line. I should just say, “carbs please!” – Marielena Santana, Vie President
- Gotta go burrito – white rice, steak (because anything else is child’s play), mild, corn (a little more than a spoonful), cheese, sour cream (extra, obvi) and guac (because you’re doing it wrong if you don’t get guac) – Jackie Berte, Senior Account Executive
- Chipotle is rare for me but WHEN I go it’s almost always a salad bowl with rice, black beans, tomatoes, cheese and extra guac (obvi). Occasionally I’ll throw in a side of chips – Kelsey Merkel, Account Director
- My absolute favorite is a burrito bowl with chicken, white rice, tomato salsa, sour cream, cheese, and if I’m feeling really fancy, I’ll top it off with some guacamole. – Yana Berliner, Office Administrator
- So many great options, but my go to is definitely the chicken salad bowl. With guacamole, if I’m feeling fancy. – Megan Sweat, Senior Account Executive
- Steak bowl with brown rice and EVERYTHING on it… – Sylvia Zhou, Senior Account Executive
We did have one outlier though…
- I have 99 vices, and Chipotle ain’t one. Judge away. – Scott Berwitz, Vice President
Regardless of your political beliefs, Donald Trump is unlike any “politician” in recent memory. He’s never been one to pull verbal punches, which is why I say “politician” in quotes, because he’s far from your stereotypical elected representative. From his racist terms against certain demographic groups and objectifying phrases towards women, it’s no secret Trump doesn’t hold back. His most recent contretemps came when he had Univision reporter Jorge Ramos ejected from a press conference.
From a PR agency’s perspective, the Donald’s approach is a nightmare. While being “politically correct” is not Trump’s MO, it should be for the rest of normal human society, and Trump’s style and approach are definitely not the way a potential President should behave. To make matters even worse, many of his remarks are not supported by facts, which make them even more outlandish. His comments towards women are uncalled for, and he’s leaving a wide trail of very angry people – and media stations – in his wake.
That said, his approach has led to a media craze, including the cover of Time this week. What was once a circus now has to be taken more seriously. It’s a unique stance that, from a purely objective angle, is refreshing, considering the election is more than twelve months away. It’s provided some buzz in the dog days of summer, even if it’s for the wrong reasons.
Meanwhile, the news media can’t get enough, and I’m sure the funny folks at Saturday Night Live hope Trump mania continues for their upcoming season. We’ll be following Trump over the next year to keep up with his words – and media buzz – and be sure to share our thoughts here on The Hit Board.
At DGC our passion for PR might be overshadowed by our passion for food.. This week we decided to pit local burger spots against each other and see which location came out on top.
Turns out, it wasn’t that close of a competition…Madison Square Park’s Shake Shack took home gold without breaking a sweat.
While there can only be one winner, burgers are burgers, so no one is truly a loser. Below hear from a few of our biggest burger fans on their favorite burger and, more importantly, why.
My favorite local burger spot is Shake Shack because I am a big fan of their buns. – Maria Swift, Account Coordinator
It’s got to be Shake Shack – they don’t know how to disappoint. (QP w/ C is obviously a close second though) – Jackie Berte, Senior Account Executive
Shake Shack. Two words: shack sauce. It’s what dreams are made of. – Ali Colangelo, Account Director
I love Shake Shack. My guilty pleasure is a burger and a shake and having it outdoors in the park, makes it all that much sweeter. – Maryliz Ghanem, Vice President
Shake Shack. GET IN MY BELLY. – Gab Berman, Senior Account Executive
Shake Shack– this was a tough one because I am a burger a week kind of gal and these all have a special place in my heart, but Shake Shack just has it all (despite the very long lines). You cannot beat their burgers or amazing cheese fries or the overall aura of being in the park on a nice day. – Peyton McCarthy, Account Executive
Shake Shack ‘shroom burger in the park wins for me. The line is long, but always worth the wait. – Lexi Hewitt, Account Coordinator
Shake Shack is the best burger in the neighborhood. The line is long but it’s definitely worth it for their perfect, juicy burgers, crinkle fries and the beautiful setting of Madison Square Park. – Mari Santana, Vice President
Schnipper’s, hands down. They have the best milkshakes, which always go well with burgers. The day Soraya and I ordered lunch and they gave us double meals was heaven. – Sara Ajemian, Senior Account Director
All three are solid winners in my book, but what separates Schnipper’s is the cheese fries and special Schnipper’s sauce, along with ample seating and welcoming environment in any weather — can’t eat Shake Shack in the winter! — Pat Wentling, Senior Account Executive
While a classic Quarter Pounder with Cheese is always hard for me to pass up at McDonald’s, my pick has to go to NY Burger & Co, but really only by default – It’s definitely a great burger and I do like the array of dipping sauce options, but I haven’t had a chance to check out Shake Shack or Shnippers yet. – Claire Higgins, Account Executive
I like NY Burger Co. because the food is delicious, the service prompt and polite, and it’s very close to our office. Second place is Schnipper’s, which also has great food and service and more ample seating but it’s several blocks away. – Kathy Sampey, Vice President
Hmm I’ve never had a burger at Shake Shack or Schnippers so my vote for our area would be New York Burger & Co. – Yana Berliner, Office Administrator
It’s virtually inevitable – work long enough with certain people and you’re bound to run into them at a restaurant. Or at the gym. Or at a company outing in the Hamptons laying out at the pool (more on this in a moment). These are the moments when your co-workers become “people” or even potentially “friends.” They are also instrumental to building the type of the congenial, collaborative, transparent work experience so many companies strive to attain.
