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The Art of Simple Smart & Social


OR... HOW I LEARNED TO STOP CREATING ADS AND START BUILDING THINGS THAT ADVERTISE.

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The Art of Simple Smart & Social


OR... HOW I LEARNED TO STOP CREATING ADS AND START BUILDING THINGS THAT ADVERTISE.

Read

Dear Brands, Businesses, Marketers, & Entrepreneurs:  

It’s time to stop creating ads and start making useful things that advertise.
— People :)

The digital world has created expectations that most brands and businesses still have not lived up to.

Meanwhile "agencies" have been speeding money beating people in the head when they should have been engaging them. Brands have been buying the worlds largest billboards when they should have been innovating. Businesses have been looking for ways to disrupt when they should have been focused on offering people experiences so good, they'd gladly tell someone else.

And if that’s not enough, the very agencies that advise these marketers forgot that 95% of us get our brand, business, game, friend, family, "I've got two minutes let's see what going on right now" fix right from the palm of our hands.

Question: When is the last time you went to your favorite soft-drink website?

Favorite yogurt?

Potato chip?? 

I can't remember either.

Face it, no one wants to be advertised toonline or otherwise.

Do you? 

Do you want more dazzling over-produced marketing-slaw for lunch?  

Me either.

Not on those terms, anyway.

Jaysus, something has to change. 

I for one am fighting the good fight. I stopped making ads and started making useful things that happen to advertise. And I base everything I do at Makeable on the following principles:

People want more.

More information, service, ideas, more access to each other and more value from you, the brand they grace with their attention. They also want to manage their relationship with you, and to have—among other things—instantaneous transactional capability. These expectations are increasing, not going away. 

People also want less.

Less emails, less hold times, less crap junk mail and really—less interaction with you in general. That is of course, unless they want more interaction with you. Then, you know, give them that too.

People want value. 

And it's up to you to figure out what is valuable to those you wish to engage. Spend ALL your time getting this right.  

People want access. 

And it's up to you to make the feeling, experience, place or thing you give access to deliver real value. It's human nature to desire access. But only if there is perceived value behind the door. (Just ask mom how many times you pulled on the cabinet door under the kitchen sink when you were a rug-rat). :)

People *like* to be engaged.  

But if you want that engagement to turn into anything of value for your business, it's your obligation to ensure they derive value from it. Importantly, you'll need to try engage them with experiences where they are not necessarily where you want them to be. 

Question: If your brand, product or service fully lived in the contemporary digital world that your target does, what simple, delightful, and valuable thing would it invent tomorrow?  This is an important discussion to have before you spend that money on another campaign.

What can your business do to better the digital lives of those you target?

What does your brand already have the right to talk about and publish?

What kind of new product or service invention can live under your message?

Question: What companies or influencers can you partner with that are already delighting your very target. How can you MESH with them? You’re already halfway there.

Now for the hard part - bringing it to life. Welcome to my world.

It’s funny, designing something simple and useful is harder than you’d think. And measuring how social and successful it is? Even harder. These pages are dedicated to those that quietly execute Smart rather than Loud. And all that embrace Value over Intrusiveness.

♥,

T

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Tom who?


Hi! I'm Tom.

Founder & Creative Director of Makeable, father of 3, wearer
of pants. Maker, Collector, Breaker & Connector of things.

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Tom who?


Hi! I'm Tom.

Founder & Creative Director of Makeable, father of 3, wearer
of pants. Maker, Collector, Breaker & Connector of things.

Read

Background
I was born one June in Seymour, CT during the late 70’s after mom’s water broke whilst she laughed at Carol Burnett.  I grew up in the same town, where my raw-male-sponge-like-form was puttied into a more specific and directed being.  Then I learned how to lie.

After getting booted from a few elementary schools and a Catholic Prep-School, Bro. Tom Parkinson taught me the not-so-subtle art of ass-kissing and appealing to people’s apparent weaknesses. A new man, I attended Marist College and joined the Rugby team, where I was lovingly branded “Meat.” I forged ahead and challenged myself with four full years of Copywriting, Photography, Design, 1-AA Football, Lethargy and countless Beirut Tournaments.

