Archive for 2018

IBM Social Influencer Fantasy Football League

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IBM Watson Fantasy Football League


As part of diversifying their sponsorship portfolio, IBM incorporated the use of their AI (IBM Watson) into the ESPN Fantasy Football platform during the last 7 weeks of the 2017 NFL season (available on desktop only). In 2018, the millions of fantasy players on ESPN platforms now have the ability to make smarter decisions when setting their lineups with Watson (now in the ESPN Fantasy app). From providing player boom or bust potentials to scouring millions of fantasy football articles every week to better inform fantasy players, Watson is making it easier than ever to make informed decisions, all in one place. You can find more information when clicking on a player and reviewing their “IBM Insights.”

To bring IBM’s AI solutions to life, they developed a social influencer Fantasy Football league. The league is comprised of former NFL players, Fantasy sports enthusiasts, and renowned ESPN talent to ensure we reach a broad, yet targeted, audience on social. Over the course of the four-month season, the influencers have engaged with each other in competition, the IBM Watson tool integrated within the ESPN platforms, and their audiences in order to educate their social communities on IBM’s AI solution capabilities. By seasons end, the influencers will have shared over 250 social media posts, with multiple appearances, production shoots and several PR initiatives. Below is a list of other notable information and links.


Notable Social Posts:

  1. League Launch Post from IBM Sports
  2. Charles Woodson Post
  3. Jerry Ferrara Post
  4. Field Yates and Daniel Dopp (ESPN)
  5. Bonnie Bernstein and John Urschel
  6. Field Yates and IBM Watson Tool
  7. Stephania Bell
  8. Matt Ryan (not part of league, but has additional social posts stemming from deal at Masters, that MKTG led)


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December 4th, 2018 at 12:04 pm

Levi’s Santa Monica Store Re-Opening with Snoop Dogg

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To celebrate the newly remodeled Levi’s Santa Monica store, Levi’s asked MKTG to produce a grand reopening party.

Press and influencers were invited to enjoy an open bar, DJ set by Snoop Dogg, and photo booth. Guests were then able to test out the newly added Tailor Shop by customizing a t-shirt featuring designs highlighting Snoop’s 25th anniversary of Doggy Style.

Levi’s also partnered with Rock the Vote and Head Count to encourage one final voting push before Election Day.


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December 3rd, 2018 at 4:30 pm

Nissan Heisman House Tour Rolls on for 12th Season

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For the 12th straight season, Nissan is partnering with ESPN to bring the Heisman House tour to life, much to the delight of college football fans. Perhaps you’ve seen the ESPN commercials, featuring former Heisman greats such as Charles Woodson or Herschel Walker living it up in a fictional fraternity-esque “Heisman House”. This year, the tour continues on covering 10 different schools during the fall, including the likes of Notre Dame, LSU, Ohio State and more.

At each tour stop, Nissan and ESPN invite fans to “Get to know the Heisman Trophy Winners” during a pre-game experience that celebrates college football’s most outstanding players. Fans can take a 360-degree, on-the-field picture with the Heisman Trophy, “Catch a Virtual Ride with the Heisman Winners” in the all-new Nissan Rouge SL, and vote for the winner of the 2018 Heisman Memorial Trophy. All fans participating in these activities are able to walk away with Heisman-branded shirts and posters in their school’s colors.

On top of all this, the Tour draws a huge crowd with its talent stage, which features former Heisman winners and legends from each school. Each tour stop features an ESPN host who conducts a chalk talk with the legends before an autograph signing session. This year, ESPN’s Ryen Russillo and Neil Everett have hosted the likes of Barry Sanders, Ricky Williams, and George Rogers, much to the delight of the local crowd.

Nissan continues to make headway in the college football space with its powerful combination of experiential marketing backing up a traditional advertising concept. Drawing up to 1,800 visitors per stop, the tour allows consumers to learn about the latest Nissan vehicles and features, while enjoying exclusive opportunities to meet their football heroes.

For more details and full tour schedule, be sure to check out the Heisman House site!



