Gabe Gordon, co-founder and managing partner of Reach Agency, has 15 years of global experience in content marketing building creative, integrated solutions for world-class brands such as General Motors, The NFL, Nestle, Walmart and PepsiCo. Of late, Reach is further cementing itself as a leading name in social and new media, having recently been named the lead agency for Nestle’s Butterfinger and Crunch candies, as well as adding new power players to their team. Brand Storytelling caught up with Gordon to talk about the agency’s agility, the key to developing integrated marketing for the social generation, and why he keeps coming back to Brand Storytelling at Sundance.
It was recently announced that you are working with Nestle Crunch and Butterfinger. In a recent article, one of the key differences cited about Reach was that the agency is “agile and collaborative” - what does that mean to you and to the agency?
Reach was founded 6 years ago as a YouTube Agency. None of us had worked at another agency before, so we created an agency operating model that we thought would work best in this new media environment. The traditional agency model we saw in other agencies had layers of complexity and process that were unnecessary for social. While we adopted some elements of the legacy agency model with growth, overall our agency model has fundamental differences, not only in how we operate, but how we engage with clients. Because of this we can be more agile, collaborative and efficient than many other agencies.
Reach lives to engage brands with a social generation. What would you say is the most important thing you do as an agency to make engaging brands with a social generation possible?
As an agency, the most important thing we can do to help our clients engage with new generations is gain their trust. Social generations from Millennials to GenZ are constantly evolving, which means as an agency we have to help our clients constantly evolve communications strategy, creative and tactics to engage with those consumers. The reality is that to do this well, you can’t always wait for someone else to generate a best practice, you have to build a system to develop proven, scalable tactics quickly and with a responsible investment. To do that you need to earn the trust of your client to empower you to take the right risks, fail and learn.
While this may be your first year as an advisor to Brand Storytelling at Sundance, it will be your third year attending. why do you keep coming back? What do you get out of it?
I go to a lot of conferences and there isn’t anywhere else you can really engage with top level brands, publishers and agencies in such an intimate setting. For me this event is about relationship building with industry leaders learning through conversation, not presentation.
Why do you think it’s important for advertisers to be in the proximity of the Sundance film festival and participate in a sanctioned Sundance event like Brand Storytelling?
The mission of the Sundance Film Festival is to advance the work of independent storytellers in film. For over 30 years it has been the forum for independent filmmakers to showcase their work and make a name for themselves. As brands are entering into the world of storytelling and changing how we engage with consumers, there couldn't be a better place to advance the business of brand storytelling and showcase our work.
What are you hoping to see from our incredible presenters at this year’s event?
Great stories of course! I am looking forward to hearing how media is evolving the influencer landscape, how brands and publishers are winning with new content distribution models and getting an inside look at the recent brand success stories.
You can hear more from Gabe Gordon and the rest of our advisory board in January during Brand Storytelling at Sundance Film Festival 2018. Please visit our website for more information on how you can attend this one-of-a-kind event.
-- Watch for weekly news updates from Brand Storytelling in your inbox by subscribing, and share this with other storytellers in your network. Of course, if you’d like to contribute to the story, We'd love to hear from you. Email us!