For the past nine years, Philly-based ad agency Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners has celebrated the creative community of Philadelphia through its annual 2wenty 5ifth Floor party. The invite-only bash – held on the agency’s 25th floor in the former penthouse of the historic PNB building – draws artists, designers, writers, musicians, photographers and ad folks alike. They come to raise a glass and celebrate the creative innovation of the “City of Brotherly Love.”
Each year, while creative folks dance, schmooze and booze in the name of creativity, the agency brings in music acts to pump up the party. Past performers included Lady Gaga cover band Rad Bromance, indie sensation White Rabbits, Questlove from The Roots and Tay Zonday, the YouTube “Chocolate Rain” phenom.
This year, opening act The White Cheddar Boys set the stage for headliner and legendary rapper Biz Markie, best known for his 1989 single “Just a Friend.” Like every year, the party kicked it until the wee hours and drew in a crowd of almost 900 people! See ya next year 2wenty 5ifth Floor!
Most marketers are paying attention to multicultural audiences and, in particular, U.S. Hispanics. No wonder: with 131 Hispanic babies born every hour into a population that represents $1.2 trillion in purchasing power, Hispanics are an important consumer group for companies to reach.
Companies are being urged to incorporate a “total market approach” meaning they should consider a cross-cultural approach to marketing – one that taps into universal truths, rather than specific ethnic groups. In theory, if this approach is deployed correctly, it allows organizations to influence and reach all consumers – not just one segment of the population. However, what many do not realize is that even if your company employs a total market approach, your strategy can fall apart once it’s turned over to PR.
If you are utilizing a total market approach, your PR strategies must be aligned. Here are tips to ensure you’re covering all bases:
- Understand the audience: The majority of Hispanics, specifically millennial Hispanics, consider themselves “ambicultural” – meaning they feel 100% Latino and 100% American and are easily able to switch from one culture to another. This cultural duality creates an appetite for all things Hispanic. Total market PR campaigns and communications should be culturally relevant and reflective of this Latino-American life. A reminder to stay devoid of stereotypes and sensitivities by doing research beforehand.
- Get your PR teams talking: If you represent a large organization or brand, you most likely have two PR agencies or teams – one exclusively handling your multicultural outreach that works within its own silo. If you are managing multiple PR agencies, make sure teams are coordinated and utilize a cross-cultural strategy. Total market PR campaigns that share a common cultural thread – a Hispanic spokesperson or a nod to a Hispanic passion point (e.g., multi-generational families, Latin-inspired music or food) can prove to be more effective with all audiences – not just Hispanics.
- Reach your audience where it consumes content: The media industry now includes more than 100 networks dedicated to Hispanic programming – with hundreds upon hundreds of print, radio and online media outlets targeted to this audience. Don’t exclude media outlets that may only target Spanish-speaking Hispanics or similarly, English-speaking consumers, in general. A lot of Hispanics consume content in both languages so it’s likely to have more of an impact if you get your message in both.
It’s also important to know that Hispanics watch 62 percent more digital video than non-Hispanics – about six hours of video per month on their mobile phones according to Nielsen. And according to eMarketer, 72 percent of Hispanic Internet users will use social networking in 2014 vs. 68 percent of the total population. For these ultra-engaged Hispanics, digital and social media offer an immediate way to start a fruitful dialogue.
Successful PR lasts beyond a campaign or project. Similarly, total market PR initiatives should be consistent and continuous with audiences. Look beyond short-term ROI and consider engaging Hispanics with long-term communications. Known for their considerable loyalty to brands, this will prove worthwhile in the end.
DGC kicked off the holiday season with a morning of philanthropy at the Educational Alliance Head Start program, a pre-school program for children ages 3-5 located on the Lower Eastside of Manhattan. This morning marked our third annual holiday philanthropy effort, having cleaned up the Rockaways after Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and participated in a weekly food delivery campaign through God’s Love We Deliver in 2011.
Upon arrival this morning, we attended a brief mini-orientation where we learned all about the Educational Alliance, it’s programming and the wonderful work it does in the New York community. The Educational Alliance is a non-profit organization that helps break the cycle of poverty for low-income children and families through preschool, after school programs and college prep programs. Children in the Head Start and Day Care programs learn, explore, socialize and grow, and families receive help with employment and social services.
After orientation, we broke into groups and headed off to individual classrooms for a morning of play and activities ranging from arts & crafts and cooking class to reading and yes, even recess! We had a blast hanging out with the kids, and more importantly, it was an amazing opportunity for us to give back to our local community, a major tenet of DGC’s company culture. Click here for pics of the day’s activities.
