Danny Robinson Named Chief Client Officer

May 17, 2018


In a move that is being deemed unusual, The Martin Agency has created an executive committee-level position of chief client officer, which Danny Robinson, one of its top senior creatives will occupy.

He will be responsible for working with account management to promote creative ideas, collaborate with creative teams to determine what drives clients’ businesses, and partner with clients to sell breakthrough work throughout their organizations—all in the interest of fighting against “brand invisibility.”

“The brands we represent need to be talked about within culture at large,” The Martin Agency CEO Kristen Cavallo told Adweek. “Because of that, we needed to increase the linkage between culture and business, and we created the role of chief client officer with the ambition of doing just that.”

Before joining The Martin Agency in 2004, Robinson co-founded Vigilante, his own creative shop and served as its chief creative officer where he helped develop the Pontiac giveaway integration with the Oprah Winfrey Show (276 audience members on the program were given Pontiac G6s), according to the Media Post. During his time there, Vigilante was awarded the AAAA Multicultural Agency of the Year Award two years in a row, runner-up in its third year and was nominated the subsequent two years. His work for General Motors’ Pontiac brand and Snapple’s Mistic earned several London International and Mobius Awards. His work for Heineken won an ANA Multicultural Excellence Award and was also featured in Communication Arts.

“You don’t meet many creative directors who have an M.B.A., have worked in brand management and have founded their own ad agency known for leveraging pop culture,” said Chris Mumford, president of The Martin Agency. “But then again, there’s only one Danny Robinson. Danny was even a part-time stand-up comic for ten years. He’s a unicorn, which makes him uniquely qualified for this role.”

In addition to bridging the gap between the creative and account departments, Robinson will also work with clients to identify the types of problems the agency can help them solve that “don’t typically show up in creative briefs.” During his time at The Martin Agency, Robinson has worked with Alliance for Climate Protection, Pizza Hut, Hanes, Tic Tac, Chevrolet, Oreo and the AMC Network.

“My entire career has been in the creative department,” Robinson said. “I’ve always approached my job with the understanding that I’m in a business and working for businesses.”

According to Adweek, Robinson’s promotion makes him the first African American to join the upper echelons of the agency’s C-suite. Cavallo told the advertising trade publication that the agency has made a significant investment in promoting diverse talent to leadership positions over the past five months, including doubling female representation in the C-suite.

“Often we at agencies try to hire people that fit a culture,” pushing out “disruptive ideas that don’t fit in the process,” Cavallo said. The leadership team that the agency wants moving forward is one that employs “diverse perspectives on the way to solving business problems,” she added, calling this “the kind of culture that has always been Martin at its best.”

Robinson began his career in marketing as a product manager after earning his M.B.A. in 1984 from Clark Atlanta University.

Read full article here.

Posted By: Danny Robinson

Times up, advertising. Join us.

May 02, 2018

Our industry is evolving. And time is officially up.


Time’s up, advertising. 

Time’s up on sexual harassment.

Time’s up on lack of representation.

Time’s up on inequity. 

Time’s up on silence. 


As a founding member of TIME’S UP™/ADVERTISING, The Martin Agency is inviting female advertising industry professionals in Richmond to join the conversation. We need your voices.


TIME’S UP™/ADVERTISING mission is to drive new policies, practices, decisions, and tangible actions that result in more balanced, diverse, and accountable leadership; address workplace discrimination, harassment, and abuse; and create equitable cultures within our agencies.


We’d like to invite the women of your agency in Richmond to join in the historic opportunity to be a part of the growing TIME’S UP™/ADVERTISING movement by participating in a town hall hosted by The Martin Agency on Monday, May 14th. This event is happening in 15 cities nationwide, and will be streamed on Facebook Live. In each city, this inaugural town hall meeting is intentionally for the females in our industry, inviting them all to bring their voices to this conversation. 


What is our goal with this? The answer is simple: change. Real change. And the necessary first step in the process is talking face-to-face with the women of our industry. While the first TIME’S UP™/ADVERTISING meeting is ladies-only, this movement as a whole depends on participation from everyone, and together, we’ll draw the rest of the road map. 


