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Aug. 17, 2020

Episode 043 - Gino Sesto, Founder of DASH TWO

Episode 043 - Gino Sesto, Founder of DASH TWO

Today's guest is Gino Sesto, Founder of DASH TWO.

DASH TWO is an award winning creative agency founded on the core value of truly helping clients and delivering value, rather than just negotiating media buys and generating some cookie-cutter creative. 

With services ranging from digital and out of home advertising, DASH TWO also provides television, radio, print and creative services. 

Their campaign with Klarna installed dog toys, at dog level much like Oreos on the bottom shelf, to attract the decision maker - the dog...something WAY outside of the box and something that brought home multiple OBIE awards for DASH TWO, while delivering on their mantra to deliver client results.

Check out the Klarna campaign here: https://dashtwo.com/press/dash-two-wins-gold-obie/

And follow them on Instagram @dashtwo

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All right, here we go. Welcome to out-of-home. Insider today's guest is Gino Sisto. Gino is the founder and CEO of the award-winning agency. Dash two dash two produces amazing work for clients across all mediums and maybe best known and out of home for being a perennial powerhouse at the opiate. This year dash two took home, not one, not two but three obese for just one campaign.

And this isn't just about winning awards. Dash two is the success story of a company born in a recession. And if you're ever curious about the power of out-of-home just ask Gino about his marriage proposal about himself. Gino also teaches new pilots as an instructor and draws inspiration for business and his company from the skies, a place we should all be aiming.

Without further ado. Gina, welcome to the show. Thank you, sir. That was a very flattering introduction. You did your research and do do my research, do my research. And as part of that research and part of, you know, every episode, really like to get the gist of your origin story, how'd you come to be an involved with out of home dash two.

How'd you get here? Sure, sure. Um, Uh, I'm turning 50 in a couple of months, so I'm a little bit older and I've been in the media buying business for awhile. Uh, I, I previously worked at a couple of different ad agencies. And like you said, um, in oh eight when the recession or great depression, some call it, um, hit, uh, I was pretty much jobless and, um, just decided at that point to start my own agency.

Um, and when we started, it was primarily. Um, traditional even the outdoor is traditional. So we were working with mostly television, uh, commercials for our clients. Um, and then as time went on, we transitioned more into the digital space. Um, and then as time went on more, we've transitioned to more just being digital and outdoor.

Uh, TV is, is still a piece of our business, but it's, it's an aging piece of art. So we pretty much, uh, brand ourselves as a digital and outdoor advertising, which oddly enough are the two forms of media that are also growing the other three arts radio print and a TV, or have had really tough times. Right?

There's a lot of exciting things that, that, that we're talking about and how those two things work together, but maybe most relevant to right now. Talk to me about what you learned in 2008, 2009, starting a company. At a time kind of similar to this there's people that are listening to this show right now that could be in the same situation.

And many probably likely are that you were in oh eight. What advice would you have for somebody in using this opportunity as a platform? Well, I'll tell ya, um, starting a company in the middle of a recession, um, Is is both a blessing and a curse. Um, when the blessing is, it's a great time, because what else are you going to do?

There's so many people that are out of jobs, um, that have, um, either just picked up hobbies or whatever. Um, for me, I already had a hotter, so I was like, I'm not gonna do that. So I was like, starting a business. The curse is there's just not a lot active. Um, so it's a good time to hang your shingle as they say, and get things set for when business comes back and as we go through this recession, we are having, um, the same kind of mentality.

Well, you know, obviously business is tough right now, but it's not a time to just give up. It's a time to, uh, focus time to. Perfect your craft and time to work on projects that, um, have been shelved because you were too busy before. So it is a good time to start a business, um, uh, in that regard makes sense.

Makes sense. And there's we see some of that activity coming out, some, some different ideas coming to the surface here. I want to talk about your background though. And especially if you're watching this on YouTube, because it's the campaign that that's really gotten a lot of traction. Here recently with the OBS, talk to me about the campaign with Klarna, and then we can move that into the conversation of creative and out of home, but, but how do the Carter campaign come to be?

Um, so it was a, a, an amazing project. And thank you for the accolades on the three obese. We just got them yesterday. I should have them in the background instead of the actual creative for the campaign. The Florida, which is we've worked with, um, off and on in the past is a great client. And they're very, um, they're not afraid to try new things.