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November 1st, 2018 at 10:40 am


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Biofreeze patch on the Portland Trail Blazers uniform. Bruce Ely / Trail Blazers

Warmest congratulations are in order for our client Biofreeze!

Last week, The Portland Trail Blazers announced a multi-year partnership agreement with Performance Health which includes the team’s first-ever jersey patch, a growing trend with world-class corporations and the NBA.

Beginning with the upcoming 2018-19 season, Performance Health’s Biofreeze brand logo will find a new home on all editions of the Trail Blazers game jerseys and other equipment.

The jersey patch is part of a comprehensive partnership program designed to strengthen the team’s performance on the court and positively impact the Portland community.

MKTG was thrilled to create and manage this fun execution throughout Portland in the lead up to the announcement. Take a look…

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September 26th, 2018 at 11:53 am


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MKTG Charlotte’s Emily Spiegel, a member of the Route 500 leadership development program, was also chosen to participate in Route to Good, where each participant is paired with someone else from within DAN and then paired with an NGB who is part of Global Giving. Emily and Brooke Bowhay, from Carat LA, were paired with PSYDEH, which empowers indigenous women in rural Mexico.

Emily Spiegel from MKTG And Brooke Bowhay from Carat Visiting PSYDEH in Mexico

The first assignment was to complete a field visit – to meet with the NGO in person and see firsthand the work they are doing. From there it is up to each team to determine a ‘project’ to work with the partner on to assist them in some way. The goal is to find an area where they need help and where DAN, and the individual participants, are uniquely suited to assist. Check out THIS great article and video recapping their visit that PSYDEH put together and please consider donating to this great cause here!!

Emily and Brooke determined that DAN could help PSYDEH in a number of ways:

-Audit of their external communication tools/channels (social media, website, annual report, etc.

-Identification of a target donor base in the US (an area they have never focused fundraising efforts in the past)

-Pilot campaign to raise at least $5,000 from US donors

The final part is a Global Giving campaign they’re in the process of launching, found HERE.  It explains a lot more about the work that PSYDEH does and the impact it has.

Thanks to Emily and Brooke, DAN has really stepped up to the plate to help in a number of ways including:

-Pro bono media donation from Carat vendor partners

-Pro bono social audit from Carat vendor partner

-Creative and video assets developed by MKTG

-Keith Stoeckler, Elliot Gerard and Tiffany Santora developed the creative and video assets – see below. THANKS guys!

Stay tuned for the final Update from Emily soon and hats off to Emily for your incredible dedication!


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September 24th, 2018 at 4:12 pm

MKTG and FETCH pull out all the stops for MAGRITTE in SF

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MKTG San Francisco partnered with our sister agency, Fetch, to add an experiential activation to their promotion of the current Rene Magritte exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). Historically, SFMOMA sees high traffic for featured exhibits in the first and last months, with a slight dip during the middle months. After much back and forth, we landed on a Pedicab activation in which MKTG was in charge of sourcing pedicabs to offer free rides from popular SF destinations (think Ferry Building and Union Square) to the museum.

MKTG worked with Fetch to create graphic wraps for the Pedicabs and built photo frame and graphic backdrop extensions to help the cabs stick out amongst the many others around the city. Along the ride, drivers were dressed in uniforms depicting the popular Son of Man painting, provided trivia information to the riders, and offered “Golden Tickets” for a free ticket into the SFMOMA if they posted on a social media platform using the exhibit hashtag.

Riders (or in some cases, their dogs) could wear a bowler hat prop with an apple adhered (based on the Son of Manpainting), to add a little flare to the photos. The cabs were out offering rides for eight total days throughout September, highlighting weekends and the Labor Day holiday. While Fetch was in charge of the graphic designs and communication with the SFMOMA team, MKTG sourced the pedicabs, drivers, and props – while leading logistics, route planning, and working with our fabrication team to build the extensions onto the pedicabs. We have seen great feedback on social media and have had countless people ask drivers about the activation. If you are in SF, make sure to check out the Magritte Exhibit by October 28th!

