Tagged: New York

It Sounds Obvious, but to Be Trusted, Brands Must Be Honest

After the nastiest, most mean-spirited presidential campaign in modern history resulted in a new presidency that will be markedly different from the last eight years, many questions remain about whether the divided country can overcome its deep lack of trust in our government, the media, and many institutions.

Margo Chase

At the opening of the 115th Congress, Speaker Paul Ryan tried to send a message of optimism and called for a fresh start, but will the country will embrace that tone, given the rhetoric that preceded it?

What important lessons can brands and companies learn from these scenarios as they look to become beacons of inspiration, authenticity and trust? To earn trust, brands must create an emotional relationship with their customers through actions that inspire them and align with their values. Brands that forge strong relationships and build trust with their customers earn their loyalty for life.

Brands that engender trust have three attributes:

Honesty beyond reproach 
Trustworthy brands are honest and transparent. They don't lie about who they are, what they are made of or how they manufacture. Transparency about their products and their values is what defines them. According to the 2016 Food Revolution Study, 94 percent of consumers say transparency is important to their purchase decisions.

Fast-casual dining chain Panera Bread took this principle to heart. In May 2015, the company made a promise to stop using artificial ingredients by the end of 2016 and launched a "Food as It Should Be" marketing campaign and "transparent" menus that list calories, ingredients and nutritional information for every item.

Southwest Airlines is also using honesty as a differentiator. The airline's latest campaign headline, "Low fares. Nothing to hide. That's Transfarency," makes its position clear. For Southwest, "Transfarency" is a company-wide philosophy that inspires trust in customers because it's consistent with its brand position as a low-fare airline. When they say, "We're all about being open and honest with our customers," we believe them.

In contrast, Jessica Alba's The Honest Company is currently battling lawsuits claiming that the ingredients it uses in its products contain harmful chemicals. When a brand takes a stand for honesty, customers expect the company to deliver on that promise. Failure is seen as more than a simple mistake, it's a betrayal of trust.

Got your back
Trustworthy brands have their customers' best interests at heart and will take a stand to protect their employees and consumers even under extreme pressure. Following the publicized rise in bullying in schools, the Secret brand launched a campaign called "Mean Stinks" to encourage and empower girls to counter bullying by being nice. Secret's outreach programs position the brand as supportive and trustworthy in the minds of young girls who will be brand loyal as they grow up.

When Apple opted not to give the FBI the tools to unlock its phones, customers could be confident that their personal privacy and security were protected. Compare that behavior to Verizon, which freely turned over millions of phone records to the NSA and then agreed not to tell anyone. 

Own Your Errors
Trustworthy brands admit mistakes and work to repair the damage. How a brand responds when faced with a problem is critical. Chipotle's E. coli outbreak could have put the popular restaurant chain out of business. Instead, the brand took steps to close locations, institute new food safety measures and consistently communicate to the public. The chain took a big hit and continues to struggle against negative public perception, but a quick response positioned the fast-casual food chain as trustworthy to its loyal customers—a position that will pay off in the future.

Today, Nike is the undisputed leader of athletic brands in the U.S. But things weren't always so rosy. Two decades ago, reports about abusive labor practices caused customers to boycott the brand in droves. In the face of the rising sweatshop scandal, Nike's CEO Phil Knight took steps to aggressively and publicly make changes within the company. Nike admitted that it wasn't perfect and the admission lent it credibility with consumers, helping turn public sentiment in a positive direction.

Trust is not something that can be obtained instantly. Trust must be built gradually through consistent performance over time. Brands that are honest and transparent, brands that stand up and protect their customers and brands that respond quickly to admit and repair their mistakes earn the trust of their customers. They are consistent, reliable and deliver on their promises. Over time, these brands can become beacons of inspiration, authenticity and trust. Something we all long for in the aftermath of this contentious election.

Margo Chase is the founder and executive creative director of Chase Design Group, a creative agency with offices in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.

 

Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.

Medium Just Laid Off 50 Employees and Shut Down Offices in New York and D.C.