A big thank you to our friends at UJA-Federation New York for not only making a wonderful experience possible, but also for helping Educational Alliance run its wonderful programming as one of the organization’s biggest annual donors.
Next up on the DGC Philanthropy docket – Casino Day on December 11 at Jewish Home Lifecare, a nursing and rehabilitation facility for elders in northern Manhattan!
DGC recently had the exciting and unique opportunity to interview a new candidate. Fresh out of the University of Rhode Island, Maddie Dombi felt like a perfect fit for DGC – entrepreneurial, passionate, scrappy and intelligent – and we quickly knew we had found a quality addition to our team.
But this was no ordinary candidate. Maddie was participating in “Katie’s Classified,” a week-long series on the Katie Couric Show in which Katie and her team of experts were helping three worthy women jump start their careers and hopefully land a job!
After a whirlwind interview process, the stars aligned with Maddie liking DGC as much as we liked her. This meant that our fearless leader – Sam DiGennaro – would have the opportunity to offer her an Account Coordinator position on the Katie Couric show as part of a “Big Reveal.”
The experience made for TV magic, if we do say so ourselves, with Katie diving in deep on Maddie’s interview experience and what she liked about DiGennaro Communications. Then, Sam herself popping up from the audience to offer Maddie the position, while perfectly describing why DGC’s culture was a match for Maddie’s outgoing, lean-in and entrepreneurial personality. Maddie was super-stoked and looked like she might cry. A happy ending for all!
“We’re thrilled for our new team member, our experience on the Katie Couric Show and the new connections we made along the way. The segment which aired Friday, November 15 can be accessed here.
Welcome to DGC, Maddie!
This feature was originally published in Issue No. 4 of ADC Magazine.
In reflecting upon the ADC 92nd Annual Awards season, Executive Director Ignacio Oreamuno realized that an organization like ADC is in a unique position to raise female voices in the creative industries. If not a Club with a mission to Connect, Provoke and Elevate its membership and international communities, then who?
Ignacio assembled a committee of brilliant and accomplished women to help him develop the initiative and, with their support, challenged not only ADC and its programs, but any others industry-wide to split its award show juries, conference speakers and panels, and board of directors 50/50 women to men.
But why? The members of the Let’s Make the Industry 50/50 committee explain:
ADC: While it does not directly call out equal gender hiring quotas, how can an initiative such as Let’s Make the Industry 50/50 – in calling for equal representation among awards juries, speaker panels and boards of directors – positively affect the roles and opportunities for females in the creative industries?
MANDY GILBERT (FOUNDER & CEO, CREATIVE NICHE): It’s crucial to remind key stakeholders in the creative industries of the value women bring to creative strategic and leadership roles. Not only do women offer unique perspectives on brands, consumer behaviors and business relationships, they also have a different approach to leadership and team management that complements and even improves the effectiveness of executive leadership teams and boards. Case in point: A recent McKinsey report found that companies with more women than men on their executive committees exceeded the return on equity and operating results of companies with male-dominated executives by 41 percent and 56 percent, respectively. With that in mind, it’s necessary for current agency leadership to take this into account when they look at their future business prospects. While this initiative does not directly call for hiring equality, it does highlight the wealth of qualified available female creative talent by ensuring their voices have a place on panels, juries and boardrooms. With nearly 60 percent of today’s university graduates being female, agencies will be left behind if they don’t fully embrace women in leadership roles who will be able to inspire the young women entering the industry behind them to do the same.
ADC: With the network of talented and qualified female creative being much larger than perceived, what seems to be the barrier to women rising into positions of leadership and how we can overcome this together?
ALESSANDRA LARIU (CO-FOUNDER, SHESAYS): For centuries, leadership positions were filled by men and, therefore, women’s leadership style (which tends to be more nurturing and collaborative… but not in a fluffy way!) has remained unrecognized. Just ask Forbes, Fortune or even Google, and you will likely hear that companies with women on the board perform better. And just to be clear, I don’t think women’s style is better than men’s. I believe there needs to be equal representation and availability of both styles, so people can choose which one they like.
ADC: What role do industry award shows specifically play in increasing awareness of the discrepancy in gender representation in juries?
JEN LARKIN KUZLER (DIRECTOR OF AWARDS PROGRAMS, ADC): The assumption is that award show juries reflect the current state of the industry through the creative, companies and countries that are represented. While this is largely the case, there is often a real lack of female participation. Awards shows in particular have a unique opportunity to involve qualified, spirited and talented minds of both genders in the judging process. We have the ability to call out the places where we need diverse voices to effect a change in the conversation that happens behind the doors of the jury room. This change in dynamic almost always results in a better experience and a better show.