In a recent article in Fast Company on the cultures at Facebook, Ideo and Virgin Airlines, a theme of blending the personal with professional at the companies featured runs throughout the story. “Bring your authentic self to work,” says Facebook. Virgin Atlantic looks to hire people with a “comfort in sharing their personalities.” Clark Scheffy, Managing Director at IDEO, implores employees to “bring their whole selves to the workplace.” The days of putting on a corporate guise every time you walk through the office doors apparently is a relic. More than ever before, authenticity is the cornerstone of a transparent company culture.
DiGennaro Communications took that to heart during our recent summer outing in the Hamptons – where many of us saw each other in a new light – sunlight! There’s a moment of authenticity that comes when you’re standing next to a coworker in a bathing suit in a pool rather than sitting next to that same person in a business suit at your desk.
The most effective company cultures are the ones that stress that we present our true selves to our co-workers and feel comfortable with one another. That’s as true in the conference room as it is in the pool. I speak from experience when I say there’s nothing quite like watching your co-worker float by in a massive inflatable pink flamingo while shooting everyone with a water gun.
By: Scott Berwitz
South by Southwest Panel Picker is here again, and it’s another opportunity for great insights, learnings, and dynamic industry leaders to come together. We at DGC have submitted two topics for the PanelPicker and if selected, it would be our first time to appear on the SXSW stage. The sessions highlight our unique approach to business and how these ideas have helped us grow since our founding in 2006.
Over the years we’ve learned a lot about attracting and retaining the very best talent in the PR industry, especially how to keep pace with an evolving workforce and offer more flexible work schedules and environments. As such, our first session is “Conducting Business in a Flex World.” will share best practices on how to retain talent when employees embark on major life events such as marriage, pregnancy, family-care issues or relocation that can potentially make them leave their jobs. Included in the session will be our CEO Sam DiGennaro and our President Howard Schacter, who will share insights on how to create a flexible work environment that allows for flexibility but still encourages growth and maintains your company culture.
Our second session, “Brand Me Please: Personal Branding 101,” looks at how executives can build their brands to align with personal values. DGCers will conduct a live demonstration of a branding session, taking members of the audience and teaching them the basic skills to sell themselves. The “jury” will be comprised of both DGC executives, those from other agencies as well as wardrobe and body language specialists. The winner will get a trip to NYC for a Personal Branding boot camp at DGC headquarters.
We appreciate your votes for these sessions, and your willingness to share thoughts in the comments section. Hope to see you in Austin!
The Internet of Things continues to insert itself into aspects of our lives we could never have imagined.
Our first encounter with the notion of such innovation came from a story about Remy Martin’s connected cognac bottles, scheduled for an autumn debut in China where counterfeit brands run rampant. Part of the thinking behind this development is that Chinese consumers should be able to “verify” the brand pedigree of the cognac via the connected bottle.
Here in the U.S., spirits brand executives are much more straightforward about the potential for such innovations. While touting some of the benefits to consumers—and there are a few such as, home delivery of your favorite liquor when supplies ebb and cocktail recipes—Absolut’s Markus Wulff says point blank that it’s mostly about consumer data: “The more we learn about consumers and their behaviours, the better services we can connect them to.”
This New York Times article previews other personal areas in which the IoT will soon make inroads. We couldn’t help but linger on its opening question: “Just because you can do something, does it mean you should?”