Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Nathan Ellis_Caps
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT APPROACH
INTRO | Business Development Approach
Hopefully the following highlights from 3 campaigns – Acura, evian and Russian Standard
Vodka – will provide useful insight into my approach and work history.
I did my best to give the full context of the client relationship as well as results from individual
projects. I’ve also highlighted some guiding principles of my approach at the conclusion as
well as other brands whose sales journey I’d be happy to discuss in greater detail.
All the best,
ACURA | ‘Thor,’ Sundance & Super Bowl
Two-year Integrated campaign leveraging influencer marketing, earned & shared to support
carmaker’s branded entertainment & advertising campaigns including ‘Thor,’ Sundance Film
Festival & Super Bowl.
500M media impressions
17M YouTube Views
3x increase in Sundance sponsorship ROI
“Best Super Bowl Ad Before The Super Bowl” - AdAge
ACURA | Sales Summary
I was introduced to the Head of Advertising at Acura through a friend at their advertising
agency RPA, who had in turn been introduced to me by a mutual friend from my network.
Acura had just made a significant investment a branded entertainment deal with Marvel
Studios’ tentpole ‘Thor,’ which featured Acura as the official vehicle of secret government
agency S.H.I.E.L.D. They were seeking a lifestyle PR/marketing agency with the assumption that
the campaign was saleable ‘as is’ from an earned and shared media perspective. We learned
the earned / shared media expectation for the project been set by RPA to help justify the spend
with the client.
In my own and our team’s experience we knew that branded entertainment deals (ie ‘cars in a
film’) weren’t inherently media-worthy from an earned or shared point of view. This is
particularly true when a new sexy model (ie Audi R8 in Iron Man or Aston DB10 in ‘Spectre’) is
not being introduced. As such we were not comfortable moving forward and informed the
client, while suggesting a campaign which hinged on generating new content to amplify the
partnership would meet and even exceed earned / shared media ROI.
Acura was intrigued, so we pitched an integrated campaign featuring a fashion design
collaboration, a New York Auto Show experiential activation, social media contest, interactive
blogger press kit and on-site support at the film’s premiere in which star Chris Hemsworth was
featured arriving in an Acura as a photo opp).
ACURA | The Results
SMG for subsequent campaigns to amplify their sponsorship of the Sundance Film Festival and
first-even Super Bowl commercial featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Len. SMG also promoted a
Ferris Beuller redux Super Bowl ad for Honda featuring Matthew Broderick.
• The Acura brand was placed into more a premium and lifestyle context via enhanced
positive association with ‘Thor,’ The Sundance Film Festival and the Super Bowl.
• SMG’s ‘Acura x Thor’ campaign greatly increased the positive brand association between
Acura , the hit Marvel film Thor and key cast members like Chris Hemsworth & Clark Gregg.
• Over 500M earned media impressions in top tier outlets including NYMag, USWeekly, LA
Times, Details, USA Today, People, WSJ, NYTimes. Outlets the previously did not cover Acura.
• To amplify Acura’s title sponsorship of the Sundance Film Festival compellingly
communicated to festival influencers & consumers through a pop up ‘Acura Studio’ which
served as an event hub for some of the top events and influencers of the period.
• 785.3 million earned media impressions were generated via 116 placements in outlets like
People, E!, US Weekly and ELLE.
• Acura Super Bowl commercial generated over 10 million video views pre-Super Bowl (17 MM
total). The video accumulated 100,258,524 million media impressions generated via
47earned media placements
• Named "Best Super Bowl Ad Before The Super Bowl” by AdAge Viral Video Awards
EVIAN | DvF Bottle Collabration
DESIGNER BOTTLE COLLABORATION, GLOBAL EARNED MEDIA & INFLUENCER MARKETING
As North American brand communications AOR for evian, SMG was tasked with identifying, &
securing an American Fashion Designer for the brand’s global designer bottle collaboration, then
developing and leading an international campaign to launch the partnership.
539 PLACEMENTS GLOBALLY
$5.5M+ AD VALUE
INFLUENCER EVENT @ ART BASEL MIAMI
EVIAN | Sales Summary
I’d previously met the owner of evian’s experiential agency of record through a project for
Reebok. He let me know the evian PR business was up for RFP and brought us into the process.
