Colin Mitchell on the Virtues of understanding your audience

Colin Mitchell has come from a traditional planning background at BMP and other shops famous for planning and creative, along with a stop at McDonald’s before his current role at Virtue, the agency powered by Vice. Adam and Colin discuss how that planning education from the pre-digital era has informed the powerful work they’re doing now to tap into culture and sub-culture trends.

You can learn more about Virtue here: https://www.virtueworldwide.com/.

The Strategy Inside Everything is the podcast for people who think  for a  living. If you have an idea, a question or you want to push back  on  something you hear in this episode, go to https://thatsnotaninsight.com and leave a message or a voicemail for me. The best and most   interesting messages will be added to future episodes. And I can’t wait   to hear from you. Music for The Strategy Inside Everything is by   Sawsquarenoise. Host Adam Pierno is an author, speaker and strategy consultant. Learn more at adampierno.com.

Listen here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/colin-mitchell-on-the-virtues-of-understanding/id1269432601?i=1000550438283

Transcript:
Adam Pierno 0:03
All right, welcome back to another episode of the strategy inside everything. Joining me today from the Windy City is Mr. Colin Mitchell. He is the chief innovation officer at VICE Media Group and the CO president of Virtue, which is the the lovely agency inside of or somehow associated with Vice. I know he’ll tell us more. Colin, how are you?

Colin Mitchell 0:35
Oh, really well, thank you.

Adam Pierno 0:37
It is great to meet you. And I’m looking forward to speaking with you. Before we get going, would you give people a sense of how you got to the role you’re in now?

Colin Mitchell 0:46
Yeah. It’s been a long, long journey. So I started off. Everybody says they sort of stumbled into advertising. You know. I absolutely loved it. I wouldn’t say a sense of vocation. But I remember being asked at 12 what I wanted. And bizarrely, I said, advertising. So I from an early age, I was loved at night. So certainly UK, I grew up in Scotland. And they had in those days really good training programs. I was really lucky. I ended up in an agency called BMP, which at the time was a sort of story agency, John Steele. And there’s other notable planners that come from there. And it’s really a fantastic education. I mean, it still is the fundamentals that they taught me there every day. And the people I was Binay, who did, you know, the long and the short of it study, he was a cubicle mess of mine for many years. Yeah, is landed on Sarah Carter, who just wrote a book, she’s brilliant. And anyway, it’s just that it was a really, I was so lucky as an exceptional cluster of talent and exceptional time. And then when I was about 27, I, kind of on a whim, moved to New York, expecting to stay there a couple of years. And I work for a couple of boutique agencies, including Cliff Freeman, who sadly just passed away. And then I, you know, one thing led to another I settled, met somebody encircled down. And I had this sort of Epiphany in my mid 30s, that if I wanted to make a career out of this, and it looked like I was going to, I better broaden my understanding Cliff was very good, but they basically just did TV ads. And so I sort of looked around the industry and I kind of very deliberately chose Ogilvy and approach them and they had a job. Just because at the time, this, they seemed the most integrated, that was their business model. And I came as like one of those very arrogant, as in my early 30s. And I sort of strutted into this big bad agency, with all my small, you know, little boutique agency. Cool. And thought I gotta tell these guys a thing or two. I mean, it was really I was a kind of a shock as, for my first year or more I sit in these meetings, just not knowing what people are talking about. Because all the at that time was just, it was It wasn’t an agency, as you know, we’ve call it now integrated marketing communications company. They’re all of these experts in direct marketing and technology and so forth that I hadn’t encountered before. So it was a fantastic I just, I learned a ton and I ended up staying there for over 16 years and rose through the ranks. And I ended up running global planning. Under Shelley, and then under miles young. It was fantastic. And then. And then out of the blue, I got a call from Oracle, Sylvia Lagnado, who was sort of the architect of the tough campaign, just become CMO of McDonald’s. And I worked for her but I knew who she was and got talking to her and has no intention of moving but I did and so we’ve moved the family to Chicago, which is where I live now and working for McDonald’s for nearly five years and Rose there to run Global Marketing Report is the CEO and running a sort of counsel the CFO of a CMOS globally. And that was completely fascinating too. It was an amazing ride because it was a turnaround situation. And then sorry, I’ll speed up But long story short. Okay, and then I Any last sheltering from COVID, just down the road from an old friend of mine, Chris Corbett, who is Chief Creative Officer of TBWA. And we just got talking about where the industry was going, where my students going, and so forth. And over the course of the summer, we cooked up this plan to launch little agency, which became platformer, which we did. And and then we are one of our first clients was vice and long story short, they made us an offer to acquire US, which we had no intention of doing with a five year business plan. But they were we just loved them. We instantly clicked with them, and we thought they were doing is really exciting. So we joined them about nine months ago. And they’ve been there since.

