Benjamin Falvo merges his digital practice into a fully integrated communications firm.
NEW YORK CITY – January 11, 2012
Benjamin Falvo, founder of the NYC digital and interactive agency Dream Store, is joining the New York office of ClarkHuot as Lead, Digital Practice, a new position. Falvo, who starts immediately, will report to the agency’s CEO Peter Clark.
The hire underscores a growing trend of agencies looking to diversify their services and better their ranks within the industry. This is paramount as the boundaries of media, digital technology, and brand integration become increasingly blurred.
The addition of Falvo and his digital expertise emphasizes ClarkHuot’s push to extend its digital practice and activities by placing him into a leadership and client-facing role.
Falvo, 31, started Dream Store in 2002 as a trans-media digital planning agency that was focused on finding new ways of developing vehicles to communicate creative ideas faster than ever. Falvo’s approach to digital planning will become an integral part of ClarkHuot’s integrated brand solutions.
“Falvo’s expertise and ability to create tailored digital connection strategies will create a significant advantage for our agency and its ability to offer a more integrated service. We are always looking to attract a wide range of people with varied skill sets and backgrounds in the interest of building an agency with a great depth of knowledge, creativity, and point of view,” said Clark. “Falvo will be working with our Executive Creative Director Edmond Huot and our creative team to generate new ways of thinking and working. This is about more than just expanding our digital service.”
“Ben is a business builder at heart, which makes him a great fit for our agency,” said Huot. “His non-traditional thinking and approach to digital marketing is an ideal fit for our agency to create innovative ways for our clients to engage with consumers.”
A great example of how Falvo crossed the power of the digital grapevine with traditional business sensibility is the highly successful Down & Derby, a unique and interactive event that fused old time roller disco with modern sites and sounds. The event grew to reside in six American cities and has become a staple at the Rain Night Club at the Palms Casino.
ClarkHuot is a strategic integrated branding and interactive firm dedicated to helping companies design, launch, and manage their overall brand experiences across all points of customer, employee, and shareholder contact.
For information or interview requests, please contact:
ClarkHuot NYC office: 1 (212) 564-8716
Benjamin Falvo Direct: 1 (412) 841-9431
We’re excited to announce that we are merging our New York digital practice with Ben Falvo (above)’s company, Dream Store. Ben has been in the digital space for over ten years and will bring a new level of technology, innovation and scope to our practice.
Click the images below to find out more about their past work and the proverbial leaf that they will be bringing to our extendable table.
This week was Advertising Week in New York City. The event is devoted to bringing together hundreds of individuals from the industry and leading seminars about what’s happening in advertising right now. Not surprisingly, a lot of these discussions revolved around technology and asked the question, “where is advertising going?”
Get Inside Your Consumers’ Minds
This conference, which was hosted by Bravo, delved into the idea of neuro-marketing and its effect on advertising. Pranav Yadav, CEO of Neuro-Insight U.S., explained his research that uses the human brain to come up with insights on how to market better. Neuro-marketing tracks brain wave stimulation in conjunction with a media platform, targeting which specific content engages the brain more. Using this data, advertisers can more accurately determine which ads will be most successful. Panelists explained how contextual advertising (ads which contextually relate to the content of the media program) actually causes people to remember ads better, though they might not cognitively think about them. So for example, during a fashion or lifestyle television program, an automotive commercial that presented a ‘lifestyle’ point of view would be more successful for memory encoding.
What intrigued me most about this conference was the idea that marketers will be able to target advertising at a subconscious level. They will be able to trigger our brains so that we might make decision about a product on an unconscious level; we won’t even be aware that we are acquiescing to different means of advertising. I think to some degree, though it’s inevitable, advertisers are beginning to cross a privacy boundary. Will advertisements know us better than we know ourselves?
The Next 9 Years: R/GA
The next 9 years was a presentation by Barry Wacksman, the EVP of R/GA and Nick Law, Chief Creative Officer outlining the future of the R/GA. The agency has gone through a series of 9-year cycles since their launch, each time reinventing their ideas, focus and outlook. This idea, reinvention and looking towards the future, is something that resonated with me. Rather than participate in the current discussion about advertising and branding, R/GA is starting it. With the perpetually changing nature of technology in advertising, it’s important to have this sort of perspective. It’s vital to think what you can do for your client that’s going to be new and innovative and is going to make the best use of all resources available.
This conference was hosted by Ogilvy and featured a panel of Ogilvy’s young rising stars. The panel was comprised of Ogilvy talent from all departments of the agency, including business development, digital strategies and creative. I was pretty eager to go to this one. As a young person in this industry, I was interested to see what insights my peers had about the agency world, and what they were currently doing to contribute. Unfortunately, I found myself to be extremely underwhelmed. I felt that the entire discussion idealized Ogilvy and wasn’t a very realistic portrayal of what these young individuals are actually doing. I wondered how much direct communication with clients these individuals actually had and also if their ideas were really heard by their superiors. I kept thinking that they are hiding behind this grandiose façade, when in fact they are actually running to Starbucks.
Do Agencies Need to Think Like Tech Companies?
