Blog Archives

Another June, Another Cannes

We’re just a few days away from the annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity (June 21-27) and the DGC team can’t wait to hit the ground running!
 
Cannes Lions is a spectacular, week-long celebration of the world’s most creative minds and best advertising as well as an opportunity for over 12,000 delegates to network over rosé and intimate dinners. Over the course of the week and against the backdrop of the beautiful French Riviera, talks will be given, awards handed out and meetings taken along the famed Croisette. It’s a chance for the industry to recognize the best creative work of the past year and look forward to where we might be next year.
 
The DGC team will be on the ground supporting clients and sharing the week’s most exciting news, bringing you insights from key industry players, highlighting key trends and observations and sharing live content. This year’s festival has attracted top names to the Palais including, Sarah Koening (Serial), entertainers will.i.am and pharrell and activist Monica Lewinsky.
 
Here are just a few of the sessions we have on our radar:
 
  •  Tuesday, June 23, 3:30PM – 5PM: MediaLink & Adweek “Daily Dose” Programming with Ian Schafer of Deep Focus; Carlton Hotel; Sean Connery Suite 7th Floor
  •  Thursday, June 25,
    • 2PM – 2:45PM: “Ogilvy & Inspire” Tham Khai Meng, Ogilvy & Monica Lewinsky. Grand Audi
    • 2:30PM – 3:15PM: “Watson & The Future of Advertising” Saul Berman, IBM & Jerry Wind, Wharton. Experience Stage – Data Creativity
    • 3:50PM – 4:20PM: “Solving the Marketer’s Latest Identity Crisis” David Jakubowski, Facebook & Julia Heiser, Live Nation NA Concerts. Inspiration Stage
  • Friday, June 26 4:15PM – 5PM: “Do This Or Die” Amir Kassaei, CCO, DDB Worldwide. Debussy
We expect a jam-packed week with lots of learnings.
 
Please check for updates on the DGC Hit Board, Facebook, Twitter and our new Instagram feed!

Super Bowl XLIV Preview: The Biggest Event of the Year

This year, the high holy day of American sports falls on Feb. 1, with kick off set for 6:30 p.m., ET as the Seattle Seahawks face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX.

An estimated television audience of 112 million will include a significant number of non-sports fans who are most interested in the commercials, for which NBC sold air time at a record $4.5 million per 30-second spot.

Here at DGC, we revel in all of it: The game, the parties, the commercials, the half-time show, the real-time marketing moments, social media, the second screen, the entire omni-channel experience and, of course, the PR opportunities that abound.

DGC staffers want all of our clients to win, but some have taken sides regarding the two teams that will actually play the game. Click on the video to find who they’re rooting for and why.

Think Nothing Big Happened at the Super Bowl? Think Again.

Sunday night proved to be a bit of a bore with the Seahawks dominating the entirety of the game. So what kept us watching at DGC? The marketing showdown of course! Here are a few trends that emerged from the biggest night in advertising:

  • Nostalgia trumped glitz: A lot of brands like Anheuser-Busch, Chevrolet and Maserati took the sentimental route, opting for feel-good over splashy spots. For example, Microsoft inspired us with a :60 spot narrated by Steve Gleason, a former NFL player with ALS, through the use of eye tracking technology on a tablet. Steve speaks about how technology has the power to “take us places we’ve only dreamed of” as we see images of technology helping a woman hear for the first time, a child run with prosthetic legs and an elderly man losing his eyesight paint.
  • Brands ambush the Super Bowl: Brands that didn’t have TV spots during the big game got creative in how to reach large audiences. Newcastle was a winner, enlisting Anna Kendrick to star in its video “Behind the Scenes of the Mega Huge Football Game Ad Newcastle Brown Ale Almost Made.” While on the other end of the spectrum, jcpenney was sending out tweets filled with typos, calling it a stunt to promote its “Go USA” mittens. Other brands certainly had fun in the social conversation – Coors Light chimed in to suggest the department store drink responsibly and Kia offered a designated driver.
  • Light humor reigned: There was far less over the top, slapstick humor during this year’s big game. Outside of the expected Go Daddy ad, brands and advertisers went with lighter humor. Take Volkswagen’s “Wings” spot created by Project: Worldwide agency ARGONAUT where every 100,000 miles, a German engineer received a pair of wings. And in TurboTax’s “Love Hurts,” the brand compared watching the game between two teams that aren’t your own to watching your crush dance the night away at prom with a cool dude that isn’t you. And, on another nostalgic note, DGC client David&Goliath brought us back to The Matrix in its newest spot for Kia.
  • Double spots: Brands like Pistachio and Chevy doubled up on spots during the game. For instance, we got to see Stephen Colbert try to rely on his fame alone to carry the pistachio commercial but unfortunately fell short. In the second spot, the branding is amplified to the point where Colbert cracks his head open to reveal a pistachio inside.