Medium founder and CEO Ev Williams disclosed today in a blog post that his four-and-a-half-year-old company is eliminating 50 jobs and shutting down offices in New York and Washington, D.C. In a philosophical letter to the public, he recounted how his team's ultimate goals had gotten off course thanks to the common monetization model known as advertising. 

"We set out to build a better publishing platform — one that allowed anyone to offer their stories and ideas to the world and that helped the great ones rise to the top," Williams wrote. "In 2016, we made big investments in teams and technology aimed at attracting and migrating commercial publishers to Medium. And in order to get these publishers paid, we built out and started selling our first ad products. This strategy worked in terms of driving growth, as well as improving the volume and consistency of great content."

He said that 2016 was his company's best year in terms of key metrics. For instance, published posts jumped roughly 300 percent year over year, and monthly visitors reportedly reached 60 million in December, representing a 140 percent year-over-year increase.

"We also saw interest from many big brands and promising results from several content marketing campaigns on the platform," Williams continued. "However, in building out this model, we realized we didn't yet have the right solution to the big question of driving payment for quality content. We had started scaling up the teams to sell and support products that were, at best, incremental improvements on the ad-driven publishing model, not the transformative model we were aiming for."

The 44-year-old entrepreneur—who co-founded Twitter in 2007—admitted that the change of plans was still in fluid form as to how Medium would generate revenue going forward while also bucking digital publishing business norms. Check out the entire post here

Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.

Branding for RŪH by Leta Sobierajski“RŪH Collective is a…

Branding for RŪH by Leta Sobierajski

“RŪH Collective is a London-based fashion brand founded by entrepreneurs and creatives from New York, London, and Istanbul. RŪH’s clothing is for women whose love of modesty is anything but quiet. Heavy in illustration and color, RŪH’s identity is defined by the geometric shapes which are built upon the same grid as the typographic identity. The geometry is reminiscent of old block art involving nature and sun, and finished off with a crisp copper foil.”

Leta Sobierajski is a multidisciplinary designer and art director based in New York City combining photography, art, and styling with more traditional design elements to create utterly unique visuals. Her work is incredibly diverse, ranging from conventional identities to brilliantly bizarre compositions. She studied graphic design at Purchase College and has been working independently since 2013. 

Article originally appeared on The Design Blog: Link.

Announced: 2017 Brand New Conference: City Change ICYMI

From previous mentions here and on Twitter/Instagram you might have been aware that the 2017 Brand New Conference was planned to take place in New York but due to previously unscheduled construction at the New York venue we were forced to look for another one….

Article originally appeared on Brand New: Link.

This App Designer Is Trying to Start a Latin-American Sugar Craze in New York

Sam von Hardenburgh spends her days making mobile apps as an experience designer for the digital agency Kettle. But her nights and weekends are spent working on a pretty sweet side project.

Sam von Hardenburgh (r.) and Said Fayad

Von Hardenburgh is the co-founder of Obelo, a New York-based company that sources raw, pure-cane sugar called panela from Latin America. The idea came from her interest in organic products, and her partner, Said Fayad's, desire to share the unique flavors of his native Colombia. Fayad is also a creative, having worked at various agencies as an art director and consultant for brands like Cadillac, Spotify and Visa.

"We went into business together because we wanted to apply our combined experience, from advertising and product design, to something personal and see what we could build together," von Hardenburgh said.

The company's signature product, panela, has a molasses flavor with caramel notes and is often used in coffee. Due to minimal processing, it retains most of its vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and also has a lower glycemic index than other sugars.

Von Hardenburgh had her first taste on a trip to Columbia.

"It's important for us to step out of our world here in New York to find new stuff that inspires us," she said.

When she returned to New York, it was almost impossible to find panela that came close to the product she had on her trip. That's when she and Fayad started thinking about forming their own company.

"I had a little bit of experience in food from working in bars and restaurants while in college," she said. "But Obelo has been a significant learning experience as we are learning about how food systems work and the role that products, specifically panela, play."

Panela retains most of its vitamins and has a lower glycemic index than other sugars.

