Clients who visit Renegade Marketing Group, housed in an industrial-chic suite above Manhattan’s tony Chelsea Market, aren’t looking for 30-second TV spots.
“A client comes to Renegade hoping to get some bang for their buck,” says Drew Neisser, president and CEO.
Neisser incorporated the company in 1996 with 10 employees and a lot of ambition. Tall and charismatic, he’s executed campaigns that would make a timid client quiver, such as an S&M party complete with zippered vinyl invitations. (The watch promoted at the party, Casio’s G-Shock, was the brand among New York tastemakers for the next six months, Neisser says.)
The company defines media in broad and flexible strokes, always focusing on the most powerful way to move the needle. “We don’t really think of online and offline. It’s an idea; it goes where it goes,” says Noah Brier, the agency’s creative lead.
Once a week company-wide, and twice weekly in some departments, Renegade staff members meet to review the “Idea Report” — notes from employees about new ideas in media that caught their attention.
The Cartoon Network’s “Adult Swim” appeared in the “Report” just before it got hot; more recently, Digg.com got a nod, as did World Cup-related marketing. The renegades, as they call themselves, research and dissect the ideas they like, uncovering marketing strategies and potential metrics.
“To have an idea factory, you have to have an idea culture,” Brier says. “‘The Idea Report’ is the most formal way of |doing that.”
The company anchors its creative flights in a process: Define the challenge, know the target, capture their attention, and close the loop. The client and Renegade agree up-front on metrics and goals, whether the project involves a multimedia approach or is merely a one-time event.
Renegade persuaded Doubleclick to invite two emcees to a trade show booth promoting the digital marketing company’s new search engine management software. The emcees freestyled, using keywords from audience members about “taming the beast” of search. The promotion generated 66 percent more leads than anticipated. One vendor said he would book a booth next to DoubleClick from now on.
“Ultimately it all comes back to a client who’s not afraid to do something different,” Brier says.