Author Archives: the HIT board
A Circus Visits the Circus: The DGC Team Spends a LEGENDary Night in Brooklyn with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS®
One cold night in February, DGC’s “Children of All Ages”® stepped off the subway and into Barclays Center for a magical evening at “The Greatest Show on Earth®.” This year marked DGC’s second year working with the world famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus as it traveled through the New York Tri-State area. “Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS”® is an all new show that rolled into the area in mid-February on the largest private train in North America, carrying 100 performers, 100 animals and 200 crewmembers.
There’s been quite a bit of media excitement about the new show, with feature stories appearing in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Daily News, The Huffington Post and New York Magazine as well as broadcast segments on Good Day New York, WPIX and NY1. But after months of listening to DGC’s Ringling Bros. team pitching stories about the circus, the rest of the crew wanted to experience the show for themselves and see what all the excitement was about!
The DGC team arrived early for the interactive all-access pre-show an hour before official show time and watched juggling and balancing skills, met performers and hung out with the famous Ringling Bros. clowns.
LEGENDS is truly a magical journey into the imagination. DGC’ers watched with amazement as the Torres family, eight motorcycle daredevils, raced together inside a 16-foot steel sphere at speeds up to 65 mph; as the Cossacks performed astounding acrobatics from the backs of magnificent steeds galloping full speed around a small ring; as the China National Acrobatic Troupe leaped and flipped into our hearts with four incredible acts of strength and grace; and as the loveable clowns from Ringling Bros. famous “clown alley” made us laugh and cheer.
The Medeiros troupe performed hair-raising aerials suspended 30 feet in the air by their long tresses. The magnificent “king of the big cats,” Alex Lacey, tamed some of the world’s most ferocious felines. Audiences were charmed by the menagerie of almost 100 animals, including elephants, rescue dogs, llamas, goats, pigs and kangaroos and left speechless as a Pegasus, unicorn and wooly mammoth performed on the arena floor.
Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson, who stands 6’5”, is a 15-year veteran of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey family. At 22 years old back in 1998, he was the youngest and first African American ringmaster in the history of “The Greatest Show on Earth.” Joining Johnathan was his sidekick Paulo, the “legend seeker,” whose feats of strength belied his diminutive stature.
As the lights came up, the DGC team rolled out of Barclays Center full from nachos, slushees and cotton candy. Visions of clowns and elephants danced in our heads.
A big thanks to the folks at Feld Entertainment for a LEGENDary evening.
“Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS” continues its journey through New York and New Jersey with runs at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island from March 5 – 10; Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., from March 13 – 16; and IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J., from March 19 – 23. For tickets and additional information, please logon to http://www.ringling.com.
Content and Audience are King In Today’s Online Media Landscape: Key Learnings From 2014 Digital Hollywood Media Summit
Fed up with exorbitant prices and programming packages that include more channels than a viewer needs – consumers across the U.S. are “cutting the cord” and sourcing their TV programming elsewhere. Over the last few years, audiences have gone from live TV viewing to time-shifted viewing to now binge-TV viewing, and consumption habits continue to change and evolve. So, the question that begs to be answered is –is this an evolution or a revolution?
Those questions and others about the value and future of online video surfaced at Digital Hollywood’s annual Media Summit in NYC on March 5. Experts including Gary Reisman, CEO of Leap Media Investments (www.leapmediainvestments.com) delved into topics including how the online content landscape is changing, what is a trend vs. what is a fad, what will be the media hub of the home in 2017, and how brands and marketers can better leverage online video to connect with their consumers.
On the panel, Gary was accompanied by Nathan Brown (General Manager, Video and Complex TV, Complex Media), Alyssa Vitrano (Director of Content Marketing, Mindshare), Maha Al-Emam (VP of Product and Technology, Daily Candy), Reid Genauer (Chief Marketing Officer, Magisto), Cameron Friedlander (VP, Global Innovations, Blast Radius, WPP Group), and Wes Williams (Director of Product Management, Scripps Networks Interactive).
The room was abuzz with conversation for the entire session, but one question in particular that got the room talking was one posed by moderator, Steve Bradbury, Chief Operating Officer of Zazoom, when he asked the panelists to fill in the blank: “Content and ___ are king.” Some said context, some said experience, some said distribution. Reisman declared, “audience.” See the video below for his full explanation.
It’s hard to believe another year has come and nearly gone. Earlier this week the annual DiGennaro Communications holiday festivities commenced and, once again, it was a huge success.
Before the festivities, however, we still had some business to take care of as DGC executives presented the State of the Agency, recapping highlights of 2013 and vision for 2014, reminiscing about all the fun we have had and giving some special shout-outs and honors to our awesome team.
The first-ever “DGC MVP” honors went to Account Director Claire Eisenberg and Senior Account Executive Chrissy Perez-O’Rourke for their hard work, dedication and true embodiment of the DGC spirit in all they do. We also inducted our inaugural members into the “DGC Hall of Fame”— General Manager/Director of Development Kendra Peavy and VP/Group Account Director Erin Donahue. The Hall of Fame is reserved for our top talents who consistently work to make DGC a better place for three or more years.
Additionally, we announced the winner of the second annual Rising Star program with our sister agency Eulogy! in London. Amidst some tough competition, Account Director Soraya Eltomey was selected to represent DGC for a week next year at Eulogy!, where she’ll get to know our partners and learn about how PR is practiced in the U.K. And a special shout-out to Senior Account Director Marielena Santana and Account Director Lee Lubarsky for their fantastic contribution to the program’s entry process.
After many rounds of applause, Secret Santa presents for all (complete with an appearance from “Mr. and Mrs. Claus”), and a champagne toast with some snacks – it was time to get the party started.
At The Library inside the Public Theater, we proceeded to stuff ourselves with delicious food, enjoy signature cocktails and dance the night away in the gorgeous space. Nothing gets this team up and moving like a little Beyoncé or Britney.
A great time was had by all, as you can see from the photos. Already excited for next year!
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!
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.