Career
Post-college I worked at The Ad Store, NYC as a Jr. Art Director on Sony Imax, and Munsingwear, the Penguin peeps. I bounced around the east coast for a bit and I was hungry. At every traditional shop I landed, I became the guy that helped found their “interactive capability.”

While in Atlanta I co-founded a digital entertainment company and spun it off of a more traditional shop into its own business.  (Why not, right?)  A small core team and and two angel investors later I found myself in San Francisco leading a group of 30 animators, designers and writers at Spunky Productions. We specialized in producing, marketing and syndicating original children’s Internet content.

We built all these funky, animated experiences that the networks loved—they were engaging on a level that their stuff wasn’t currently delivering. And so Atom Shockwave, Chevrolet, Keebler, JC Penney, Universal Studios, Harvey Toons, Fox Family Channel, Discovery Networks and Artisan Entertainment started snagging them up. We discovered that the web wasn’t a place for “ads.”  It was becoming the home of rich, immersive brand experiences that acquire customers in a new way.  We learned very quickly that if the user wasn’t engaged…they’d just go elsewhere.

In early 2000, I joined industry leader Modem Media to help develop and design their “interactive marketing programs” offering. There I started working with like-minded, interactive idealists and mega brands like Delta, Song, IBM, Coors, Heineken and M&M/Mars to help them develop an online presence. We agreed technologically driven, dynamically generated interactive experiences like this one we created in 2004 can be creative AND generate real ROI.

Hungry to take this shared vision to the next level both personally and professionally, in October of 2004, I took the post of Executive Creative Director at Agency.com. I pride myself in my ability to build passionate teams of technologically savvy creative generalists. Creating that combination and motivating that type of team isn’t easy, but it’s essential.

 

Together we redefined the web-dev giant into a full-service digital marketing agency. In my first 18 months alone we picked up OMMA’s creative Agency of the Year award, three EFFIE awards (and 55 others) to boot.  Agency.com was where I got to do some of my most important work like 911memorial.org, in addition to bringing to life such things as British Airway’s EFFIE award winning Go With Those Who Know campaign, eBay’s EFFIE award winning eBay IT campaign, and the viral campaigns Audible.com Don’t Read, “Agency.com Subway Pitch”, and Ben Relles’ “My Box in a Box.” Google the names in quotes for more.
 
Then in early 2007 I answered the call of an opportunity to create a new kind of company. Soon, Makeable as born. I believe creativity is a force for unlocking business potential and building long-term value. Any company can benefit from it and very few understand how to harness the power of it. Makeable bridges this gap for entrepreneurs, marketers and thought leading businesses alike.

Want to see the product of our deep and honest approach? Google ”Lebron Button”, “Kideo Player”, “If I Can Dream”, “Baker Tweet”, “I went to MoMa and…”, “Youtique” or just head over to itsmakeable.com.

Passions
I’m passionate about interactive media and the communities, businesses and ideas that drive it. I express this interest through Makeable. Another one of my passions is family-oriented product design. The more I learn about technology the more I grow concerned with and excited about applying what I know to creating a smarter, kid-friendly world. I keep my extra-curricular calendar full developing ideas for and advising some of the worlds most innovative, creative, and meaningful companies in the kids, family and entertainment industry. See also: KideoplayerTegu.comTykoon.com and Harvey Entertainment (now owned by Classic Media).

When I’m not trailblazing the interactive landscape I am home being a new father to enzogino and gia, working on a tractor or fence or something, and spending time with my wife Sally, pups, and antique lunch box collection.

Most prized possession
My life mantra is Don’t Give Up. I have a screen print from Print Liberation that say’s “Don’t Give Up” hanging at Makeable. It hangs to remind us all what those words mean. See the print and a few of us Makers in this video

Thanks for reading.  Hopefully this has answered more questions than it has raised.  :)  If not, ping me at tom@itsmakeable.com

/ t   

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Get in touch


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Get in touch



Business Inquiries
tom@itsmakeable.com

— 
All other questions, please use the form on the right.