Digital marketing

Movers and Shakers takes a new approach to online marketing

Movers and Shakers is a particularly fitting name for this Santa Monica-based creative company, not only because of its proximity to one of the West Coast’s largest fault lines, but also because of the way it disrupted the marketing industry in such a short time. .

It wasn’t until 2016 that chief creative officer Geoffrey Goldberg and chief executive Evan Horowitz co-founded the company, which took third place on the Business Journal’s list of fastest-growing private companies this year. year by increasing its annual revenue to $6.6 million in 2020, a 2,227% increase over 2019.

The company is on track to quadruple its turnover by the end of 2021.
Its number of employees has also increased dramatically in five years, from 2 to 75.
The breadth of its reach reflects this growth. The company’s campaigns on TikTok alone have generated more than 150 billion views. Inc. magazine ranked it 78th on its 2021 list of America’s 5,000 fastest-growing private companies, Fast Company called it the most innovative company, and Adweek called it an agency. fastest growing advertising company in the world.

Goldberg and Horowitz’s success story is impressive, especially for the co-founders whose original goal was simply to “spread joy,” as they told The Business Journal.

The idea for the company began when Goldberg, an up-and-coming Broadway performer and director, posted a dance video on Facebook, which generated nearly 30,000 views overnight.

Horowitz, a Harvard MBA marketer, saw the potential in his popularity for a creative agency that could cut through the noise of contemporary advertising and connect consumers to businesses.

“The best advertising today, especially when you think of (a) millennial or Gen Z audience, is self-aware, and you don’t pretend you’re anything other than a brand talking to you,” he said. he declares. “But if the brand talks in a fun way, that’s cool.”
Teaming up to form Movers and Shakers, the duo landed their first hit with a campaign for Match Group capitalizing on the popularity of Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land.”

“What they were selling was that magical moment of meeting that new guy or that new girl,” Horowitz recalled. “They released it as an ad on YouTube, where you can skip after five seconds. The average person stayed for over two minutes to watch the video.
Goldberg explained that the “secret sauce” to their approach comes from “living in the crossover space creating incredible, joyful storytelling that moves people but is also extremely strategic and has brand priorities.”

But in the age of social media, there are more platforms than ever that businesses can use to sell to consumers – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and more.
Horowitz observed that each of these platforms requires a different format and approach, and almost none of these approaches are identical to traditional advertising models that have been around for decades.

“Back in the ‘Mad Men’ days, it was all about your beautiful TV ad, and then companies would take that and resize it for Facebook and Instagram. But those don’t work well because they don’t seem to be native to that area,” Horowitz said. “So we’re trying to educate our customers on how you build things that are native to the platform.”

As Movers and Shakers has grown as an agency, its clients have always fallen into one of two categories: market leaders seeking cultural relevance (“a cool factor “) and trendy midsize brands determined to stay on the cutting edge of technology. their industries.

But having worked with companies like Inc., Target Corp., Johnson & Johnson, and Netflix Inc., it’s clear the company isn’t just reacting to what’s cool and culturally relevant, but anticipating. and even helps to determine what it is. through his work.

“Our clients recognize that culture is changing at a much faster pace than years ago, and they’re struggling to keep up,” Goldberg said. “We do what makes sense to us based on what we see right now without the baggage of rules and guardrails from things from years ago. It turns out to be quite innovative.