A lot of what was discussed during this talk was taking risks to invest in new technology and new companies. One panelist for this conference was Paul Gunning, CEO of Tribal DDB. Gunning had an extremely conservative point of view, stating that the agency would rarely take a leap of faith and approach advertising using new media. The agency primarily uses traditional media because it has so successfully worked. My first thought was, shouldn’t an agency representing historic brands want to embrace innovation and use all of these new technological resources? But then I considered the risk. A brand such as McDonald’s is not going to want to jeopardize their reputation or spend millions of dollars on a flop. Gunning stringently claimed that failure is not an option. Tribal DDB would only use a new platform if it had a proven rate of success. For example, if there were an innovative mobile application that was being proposed, it would need an extremely high rate of user-ship to be truly considered.
Real Moms with Real Power: A Real Conversation
Never before have I enjoyed such an eloquent and impassioned discussion regarding moms and the world of social media and blogging. The session included timely video excerpts that brought real moms from across America into the spotlight with regards to the realities of being a mom, a housewife, a homemaker and a woman to the forefront of our growing social media platform.
Discover the Creative Force behind Assassin’s Creed, Celine Dion newest Las Vegas Show and Zarkana
Montreal was front and center as creative leaders from various industries gathered to discuss their respective experiences and point of view on managing the business of creativity. As an example, creative shop Sid Lee showcased its upcoming launch of C2-MTL, a new kind of annual global conference that brings the creative community together with the business community.
Making Things vs. Saying Things
This seminar discussed the notion that advertising is becoming more than just taglines and slogans. Brands are working with agencies to create something more tangible and more interactive for its audience.
The panelist from Google revealed something interesting: For 20% of their work week, Google employees are encouraged to work on outside projects with the hope that they’ll find the next big innovation. In fact, many of Google’s top applications were created this way.
Wired Social Media Summit
The Wired conference featured a panel of social media experts, moderated by John Abell of Wired.com. The talk was focused around the idea of branding through social media. David Sable, Global CEO from Y&R, gave an example of a high-end luxury retailer using twitter to promote their brand, only to realize that it wasn’t affecting their sales. Sable went on to say that there needs to be a strategy behind different platforms of social media. Twitter didn’t work for this retailer because they weren’t reaching their target demographic. Additionally, the panel mentioned that platforms such as twitter work for brands that tweet deals or coupons. In essence, those brands are giving a reason for consumers to follow them.
How the Internet Killed Mass Market Mediocrity
This discussion featured a group of women who have built businesses from a web presence. Each has made websites providing content for women that has sparked real conversation. Two of the panelists, Blair and Elle Fowler, started by uploading YouTube videos featuring cosmetic tutorials and other beauty advice. They gained an enormous YouTube following with millions of people (mostly girls) watching their videos. Another panelist, Sophia Rossi, is a co-founder of HelloGiggles, a website which is the “girl” version of Funny or Die or College Humor. Jane Pratt, the woman behind Jane Magazine, has a new website called xoJane which is also driven by real conversation content. The talk revolved around the placement of advertising and sponsors on these content and editorial driven platforms. Though creating a sense of community is paramount to all of these websites, there is the issue of introducing advertising and how that affects the viewer and community. Is it no longer a safe and open forum? Pratt explains that though she is hoping to provide an outlet for women, it is also a business, and that must also take focus. Rossi agreed that there ultimately is a need for advertisements because there needs to be monetization for success. What seemed to be true of all of these websites is that honestly is important. Full disclosure to their users about the incorporation of advertising is what keeps that sense of open community.
One of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time. Ladies and gentlemen, The Raveonettes at the Music Hall of Williamsburg.
For our next office episode we decided to do it in the style of your favourite director and mine, Wes Anderson! Its been a blast making it so I can’t wait till everybody gets to see it.
Here some jams to get your weekend started! With two new pickers in our New York office Shaheed, and Luke.
So I have been in New York for a week now and I think I have added at least 5 years to my knees and joints from the amount of walking I have done and probably 3 years closer to a coronary bi-pass from all the great food I have eaten. We set up a new apartment, a new studio, new furniture (Ikea you are great but I don’t want to go near you for a really long time), new friends, and a brand new attitude! (if you thought it was bad before, wait till you see me now)
Here are some pictures “oout and aboot” New York.
Thom from our Winnipeg studio recently visited our New York office. He saw some sights and took some photos. These are a few of his favorite things:
For many many more go see Thom’s Flickr.
While Ed was in New York he had the chance to see The September Issue; a documentary by R. J. Cutler about the hectic and very private life of Anna Wintour, the legendary editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine. What is remarkable about this film is that Cutler was granted unprecedented access to Wintour’s world including a behind the scenes look at Fashion Week, photo shoots, exclusive closed-door staff meetings and (perhaps most notable) the two-decade relationship between Wintour and Grace Coddington, the infamous Creative Director and fashion genius behind Vogue magazine. Read more about the film here.
Ed is such a huge fan that after seeing it for himself he encouraged some friends to go see it too. With a very casual interest (mainly stemming from Ed’s excitement) they went to the Clearview Theatre in Chelsea where The September Issue was playing. When it was all over and the lights came back on, who should walk up to the front but Grace Coddington and director R. J. Cutler. It was time for a question and answer period – a rare treat that, unfortunately, Ed had missed out on.
Luckily, his friend Mark Paulson managed to capture the entire interview for Ed (and now the world!) on his iPhone. Be forewarned: the clapping is much louder than the talking.