Day job helps side job

The two are focusing on growing locally, getting the product on more shelves and in front of chefs and mixologists who are looking for a new ingredient with a story and flavor to add to their menus. So far, they're selling to small markets in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Boston. They plan to expand their online shop to include additional products they find on their travels.

"I work on Obelo similarly to how I work on digital products. It's iterative and constantly evolving," von Hardenburgh said. "We built a brand that started with panela. It's already evolved in small ways, like the design of the back label, and in larger ways, like how we tell our story on Instagram and the new products we've added. It's really exciting to build our own brand and apply our experiences from our day jobs in fun ways."

Von Hardenburgh and Fayad's experience with branded content and social media has been integral to telling their own brand story. The pair generates almost all of their own content. Last summer they created a short playlist of tropical tunes to celebrate the magic of summer in New York while drawing from the sounds and experiences of traveling Latin America.

Von Hardenburgh's Kettle co-workers have been supportive, sampling her product and offering words of support along the way. But she admits that while support from friends and family is important, it's necessary to also get feedback from people you don't know.

"Friends and your mom are going to tell you it's amazing, because it probably is. But you really want feedback from people who don't know you or what your product is. They will be super honest," she said. "Really listen to their questions and feedback because it'll show where your brand story or messaging isn't clear. Just like in product design where you see drop-off, it's an opportunity to tweak it and make it more engaging."

She encourages others thinking about taking on a side project to ask why they want to start a business and to be really honest about the answer.

"I try to be super efficient at my day job so that I have time and energy to be productive on weekends and work on Obelo," she said. "It takes a lot of hard work and grit to build something on your own, even with a partner. You have to have a lot of patience and passion to make it happen."

 

A photo posted by OBELO (@obelo.nyc) on

Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.

Q&A: Deutsch’s Kim Getty on Los Angeles’ Growth, Creative Community and Earthquakes

In recent years, a growing number of agencies have been establishing themselves in Los Angeles. But that's not the case for Deutsch, which planted the flag in 1995 and, as a result, has been benefiting from the wealth of talent that the city's entertainment industry offers. Since joining the shop in 2003 from San Francisco-based Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners and ascending to president in January 2015, lifelong West Coaster Kim Getty has played an integral role in growing the agency into a creative powerhouse, counting Taco Bell, Sprint and Volkswagen as clients. In the last few months the agency has landed a few of the well-known tech giants that are based in the area, including Pandora and reportedly Uber. Getty spoke with Adweek about the move to blend Deutsch's L.A. and New York offices, working with tech giants and the growth of the L.A.-based agency business.

Adweek: Why did Deutsch remove the distinction between the Los Angeles and New York offices?
Kim Getty: Ultimately the ability to tap into each other's skill sets and talent, we're stronger together was essentially the perspective. We're going to continue to become more closely connected.

As you bring these two offices closer together, do their respective cultures mesh well?
It's easy to think about the classic New York versus Los Angeles differences and maybe there are stereotypes to some degree. New York is known for having more of an intensity; L.A. has just as much hustle, just as much energy, but we can walk around barefoot if we want and I don't know if I could do that in the New York office practically or sartorially. We both bring our individual spirit. The thing that the West Coast has always had is that pioneering, innovating, inventing new firsts, entrepreneurial, sort of roll-your-sleeves-up attitude and that's a huge driver of how we think and operate here.

That seems to be getting the attention of quite a few tech clients like reportedly Uber, and Pandora, too.
We have started relationships with four digitally born businesses in the last three months. It's premature for us to be disclosing them. Certainly soon we'll be able to do that as work goes out into the market, but they really cover the true gamut of service offerings on the internet.

In the past, these companies have used their services to sell the apps. Why are they now more interested in traditional marketing?
A lot of these relatively new digitally born businesses are still at the early stages of their growth curve. Part of what we're doing is looking to expand that user base and broaden the understanding of who they are and what they have to offer. Another important piece of it is that being a service is really important, but consumers are paying increased attention to who a brand is, not simply what the product or service might offer. They want to understand what the brands' values are and who they are doing business with and so that plays an important role in us defining how these brands can play a role in a consumer's life and provide more meaningful depth there.