ADC: What can women and men in the creative industries actively do to ensure that female voices are represented at the table (conference, jury, board or otherwise), in the media and within their own agency walls?
SAMANTHA DIGENNARO (FOUNDER, DIGENNARO COMMUNICATIONS): The creative industry boasts so many talented women who deserve the opportunity to be recognized as leaders. Endemic shortcomings surrounding our industry’s dearth of senior-level female talent aside, we must continue to encourage all of our wonderful women to stay active despite – or, perhaps, because of – the majority of male voices in management, in the press, on the speakers’ circuit and in jury rooms.
As an industry, we’ve taken some bold steps to even the playing field and to encourage female participation. Now it’s up to individuals to advance the cause. Women and men alike need to speak up and engage in the on- and off-line dialogues surrounding this industry’s advancement of female creative and C-level execs.
Don’t accept the status quo. Challenge conference/jury programmers and journalists who seem to defer and default to the “usual suspects” of recycled names. Let’s nominate our peers, our direct reports, our muses, those who inspire and excite us. The most important outcome is that we continue to have representation of all different life experiences and points-of-view… and to close the gender-gap in doing so.
When both men and women truly recognize the powerful ideas that so many women bring to the table – and remove corporate politics and jockeying from the equation – no one will second-guess the decision to hire and promote more amazing ladies more often, and then we’ll start to close the gender gap in our industry’s public forums.
I’m delighted the ADC’s Let’s Make the Industry 50/50 Initiative has begun to do so.
Earlier this week, publishers, media luminaries and brand executives filled the the Radisson Martinique in New York City for the OMMA Premium and OMMA Native conferences.
Steve Minichini, Chief Innovation and Growth Officer at TargetCast, led a lively discussion at OMMA Premium about the shift in media buying from direct sales to automated systems and the new role of the premium ad buy. The discussion focused on the future of programmatic media buying and the implications that it holds for publishers moving forward. Steve was joined onstage by Jenna (Umbrianna) Gino of Affiperf North America, Havas; Allegra Kadet of Neo@Ogilvy; Barry Lowenthal of The Media Kitchen, a Maxxcom Global Media agency; Matthew Waghorn of Huge; and Veronika Ward of OMD.
Audrey Siegel, President of TargetCast, also participated in a panel on native advertising and how it is relevant to paid, earned and owned media in today’s world. Specifically, Audrey spoke about enhancing a consumer’s brand experience by providing relevant, engaging content. Joining Audrey on the panel was Rick Acampora of MEC, Julian Cole of Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Serge Del Grosso of SapientNitro and David Levy of true[x] Media, with Shannon Denton of Razorfish moderating.
More from Minichini…
Check out Steve’s thoughts on what the next five years hold for programmatic media:
Independent agency network Project: WorldWide joined forces this week with Advertising Age to host some of the brightest minds in marketing at a roundtable discussion, “The Rise of the Unconventionalists.”
The event focused on marketers who have invested in innovation including John Hayes (CMO, American Express), Denise Incandela (CMO, Saks Fifth Avenue), Russell Klein (Chief Provocateur/ Former CMO of Burger King and Arby’s) and Rick Condos (Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer, ARGONAUT, a Project: WorldWide agency).
Project’s Brian Martin, SVP Marketing and Communications, made opening remarks and shared Project’s vision for the day, to tell the stories of those who are rewriting the rules of successful experiential marketing. Judann Pollack, Deputy Editor of Ad Age, then led the panel discussion – touching on the new rules of consumer engagement, how to create provocative and successful programs, and what successful, out-of-the-box experiential marketing looks like today.
The following are highlights from the discussion:
- “Marketers and brands need to be in awe of their customers.” In the wake of the Haiti earthquake in 2010, American Express Card Members expressed overwhelming interest in aiding relief efforts. The company heard them loud and clear and began American Express’ Members Give program that enabled members to donate reward points to important causes. John Hayes expressed awe at the sheer number of donations from Card Members – a successful experiential effort that led to an on-going program.
- “Data makes marketers braver people.” Big Data is certainly a hot topic. Rick Condos noted that marketers used to push content out at consumers and wait months for a reaction. Now they encourage consumers to participate and engage with content – which elicits near-instant responses. This shift has enabled marketers to adapt quickly and change direction if need be. This knowledge and pace at which marketers now operate is making people braver and more willing to take risks.