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September 21st, 2018 at 12:41 pm

Football Gameplan’s Emory Hunt Visits MKTG NYC

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On Wednesday, September 19th, MKTG was thrilled to welcome Emory Hunt of Football Gameplan at our NYC office.

Emory shared his story of entrepreneurship with employees, taking us from his days growing up in New Orleans to ultimately finding his place in New York City.

He shared with us the experience of losing both of his brothers, being displaced by Hurricane Katrina and learning how to navigate through the culture shock of the North East.

Brought here by continued success in a job that did not personally fulfil him, Emory set out to follow his passion and in the early 2000’s founded Football Gameplan. His team provides analysis on every football league in existence across the world. With the coverage of every league on every continent, Football Gameplan’s coverage reaches over 190 countries.  Check it out yourself at

Thanks for the visit Emory!

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September 21st, 2018 at 12:29 pm

AdAge features MKTG in Important Article

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Over the summer, it came to our attention that unauthorized parties illegally used our brand name, and the names of our employees, to falsely advertise and recruit for fictitious jobs that are not associated with MKTG, and do not exist.

We have taken immediate steps to help remove any fraudulent job postings that were brought to our attention, and are working with internet job boards to help prevent this from happening again. In addition, we reported this matter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC). For more information on how to identify job scams please visit the FTC’s website

Please be aware that any communications relating to MKTG job interviews or our recruitment process will come from an @mktg.comemail address or from our partners at Gighire. We do not use any other service to handle our active recruiting process.

Many thanks to our friends at AdAge who worked with us to shine a light on this craziness. Please read below the article directly from Thanks


Ed Raldiris, an Atlanta-based creative director, was hunting for a job in early June when he got a promising lead for a gig at IPG-owned PR firm Weber Shandwick.

Radiris got an email claiming to be from the company — saying it was regarding a position listed on ZipRecruiter, a job site, for a work-from-home graphic designer position.


But alarm bells started to go off for Raldiris when the company asked to set up an interview via Google Hangouts — on chat. When he started the interview, he noticed the interviewer didn’t have the best command of English. The grammar was off, and the questioner never once asked to see his portfolio.

In less than an hour, he had a job offer. “Due to your level of experience and your working skills, the company has decided to hire you as one of our staff,” the interviewer wrote via chat. “You are now a staff of Weber shand wick. (sic) and we hope to see the best in you.”

Now the alarm bells began shrieking. He asked to speak to someone from the agency via phone, but never received a call. When he spotted a LinkedIn post from Weber Shandwick that warned job seekers of the scam — saying scammers had fraudulently used the agency’s name and names of some of its employees to solicit applications for fake jobs, conduct fake interviews and make fake offers — he fired off a response recounting his ordeal.

Though Raldiris has training in IT security, he said the search for the job weakened his usual defenses. “You kind of take off your security hat a little bit,” he told Ad Age.

Raldiris, who is still hunting for a position, is one of at least dozens of job-seekers who have been targeted by a scam that seems tailor-made for the agency world. Multiple agencies say the scam first surfaced earlier this summer, stemming from fraudulent ZipRecruiter postings and emails (often from an address using an agency’s name but a Gmail domain address) that use an agency’s logo, real employee names and company mission statements, and language copy-pasted from websites.

How it works

According to several agencies who have been contacted by vicitms and some victims themselves, here’s a loose outline of how it works. Scammers perform interviews with job hopefuls via Google Hangouts chat, then after asking questions, they send over a realistic-looking offer letter and tell victims they’ll send a check so an individual can purchase equipment for their “home office.” (Along the way, some scammers also ask victims for personal information including Social Security numbers.) Scammers then instruct the victim to deposit the check they were sent and use it to buy equipment from a particular vendor — which is likely linked to the scammer. The victim makes the purchase while the check is clearing. But it doesn’t clear; instead it bounces.

A spokesman for the Federal Trade Commission said the organization has no way of assessing the scope of any particular scam and said information regarding investigations is not public.