We pitched to the Brand Director and Brand Manager against the incumbent agency(MS&L).
Once the world’s preeminent water brand, evian had lost market share to SmartWater and Fiji
North American sales were slumping as well.
evian had also lost sight of it’s premium brand heritage in North America and was not
particularly relevant within the consumer lifestyle media or social media. The Global advertising
message of ‘Live Young’ had not been brought to life in a compelling manner in the North
Clearly defined ‘Live Young’ in a premium context including a focus on defining key passion
points of the brand, target audience and key markets – health & wellness, sport and fashion.
SMG then proposed an integrated campaign including
• Pop-up fitness events on NY, LA and Miami with celebrity trainer Jackie Warner
• World record setting crowdsourced rollerskating event in Miami
• Taking ownership of designer bottle collaboration and partnering with American designer
• Carve out presence at NY Fashion Week by partnering with an emerging fashion designer
• Enhanced tactical support of US Open tennis sponsorship
EVIAN | Results
• Evian placed in a more premium context with strong link to brand heritage and global
• N.A. sales results increased each year of retainer relationship by 2.5%-5% annually
‘Live Young’ Fitness & Sport
• Campaign tripled earned media results of prior agency in first 12 months
• Earned & shared media ROI increased by 25% for US Open
• Brokered partnership with Diane von Furstenberg through personal connection w/family
• Designed & executed eanred media campaign 539 placements including Vogue, ELLE, NY
Times, Ocean Drive, NY Post, Women’s Wear Daily, DuJour, USWeekly
• First female US based designer chosen, leading seller of past five designer collaborations
• 47k YouTube views - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYitZptmh6E
New York Fashion Week activation
• Leveraged personal relationship with designer Prabal Gurung to secure exclusive partnership
• Seeded product with celebrities and influencers – Ciara, Jonas Brothers, Hannah Bronfman,
Zachary Quinto, Chelsea Leyland, Rachel Zoe, Hamish Bowles, Oscar PR Girl
• Coverage in top fashion and lifestyle publications who otherwise would not have featured
evian as a part of NY Fashion Week
RUSSIAN STANDARD VODKA | Incredible Pursuits
SMG developed an earned media & social influence campaign to launch a vodka-
fueled search for extraordinary innovators and entrepreneurs to support AOR client
Russian Standard Vodka’s new ‘raising the standard’ platform
• 5.2M impressions on Twitter
• 46.6M Impressions on Facebook
• 8M earned media impressions
• 500 contest entries
RUSSIAN STANDARD VODKA | Sales Summary
I’d previously know the SVP of Marketing for Russian Standard Vodka through her time as
marketing director of a luxury brand from a past pitch. I stayed in touch with her and when she
came to RSV we got the call for help with PR, influencer marketing and social media.
While RSV was a very popular premium product in Russia, it lacked a clear identity in the United
States and as result sales were sluggish.
Russian Standard Vodka had not been properly launched in the United States. No brand story
illustrating the product’s PODs, passion points, heritage of ethos had been created. Vodka is a
crowded category and brand story is key. We dug in to the history of RSV and found it was both
a true luxury product created by one of Russia’s most successful entrepreneurs. It was made
using state of the art techniques in the cradle of vodka making. In short the brand had its own
uniquely Russian entrepreneurial spirit that mapped to the ‘startup’ culture within the US.
SMG recommended ‘Raising the Standard’ as an authentic campaign platform for RSV – a
reference to what the brand’s founder had done throughout his life and with his vodka. To
express this platform, a vodka-fueled search for extraordinary innovators and entrepreneurs in
the United States was recommended as a campaign platform.
RUSSIAN STANDARD VODKA | Results
• RSV provided with an authentic and scalable activation platform
• Clearer brand definition and value proposition for RSV within vodka category
• Increased earned media results in credible consumer lifestyle outlets
• Expansion of social media footprint on key platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
• Event integrations with top nightlife and hospitality venues in NY, LA, Miami, Las Vegas
Raising the Standard Program
• 5.2M impressions on Twitter
• 46.6M Impressions on Facebook
• 8M earned media impressions
• Placements in Huffington Post, NY Post, Bloomberg, Refinery 29, Gotham
• 500 contest entries
Additional business development experience includes the following brands.