Adam Pierno 5:43
So there’s so much to dig into just in your background. The the experience from BMP to Cliff Freeman, yes, how dramatically different was it? Because that was because the creative work was so different.

Colin Mitchell 5:57
Yeah, I mean, the whole culture was different. I mean, for me, it was a, it was a different city. BMP was a very particular agency, it was it this culture, we called it the grammar school kids who are like, we’re not fancy cars, but are quite academic. And all the planners, really, I think, boy, the culture of the agency, and it wasn’t and so all the other agencies were Soho, which was trendy part of London, it was Paddington were the other two big employers who are the post office and the sex worker industry. We were I that really adds to that dream of the London advertising scene, but I think very connected to real consumers. And that’s what BNP drilled into your skull. So in those first few years, my life was like I was on trains all the time with huge art bags full of foam core, showing doing focus groups and People’s Front rooms, which is how we did them in those days. You know, six ladies in Manchester have tea, in their in their home, in their home, which is a much better way of doing it. So you get this really sort of fingertip feel for what consumers are like and how they think and how little they care at the end of the day. And you can see a lot of that comes out and lasers writing and zeros. They wrote this book last year, called How Not To plan is full of really good tips. But the overall theme is that you know, people just don’t care. You know, you just don’t advertising doesn’t work. That word doesn’t compel anybody to do anything, it could suggest something and then people make their own decisions. And okay, so that was one very particular experience. And then BMP was so clear, Freeman was a different world. I mean, it was on a real high time. We waited, you swept can two years in a row. We did the famous hamster ed for outposts.com and budget and St. Paul’s some work. It was, you know, really historic work, I think. And there was amazing people with many of whom I’m still friends with are speaking to one last night. But it was like showbusiness, you know, Cliff was the joke was quite performance obsessed with humor and knows nobody better than him. And I think he had such so much sensibility really popular sensibility knew what the public light, but the joke was ego. You know, Lions lions are not funny. Leopards. Leopards are funny. Because lions are not funny. It was

Adam Pierno 8:49
I’ve heard that impression of his of his boys pretty that’s that’s a good one. I worked at someone who was there. I think around the same time as you he used to do a pretty good impression.

Colin Mitchell 9:00
I mean, it was just, it was a bit limiting after a while debating whether, you know, cauliflower was funny, but salary wasn’t and so forth. But he was a genius. And he just had this incredible understanding for the top. You know how people actually thought about brands and BMP, there was a guy called John Webster sort of equivalent to that again, like Cliff Cliff was not humble, but he was kind of very much a man of the people as was Webstar. And Webster did. He didn’t do like the big glamour asides. That was always BBH his domain with the year and potato chips and that sort of stuff.

Adam Pierno 9:44
Yeah. And at virtue, you are focused on this idea of being inside that yeah, that’s for me that comes from the world advice that that understanding, getting really deep into a sub culture or a sub sub culture. and really understanding it and understanding the motivations and the excitement of what those people inside of it love and what they what they basically kick out. How does that mean that sounds like a direct line to what you learned at your first job, I could see the connection there of learning, you know, those what those ladies in Manchester thinking is almost the same thing.

Colin Mitchell 10:21
I think so I think there is a direct line there. Throughout my career, I’ve always liked this sort of surprise, more. I mean, McDonald’s is a classic sort of street brand as well. So what we mean by Insider marketing is we see that the, the universe is sort of dividing into two very rapidly. Now, on the one hand, you have old advertising, subsidized media, as a TV, still very important. But increasingly, you’ve got gaming and streaming and subscription based services. So it’s a world where people pay to exclude advertising. And obviously, younger people are growing up much more in the second world than the first. And brands, we think we’re in this sort of awkward position right now they have to straddle both, if you’re a big brands, you can’t just you know, do the events, you have to do mass mass marketing still, but it’s harder and harder to aggravate those audiences. So we the, the notion is that we can help brands build themselves from inside of culture out. So you know, find the places and spaces where people are actually living where culture happens. And places a real instinct for this is kind of amazing in that regard. And place, the brands for them was relevant. So they’re not as dependent on on paid for advertising, although that’s still very important. So yes, it definitely draws on faces skills and sensibilities, but it tries to address what’s happening in the media universe.

Adam Pierno 11:56
What kind of crossover in approach, if any, is there from the reporting style, the embedded reporting style advice, and what you do at virtue as a as a planter? Or, you know, just thinking about brand land?

Colin Mitchell 12:10
That’s a really good question. Yeah. So So we’ve really embraced our vice Reverend, that the great thing about vice is it has this huge network of people who are in quote, unquote, embedded in culture, right? So if you go to Berlin, or Tokyo or Los Angeles, we know all those people we know the chefs and photographers and nightclub owners. And so we do I think, really do understand where culture is going. And we have a an informal network. It’s in journalism, they call them stringers, stringers of people who know what’s going on in a particular tone.

Adam Pierno 12:49
So they know a guy who knows a guy who exactly right, right, and so we

Colin Mitchell 12:53
have that formal and informal network. And we use that a lot, to really trying to understand where it’s really where the culture is going. We call it prediction, you know, not where it’s been. But that sort of vice is very, very good. It’s just understanding five minutes into the future. And the stringers are a big part of that.

Adam Pierno 13:17
And is that just through informal, ongoing conversations around topics and trends, and just trying to figure out oh, if it was here, yesterday, it’s going there tomorrow, or, or how

Colin Mitchell 13:27
formally and informally and we do it. We do it on behalf of clients around specific topics. So we’re doing quite a bit of trend work for Coca Cola. So that’s one of our new products that we’ve developed within virtue is basically culture consulting, people come to us for that it’s a natural fit, we have some authority in that area. But you know, a lot of these brands just the world is accelerating, they have difficulties seeing around the corners, and they want help with that. And so we’ve kind of turned it into a product and just a service and we can do, we could do long term consulting gigs, or we could just do reports and clients come to us for both and that’s a big door opener, you know, Coca Cola came for to talk about, you know, use the trends, but stayed, because then it sort of begs the question, well, what do we do about that? And we have answers

Adam Pierno 14:27
are good research downs, right? Yes. Yeah. And so I remember maybe this was five years ago or or a little more seven up really investing in music culture, and they they moved away from a lot of the advertising they had been doing for the same reasons you’re saying and they had gone into concert sponsorship and festival sponsorship to reach music fans and especially around kind of sub genres of music, EDM and other types of dance music. And I wonder You know, how, how small do you go to yield insights that can be applied more broadly? Because if you’re talking about a brand as big as seven up, or Yeah, McDonald’s, like it has to still scale?

Colin Mitchell 15:13
Yes, of course, of course, now that we’re trying to get out of those Nishi, little areas, I mean, actually, I think our sweet spot is bigger companies, you know, it’s like we the companies we’ve been working with, do talk to very, very big audiences, which was what I’ve done my whole career, I’ve always, that’s just been my space. But it’s there is this notion that there are people a year ahead, you know, if you talk to them, you get the sense of where life is going. So we you know, that intelligence gathering is important. But the more important thing is we can execute. So if you want to do connect a brand, and there are many through music, we do quite a bit of that we have this publishing brand called noisy, which is like, kind of like a pitch fork. And we can do a concert series of that we own this fashion and design magazine in London called ID, which is super inside it’s like, and so we could do a fashion event with you through that, or we have another digital publishing brand for munchies, which is about foods, we could do a food festival, through that, you know, so we use our publishing, in particular publishing capabilities. That’s an example of how we can place brands and culture. There are, I mean, the best way to think of bases, it’s, you know, been through many so many metamorphosis, but it started off as this punk scene 25 years ago, but it’s really now a sort of mini Disney. So I describe it, meaning it’s an integrated marketing group and what it means to children, you know, it has this sort of rough target, but it offers a lot of different services, theme parks, cruises, movies, TV, and so forth. So that we are to use an emerging culture. And there are, there are five business units, there’s digital publishing, there’s news. And there’s Studios, which makes content for Netflix, and Amazon, so forth. And then there’s posts, which is a production company, which makes music videos and commercials, and then there’s us. And we use a sort of Porcel for brands to access all of that. Yeah, and

Adam Pierno 17:33
they can use those those spaces as even almost a pilot or a test, you could say, we will try this food festival, and then they could scale it out. Once you’ve done that successfully, they could say, Okay, there’s, there’s, um, yeah.

Colin Mitchell 17:46
We’re working in the major apparel brands right now on a concept series. And that’s exactly what they want. They want a replicable packaged product. So we do some concepts in the US. And then they, as they learn to mythos, that’s the way global organizations work, you have to sell that through the system. Right? And we can help brands do that. Also, I mean, this unikernel selling,

Adam Pierno 18:13
how much did the the what you’re doing at virtue? And what Vice proposed align with what you started when you start when you drempt up platform? Or is it the same idea? And they said, We’d like what you’re doing with like, let’s work together and do it together more formally? Or did it changed and evolved a lot? Well,

Colin Mitchell 18:33
I think what they wanted what was missing? Virtue was sort of just the marketing strategy bit. And both Chris and I have gone deep into that. So it’s all very well, not every media brand, or uncertainly every publishing brand is trying to reach out to, to marketers to get dollars, right. So you see a lot of New York Times many other brands are playing with these services. And we see this massive trend as part of the reason we joined was clients are going around agencies, disintermediating agents, as opposed straight to producers and makers of culture and want to work with them directly. And is, well, who’s better place to do that than vice. The problem with that is you need people inside the organization who speak brand, right? And do a pretty high level. So that’s really what we built, what we brought. And what we built, I think is some discipline and structure around. It’s the strategy of brands and building brands.

Adam Pierno 19:40
Yeah, the language of

Colin Mitchell 19:41
brands. That’s actually a lot of its language, a lot of it’s just jargon and terminology, and the concepts and that sounds silly because it’s just branding at the end of the day, but it is. It doesn’t work if you just do it. I don’t know learning that it’s working. inside a media company, just it’s the first time I’ve done it, I, it’s a radically different way of seeing the world, the way that their timelines, the way they develop products, the way they sell product, the way they think about audiences are all very, very different. So the way you do in an agency, so in a lot of its translation, you know, between these different worlds,

Adam Pierno 20:25
yeah, that’s a huge departure from brand longitudinal thinking to publishing editorial calendars, where longitudinal is like the three month calendar.

Colin Mitchell 20:37
Certainly for a newspaper, I mean, for news, the cycles are completely different. But for movies that are much longer true, to make a movie, which we do a loss of documentaries and pictures and whatnot, that’s a three to four year proposition often and the life cycle of a CMO is usually 18 months to two years. So most, this is a very good example of where I think we can help clients is, every pitch deck in the world has a slide with a Netflix logo on it. And they say, Well, we’re going to make a content series with Netflix. And it’s nonsense. Netflix has never in its history, made a content series with real likes or any other brands. That’s the whole point of Netflix. But there are and also, even if you did want to do a show with Netflix, you don’t have three or four years to wait, if you’re a big clients you you’ve got. So but there are many other things you can do, you can work with a film that’s already in production and sponsor it, or you can produce a shorter term content series. Or you can work with a media company like ours, where we sell both the space and the concept. So that that’s a large part of what we’re doing is that your clients will rock up and say, you know, you need to do more with content or whatever. And there’s a lot of just explaining how that actually, what are the mechanics of making a TV series? And how can that work with the frameworks that a marketing department works with?

Adam Pierno 22:12
Is it is it strengthened from traditional, you know, the agency model, if you’re if you’re at a holding company, and you get an idea to partner with NatGeo for your client, and now you have to bring those that third party and to do that translation and produce the thing? You’re kind of negotiating or you’re almost a passenger as well. And from a brand strategy perspective. It’s really integrated.

Colin Mitchell 22:35
Although I think so I mean, that’s what so, I mean, we still do that as well. And, you know, people genuinely nice and want to help, but it’s just cumbersome, right? You’ve got the media agency, you’ve got the advertising agency, exactly. And the client, so there’s a minimum of four parties in the mix, all of which have their own agendas. And, and that’s why I think a lot of clients are going directly to the makers, they want the makeup, they want the makers, partly because they think they feel the makers have an instinctive understanding of the culture and not just us. I mean, I’m talking about Disney. I think one of the most interesting launches of the last several years was Ryan Reynolds, he’s done. You know, there’s an example of it’s been fabulously successful, somebody instinctively understands where the culture was going. It has a instinctive feeling for branding. And has and that can do things quickly.

Adam Pierno 23:35
You that’s that’s what’s more, I know, his fame, open doors, but his ability or that firm’s ability to turn things in 24 hours that yeah, capitalize on on moments and culture that they’re short Windows man, you don’t get to think about him.

Colin Mitchell 23:52
No, and you need to know people, if you want to make something you need to be able to pick up the phone and get five people or get a cruise together that night very often, which we can do.

Adam Pierno 24:04
And you so you have some of that same flexibility because you’re plugged into a public a public news organization that is you used to.

Colin Mitchell 24:11
I mean, it’s not just news news is just part of what we do is actually just as much with studios so that you can content and then this and then publishing so this is all these report we also acquired refinery 29. So fantastic, the real talent in that group. And so with them, we might work on an event. But yes, it definitely comes from those different skills. And that’s sort of familiar to be remember all the that humbling moment is sort of the same thing. It’s been an education for me, I guess that’s what we’re all looking for in our careers, right. We’re looking to learn something new, and I’m definitely doing that right now. I started in us, my wife’s a journalist. I also knew us I saw a new publishing, but I did at all.

Adam Pierno 25:03
You know, you’re you’re inside seeing the gears move. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, that’s always exciting from a planning perspective to see something from the inside out. That’s that’s the thrill. Yeah. And Colin, at the top here, you mentioned the training, you got to BMP. And I wonder, as we’re talking about learning, are you applying any? Or are you training your teams or people in the virtue or vice organizations? Or in brand formally or informally? Or is it mostly just to work through projects?

Colin Mitchell 25:33
We’re trying to do that. It’s a different culture. It’s a super nice culture to be really austere and cool. And but it’s not as warm and friendly. And people are really nice. So but there is a hunger. I mean, I think this is a big problem for the industry as a generational shift, where people just weren’t trained on basics. And it’s two way there’s lots of things they teach me for sure. But yes, I’m trying to do that I’ve made a major push at McDonald’s. For that we were we took that very seriously. David Ogilvy call the agency, the teaching hospital of advertising, and I’ve always felt that there’s sort of a moral duty almost, I was the happy recipient of so many, so much good learning for so many good teachers, that there’s sort of a duty to pass that on. So yes, we are a culture that doesn’t stop to think very much it’s much more of a doing as a making culture. The opposite of BMP in that regard. It did they still want it, they want clients want to and if people want it, that’s

Adam Pierno 26:50
great that there’s there’s receptivity, it sounds like the culture there is about learning anyway, in general, like learning from any subgroup or

Colin Mitchell 26:57
culture. Yeah, for sure.

Adam Pierno 26:59
Yeah. How do you compare that desire for part of brands to work with makers, with kind of the boom and bust of the influencer world that it hasn’t fully busted? But like, you’re no, not at scale, but you could see the writing on the wall that people are like, wait a minute, what’s the is this valuable? I’m not sure.

Colin Mitchell 27:25
So that’s really interesting. So here’s how we think about that. Because we do have a point of view, is, I think three things are converging, we just one of our four pillars, what we call people. So there’s three levels, celebrities, creators, and what we call communities. So celebrities or celebrities, and they’re becoming much more important the world of partying with Ryan Reynolds, and what and McDonald’s with, you know, the celebrity meals. Promotion, which has been widely copied throughout the industry. So celebrities are much more important because of the reasons it’s the beginning because eyeballs are in a different place. And then, creatives are very, very important. The problem is, it’s a world of bullshit, right? So there’s no standards, there’s a lot of fraudulence, I mean, probably get less legal lesser for saying this, but but without naming names, everybody knows what’s going on in that world. And we know genuine influencers, we know that, as I say, the nightclub owners and chefs and Pete in Berlin, or LA or Miami, wherever it might be, so we’re able to offer more genuine influencers, or creators. And then there’s community. So that’s really what used to be somewhat pejoratively called followers. We think of them as communities that can build around brands and what’s what’s the difference between a follower and a community member? Which, if anybody’s interested, we’ll happily take them through that. But the basic difference is participation. Yeah. Right. Yeah. So and participation by the, by the community member. So our proposition and I think we have some natural authority in this area. So we’ll take those three things together celebrities, creators and communities and think of them holistically in order to build the community around the brand. And that is super powerful for clients, every clients that yes, that’s what we want. We want to do that. So, I think to answer your original question, I think the sort of the influencer, the creative economy or the influencer market is, I think, much better understood as part of this thing. Got a trend, and certainly much better mobilized on behalf of marketers in that way.

Adam Pierno 30:06
Yeah. And you referenced the celebrity meal trend at McDonald’s started. And I wonder if the next phase is more about partnering to create, we, the brand still wants to be a control of some content. We want it to work well with content that creators make on our behalf. Partnership, so that those things are speaking to each other in culture, and it doesn’t crash over here on their channel, and we’re over here on our channel,

Colin Mitchell 30:36
right, and the bottom layer as well, the community so they have when I say participation, that’s the key. And we discovered that McDonald’s was the key to that was ordinary customers felt that they were part of the experience. It also worked particularly well for McDonald’s, because there’s this truth about McDonald’s that, you know, Kanye and the President did Trump at least take with those but sort of you and I, and so does everybody. And we kind of starved for that sense of connection with each other. But that’s why celebrities is particularly appropriate for that brand. But we found generally with our promotions on the doors, if you don’t have a sense of participation, if you give people even though most people don’t do it, if you give people some way of participating in the brand, they can vote on something or they can send in an idea, or they can comment or the you know, some mechanism for that, you know, 97% of people won’t, but the sense that you can, is very, very important that the brand belongs to the community has,

Adam Pierno 31:45
yes, for those for those people that want to invest more than dollars, give them give them a sign that there’s things they can do to be a part of it more than just a customer.

Colin Mitchell 31:55
Yes, and I’m not I’m in Byron sharp was very down on this notion, you know, 20 years ago, Douglas Atkins called it cult brands. And, you know, in the sharp theory, you know, with low levels of interaction and low levels of loyalty, most people aren’t attached. But that is true, I certainly believe that to be true. That was the BNP theology as well. However, people do like to see this, they do like the sense that it belongs to them that they can participate. And it just makes it feel bigger and more culturally important.

Adam Pierno 32:35
And you so I, like I liked that you brought up sharp. And I think both things can be true, I hold both of those dissonant ideas in my head that I have to be recruiting new customers, because loyalty is very low. But by demonstrating to my few loyal customers, that they have some stake in the brand bigger than themselves. That is a mechanism to recruit new customers who wish for that same type of thing or observe it and say, Oh, that person really likes it. And therefore it must be worth trying. I think that’s for people,

Colin Mitchell 33:07
right. And this is something has been demonstrated in the last 10 years. Well, we call it users or sellers. So if you look at the New Age brands, they’ve all done it this way. So they don’t, the traditional way of marketing a brand is you focus on a non user, and you try and either increase your awareness, or you persuade them to try the product. The New Age brands give the product away in some form, and get a it’s certainly an experience that wraps the brand and cool. And they try it and like it and sign up. So freemium, premium products, so that, you know, best example of that, but it’s true. It’s true. All of these New Age brands, I think Dollar Shave Club, Airbnb, which Chris worked on very closely, Tesla and so forth. If you think about Tesla versus a Ford or folks wagon, it goes about its marketing very differently. And it’s based on this community. This sort of community, if my sister in law drives a Tesla, and she talks to very little else, you know, so every time I just have this experience, she picks me up from the airport. It’s like a 30 minute come up sales pitch, right. That’s what you want to get going.

Adam Pierno 34:26
Absolutely. Absolutely. And so in that case, both things are true. It’s interesting. Yes,

Colin Mitchell 34:31
yes, I think people absolutely. I think the bar shop is an extremist, but both things are true. People don’t care. They’re not loyal, but they do like to, they do like the sense of participation. And also you can get people to become your loyalists, if not loyalists to, the advocates can work as as recruiters for Brad? Yeah, and

Adam Pierno 35:01
I think we’re both in agreement with sharp that that’s pretty rare and hard to do. I mean, you cited Tesla. That’s a pretty big investment. It’s hard to get someone to do that on well, like

Colin Mitchell 35:13
all of these DTC brands, we work in Dollar Shave Club, which is sort of that was amazing. Brad did the original.