They came across some research that, um, basically about, I don't want to too into the details, but they dog owners, it was all about the dog owners and dog owners and the propensity for dog owners and how connected they are. To the pets. And so they came over the idea of creating a mural or our installation.

We didn't know what it was yet on targeting dog, not the owners with the dogs, um, which when we heard those words, the aha moment just came. This has never been done before. It was it's like, it wasn't even, I didn't have to do any research. It was like obvious nobody's ever thought about targeting dogs, creatures with the waggy tails.

Right. Um, and, and I remember years ago hearing, um, uh, there's a term called the nag factor. Um, when you walk through a grocery store, um, The cereal in the cereal aisle, the stuff that's targeted to kids is below, you know, like mom or dad's waist and the kids going to pick it up and mag mom and dad saying, Hey, buy this for me.

And so it's very similar to the manufacturer in that regard where the dog is gonna, um, be drawn to that wall. And, um, then the parents of the dog will then be inclined to actually look at the wall. So I'm over here. You can see actually my fingers a little off, there's a bunch of dog toys attached to the wall.

And so what happened is as a donor walking to the dog park, um, they would walk on the sidewalk and they would, the dogs will be attacked. Um, they're drawn to these, these dogs. And at that point, you know, anybody's going to go, well, what the heck is this? And they actually look at the creative and then, then they would be drawn into it.

So it was like the perfect, uh, symbiotic relationship. And it, it, it did really, really well. And obviously, um, obese acknowledged the fact that it was a super creative and I'd never done it before. And the creative was beautiful and it was, it was just a amazing instant. And it really is. And it's always great when you're the first one to do something, pioneering, something like that.

And you talked about the target audience being the dogs, and you know, we're in a time now where we're talking a lot about data and audience targeting. How important is the creative though? Are you concerned at all about the data overwhelming the importance of great creative. Um, at this point, when we came up with this idea, the data was basically just the dog owner data, like the dog owners and the propensity of, you know, how, how connected they are.

Um, the, the, at the end of the day, we were more worried about the creative. It wasn't the data, the data drew us to the conclusion of what to create, and then it was now we need to create something. Um, mind you, this was a, uh, project that involved, obviously the client, uh, 72 and sunny, uh, did the creative sketching.

Um, we did the installation and we all worked, um, as a team to make this all happen, but data was. Important in the idea. How so? How would you recommend maybe a brand and as we're excited about this, right, we're excited in that a home to have more audience data. How, how do you see those things working together for brands that are maybe getting into the space?

How do you, how do you approach that creative conversation around a particular data point? Wow. That's a great question. Um, yeah, oftentimes people, when they do their branding and messaging, especially our Muslim, most of our clients, there is no data that's involved. It's really just a knee-jerk reaction.

Um, in terms of messaging, there's never been most of the messaging that we do. There's never been know that, uh, testing AB testing, uh, in terms of before it goes. It's just, this looks good. Um, let's do this, uh, in terms of like the copywriting, it's not, it's not tested and approved most of the time. It's, it's, here's our brand.

We want to put the brand up and here's our tagline and that's what we're going to do. Um, however, um, I can see a day where people are spending more time on creative. Using information on, say for instance, the people that are driving or walking by, like this was obviously a walking by situation. And we knew that there was a lot of dog owners walking by.

I can see a day when people are doing digital campaigns, targeting people that are going to a specific employer, um, and using the data from whoever, um, on that track. I'm talking to say, for instance, you know, there's a, there's a baseball game talking to T to, um, the baseball fans on the way to the baseball game.

So that needs to happen. I think I, um, it definitely needs to happen. Um, oftentimes we just do, you know, just put the billboard up and call it a day. What would you say makes great creative work. Oh, man. I think we got, we have an hour or two hours. It's a battle that we have with our clients day in and day out.

Um, we get ads from our clients that look like magazine ads. Like they want to put as much copy points on that. Um, and they want to, you know, think these people do whatever this is. Literally paragraphs of stuff. And the end of the day, the golden rule is the three second rule. And if you can't read them in three seconds, it's a bad ad after that is the messaging.

Um, and I do like creative that has right. And, um, contrast colors. Like obviously this didn't really walk up the. And it was black and pink and that was it. Um, and it stood out oftentimes color. You know, we did a campaign for these guys also that was for, um, gay pride month and it was the rainbow on sunset and it was just, it stood out like nobody's business.