PRINCIPLES | Sales
In my role as CEO of Syndicate Media Group, my primary responsibility was business
development. I learned some valuable lessons through trial which I’ve highlighted below.
Clear Targeting - Focus on decision makers and those who directly influence them
ID the right brands & partners who will create leverage in the industry vertical and agency
Creating Context – Be in the right places at the right times, be it a conference, an art fair or a
dinner party. This makes it much easier to build credibility.
‘Soft Sell’ Engagement – See the process of business development as a series of ongoing
touch points to build trust vs. a ‘one shot’ care salesman approach. Happy clients will come
back again and again over the lifetime of your relationship.
Listening – It’s easy to get excited when you interact with a qualified contact or partner.
However, only by listening can you ascertain their needs and opportunities to deliver value –
and respectful, mutual value exchange is what builds networks. Once you’ve established trust
and results have been delivered, look for new problems to tackle.
Being Authentic – Building trust is more important than people pleasing. Some of the best
client relationships have come about when we shared a diﬀerent POV with the client.
Network Utilization – A key benefit of having a strong network is the ability to tap for
introductions from credible 3rd parties and social media makes it easy to spot connections.
INFLUENCER CAMPAIGNS FROM SMG
Promoted the company’s global ‘Sensation’ tour in the United States through an influencer
campaign to drive earned & shared media in markets including NYC, Miami, Las Vegas and
San Francisco. Because the show focuses on experience rather than the DJ lineup, our
insight was to engage media, bloggers and influencers with original content related to the
experience on and offline. The national and regional campaign was integrated and
provided SFX with an overall consistent message for the events.
81,404,806 earned media impressions
5 million people reached through tweetchats
Key placements: USA Today, WSJ, Refinery29
Tapped by live entertainment behemoth to launch EDM discovery portal Boomrat’ in
collaboration with leading EDM festival producer INSOMNIAC. Our insight was to top key
media, bloggers and social media influencers who happened to be EDM enthusiasts, then
collaborate with them to generate compelling content about the platform’s launch.
Key earned media placements: Billboard, NYLON, VICE
Custom playlists by social media & EDM influencers
VIP event & on-site activation at EDC Las Vegas
STANDARD HOTELS | Digital Leadership
SMG’s undertook a three year campaign to establish boutique hotel brand & AOR client
STANDARD Hotels as an industry leader in social media. Tactics included blogger & influencer
marketing campaigns + partnerships wleading online lifestyle portals & social media channels.
200k Visitors month 1 to standardculture.com
#1 Hotel Brand – L2 Social Media
Campaign reached 750M impressions
TOURISM AUTHORITY OF THAILAND
‘AMAZING THAILAND’ CAMPAIGN
As online marketing AOR for the Tourism Authority of Thailand in North America, SMG
developed an executed a unique ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ campaign in which social
media influencers were sent on a spectacular vacation to Thailand while engaging their
followers to help them pick from a variety of curated activities to undertake during the trip.
5% increase in buy now clicks on BookThailandNow.com
Increased engagement by 200% on social media
VEUVE CLICQUOT | ‘Wish You Were Here’
Six-year campaign to establish Veuve as a leader in luxury social media.
SMG’s most recent campaign was Wish You Were Here – an owned social media platform to
leverage the phenomenon of user-generated content from a global perspective. Bloggers and
social media influencers were utilized to drive distribution & contribute content.
‘WYWH’ Global engagement from users in 20 countries
Combined reach of 50M users in over 40 countries
Moet Hennessy’s ‘Global Stars of Innovation’ award
BENTLEY | Social Influence Campaign
SMG’s social influence campaign for AOR client Bentley led to an increase relevance among
fashion-focused female consumers and successful promotion of the luxe automakers ‘Le Mans’
50% Growth on Instagram, 16.7k YouTube views
Shared media WOM with top fashion designers, celebrities & editors
Earned media coverage MARIE CLAIRE, TOWN & COUNTRY, WWD
WYNN RESORTS | Social Influence Campaign
Created ‘Wynn Social’ digital hub to capitalize on the remarkable enthusiasm around Wynn’s
club venues in order to increase hotel bookings from millennials EDM enthusiasts.