Adam Pierno 35:21
Yeah, they were the first wave. Yeah.

Colin Mitchell 35:23
And I think that all changed 10 years ago with them and all of their followers is you can do this on a micro scale, and then grow it very quickly. And if the last two years COVID has taught us anything, it’s taught us the basic mathematics of, you know, Epidemiology, you know, if one person goes to two people who each tell two people, you know, it can, it can spread very, very fast.

Adam Pierno 35:53
I wanted to ask about a lot of the examples you gave or about chefs and I’d brought up music and so those are more music festivals, those tend to be in person in life. There’s a lot of buzz about the metaverse, but I wanted to hear really quickly about your thought on insider thinking as it relates to digital cultures and digital communities. Yeah, a little bit before about Roblox, which I’m witnessing firsthand with my own family. But I wanted to see what what your thoughts are on how insider applies to those communities?

Colin Mitchell 36:28
Well, we’ve, it’s there’s nothing more inside than these communities, right, that they talk about creating what I said at the top of the call about dividing media universes. And this is like almost a hermetically sealed world. And it’s very hard for brands to get in. I mean, it’s been done, you know, Travis Scott launched on fortnight, and so forth, and some great moves and so forth. But we think this is huge. I mean, this week’s news about Microsoft acquiring amazing was that tectonic, this is happening much faster than anybody including us imagined it would. So we you need to be in there were more calls than we can handle. We’ve got like four projects. We did the coke NFT of which was one of the first ones idols. And that opened our eyes to how powerful this is. We’ve got some I don’t can’t disclose it today. But later this week, we’ve got some exciting news coming about our own presence. And in the metaverse as a brand. And we’re working with everyone and every client wants to talk about this and I think it’s not just a trend, it’s it’s it’s a tectonic shift. And there are there are hundreds of questions like should I be in decentraland? Or should they be how do I pay for this? How do I make it safe, brand safe and so forth? We’re like everybody else trying to learn that very, very quickly.

Adam Pierno 38:09
You know, I look at you mentioned Travis Scott, but I look at Chipotle that that put a virtual store in Roblox and yes, that’s it that’s what you’re doing. You’re gonna play actual store in there that seems like it was more than that. But it seems Yeah.

Colin Mitchell 38:25
I mean, there’s a lot of land grabbing is that the point is I mean, you know, good luck good for them they did if they did it quickly and they did at first but they’re gonna find out. Surely thought at the survey sophisticate are very smart. Yes. But you know, you could What do you do with that? Can you buy food? Can you work there in you? How does that interact with the rest is the rest of that universe, but they’re I think they chose correct way. I think decentraland is the right place for them to be. Yeah, in Roblox.

Adam Pierno 39:01
They were in Roblox I think focus. So

Colin Mitchell 39:03
that’s interesting. So, you know, much bigger audience right now. But it’s a closed world. So one of the fundamental questions you have to ask is, do you go into an open while they’re close? While our view is open? Well, although now it has smaller audiences ultimately will be the place brands will to be?

Adam Pierno 39:24
Yeah. And I think that’s the big question is, do we want to leverage an existing community in a closed world? Or do we want to build something of our own? That’s decentral that we can relate to? Yeah. Yeah. Well, Colin, very nice to have a chance to speak with you today. Thank you so much for joining. Yeah, it’s

Colin Mitchell 39:41
been a real pleasure.

Adam Pierno 39:42
Thank you. And where can people find you online? I know they can find out more about virtue at virtue worldwide.com And I’ll obviously link to that in the show notes. But where can they find you?

Colin Mitchell 39:54
You can probably the best way is to email me at Collin dot Mitchell advice. Stop calm. I don’t have my own site, but it comes to the virtues site. There’s some good content there.

Adam Pierno 40:08
Yeah, it’s really it’s really rich. I spent some time there getting ready for this and there

Colin Mitchell 40:14
is more coming we’re gonna we’re gonna publish much more of our our understanding of where things are going.

Adam Pierno 40:23
Awesome. Well, thanks again great talking to you. Thank you very much. Bye bye

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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