So colors and copy. That's what makes good creative and, and, and just even looking at your background, not just contrast with. The format itself, but you got great contrast against the environment as well. So, so, so do you, do you consider that when you're looking at a campaign of how, how does the environment, how can it help campaign managers?

I don't think so much. I mean, if you're talking about the environment, like the blue clouds and things of that, not really, um, I mean, we've done campaigns. Uh, we do a lot of campaigns for pre. And oftentimes we've done. We've had some really successful campaigns out there where we actually incorporate the landscaping with the desert and, um, with the windmills out there.

So that, that we've done a lot of, I wouldn't say we've done a lot other than that, but it is a great cause it draws people in more, you know, if you're speaking to the environment that they're in and it definitely does draw people more in to look at that. Yeah, it's great. And it's, I think it's fun when, and kind of the beautiful thing about out of home is it's, it's, it's a, it's a canvas that we can use and we can manipulate to do things like that.

So jealous a, a new segment. This is a, this is a new segment for the show. And if you down, I'd love to ask you a couple of questions that aren't necessarily out of home questions, but, uh, I'm sure you could give us some insight. You're down for that. Yes, I might be frozen for, yes. Okay. You just don't froze, so perfect timing.

All right. So I'm calling these questions from Carlos Carlos Vala. He's the marketing manager for InMotion media, and these are some questions he came up with that I thought were great. If you were, if you weren't running dash two and maybe it's being a powerful, is that if you weren't running dash two, what would you be doing right now?

I'd be retired. I'd be a retired flight instructor. Um, that's what I would do. That sounds like a fine plan. Um, me and my wife are planning on having a child, so I'll be a little dad, but that'd be just a pilot flight instructor. Dad. That was a good question. Oh, thank you. So, uh, second question is what are you most excited about?

Right. As I said before, we're in a recession and that gives us plenty of opportunity to hire new talent, to acquire new companies, to build your brand. Your awesome. And where do you go? Are you a reader, a podcast guy. Where do you go for inspiration? Uh, I'm definitely a podcast guy. Listen, actually, oddly enough, I actually sleep the podcasts,

all sleep, listening to podcasts. So I I'm a rabid, a news junkie, um, business junkie. So I'm always listening to what's happening out there. Talk to me about the sleeping to the podcasting. Cause that's the thing I'm into. It's not something that we've explored on the show here. I listened to a lot of stuff at night as well.

What are you, what are your thoughts? Do you have a, do you have a thought process behind that? Um, yeah, sometimes I'll wake up going. I'm an ID and I have no idea where it came from. I've heard something before and I have no idea where it came from. It's because I was probably, you know, falling asleep and, and listening to a podcast.

It's kind of like reading to your baby in the womb and it's like subconscious. Um, I think it, you know, you can still learn in the middle of the night when you're sleeping. Sure. We've we turn off all these other major functions and distractions and you can just pipe that stuff right into a. Right into dreamland.

And as some podcasts don't work like some podcasts, you just, you can't fall asleep. What's a what's, what's one that you could recommend for anyone listening to fall asleep. Um, well, I listened to like true crime stories. Those are not the ones you've been sleep to come up with some different ideas, but, um, I I'll listen to like BBC news, NPR news, um, uh, how I built this, things like that.

And those put me right in. How I built this great show and definitely a good place for a, for a source of inspiration. Where can people find more about you more about dash to some of the projects that you're working on? Where are you guys most active? Um, Instagram is moving the place right now. We have a very, um, it's funny if you type in, um, advertising blogs on Google, we're actually the number one blog, which is yeah.

So, um, we have a very robust blog. Um, that we try to post a once a week on, um, and that really helps brand us and obviously Instagram. So it's really our, our website Instagram. Well, great. We'll make sure to link out to all of that stuff. And, uh, and Jadon has been fun and we'll have to, we'll have to cover some, some exciting new campaigns as the world gets turned into.

Absolutely. Now, this is no apologies needed. It's a, it is the way of the world. So none required. Hey, listen, this has been helpful. Please share it with somebody who could benefit as always click the subscribe button down the corner. Have you want to get swagged up? Go to O H swag.com. Use promo code insider for 10% off your first order.