David & Goliath leans on the custom of function and begins the Inventive Affect Hub
Anyone who has spent time with David & Goliath founder David Angelo knows that they are passionate about what they do. But Angelo is equally – if not more – devoted to a higher purpose. The Nonprofit Today I'm Brave, Angelo's Idea, started with a message of hope for children in Sierra Leone and has grown to empower people to take on any kind of challenge.
This spirit of unity and empathy also affects the work of the agency. Korean automaker Kia, for example, used the last two Super Bowls to give priority to philanthropy. Internally, Angelo appointed Tiffany Persons as the first empathy director of the Innocean-supported shop after systemic racism was expected last summer – and Angelo faced harsh feedback from the advertising community after appearing at the first Allyship & Action Summit.
"What I learned from this experience is that people were right to look for specific action," Angelo told Adweek at the time, giving an overview of his intentions.
Today the agency launched a new creative impact hub to encourage more social responsibility and sustainability. Blake Winfree, the group's former creative director at Havas Chicago, has been named Chief of Social Impact. Ben Purcell, a 21 year old D&G veteran, has been named chief creative officer to help make the vision a reality.
"Our goal is to build on our existing, purpose-driven agency model by redefining the industry or creating a new standard," said Angelo, who also serves as the creative chairman of D&G. "[It's] a standard that breaks the creative barriers of industry equality and focuses on authentic, sustainable impact."
"Every brand has a soul"
At its core, Winfree and Purcell will oversee the agency's creative department and work with all existing clients to further align missions, purpose and values and drive measurable action.
"Every brand has a soul," Winfree said, noting that sometimes being neutral is not in a company's best interests and that consumers are accountable. "And we know that there is a direct link between a brand's shared values and profitability and affinity that leads to positive actions and behaviors."
Winfree acknowledged that the process of getting brands to embrace their purpose doesn't happen overnight, noting that success, as measured by required KPIs, is required of the agency to support their existing customer base and Attract like-minded brands.
"We need to have the conversation," said Winfree, who also served as MullenLowe's vice president and creative director and founded that agency's 25Forty project to increase diversity in the industry. "[Angelo] has done an incredible job of hiring people and the foundation established by Today, I am brave, to take action on his intention." "We can use that dynamic to get some solid examples of how the creative impact hub can work."
Although the agency has been around for over two decades, Purcell continues to act as a challenger brand, and the new setup is set to further crystallize D & G's vision.
"This is something we've been building for a while. It's not something we just turned on," said Purcell, who has been with D&G since its inception in 2000.
There's a precedent for the agency's targeted model to succeed: Kia helped raise over $ 1 million to help youth homelessness at the Super Bowl last year, and funded a scholarship in 2019.