Why are these clients specifically drawn to the L.A. office?
When you look at Los Angeles, it's home to a true 360 creative community; influencers, production companies, entertainment companies, multichannel networks, new tech companies and a robust ad industry. All of these things mixed up together creates a cocktail of creativity that's really exciting to brands, particularly new brands that are looking for what's next and that are unencumbered by legacy systems or relationships, and they're looking to see what is the leading edge of connecting with consumers. I think there's not a better market in the country or in the world for doing that than Los Angeles.

What's the status with Deutsch's in-house production work?
We've been doing in-house production for years. The appetite for doing that on the part of our clients has grown as we've continued to invest in that resource. The capability has outgrown the space that we have here, which is why we're launching [our production company] Steelhead next year so we can further grow that capability.

We can't talk about East Coast versus West Coast without talking about the growth of L.A. agencies.
Deutsch has been here for [21] years. We were one of the first anchor tenants, if you will, and so for us to see now so many agencies coming to Silicon Beach, it is thrilling because it creates more community and more connections. In the late '90s when a variety of East Coast agencies were setting up shop in San Francisco, Deutsch chose to set up shop in L.A. They saw the white space here, they saw that there wasn't a major advertising presence here, and there's been a commitment on Deutsch's part to the Los Angeles market.

So, as a SoCal native, how seriously do you take earthquake preparedness?
There was a moment, this is going a few years back, when we had a fairly substantial earthquake, and I hustled outside. I avoided power lines. I had my phone with me. I was ready to go, and I was expecting 500 people to go hustling out of the building after me. I looked around at our parking lot, and it was me and two others. So I don't know if we've done a great job communicating the earthquake plan to everybody, but we will.

This story first appeared in the October 10, 2016 issue of Adweek magazine.
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Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.

Mother Snags Ogilvy & Mather Chief to Lead Its Creative Department in New York

Corinna Falusi will leave her position as chief creative officer at Ogilvy & Mather New York to take on the same role at the Manhattan offices of independent agency Mother, effective Dec. 1.

Falusi spent the past four and a half years with the Ogilvy organization, where she ran creative on the the Coke Zero, Coca-Cola, Ikea, Tiffany and Amex Open accounts. After joining the WPP shop as a senior partner and executive creative director in 2012, Falusi was promoted to creative chief last January after her predecessor Calle Sjöenell left to return to his native Sweden and run creative for Lowe Brindfors.

"We feel Corinna belongs here at Mother," said founding partner and creative chairman Paul Malmstrom in a statement. "She has a magical mix of talent, ambition, and soulfulness. With her, we'll continue to bring even greater expressions of creativity to our clients."

Chief executive and partner Peter Ravailhe cited Falusi's "wonderful energy" in explaining the hire, adding, "With her relentless pursuit of excellence, in craft and creativity, Corinna will add incredible value to the brands we love to work with, and to Mother as a whole."

An Ogilvy spokesperson declined to comment on Falusi's pending departure, which was announced in an internal all-staff memo last week. But a source close to the agency said Ogilvy is currently searching for a replacement CCO and that the shop is considering both internal and external candidates.

In the memo, Ogilvy & Mather North America chief creative officer Steve Simpson wrote: "We can feel sad about this—nobody who worked with her can help it—but the most important thing to do is thank her: for her work, her mentorship and her partnership, which she gave to us fully for over four years, every single day."

Falusi, a German native, began her agency career as an art director at Hamburg's Jung Von Matt and later spent nearly a decade at StrawberryFrog in Amsterdam and New York, working on such accounts as P&G, Heineken, Coca Cola, Panasonic and New Balance before joining Ogilvy.

She was included in this year's Adweek Creative 100 thanks in part to her work on Coke Zero's "drinkable advertising" effort and a Philips Norelco campaign in which stylist Mark Bustos gave free haircuts to the homeless.

Mother New York's clients currently include Target, Baileys, JW Marriott, Microsoft and Tanqueray, among others. Earlier this year, the agency won media attention for a New York out-of-home Mother's Day campaign designed to honor all moms with highly visible billboards and some particularly creative examples of "ambient advertising" such as a sign placed near popular dog-walking spots that read, "I picked up yours, you pick up theirs." 

Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.

Funny Business: What Standup Comedy Taught Me About Pitching Work to Clients

We've all been there. Walking out of a client meeting with a sick feeling in your stomach. Seething silently as you try to figure out how the client didn't see the brilliance of the idea that seemed so obviously perfect to you and your team. Throwing all the blame for the dead campaign squarely at the client's feet, and heading to the bar to drown your sorrows.

Meanwhile, across town, a young standup comedian is on stage at an open mic. She's been rehearsing for weeks on a new joke she's sure is great. And yet, she hasn't yet gotten the laugh she expected from it. She's tried delivering it with different facial expressions, inflections, gestures, attitudes and still no laughs. But finally, today, she adds a slight raise of the eyebrow, a slight roll of the tongue, and rips into the punch line with a newfound sense of gusto. The audience explodes with laughter.

I, myself, started doing standup comedy a little over a year ago. I'm no expert. But if there's one thing I've learned, it's that the more you rehearse and experiment with a joke, the better the reaction you're going to get. This realization has forced me to confront some hard truths about the way I present my advertising ideas. I've realized that many of us have been shooting ourselves in the foot for years by putting way too much emphasis on our presentation decks and leave-behinds, and way too little emphasis on how we actually communicate our ideas as human beings.

So, what ideas can we take from the world of standup comedy and apply to pitching our work?

Delivery Is Everything
Try something. Go pick out one of your favorite standup comedy bits. One that's just so hilariously insightful and perfectly attuned to the cultural zeitgeist that you're sure no one could deny that it's genius. Now, transcribe it. Write down every phrase, every "umm," every pause. Now record yourself reading it out loud. How did it sound? Was it funny? Was it even good? Some of it will be, and some of it won't.

The truth is, some of the best comedy bits aren't much on paper. They're great because of the skill and practice and personality that went into presenting them. Imagine Lewis Black's material read without his seething rage. Imagine Amy Schumer's latest standup special if your next-door neighbor did it.

Now imagine Dave Chappelle reading the ingredient list of a frozen pizza. Or Wanda Sykes reading from a legal textbook. I'm laughing right now just thinking about it.

Delivery matters. The most famous creative directors I've encountered over my career have all been masterful and charismatic presenters. These guys all know that we cannot expect our clients to understand how compelling and entertaining our ideas are just from a bland and half-hearted reading of a script. Like it or not, we have to be great performers to sell great work.

Practice Makes Perfect
I used to make a point to NOT practice my presentations too much. I wanted to seem natural, honest and authentic, not like some canned salesman spouting off talking points. I wanted the clients to sense my true belief in the ideas I was showing.

I took the same approach when I first started doing standup comedy. But then I saw myself on tape. I was horrified. My thoughts weren't expressed clearly. There was too much gobbledygook between the important bits. The paragraph that on my screen seemed ready for publication in The New Yorker felt way too long and wordy for presenting as spoken word.

Then there was the most horrifying bit: "Ummm" "Uhhhh" "And…" "So, uhhh," "You know," "like." They were all over my first performances. And they just suck the air out of any room. They don't make you sound natural; they make you sound like you didn't care enough to rehearse. They distract from the idea. Now this might seem obvious, but I personally shudder to think about how many of these have been in my presentations over the years.

Serious comics who truly want to make a career of it usually hit the stage 25-30 times a week. They're doing the same material, saying the same words, over and over. Little by little, they hone their delivery. They get better and better. I've had the privilege of watching one particular comic, Craig Fox, go from slightly awkward and nervous on stage when I first met him a year ago, to absolutely confident and hilarious today. How? By experimenting with his delivery, developing his persona, and most of all, repetition and practice, 25-30 shows a week. It works.

It's Not the Audience, It's You
Every once in a while, I'll watch a comic bomb, and then blame the audience. It's horrible to see. And it's generally clear to everyone in the room that it's not the audience's fault, it's the comic's fault. The audience didn't show up hoping to see someone they didn't laugh at.

And yet, as ad guys, we blame our audience constantly. We rarely look in the mirror and evaluate how we presented our ideas. I'd bet if we were watching our presentations from the outside, we'd shift a heaping helping of that blame back onto ourselves. Now that's not to say there aren't terrible clients who just aren't interested in great work. There are. But blaming the clients for not understanding never leads to better results in the future. Working to present our work in the most compelling way possible does.

Clients Are the Toughest Audience There Is
When I tell people that I've started doing standup comedy, their first reaction is usually something like, "Oh, that seems so scary." "I admire your guts for doing that." Well, thanks. It can be scary, because you never know what reaction you're going to get from an audience.

But if you compare standup comedy to presenting in front of a group of clients, the client presentation is by far the scarier and more difficult proposition. First of all, a comedy audience wants you to be great. They are there to laugh. They've got a few drinks in them. They're there to have a good time.

Your client is not out for a night of fun. Their job is on the line. They've been in boring meetings all day. Their boss is in the room. They're frightened of what you might say. Because the more you've done your job of being innovative and groundbreaking, the more they feel their security threatened. If your work does well, you and your agency get the credit. If your work does poorly, they get the blame from their stockholders, supervisors, etc.

Based on that, I'd say presenting work to a client is far scarier than joking about one's genitalia to a room full of drunken strangers, and requires at least as much presentation skill.

Be Ready for Anything, and Plow Through With Confidence
I once started talking to an audience member from the stage, only to have him pass out mid-sentence. I once had a waitress drop an entire tray of full beers onto the front row in the middle of my punch line. And I once had the CMO of a Fortune 500 company start snoring loudly in the middle of my pitch presentation.

None of these things can be controlled. What I can control is how I react to it. Any comedian will tell you the best possible course is to stick to your guns and keep moving forward with confidence, no matter what. There's nothing more uncomfortable that watching a nervous comic (except maybe being that nervous comic). And I'm betting it's pretty damn uncomfortable to be in the client's chair watching a nervous creative timidly read through a script.

OK, Craig, if you're so smart, what do you suggest we do about it?

I'm so glad you asked. I have two main suggestions.

1. Take a standup comedy class.
Trust me, it will entirely change your perspective on presenting the first time you get up there. Once you've stood naked with a microphone and stared into the abyss of a crowd of people waiting for you to make them laugh, client presentations will seem a heck of a lot easier. There's nothing quite like just getting up and doing it, and that's what most standup comedy classes are, just getting up in front of your classmates with a mic and going for it, then getting quick feedback on how you did. Improv classes are great, too. But to me, preparing and performing a standup routine is much more relevant to what we are asked to do as advertising presenters. For those in New York City, I highly recommend Rick Crom's classes at Comedy Cellar.

2. Stop obsessing over decks. Start obsessing over your presentation.
How many times have you pulled an all-nighter before a pitch, poring over every single word choice in a long PowerPoint deck, only to barely rehearse your presentation. Well, guess what? It's a PowerPoint deck. It's going to be boring no matter what you do. So instead, concentrate on rehearsing. Get some sleep the night before, so you can present with gusto and excitement. Your client will feel the difference.

None of this is revolutionary stuff. We all know it intrinsically. But unlike working comics who perform several nights a week and get constant feedback on how they're doing, we only have a live audience of clients once in a while. So, next time you've got a big meeting coming up and are poring over your deck to the detriment of your performance in the room, ask yourself, "What would Joan Rivers be doing?"

Or you can always drown your sorrows after the meeting at a local comedy club.

—Craig Miller is a freelance creative director/copywriter, director and amateur standup comedian. He's currently based in Brooklyn after stints as a creative director at Arnold Boston, VCCP London and CP+B Boulder, where he worked on Domino's "Pizza Turnaround" campaign among many others. You can catch him this Thursday (Sept. 22) at the Maelstrom of Comedy show at The The Village Lantern in New York.

Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.

Q&A: Veteran UFC Marketer on Bringing Her A-Game to Canada Goose as Its New CMO

Some people's idea of adventure is making a bold career move. Others like to plunge into the rugged outdoors. Jackie Poriadjian-Asch has done both.

CMO Jackie Poriadjian-Asch

Last month, after 15 years with Ultimate Fighting Championship (the bloody dynasty of mixed-martial arts), Poriadjian-Asch took the CMO's job at Canada Goose, the 59-year-old company famed for its costly (and lately quite trendy) down-filled coats. For Poriadjian-Asch, the new job means not just a move from Las Vegas to Toronto, but a plunge into the world of rugged, outdoor fashion. Though just weeks into her tenure, Poriadjian-Asch is already working on the brand's fall/winter campaign (debuting today), the launch of new retail locations, and a couple projects with some Canadian dude named Drake. Adweek caught up with Poriadjian-Asch on a recent stopover in New York.

Adweek: You're getting ready to unveil your new fall/winter campaign, "In the Elements." What's the story behind that?
Jackie Poriadjian-Asch: The inspiration behind it was this idea of being at one with the elements and not feeling like you're fighting with them. So whatever Mother Nature throws at you, with Canada Goose, you'll be able to handle it.

And the ads feature Crista Cober and Travis Fimmel—striking faces, but not superstar ones. Why'd you pick them?
Not only is Cober an international beauty, but she's Canadian, and she's comfortable in the outdoors. She Instagrams herself hiking with her newborn. Fimmel was a Calvin Klein model years ago. It was really important that we captured him raw and masculine, which is who he is, and it worked perfectly with our intentions for the campaign.

The landscapes are stunning and—just guessing here—they're in Canada?
The campaign was shot in Newfoundland. Using rarely seen locations in Canada is important to us as a brand. We could have gone anywhere in the world, but we're looking to showcase rare beauties that are only found on our soil in a way that's ownable to us.
 

What about customers whose idea of the outdoors is crossing Fifth Avenue?
We know we're as applicable in the Arctic as we are in the streets of New York, so you're going to see great in-studio photography that captures more of the urban lifestyle.

Speaking of that, Canada Goose is also building stores—one in Toronto and a second in New York's SoHo, both opening this fall. Now, a home-turf store I can see. But why come to New York so quickly?
New York is really our home away from home. It's probably our second-biggest market. This probably won't be our last store in New York, hopefully.

What'll the stores have that customers can't already find in your retail partners like Barneys and Saks?
We want to be able to carve out our own space, to do all the brand storytelling, to show customers what our lineage—like the Expedition and Constable parkas—looks like, to show them pieces from our archive.

 

So you'll display some of your historic clothing?
Not only will we have them on display, but some of the pieces will be available for sale. So if there's a coveted piece from 20 years ago that you can't get your hands on anywhere else, this could be a way to take one home.

Actual vintage pieces? Where do you find that stuff?
We have a pretty deep archive. We're very lucky.

In August, you guys did a limited-edition jacket with Jose Bautista that sold out in, uh …
In 24 hours. Jose is true and authentic, and obviously he's on the Toronto Blue Jays. He had a crazy year last year.

He's not a bad-looking guy to put in a jacket, either. Do you plan to do more celeb collaborations like that?
Yes. We have a great relationship with Drake, another Torontonian—obviously, with a huge brand of his own. We've done several collaborations with Drake's brand OVO. And we have some things we're working on with him in the pipeline. He's a friend of the brand.

Well, now you're a Torontonian yourself. Have you been able to take anything you learned at UFC and apply it at Canada Goose?
When I changed industries, I wanted to get this new experience and challenge myself in new ways. And I think Canada Goose is just as dynamic, as ambitious, moving just as quickly, and with global aspirations.

This story first appeared in the September 19, 2016 issue of Adweek magazine.
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Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.