- “All great, successful advertising is rooted in an authentic piece of tension between a brand and its key consumers.” Russ Klein discussed the current Snickers campaign, “You aren’t you when you’re hungry,” and the 2005 “Subservient Chicken” campaign for Burger King. He said both of these campaigns were based on concepts rooted in a unique tension that was relevant to the brand’s consumers, and in turn, created a compelling connection between the brands and its consumers.
- “Think nationally, act locally.” Denise Incandela shared insights about how Saks Fifth Avenue uses local stores to deploy social and digital programs. Social in particular is a big part of the retailer’s “omni” marketing plan to engage both aspirational and current customers. Saks empowers local teams to tailor content and promotions to their particular consumers because local relevance goes a long way to garner customer engagement.
Following the panel, we caught up with Brian Martin and Rick Condos to get their key takeaways from the event – see what they had to say below.
Take a picture with Batman and Superman. Practice spinning on a set of Citi Bikes. Get a mini-makeover from Sephora. Order a “secret” menu item at Chipotle Mexican Grill.
For the third year in a row, DGC set aside an afternoon for a team-building scavenger hunt that brought out the kid—and the must-win competitive streak—in all of us here at DGC.
DGC President Howard “Howie” Schacter ruled as the impartial judge for this year’s hunt, which took place in New York’s Flatiron District. And in addition to ruling on the viability of tasks completed by teams to win a pizza party, he was also the sole judge of the coveted prize of the afternoon for Best Team Spirit.
Evident by our Call Me Maybe rendition, DGC-ers aren’t shy about “getting into character.” So with Halloween on the horizon, each of the five teams came up with a team theme and costumes to bring it to life. We were “The Tacky Tourists,” “The Texas Tailgaters,” “The Blackouts,” “The Zoo-perstars,” and Team Spirit winner “The Spice Girls.” And let me say, the outfit choices did not disappoint. Click here for pics of each team.
So with the big costume reveals done, the actual scavenger hunt kicked off. Lists were distributed and the teams took to the streets – completing as many items as possible in an hour and a half. Pretty remarkably, all of the team returned back to the office on time and with all but one or two clues completed. It looked as though it was going to be a close call for the top spot.
Tallying the points revealed that The Texas Tailgaters won, by two points, with each of the other teams coming in only a point or two behind that. We were all “winners” in the end – at least that’s what we told ourselves at the bar later that night!
Hats off to another exciting Scavenger Hunt – until next year!
Growth in a business is always something to be excited about, but when that growth is recognized, it makes the long hours and continuous hard work all the more rewarding. As a testament to that hard work, we’re happy to announce that DiGennaro Communications made its way onto the 2013 Inc. 500|5000 list for the third year in a row.
Compiled by Inc. magazine, the Inc. 500|5000 list ranks the nation’s fastest growing private companies, spanning all industries, states and revenue brackets. It’s a big list, but every year we get a little closer to the top.
Getting on the list is no easy feat and just having a bumper year does not necessarily secure you a spot. Inc. looks at a set of criteria that includes sustained revenue growth over a three year period and, of course, you must be a U.S.-based, privately owned entity. Solid growth really is that defining factor that sees a business play an essential role in the broader economy.
Other notable list makers include top marketing and advertising agencies like TargetCast, Pandora, Droga5, as well as McAfee Institute and the number one winner, Fuhu, which makes kid-friendly tablets.
Our founder, Samantha DiGennaro, remarked, “For the third year running, we’ve proudly been part of the Inc. 500|5000 list, which is a testament to our smart, savvy and hardworking team, and unbelievable clients who allow us to experiment and push the boundaries in PR.”
DGC has seen consistent year-over-year growth since its founding in 2006, and we will celebrate our eighth anniversary in January 2014. Over the past year we have added new top notch clients including Pandora, Microsoft, Omnicom’s DDB, Ringling Bros. Circus, South Carolina Department of Park, Recreation and Tourism.
We even added another rung to our international reach, forging a strategic partnership with Sydney, Australia-based Access PR. In 2012, we formalized a partnership with London-based Eulogy!, which has helped solidify our shared global client accounts, and taken employees across the pond on both ends through our exchange program.
Samantha credits DGC’s spot on the list to the hard work we do every day. “My name may be on the door, but this honor is shared with each and every one of DGC’s 35 team members,” she said. “I look forward to the continued growth of the agency.”
The full list, searchable by industry, size and location, can be found at Inc. 500|5000 list.