Martin will be handling logistics for this first event, so all you need to do is extend this invitation to fellow female colleagues in your agency and show up. Please R.S.V.P. here.


Any additional information about the TIME’S UP™/ADVERTISING vertical can be found at www.timesupadvertising.com.


When: Monday, May 14th from 3:30pm-5:30pm

Where: Byrd Theatre, 2908 W Cary St, Richmond, VA 23221

Who: Women who work in the advertising industry


We hope to see you there!

Posted By: The Martin Agency

For KAYAK, Confidence is king

April 13, 2018

Martin Agency Brings Its Signature Zaniness to Kayak After Years of Tomfoolery for GEICO
Confidence is king in the brand's weird vignettes

It’s been a little more than two years since Kayak decided to shift its creative account from one set of acclaimed weirdos to another, leaving Barton F. Graf for the Martin Agency.

Martin’s first outing with the brand was the “Kind of Like Kayak” campaign,which compared the travel booking aggregator to various other resources, like an army of body doubles to help you try on pants, or a personal style forecaster who’ll tell you when your man bun is past its prime.

The agency’s newest Kayak work is still odd, but this time it’s a bit more in the vein of Martin’s longtime, high-profile client, Geico. Martin has spent decades honing Geico’s ad approach, which typically centers on unexpected situations that fit tightly into a 15- or even 6-second space.

To highlight the idea of being “Kayak confident”—ie, secure in your decisions based on the app’s sprawling amount of travel data—Martin has created a series of short-form spots, including a dentist working on a shark and a snowman hitting the tanning bed.

There’s also a set of ads showing how the app helps you change your scenery, from the drudgery of workaday life and home improvement fails to floating fountain-side at a resort or watching hula dancers on the beach.

Read full article here.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

Why We Signed TimesUp Advertising

April 13, 2018

The Martin Agency’s New CCO and Other Female Leaders on Why They Signed Time’s Up Advertising

Karen Costello, Denise Wong and Renetta McCann got personal at 4A's Accelerate

During one of the last panels at the 4A’s Accelerate conference in Miami yesterday, The Martin Agency chief creative officer Karen Costello gave insight into her shop’s culture, highlighting the changes made since the high-profile ouster of predecessor Joe Alexander over harassment claims made against him.

Costello admitted that “creative departments often represent the worst behavior in agencies.” However, she continued, they can also be “ground zero” for where the most innovative people can be found … and innovation makes way for change.

“My experience at The Martin Agency has been a unique one because that agency was a bit of grassroots for the #MeToo movement in advertising,” Costello said. She added that the agency was “built on people that have raised their families in this community; who have stayed there a very long time. When this happened, so many of the men were horrified and didn’t know how to act.”

She said she was most encouraged by the responses she received from her male colleagues, adding, “They wanted to do something.”

Costello spoke alongside Denise Wong, president of Midnight Oil, and Renetta McCann, chief inclusion experiences officer of Publicis Groupe, on a panel exploring the importance of diverse leadership in the agency world. The panel was moderated by Keesha Jean-Baptiste, senior vice president of talent engagement and inclusion at the 4A’s. Baptiste and McCann were both featured in Adweek’s #MeToo issue cover story.

McCann noted that it’s important when discussing inclusion that men are just as involved in the conversation as women.

As an example, she pointed to a task force at Leo Burnett, where she also serves as chief talent officer. The task force was originally started by a group of Leo Burnett’s female executives to discuss behaviors they want to promote at the agency, as well as problematic issues they want to target. However, McCann said that at a certain point, these women decided, “we need to go get some men.”

“They were invited, and they contribute, and they are the signal that this is important to the broad audience in media agencies,” McCann said. “Part of it is realizing that there are men who want the same things we want.”

McCann added she knows all too well the feeling of being excluded, given that she’s a black woman who was born in 1956 at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. “That gave me the motivation to include others,” she said.