Katherine Hutt, director of communications at the Council of Better Business Bureaus, said though there are only about five or six common scam tactics, scammers are constantly repackaging and refocusing them. She said work-from-home job schemes affect many sectors in the entertainment field, including talent agencies, influencer marketing and others.

“Scammers operate like businesses — they probably came up with a whole strategy for ad agencies and then they implemented it, just like a marketing campaign. It’s a scam campaign,” Hutt said. “They specialize, just like PR firms and ad agencies do.”

“Almost never will somebody pay you too much money and ask you to send it back under legitimate circumstances — it’s almost always a scam,” Hutt says. “There’s no reason for a company to do that.”

She notes that the internet has made it easy for scammers to look up names of people who legitimately work at a company, as well as to use recruiter sites to pose as a particular company.

“If you can’t meet with the person in-person for the interview and you can’t meet with the HR person to fill out the paperwork in-person, it may not be a job worth accepting,” Hutt said. “There is a lot of risk in sharing your personally identifying information with someone you have not met in person.”

Hutt said victims can visit if they gave out personal information to scammers, and shared tips on avoiding scams here.

Not a real job

Dentsu Aegis Network-owned agency MKTG realized job seekers were being targeted by scammers about six weeks ago when a candidate called looking for someone since they’d missed their chat interview time. MKTG doesn’t do Google Hangout interviews. The agency dug in to find out what was going on.

“Lo and behold, there was a job for a graphic designer that was on ZipRecruiter,” said the agency’s Exec VP Michelle Berg. She said the agency has spoken to at least a dozen people who have been affected.

“The English language that is used in the questions is not anything that would come out of MKTG — that part is rather embarrassing,” she says.

She says the check amount varies in size — typically between $3,000 and $7,000, with a return address of MKTG’s New York office, but with the name of an employee that doesn’t work at the agency.

“We want to be completely empathetic with them — here they thought they were getting a job with our agency, and we’d love to be giving them a job, but it’s not a real job,” Berg said.

She said the scammers are smart by going after the industry, which has a large number of high-end consultants and freelancers. And she says instincts might be a little lessened when people are looking for a job.

“I think blinders tend to go on because they don’t want to believe it,” she said.

One California-based job seeker thought she was interviewing for a position at MKTG earlier in August and said the chat questions seemed typical for a graphic designer position. She sat through a two-hour interview, then after another hour, she received what she thought was an offer from the agency. But then she saw a post on MKTG’s Twitter that said the agency doesn’t use ZipRecruiter — so she drove to a MKTG office and learned that the whole thing was a scam. She ended up receiving a check for nearly $7,000 a couple days later to purchase a laptop, file cabinets and other equipment, but did not cash it.

‘It started to completely unravel’

Ed Starr, managing partner of experiential agency BMF Media, said the agency realized in late June someone was using its name to reel in candidates for fake jobs at his agency. He said he started getting messages from candidates asking if he really needed their social security number.

“It started to completely unravel,” he said.

The agency, which says it will always conduct in-person interviews onsite before making a hire, eventually did a LinkedIn post warning that its name and names of its employees had been “illegally used to obtain personal and financial information under the guise of recruitment for jobs that do not exist at our company.”

In the post, BMF apologized to victims who had been affected and said a legitimate company would never request financial access or a Social Security number for a job application. It told job seekers that correspondence involving hiring or interviews would use a company email address.

As for Weber Shandwick, the company said that when it learned of the scam, it “immediately began to take appropriate actions to inform people who might be victims, including publishing an alert across our website and social media channels to warn job seekers (pinning the alert to the top of our feeds where we could). We also immediately coordinated with Zip Recruiter to remove the fake account.”

Scott Garner, a spokesman for ZipRecruiter, said the company takes pride in bringing together job seekers and employers and that it is “also acutely aware that there are bad actors out there who, whether on job boards or on other platforms for internet commerce and communication, seek to use the cloak of anonymity provided by technology to take advantage of others.”