And it didn’t stop there. Denver-based DGC client and Project: Worldwide agency Motive, along with Mekanism, created the Super Bowl Halftime Show for Pepsi. And DGC client Pandora hosted a “Pandora Presents” Event at the Bud Light Hotel in NYC on January 31. The show was headlined by Imagine Dragons, who just came off its well-received Grammy performance and Grammy award win the previous weekend.

We hope you enjoyed game day as much as we did. What was your favorite part?

Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners’ 9th Annual 2wenty 5ifth Floor Features Rap Legend Biz Markie

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!

Biz Markie

Rap Legend Biz Markie on stage at Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners’ annual 25th Floor party.

Microsoft Unveils Insights to Complement TV Campaigns with Digital

Today at OMMA Video, Microsoft presented research conducted in conjunction with several key advertising partners and commissioned by Nielsen on how TV and online video advertising can work together to reach consumers. David Porter, Global Strategy Lead of Video at Microsoft, revealed five of the research insights in MediaPost to help brands better understand how digital video campaigns can complement a standard TV campaign.

Take a look at the article below from David Porter, global strategy lead, video at Microsoft, to learn more:

TV and online video have often been depicted as being in “platform wars” against each other.

David Porter, global strategy lead, video at Microsoft

David Porter, global strategy lead, video at Microsoft

Despite the emergence of several new screens over the last few years, television remains the most effective way for advertisers to reach an audience at scale. Yet as viewing habits evolve and more quality content becomes available online, advertisers should consider how to connect with their consumers outside the confines of the traditional living room. 

Historically, marketers have faced a number of hurdles on how to successfully evaluate TV and online video. It can be difficult to identify and target an incremental audience online. Secondly, digital screens have yet to see the meaningful scale that television has reliably provided advertisers — and until recently, consumer access to broadcast-quality premium content online was very limited. Finally, from a measurement standpoint, the industry has lacked a consistent methodology standard to measure audiences across platforms, devices and screens.

Yet TV and digital video can truly work in concert together to surround the consumer with the best of sight, sound and motion across all screens.

Microsoft, in conjunction with several key advertising partners, commissioned Nielsen to conduct research examining how TV and online video advertising can work together to achieve optimal reach, frequency and GRP metrics. After more than a year spent on research and analysis, we have revealed five practical insights that intend to help brands better understand how digital video campaigns can complement a standard TV campaign… [CONTINUE READING]

Super Bowl XLVII – Cut the Lights, Cue the Tweets

Super Bowl hype has become almost formulaic over the years. In the weeks leading up to the actual game, many marketers release their TV spots in increments online for everyone to get an early look. Then there’s the game, which always has an exhilarating halftime show. The commercials are discussed ad nauseum for days afterward. It’s clear the formula is working. This year the Bowl didn’t break its own record, but still reached the 100 million viewer threshold. The only real variable is the game itself, which was another exciting finish featuring the extremely rare voluntary safety play.

When the lights went out in the third quarter,  we reached uncharted territory; the largest event of the year was put on hold due to a power outage, and the networks, players, fans in the stands and the viewing audience were scratching our heads. Some ads like Bud Light’s Lucky Chair were run again to fill the gap. Many took to social networks.

My personal Twitter feed was full of jokes – the most common being Bane / The Dark Knight Rises references, Beyonce’s “second” performance, and crude Ray Lewis jokes – but the tweets that stood out the most were from brands.

oreo tweet

Oreo stole the show by following the brand’s “Whisper Fight” spot with a tweet that perfectly inserted their product into the immediate chaos of the blackout.  Other kudos go to Audi, PBS, and Tide. I’ll even give credit to Calvin Klein, though that Vine was for a different target audience than the one I belong to, but I digress.

While massive marketing events like the Super Bowl seem so planned out from every possible angle, the lesson learned – for PR professionals, advertisers, social media gurus, and others, is to always be ready to make the most of the unexpected and quickly adapt to the unknown. Of course,  that is much easier said than done but these brands showed us it’s possible, and can help change brand perception with just 140 characters and a mouse click.

Let the countdown for Super Bowl XLVIII begin. We hope MetLife Stadium in New Jersey can withstand the high power consumption that the Super Bowl demands.

Super Bowl: A Game of HORSE and the Pre-Game Debate

Twenty years ago, as a young PR buck, I was tasked with creating a strategy to help McDonald’s leverage its Super Bowl XXVII “Nothing But Net” spot.  I knew we had PR gold in our hands when the storyboards included Michael Jordan and Larry Bird in a game of HORSE. Slam dunk!

What wasn’t a slam dunk at the time was my idea: invite select media on-set (Entertainment Tonight, ESPN, a few others) to capture interviews with Jordan, Bird, director Joe Pytka and behind-the-scenes footage for segments that would air BEFORE the game to build anticipation and consumer engagement.