The new face of inclusion will be an important consideration on May 14, when the signees of Time’s Up Advertising’s pledge meet for the first time to discuss goals and action strategy.

Wong and Costello, who both signed the pledge, agreed that this movement in particular is about action. Wong said Time’s Up Advertising was born out of a “crisis” and that the organization needs to be “focused on doing something now,” whether it’s through “task forces or operational teams.”

“Sometimes, it was messy; there was a lot of back and forth, email chains, phone calls,” Costello said when recalling the earliest days of Time’s Up Advertising. “We would share stories and talk about how we can solve things together.”

She added that it was “really invigorating” to witness competing agencies “coming together to solve a much bigger problem” in the industry. “I found that very inspiring to be a part of, and I am very optimistic of what we can do together,” she added.

Costello herself has already started taking action at The Martin Agency. Since Alexander and former CEO Matt Williams were let go following the allegations of sexual misconduct at the shop, Costello said the agency has tried fostering an environment where “everyone feels like they can speak up,” no matter how big or small the issue.

“We have a fun, lightweight word we say if someone feels uncomfortable but doesn’t necessarily want to be a buzz-kill,” Costello said. “We just say ‘ouch.’ And it’s a way for people to say ‘I don’t know what to say anymore.’”

Posted By: Karen Costello

The Club That Won The Masters

April 11, 2018

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 08: Patrick Reed of the United States plays his shot from the eighth tee during the final round of the 2018 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 8, 2018 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

It was a good day for our client, PING, when Patrick Reed won The Masters.

Driving the ball well off the tee can be a valuable asset at Augusta National Golf Club, and Patrick Reed upped his game last week with the driver, making it a key club in his first major victory at the Masters.

Reed, who came into the tournament ranked 52nd in driving distance and 193rd in accuracy, turned things around by averaging 299.3 yards off the tee (ranked sixth in the field) and hitting 73.21 percent of his fairway, ranked T-13 with his Ping G400 LST driver. The LST is Ping’s low-spin version of its G400, and Reed has always preferred a low-spin driver, having used a Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 816 Double Black Diamond during his last win at the 2016 Barclays.

Even with the assist, Reed still tends to battle high spin, although he is getting better. In 2016 he average 2,950 rpms, which was fourth-highest on tour. This year he is down to 2,769 rpms, which is closer to the tour average of right around 2,600 rpms.

Reed decided on the G400 LST at the Waste Management Phoenix Open earlier this year after testing it on Monday of that week, and the club has been in the bag ever since. Reed’s G400 LST is 44.5 inches in length with the shaft tipped one inch and D-2 swingweight.

Read full article here.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

Martin Creates Open Format Typeface to Honor Equal Pay Day

April 10, 2018

The Martin Agency is spelling out the significance of April 10thEqual Pay Day in the United States, quite literally. Today represents how far into the year the average woman must work to earn what the average man did the previous year, so Martin created an open-format typeface with each angle slanted at 22.7 degrees, and all spacing set to 22.7, to visualize the current 22.7% pay difference between men and women in our country. 

Over time, as the pay gap closes (or sadly widens) the font will dynamically shift to reflect the change.

Martin welcomes the public to download and use these assets to promote what Equal Pay Day stands for:

To download font, click here.

To download .gif, click here.

“We’re motivated to create positive change. [Chief Creative Officer] Karen Costello’s daughter is almost 13 and mine is 14-years old. At the current pace, my daughter won’t see pay equity until she’s about 115 years old. Karen’s daughter will be nearly 244 because she’s Hispanic. What can we do about it? Something. Our mantra is ‘actions over words,’” said Kristen Cavallo, CEO of The Martin Agency. 

“In transparency, we did an analysis of our own staff salaries – and then engaged an outside firm to do it again. Where there were opportunities to make improvements, we did. It’s that important. It’s never too late to do the right thing.”

The agency screen-printed the font onto t-shirts and onesies for employees, and their daughters. The photo series will be posted to their Instagram, @martinagency. 

Posted By: The Martin Agency