The company said it has implemented and is continually improving its systems to address that issue, using detection software and “stringent client onboarding processes” to vet posters.

“Still, no system is perfect, no matter how sophisticated or well-intentioned. That is why we take steps to educate job seekers about how to spot suspicious activity and encourage reporting of all such activity to us so we can investigate and take prompt remedial action,” he said.

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August 31st, 2018 at 11:04 am

MKTG SF CSR + Teambuilding Day

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On August 23rd, our San Francisco office cleared their calendars (for the most part, pending client commitments) and committed, as a group, to a full day of giving back, capped off by a team outing at a local watering hole.

In the morning, they gathered in the SF office to stuff care packages for soldiers as part of our client Crown Royal’s “Packages from Home” initiative. The mission of “Packages From Home” is to send care and comfort packages to deployed American military heroes who are stationed in active duty locales around the world, as well as to facilitate activities that elevate morale of all veterans.

Over 250 bright purple Crown Royal-emblazed felt baggies were stuffed to the gills with goodies like Slim Jims, Oreos, Fruit Snacks, Pringles, Pop Tarts, Crystal Lite On-The-Go, Peanut Butter packets, toothbrushes and mouthwash, and most importantly, a signed postcard of gratitude and well wishes.

Next up, the MKTGers got to tap into their creative sides while partnering with Meals on Wheels SF to make over 100 birthday cards for the seniors in their immediate community. The team is known for their incredible attention to details when working for clients like Facebook and Google, so you can be sure they cards and messages made a huge difference in the senior neighbor’s days!

Finally, at about 1:30 they team headed out to SPARK Social, a food truck park, for a customized team building game of Survivor where they competed against one another as five tribes all in the quest to take home a fancy trophy and the ultimate bragging rights.

Take a look below to see how the day unfolded. Great fun everyone!

Giving Back + Team Building = MKTGers in action

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August 30th, 2018 at 4:35 pm

MKTG Chicago’s Julian Jones heralded by Chicago Sun Times for animation work in feature film “Animator”

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credit: Julian Jones for “Animator”


Chicago’s very own Julian Jones’ brilliance was featured in the feature film “Animator” that debuted earlier this month at the Black Harvest Film Festival at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago.

His mom Roberta Jones, wrote and produced the film that was shot entirely in Chicago. She enlisted Julian, whose hobby is animated storytelling, to create all of the animations for the film. The Chicago Sun Times’ Richard Roeper heralded “Animator” saying “this is a well-paced, good-looking film with some absolutely gorgeous animation and fine performances from the two leads and the supporting cast.”

Read more about it below, and in the meantime CONGRATULATIONS JULIAN!




At Black Harvest Film Festival, Chicago the setting for 5 fine films



8:30 p.m. Aug. 17, 8:15 p.m. Aug. 21


In this fictional gem, writer and producer Roberta Jones and director Logan Hall spin the intriguing story of a man who strikes a Faustian bargain, becomes drunk on selfish wish-fulfillment and loses sight of what matters.

Levenix Riddle is outstanding as Neal, a talented but struggling illustrator who is given the ability to control his destiny (and the fates of others) through mystical powers handed down through generations of West-African griots, or storytellers.

Quite simply put, if Neal draws something in his notebook and signs his name to the illustration, that thing will happen.

When his buddy laments how a beautiful co-worker doesn’t even notice him, Neal draws a picture of the two kissing — and it happens.

Low on funds, Neal draws a pic of himself withdrawing a thick stack of cash from the ATM — and bingo, the cash is there when he actually goes to an ATM.

Mackenzie Chinn does fine work as Neal’s love interest, Tina, who is startled and not altogether happy when Neal reveals his secret to her. Things take a dark turn and reach the point of possible tragedy, and now Neal faces a life-and-death decision.

This is a well-paced, good-looking film with some absolutely gorgeous animation and fine performances from the two leads and the supporting cast. Rating: ★★★


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August 30th, 2018 at 3:14 pm