The heated debates at the Golden Arches over a concept that seemed heretical at the time were unforgettable. But, we hit pay dirt that year with phenomenal pre-game PR and a USA Today Ad Meter victory. It arguably kick-started what today is considered the first page of the Super Bowl Commercial PR Playbook.  In fact, now NOT finding ways to gain exposure for a brand’s Super Bowl spot before the game is considered heretical.

Stuart Elliott did a deep dive on the subject in The New York Times this week that’s worth reading…

DGC Video Bowl: #TeamBeatz vs #TeamWinning

The Super Bowl brings people together in celebration: It’s a celebration of football, a celebration of friends, and a celebration of the best campaigns in advertising. While DGC won’t have its own spot in the game, we didn’t want to be left out of the fun.

 This year, we put our own spin on the Super Bowl rivalry…

 Two teams, one simple brief: show the world what makes DGC so awesome. Our collaboration, our team spirit, and, yes, at times even our zaniness. Each video was made with an impossibly tight deadline, zero budget, a lot of love and collaboration, and a late night of laughter.  Enjoy…. view, and “Like”!  There’s a bagel breakfast hanging in the balance.

Team 1: #TeamBeatz

What is it about DiGennaro Communications (DGC) that makes working there so awesome? DGC’ers Megan and Michael ponder that very question in this video made with love and collaboration by #TeamBeatz, one of two DGC teams whose goal in our 2013 internal contest was to highlight our special team spirit.

Team 2: #TeamWinning

In this video made with love and collaboration, #TeamWinning shares what makes DGC great by channeling inspiring Super Bowl Halftime Show performances from years past and present!

 May the best team win. Who knows? We may even end up being the next viral sensation.

4A’s IAM Students Place 3rd in Advertising Futures Competition

Posted by Melissa Ann Im

Top advertising agencies and high schools teamed up to present their creative campaigns for the 9thAnnual Advertising Futures Competition on October 3, 2012 at the office of JWT in New York City. The competition took place as part of Advertising Week, bringing together the Ad Council, agencies and students. Excitement mounted due to the possible reward – the winning team’s ad will be featured in

IAM Places 3rd at Competition

The New York Times and posted on a billboard on 42nd Street.

This year’s assignment: Design an ad campaign to build awareness and encourage employers to hire U.S. veterans. Students were asked to develop a campaign to convince American citizens that war veterans should not only be viable candidates for blue/white collar jobs, but should be highly sought after for having received training that only the military can provide.

The client was the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).

The students and their partner agencies including JWT, DDB, McCann and others had three weeks to prepare a campaign. After only three briefing meetings, the students had to conduct research, strategize and flesh out a full campaign to achieve the marketing objective.

The presentations were impressive, and a group of top industry panelists, including IAVA Chairman and former CEO of Y&R, Ed Vick, carefully examined each campaign. At the end of the presentations the judges deliberated, and before announcing the winners went through each campaign providing feedback and compliments on the students’ work and creativity.

Ron Berger, an active supporter of the competition and one of the founders of the High School for Innovation in Advertising and Media (IAM) in Brooklyn, spoke to encourage and commend the students for what they were doing for the future of the industry.  He even mentioned that the competition was his favorite part of Advertising Week.

IAM’s Ad Campaign

IAM presented a clean and unique campaign in the form of a resume with all of the traits and qualifications of America’s war veterans. IAM placed 3rd out of more than 10 schools which is a huge accomplishment for the students considering this is the first year they have placed. IAM students
have participated in the competition.

A big congratulations to all of the schools and a special congratulations to the 4A’s IAMHigh School participants.

DiGennaro Communications makes the Inc. 5000 list for second year running.

In a month where economic growth, job creation and national business policy are being hotly debated, our Founder, CEO and Fearless Leader, Samantha DiGennaro, attended the Inc. 500|5000 Conference in Phoenix, Arizona to recognize and celebrate the important contribution privately held small businesses provide to the economy – and most importantly to accept an award for DiGennaro Communications making the 2012 Inc. 5000 list for the second consecutive year.

And we’re in good company; fellow advertising and marketing classmates include TargetCast, Zambezi and TRIS3CT, while nationwide we sat alongside admirable brands such as Yelp, apparel company Life Is Good and non-profit organization charity: water.

Fellow honorees (from l-r) Lisa Hufford, Founder of Seattle-based Simplicity Consulting, Patrick, COO of Travisa, Sam DiGennaro, Founder, CEO of DiGennaro Communications, Carrie Morris, GM of Simplicity, Tom Henell, CMO, Naplia.

Inc. magazine’s exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies is in its sixth year and is comprised of America’s fastest growers spanning all industries, states and revenue brackets.

So how does a business land on this prestigious list? 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.

“We would not be recognized today without the hard work and dedication of our amazing team and wonderful clients,” said Sam DiGennaro, CEO and Founder of DiGennaro Communications. “I look forward to the continued growth of the agency.”

The full Inc. 5000 list, searchable by industry, size and location can be found at www.inc.com/5000.

%d bloggers like this: