In this episode, Stacy sits down with Adrian Belina, Executive Creative Director and one of the founders of Jam3. The two discuss the importance of digital marketing in influencer campaigns as well as how to use technology to solve problems and increase engagement.
Hollywood Branded Refresher Episodes
Check out some of the past interviews below:
- EP158 Use Influencers To Make Brand Integrations With Justin Purser | Olio Creative
- EP153: Detect And Combat Influencer Fraud With Yaro Pat | HypeAuditor
- EP138: Influencers Are Humans Too With Dana Malstaff | Boss Mom
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- How To #7: 5 Steps To Tell If An Influencer Has Fake Instagram Followers
- 3 Examples Of Influencer Marketing Gone Wrong
- Celebrity Influencers Don’t Write Their Own Social Media Posts
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Welcome to Marketing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them. I’m Stacy Jones, the founder of influencer marketing and branded content agency, Hollywood Branded. This podcast provides brand marketers a learning platform for topics first to share their insights and knowledge on topics which make a direct impact on your business today. While it is impossible to be well versed on every topic and strategy that can improve bottom line results, my goal is to help you avoid making costly mistakes of time, energy, or money, whether you are doing a DIY approach or hiring an expert to help. Let’s begin today’s discussion.
Speaker 2: 00:31
Welcome to Marketing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them. Here’s your host, Stacy Jones.
Stacy Jones: 00:36
Welcome to Marketing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them. I’m Stacy Jones. I’m so happy to be here with you all today and I want to give a very warm welcome to our guest, an award winning creative who’s worked with some of the top brands in the world, Adrian Belina. Adrian is both executive creative director and one of the founding partners of Jam3, a design and experience agency that partners with forward thinking brands from around the world. He was integral in expanding the company from a three-person studio into one of the world’s top digital companies with over 75 employees across three offices around the world.
Stacy Jones: 01:07
Adrian has been mechanized several times at [inaudible 00:01:09], The One Show, DNAD, the Webbies and is in the FWA hall of fame. His creative and leadership can be found in projects for Adidas, MTV, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Spotify, Disney, and that’s just naming a few. Today we’re going to talk about how Adrian stays on the top of the cutting edge of digital marketing. We’ll learn what’s worked from his experience, what could be avoided, and how some agencies are missing the mark today. Adrian, welcome.
Adrian Belina: 01:38
Thank you. It’s a absolute pleasure to be here.
Stacy Jones: 01:40
Well, I’m super happy to have you here and you do something that’s very different from our agency, although you leverage influencers in some of the campaigns that I’ve seen. So would love to deep dive and talk a little bit more about the agency itself, the campaigns you’re working on and how you think people could be doing things better. I’d love to start off with your sharing a little bit about your background and what got you to where you are today.
Adrian Belina: 02:06
For sure. Happy to talk about that. My background stems from advertising. I took advertising at a college called Sheridan College outside of Toronto. Then I took a another post grad after that called interactive multimedia and it’s sort of an important time because that’s where I actually met my two partners, Mark and Pablo. That second program was initially geared towards web development and I was coming in with a creative background. So at the time this was maybe 2000, 2002 or 2003. I had gone in there with the idea of as a creative who wanted to kind of add this level of technical expertise or technical knowledge and bolster that up. So I could be this … what I like to think of as the perfect ideal candidate for a job, somebody who could design and develop something.
Adrian Belina: 03:08
Similarly, that’s what my partners were thinking as well. What’s interesting about that is that we started Jam3 shortly after that and our focus was always on this merger of design and development, which later kind of became to be more so focused on, let’s say, creative technology. So focusing on how creative you could push the limits of technology. Initially this was online and then online now has transformed into the bigger world of digital, which encompasses pretty much everything, right? So online platforms, it’s the retail experience, it’s what you can do at an event and so forth. Right? So.
Stacy Jones: 03:54
Yes, it used to be that it was just about mobile and then it expanded into online and everyone jumped in and now it’s kind of a merging of everything that is not traditional advertising, is where you [crosstalk 00:04:05].
Adrian Belina: 04:05
Stacy Jones: 04:06
Yeah. So when we first were talking before our podcast started, you had said you wanted to touch on and deep dive in a little bit more on how people use technology wrong or how they approach it incorrectly. Can you share a little bit more insight and what you meant by that?
Adrian Belina: 04:22
For sure. I think the most common way when you think about marketing and advertising and the use of technology is that the common complaint is that it can be used in a very gimmicky way. We see this and I think the attraction sure is there, everybody wants to do something fun, they see a new shiny object and they want to also test out their ideas with this new shiny object. Sometimes I think the brand story gets lost or what the actual problem is that we’re trying to solve, and we’re basically just trying too hard to focus on the technology itself rather than the point of what we’re trying to accomplish.
Stacy Jones: 05:06
You were talking earlier some of the technologies out there that you hear this about, like AR, augmented reality, anything that goes into that type of space. How do you think people use it well and how do you think people really aren’t quite there yet?
Adrian Belina: 05:24
Yeah, so I think the easiest case example, and the one that probably everybody who’s familiar with augmented reality might think of their head is the Ikea app, right? So taking furniture or a product and being able to translate that product and envision it in your living room. That’s a great case example. Another one is just as something as simple as the measuring tool, right? So all of that encompasses augmented reality, but when you think about misuse of it’s … I think there may be a cool thing. For example, … Geez, I don’t like to criticize, but if I could make something up, it would be … let’s say a Snapchat mask for a brand that really doesn’t have affinity, right? So regardless of how cool the mask is, if it’s for, for example let’s say, a toilet paper brand, no matter how cool it is, people aren’t going to want to do that or you’re probably going to have a lower sense of engagement there.
Adrian Belina: 06:26
So I think the most important thing there is really when you think about technology like augmented reality or virtual reality, machine learning, artificial intelligence, all the things we hear about right now that are top of mind, it’s not just about exploring the technology. It’s really always trying to find out what is this going to do and how can this actually solve a problem for us? Right?
Stacy Jones: 06:49
So it’s really almost saying is it on brand for the company as well, for where their life stage is right now or for their consumer base as well as their category?
Adrian Belina: 06:59
100%. 100%. I think one of the the ways that I look at the use of technology where it does really, really well for us is to either, as I mentioned this, to solve a problem that couldn’t be solved before, so you’re basically solving something in a new way or to create higher levels of engagement. Right? So I think typically speaking, a lot of the marketing companies will go for the higher levels of engagement. That’s the easy win. Digital is a very interesting thing because I find that to be successful in digital, there’s this element of I haven’t seen or done that before. Right? So it’s that initial hook that basically people kind of know that they can use this or rely on it. It’s like a … What’s the expression? But it’s something to rely on where you know that you can basically … Let’s say we’re at an event and if I have a bunch of VR headsets out and people haven’t done VR yet, I mean, although they’ve probably done it by now today, but this is why you saw so much of it out of the gate, was there was an initial way that people want to try it and they haven’t tried to experimented with the technology.
Adrian Belina: 08:17
So it didn’t kind of matter who the brand was. They’re doing it because they want to try the technology. Then what you do with the inside though, then has to obviously relate back to the brand. But the challenging thing here is is that it’s almost like a … I don’t know. It’s almost like somebody chasing a certain high where it’s basically like, “Okay, now I’ve tried it”, and now the second time you do it, you’re not as engaged as the first time you were. So now what do we have to do now? Right?
Adrian Belina: 08:44
So if you look at anything from …. let’s just even say experiences that might use virtual reality. So couple of years ago it was enough to just have headset and then we started moving around spatially, and now when you think about an experience as like a … where you actually have a whole room set up and the person’s walking around the whole space, they’ve got a backpack on them. It’s a complete whole experience. There’s always this level of one-upsmanship that has to happen within digital. I’m not sure that you get that with the other mediums, right, with print and broadcast radio, et cetera. That happens in digital quite often, right? Year by year.
Stacy Jones: 09:26
Well, it’s also, it’s making digital be more experiential, I think, versus just being … when you say digital advertising, it’s very different what you’re talking about. It’s also, I think, targeted typically at a younger demographic versus an older demographic as far as you’re like, “Oh by now everyone’s tried a virtual reality headset.” I guarantee there’s a lot of 50 plus year olds out there that unless their kids brought it home, they haven’t tried it.
Adrian Belina: 09:54
100%. 100% and we see that as well. I think we use a lot of creative technology in the experience space and that’s generally what we’re focused on. So our markets and clients tend to skew a little bit younger. So we work a lot with Adidas for example, who’s obviously much, much, considerably younger. But I like to think about it in the Holy Grail as always can you entertain but also solve a problem so it gives some sense of utility. I think that’s the sweet spot today for brands in my opinion is … Obviously you can entertain, you can be visually stimulating, but I think when you get that real sort of brand affinity or to get something to really matter, it’s when you have some sort of a usefulness or the experience has a purpose. Right?
Stacy Jones: 10:46
Okay. What are some of the campaigns you’ve worked on that you think have melded the perfect world of experiential, most likely, since that’s really what you dive into, and digital and technology?
Adrian Belina: 10:58
For sure. So I think one of my favorite case studies from just this past year was for Adidas and it was during an event called ComplexCon. ComplexCon is a two day event in long beach every year. It is a massive event that features all kinds of streetwear and sneaker stuff. There’s musicians that play there, there’s artists that are there, and it’s similar to any convention floor. There’s a lot of obviously booths and brands that are there and everybody’s basically checking out … It’s like the coolest of the cool. A lot of people use it to launch new products and drum up a lot of hype. So if you’ve ever seen a store with a whole bunch of kids waiting outside out in the line for it, outside of a Footlocker or Supreme or something along those lines, that’s basically the market that goes to ComplexCon.
Adrian Belina: 12:03
So Adidas’s tactic this year, this was their third year running and we had this whole idea of avoiding lines, right? So lines are integral to this culture. There will be a sneaker release and to get this limited quantity sneaker, you’ll have people camping out overnight, sometimes multiple days. So even at the ComplexCon event they had people waiting in line to be the first in line to the event because they know what shoes are dropping there, they know where they’re going to be, kind of they have an estimate of what they’ll be valued at or what the resale value will … For example, they may be able to buy a shoe for $200 and then resell it the same day for 1500. It’s quite an interesting industry now that we’re kind of wrapped up into it.
Adrian Belina: 12:57
So one of the things we wanted to do is kind of take out the power from the resellers who kind of dominate the game and we want to make it a little bit more democratic so that everybody has the same fair chance. It’s not about waiting in lines. Right? And really waiting in line is kind of a negative brand experience, right? So for example, you might sit there and wait outside of an Adidas booth for four hours. By the time you finally get there, you don’t get the shoe that you wanted. Now you’re going to be pissed off. Right? So instead, we regulated it and so we created basically like a conference wide experience. We ditched the booth altogether and instead we had these five giant cubes that were hanging from the rafters spread out across the convention center.
Adrian Belina: 13:46
What you would do is you would scan the cube to basically unlock a sneaker. So we did this by creating a custom app that went and fit in right into ComplexCon’s actual app. So people wouldn’t have to actually download a separate app, right? They were using the same app that they already had to get into the event, because that’s a barrier for engagement. So we solved that problem. They already had all the apps. On the hour we were dropping sneakers. So for two days, every hour we dropped a limited pair of seekers. Sometimes it could have been one pair of shoes, sometimes it may have been 250, but people wouldn’t know what was dropping and how many there would be. So it was wonderful. Right? So you had these five cubes there, there was nobody standing around them, and then about 10 minutes close to the hour, you’d start seeing people kind of petering in. By the time it was one minute to go, there was a big crowd and it was the calmest crowd you’d ever seen.
Adrian Belina: 14:54
There was no pushing, there was no shoving, nobody’s trying to get ahead of each other. As long as they have a view, it’s fine. And we elevated these things up high so that everybody has the same view, right? So it doesn’t really matter who gets there first. Every time we did a drop it would be done in about a minute and a half. So instead of people waiting four hours, they were now waiting a minute and a half and anybody could have a shot at this. I mean it was so wonderful to see this little 15 year old kid win one of these limited pair of shoes that they normally could never get. The look of joy in this kid’s eyes was amazing. So the augmented reality part of this sits within the box. So when you scan the box or the cube, the cube would actually open up and it would reveal a sneaker inside in augmented reality, right? Not in real life.
Adrian Belina: 15:43
So that was like the access access point. It worked basically like a contest … Sorry. Similar to how you would get concert tickets, right? Everybody’s trying to get it at the same time you’re trying to get through, you’re trying to get through and then those lucky few that get in, get in, and then it says sold out. Right? So we’d sell it in about a minute and a half every hour on the hour. The other interesting part that we did here, not related to augmented reality, but related to how you can fit or use emerging technologies to solve another problem. We ditched the lines another time. So instead of basically having all these people now have to go through fulfillment and waiting in line for two people to sit there and give them their shoes, wait for it to come back. We actually used 500 smart lockers. So these are the same type of lockers you might see for Amazon pickups and-
Stacy Jones: 16:37
At Whole Foods or wherever it is now. Yep.
Adrian Belina: 16:40
Precisely. So we actually did a custom wrapping around these lockers. So they were Adidas branded and each locker would have a pair of shoes in it. So we knew that when somebody was buying a size nine in this pair of shoe and they won it, they would have to go to locker number 254. So it would tell them, “Okay, now just proceed to the locker 254 by the entrance way at any point in time today.” So they could go at their own leisure and they would just go walk up to it. They’d hit a button on their app, the door would automatically open, they’d grab their shoes and walk away. It was pretty awesome. The whole thing was literally so seamless. For us it was a matter of returning the conference back to them. Right? So it was like, “Hey, our gift to you is time. Now go spend your time and if you want, wait in somebody else’s line or go see the artists that you wanted”, et cetera. Right?
Stacy Jones: 17:33
Right. That’s very cool. So when you started working on this project, and obviously you’ve worked with Adidas a few times, they’re an ongoing client for you, did they come to you with the idea at all or did they come and say, “Hey, we’re going to be at this convention, it’s filled with sneaker heads. What can you do?”
Adrian Belina: 17:53
Yeah, I mean I think we have a good relationship with our client and so a lot of conversations always start in various ways. That one in particular was this kind of idea where it was in the initial conversation or question put to us was … it was in reference to Pokemon Go. So I think Pokemon Go had been very popular and that had brought augmented reality up to the forefront for a lot of brands. That was sort of like the question [inaudible 00:18:27] for us. We’d constantly to these, “We’d love to create something that’s a little bit more like … like this is what the kids want.” I’m obviously poking fun there. That’s not what our client sounds like.
Stacy Jones: 18:35
No, no, no, no. I will first tell you that my entire team for a good solid, at least, six months laughed at me because my husband and I did Pokemon all over the cities. I’d be on a business trip in New York or Chicago or anywhere and I’d start hiking around doing it because I was fascinated with the potential of how brands could use it. So it makes sense. I mean, Pokemon opened the door for all of us, I think, in a really big way as marketers.
Adrian Belina: 19:01
Yeah, 100%. I mean you always look at … there’s always like a tipping point and then it becomes like a buzz word, right? Then everybody starts asking for it and experimenting with it, which I think is an interesting thing. So often whenever I’m making a point about something, I often circle back and start questioning my own argument and being like, “Well…”, and I start to rationalize certain behaviors. I think the one outcome of, let’s say, sometimes the more gimmicky work I would say is that you learn from it. Right? I think, at least the important thing here is that people are trying and so I’d rather them try, but I think … because from trying things, you learn things, right?
Adrian Belina: 19:46
The important thing is not to get afraid of doing those things again. Because this is one of the things that we also see is that people will one and done things. “Oh, we did this thing”, and then they’re kind of like, “Well, you know what? Well, we already did that, so now we’re moving onto the next thing.” Instead of applying the learnings that they had from that to make it even better. So you’re always starting … This is a common mistake that I often see is that we’re not applying our learnings, right? So we’re always starting from scratch and chase of the big idea rather than actually sitting there thinking about, “Okay, great, so this worked and we were …” For example, let’s say, “We were reasonably successful.” Right? Now for me, my interest is always like, okay, great, now that we know what we know now afterwards because we did this thing that had never been done before, let’s apply that knowledge and redo it again.
Adrian Belina: 20:43
I think that’s like the most interesting thing is to basically get known for something and start to almost productize something. So to almost productize a way that you engage with your consumer, right? Or your audience.
Stacy Jones: 20:58
You obviously have [inaudible 00:21:00] done as well with the technology angle that you bring in to your campaigns to a degree.
Adrian Belina: 21:05
To a degree. Yeah. To a degree. I mean it’s something I wish we could do even better. We’re always trying to tell our clients to revisit certain things. But I think that’s the goal that you need to keep trending in though, right? It’s really thinking about, okay, well how can we take something and resist the urge to do something, let’s say, completely new and focus on redoing something but with a new lens, right? And just figuring out, “Okay, well we did that last year.” I think the worry is that if we do the same thing again, will people be less engaged because they’re like, to my point earlier, “I already saw this”, right? To my point there, or my argument to that would be that I think that’s fine if people have a level set of expectation because that can be a plus as well. So if somebody is expecting something now you’ve already cut out the initial, let’s say, onboarding, right?
Adrian Belina: 22:06
So it takes a while for somebody to get used to using something, right? So, for example, even if you think about a simple mobile website, a hamburger icon in the top corner that means menu, that wasn’t a …
Stacy Jones: 22:20
It wasn’t a natural go to that everyone would just intuitively know.
Adrian Belina: 22:24
And now they do.
Stacy Jones: 22:25
Adrian Belina: 22:25
Right? So this is supposed to be a simple example. So I think you can always build on that, right? So because whenever you do something, for example, the ComplexCon, we had to guide people through the process of doing this, although it was pretty simple, but … So if you did it a second time they’d be like, “Okay cool, I know what to expect here”, but then strategically what we would focus on is, “Okay, now how do we switch it on them?” Because I think expectations can be really fun to play with. Right? Because I think that’s when I … whenever I see this. I always talk about this. When you do something with the expected that’s unexpected, you always get this … people are kind of like … they get that smile and the head nod, like “Oh. That was smart. I like that.”
Adrian Belina: 23:09
It’s funny that I’ve always noticed that when, if you’ve ever judged an award show, you’re watching like 300 case studies and they’re all very similar, but every once in a while the ones that win always have this kind of … You could see around the room, the judges just kind of have this head nod and they’ll be like, “How smart.” You can just see in their head that that was like, “I wish I would’ve thought of that. That was good. I liked that point.” Yeah.
Stacy Jones: 23:35
Adrian Belina: 23:37
Yeah. I call it the plot twist basically.
Stacy Jones: 23:39
Or the secret sauce. It’s just a little something extra special.
Adrian Belina: 23:42
Stacy Jones: 23:43
Yeah. So next time you’re going to have fireworks bursting out along with those shoes as they’re opening the lockers.
Adrian Belina: 23:48
Stacy Jones: 23:49
Yeah. So do you also think … I mean, activation like what you just described with ComplexCon, that it was able to be really well executed with potentially less people on staff at the site so that made it easier in general? Or were there the same amount of people that would have to be involved in an event activation but just behind the scenes instead of glad handling in front of the scenes and dealing with people? Because you’ve really automated everything where it’s faceless.
Adrian Belina: 24:20
Yeah. So old habits die hard and you always want to make sure that … I think everybody always has a backup plan. So we did have some brand ambassadors there that we would stand under the booth when it was happening. Sorry, under the booth. Under the cubes when it was happening. And really it was more just to kind of have a watchful eye and make sure that something wasn’t going on. So they weren’t necessary, per se. Had we done it a second time, I probably would have said that we wouldn’t need them. The only real thing that we had that we’ve maybe learned from that was people want to know that things were sold out. Right? So the app would kind of tell them, but sometimes though they weren’t sure if they were just kind of waiting still or whatever.
Adrian Belina: 25:07
Then we’d kind of just kind of tell everybody. We had mic pieces on, so somebody in the back end sitting in the back room would be like, “All right, they’re all sold out. Cube number two is sold out, cube number five is sold out.” So we’d say, somebody would be like, “It’s sold out”, and everybody would be like, “Okay, cool”, and they’d all just kind of casually kind of walk away or whatever. Right?
Stacy Jones: 25:26
Adrian Belina: 25:26
So I think the system was completely designed to be fully autonomous. We had some backup measures there. Just because you never know and you want things to run smoothly. But had we want it to do the event again and had we wanted to extend it multiple days, yeah, 100%. It can be autonomous. The only thing that you would need to have is somebody running the back end and obviously filling the lockers and making sure that those are full.
Stacy Jones: 25:53
Y’all did another activation with Adidas that stood out with Coachella, which is a super overly saturated branding mega platform that everyone wants to have a little piece of. How did you all differentiate there?
Adrian Belina: 26:07
Yeah, so I think the most fascinating thing here was … So this one definitely, upfront it sounds like gimmick. But I think because it has never been done before, we were able to break through clutter based on a clever use of technology. So I think for the last 10 years we’ve been always finding out a way how something can be done. Right? So the idea will either come from us in a pitch presentation or sometimes with our clients they may just call us about something and be like, “Has this ever been done before? We were just sitting here having a conversation”, and this is one of those moments where this conversation happened over brunch and a text message and somebody was just like, “We’re just sitting over brunch and we were wondering, can we Airdrop people things?” And then for us, we immediately start chatting about this and we’re just like, “Can we Airdrop something?” so we start talking to our tech team and then figuring out the nuts and bolts of how an experience like that could happen.
Adrian Belina: 27:16
Honestly it’s a pretty simple experience when you think about it, right? It’s just basically we had a bunch of people there at Coachella … Oh, I should give some background to the project. I realized I just hadn’t done that for the listeners. So yeah. So we were at Coachella and the shoe drop was to be the first people to get Donald Glover and Adidas’s collaboration shoe. So there were three different types of shoes. They were unreleased and unseen. So nobody even knew what they looked like. They were going to be launching first weekend of Coachella. So there was a press embargo on this. We weren’t allowed to do any press on this, so we had to figure out a clever way to release a few sneakers without doing anything really officially.
Adrian Belina: 28:06
Of course everybody was fully into doing this idea because it was a simple execution, a small release and thought it would jump up a lot of butts. So sure enough it did. So what we did was on the day that Childish Gambino was headlining at Coachella we released his shoes so that people could have the shoes and attend his concert wearing his shoes. So the way that we did this was we actually had a bunch of people, it was actually our staff who are walking around the campgrounds of Coachella with their phones renamed to Donald Glover with a bunch of images in their phone that were clips of the sneaker and all the user would see was their phone would get randomly pinged and it would say, “Donald Glover would like to send you an image” and most people were like, “What?” You’re kind of curious because what makes it so successful is that this is a behavior that generally has almost a negative association with it, right?
Adrian Belina: 29:18
So this is something that you see people being-
Stacy Jones: 29:21
Adrian Belina: 29:23
Scammed or pranks, right? So either some crappy flyer, an image you don’t want to see, a joke or a meme. We were at Disneyland with our staff having an office day, a little retreat, and one of our producers phone’s kept getting these random memes sent to it by probably what would’ve been some giggling teenagers. So we kind of flipped that behavior almost knowing that some people in the beginning will be like, “I don’t know what the hell it says, deny it, I don’t want it.” Then there were those who were brave enough to be kind of like, “I’m curious. I’m a big fan of Donald Glover”, and so they took the shoes and then what they weren’t able to see and this is again just kind of like a clever craft detail, but the preview image that you get when you see that Airdrop on your Apple is a cropped version of an image.
Adrian Belina: 30:17
So we basically looked at that and then knew where the crop marks were basically going to be or how the image was going to be cropped, and so on the outside of the image that you can’t see is where it says, “Hey, come pick up a free pair of shoes” and the number associated with the winning ticket. So this way it didn’t allow people to … if somebody accepted they’d be the only one to have that, let’s call it-
Stacy Jones: 30:39
Adrian Belina: 30:39
Stacy Jones: 30:39
It’s like a code. A redemption code. Yeah.
Adrian Belina: 30:42
Yeah. Because we have to think about all these different ways of … and we have this process internally, which is basically what we call a premortem. So it’s basically thinking about every which way a project can go wrong, and then think about how we would solve it. Right? So everything from Coachella ranged from people aren’t accepting, too many people are accepting, we have a mob of people that all came at once and now we don’t know what to do. It rained, something, something, something. You could imagine.
Stacy Jones: 31:15
Adrian Belina: 31:15
So we have a process and a plan for each one of those, but it went off like gangbusters. It was an amazing project. So the first person that won posted about it. We saw him posting and we’re like, “Hey, could you tag a couple of people?” I mean, he was a sneaker guy so he’s just like, “Yeah”. I think you tagged Hypebeast or something like that and that just kind of blew up. We tracked it down, there was a succession of three different posts. So there was this kid who wasn’t an influencer, he’s just a regular person but tagged an influencer basically, and that influencer’s post blew up, resulting in this kid’s post blowing up. Then everything kind of just went bananas from there. Without doing any press outreach, it got picked up in GQ, Vogue, Adweek, you name it. If you can think about it, it was written about there. All the headlines were great because it was like, “Is Donald Glover airdropping his shoes to people?”
Adrian Belina: 32:23
So it’s a really funny thing that people, some people, legitimately thought that Donald Glover-
Stacy Jones: 32:28
Of course they did. Yes.
Adrian Belina: 32:30
He’s like sneakingly doing this because he’s an artist. He’s a bit of a quirky guy. So it’s almost like it plays in this realm of believability that he might actually be doing this. So it’s like this world where … I think my executive producer explains it really wonderfully because they follow these people so closely, they feel a connection to these people that they don’t know [inaudible 00:32:51] celebrities. So in their minds they think that this person may actually be doing this. Right?
Stacy Jones: 32:58
No. From our own work, we do celebrity endorsement deals all the time. I mean, that’s the core of what our agency does, and product placement, influencers. People don’t even realize that celebrities don’t write their own tweets. They don’t do any social posts. They do nothing. But the general norm is everyone thinks that the celebrity’s vastly involved. Jennifer Aniston’s absolutely saying this or whomever it might be. So that’s an easy one. That’s great.
Adrian Belina: 33:26
Or Jennifer Aniston liked my tweet and you’re like, “Well, her social media manager probably did, but same, same.”
Stacy Jones: 33:33
Yeah, it’s the same. They’re besties, she knows everything. So those are two really cool case studies and obviously Adidas was happy, but I’m sure your agency was over the moon with the amount of press and exposure that y’all got from this as well.
Adrian Belina: 33:50
Over the moon, over the moon. I mean it’s always good to get press because it feels validating. I think when you’re doing, let’s call them things in the more experiential space, which can be hard to measure in terms of impact sometimes, I think it’s really great to see that kind of stuff. When you’re doing things more situated in, let’s say, design and platform builds like for dot-coms, there’s something to be said about winning awards, which are always great, but there’s also something to be said about seeing the actual metrics and having an effect on them. I think it’s an interesting thing that I’ve noticed. You notice this in a typical person’s career path where, as a junior, all you want to do is get to work on the good work, right?