Developed new owned media platform
Increased Hotel Bookings & Cultural Relevance with Millennials
NATHAN ELLIS RESUME
(646) 643-6435 1480 Vine St., 701
email@example.com Los Angeles, CA 90028
! Dynamic, creative lifestyle & influencer marketing expert
! Proven business development expertise driving revenue & opening new markets
! Articulate developer & communicator of effective brand positioning campaigns
! Extensive network of influencers & brand partners in cultural capitals
Fourteen Consulting, LLC Los Angeles, CA
Principal October 2014 -present
• Driver of brand marketing & business development strategy for emerging brands across a variety of
categories: fragrance, marketing communications, entertainment, drinks & hospitality
• Creator of brand positioning & launch strategy for luxury fragrance brand Eric Buterbaugh Florals
• Enterprising business development resource for Hollywood content shop, Japanese hospitality
company and leading virtual reality studio.
Syndicate Media Group New York, NY & Los Angeles, CA
Founder & CEO September 2002 – August 2014
• Founder of communications & marketing agency focused on consumer lifestyle
• Architect of company vision and leader of business development team
• Driver of growth into a nationally viable mid-size agency with no outside investment achieving
average annual growth rate of over 30% to peak of $5M annual revenue
• Developer of successful practices in hospitality, travel, drinks, auto, fashion & luxury, ecommerce &
entertainment; acquired social media practice accounting for $1M of agency revenue year 2
• Builder of team with 35 full time employees in New York and Los Angeles offices, agency also
activated in markets including Las Vegas, San Francisco, Chicago, Austin, Miami, Montreal, Toronto
• Leader in establishment of Los Angeles office, achieving $1.25M revenue by year 3
• Designer of marketing and communications strategies to support successful business and branding
outcomes on behalf of clients; including
o Successful achievement of launch goals for revenue and profitability - double-digit annual
sales growth, increase in market valuation, attraction of outside investment / acquisition
o Campaigns which achieved awards, industry recognition, positive media coverage, positive
social media sentiment; affiliation with celebrities, leading brand partners, social media &
cultural influencers; achievement of positioning goals within target consumer groups
• Featured in NY Times, Vanity Fair, Forbes, CBS Marketwatch, PRWeek / Brandweek, Blackbook as
expert source for lifestyle brand communications & marketing.
Agency’s clients included:
Virgin, Soho House Group, Standard Hotels, Moet Hennessey, Pernod Ricard, Evian,
Conde Nast, Nike, Wynn Hotels & Resorts, Microsoft, Live Nation, Ferrari, Land Rover,
Acura, Estee Lauder, Levis, Bulgari, Tourism Authority of Thailand, ‘ONE’ Charity
Various Clients New York,NY
Marketing consultant September 1998 to August 2002
• Consultant to marcomm agencies with focus on public relations writing, positioning development &
nontraditional marketing; accounts included IMG, LVMH, Grand Hospitality & Andre Balazs Properties
Various Publications New York,NY
Freelance journalist September 1998 to August 2002
• Pitched & wrote articles for outlets including Forbes, Worth, NY Post & Fashion Wire Daily
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
Bachelor of Arts, School of Journalism & Mass Communication 1994-1998
• Men’s JV basketball, Men’s volleyball (All-Conference honors, team co-captain)
• Founded nightlife promotion & events company to support cost of tuition, conceptualized and
executed successful special events, secured nationally renowned talent and corporate sponsors
• Paid sports reporter for Daily Reflector newspaper as high school junior & senior, awarded scholarship
to Duke University Young Writer’s Camp
6605 Hollywood Blvd. Suite 100
Los Angeles, CA 90028
These materials have been prepared specifically for this presentation. The materials and the ideas embodied in them are confidential. Disclosure of such materials and ideas is
expressly prohibited without prior written permission from Syndicate Media Group. All intellectual property rights remain vested in the agency. No license or other authority is granted
to do any act which, if unlicensed, could amount to an infringement of such right(s).