Adrian Belina: 34:41
You want to work on like, “Oh I want to be trusted with this greater work”, and you’re clawing your way up to get this greater work. As you start getting more experienced, you start to do this greater work and then you start wanting to be recognized for it. I want to win an award, I want to win something at Cannes, or One Show or something like that. Then at a certain point you also realize, well you know what, these … they’re not empty words, but they can leave you with this longing for more where it’s just like it’s great that I’ve been recognized by my peers, but does this actually work as well? Does the suggestions that I’m making has it made a difference? I think once you start really getting into analytics and data, you really … I don’t know. There’s this sense of satisfaction where you’re like, “Oh, the suggestions that I’ve made have actually …” You look at a bar graph and you see the thing trending upward and you’re like, “Huh, look at me. Aren’t I so smart?”
Stacy Jones: 35:36
Yeah. Well, and agencies as partners to brands, the brand is supposed to get the accolade. The brand is supposed to be in the spotlight. Usually our agency life is we’re in the background and we’re like, “High five, the whole thing didn’t blow up. Woo-hoo”. Right? And you’re happy about everything else and you’re picking apart where you can do better. But there’s not always a lot of celebrating the wins because it’s more on the brand side and you’re off to your new project.
Adrian Belina: 36:01
Off to the project. Yeah.
Stacy Jones: 36:03
Adrian Belina: 36:05
Like I said, for us it’s important to have good relationships. There’s so many things that matter in terms of, let’s call, it health and happiness of the workplace, right? So, it’s not just an award or just a brand. It’s a whole bunch of things. How close of a relationship you have with the brand, how much they trust you, how much you trust them, your rapport. Because this is a tough industry. It demands a lot of hours. It definitely has its ups and downs and peaks and valleys in terms of how hard you have to work sometimes. So you start looking at those things as to like, well what makes it worth it for us? What are we truly looking for here? You start to think about, well, what are the things that matter to us individually, right? So.
Stacy Jones: 37:10
That is all very true. So for our listeners who want to learn a little bit more about what you could potentially do for their companies, you want to share some contact information. All this will be in the show notes also, but just who you all are, how to get ahold of you, all that good stuff.
Adrian Belina: 37:25
For sure. Yeah. So as Stacy mentioned at the beginning of the show, our company’s called Jam3. We are a design and experience agency. So we do everything from large scale website design all the way down to installations for events and everything in between. If it’s digital, we do it. We have a high high passion for merging creative technology into our various outputs to basically find new ways of solving problems or creating higher levels of engagement. So if you want to see more of our work, definitely hit up jam3.com and yeah, we hope to hear from you. So.
Stacy Jones: 38:15
That’s easy enough. Perfect. Again, that will be in the show notes so anyone who is not writing as they’re walking, driving, running, working, you can just pop on over to our podcast page and see that. Then any last parting words of advice. Avoiding technology, embracing, doing it better, avoiding doing mistakes, what would you tell our listeners?
Adrian Belina: 38:42
Be experimenting with technology. So I mean, keep at it. The best way that we create things is by exploring. Right? So I think a common mistake that people make is they do one thing once and then they don’t do it again. But it’s through the repetition of doing something with a medium or technology or a certain type of output where you truly build that experience and can kind of start building a way to make things matter and really make a difference.
Stacy Jones: 39:13
Perfect. Well on that note, Adrian, thank you so much for joining and sharing your insights and your awesome case studies because it doesn’t get much more awesome than that. So thank you.
Adrian Belina: 39:22
Stacy Jones: 39:23
Yes, and to our listeners, thank you so much for tuning in to Marketing Mistakes and How To Avoid Them. I look forward to chatting with you on our next podcast.
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