Teddy Goalsevelt on What Makes Shareworthy Content

Mike D’Amico is a wonderfully talented art director. We worked together when he first got into the business with a gig at Element 79. As a digital native in a largely TV shop, he was an amazing font of information about these new things like Twitter and Foursquare.

But today, suddenly, he’s far better known to soccer fans around the world as “Teddy Goalsevelt.” As you can see in this interview with Chicago’s Very Own WGN Channel 9, he’s rode his costumed-enthusiasm to massive social media fame.  Check out these write ups from Buzzfeed, the NY Post and ESPN. He is viral. And truly winning the internet.


Despite what must be a dizzying maelstrom of international attention, Mike makes an incisive point that is nothing short of absolute genius at 5:31 of his WGN interview on what he’s learned about this experience.

“It’s funny. My job literally is to make content go viral online. And I’ll tell you what; if there’s one thing to learn from this about the internet, it’s that you can not do this on purpose.”

For those of us who work in this business, that statement is undeniably true. Trying to ascertain what will capture the fleeting attention of our ADD society at a specific moment in time is something of a crapshoot. Still, in those rare moments when you do, the result is pure joy. And Mike, you’ve brought a ton of pure joy to fans of US Soccer, and by association, our ever-manly 26th President.

By the way, epic gloves Mike. So fired up for you. So. Much. Fun.


By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Olson

Timing Is Everything: From Dashing to Exceeding Expectations

We have this lovely little ad hoc thing at the agency called, unimaginatively enough, Breakfast Club, where every Friday morning, four or five people at the office provide some breakfast for the rest of us.  Over the months and years, the Breakfast Club has become a nice way to end the week by sharing a cup of coffee and maybe a homemade scone or a bit of egg casserole.

Last Friday, the scheduled Breakfast Club hosts did the unprecedented and waved off at the last minute due to an unfortunate confluence of client travel and personal illness.  There was disappointment–not getting your danish can do that to you.  One note on Facebook conjectured Breakfast Club had been given up for Lent.  Hardly.

First thing Monday morning, a Spartan offering of donut holes and coffee sat on a break room table, an intentionally underwhelming display meant to be, as a tweet from @jennylui read, “Just a little something to whet ur whistle before we blow ur mind. At 4 pm.”

By mid-afternoon, the rhetoric had escalated.  Tweets and emails promised “the single greatest breakfast club ever.”  That was all–no explanation, no hint of their plans.

Four o’clock arrived and a far larger crowd than usual gathered at our main meeting room to find an amazing troika: a proper English breakfast, vodka drinks, and the DePaul Mens a Cappella group, DMaC.  For the next hour or so, these college undergrads worked their way through a varied catalogue, from Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” to a surprisingly moving rendition of Toto’s “Africa.”  Pure, multi-octave voices, loose but conscious choreography and an undercurrent of collegiate wit created a deeply engaging performance that lived up to its billing.  And provided an unprecedented backdrop to eggs, beans and crumpets.

From dashing expectations to wildly exceeding them–if you can ever get a shot at redemption and nail it, the effect is twice as impactful.  Well done Ron D’Innocenzo, Jenny Lui, Mike D’Amico and Josh Witherspoon: John Hughes himself would have been proud.

And whoever has Breakfast Club this week is so hosed…

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79

Social Media: Now Bigger Than Web 2.0 From a Marketing Perspective

The ever-astute Mike “Bear” D’Amico raised a fair question after a recent post, asking “So, just to get my lingo down, is social media no longer considered a part of Web 2.0?  I thought the interactivity and social nature of wiki, digg, facebook, etc. was the whole 2.0 thing.”  Obviously you thought that because you are so wrongheaded, Bear…

No, no, no–heavens no!  Mike makes a very good point: considering that Social Media is a direct byproduct of Web 2.0, why have so many marketing people leapt past the revolution of interactivity to focus almost obsessively on social media?

First, they haven’t entirely.  The deep, easy interactivity that Web 2.0 provides creates ongoing opportunities to forge deeper, more engaging brand experiences for consumers, so marketers won’t be walking away from that anytime soon.  But the huge draw of social media lies in its numbers, its tonnage, its ratings points.  Specifically, Americans have adopted wholesale changes in our media consumption away from TV and print, to phenomenon like Facebook, MySpace and the blogosphere.  And we’ve done it with breathtaking speed.  With some estimates putting the percentage of daily media activity in social media as high as 30%, advertisers need to innovate ways to meaningfully enter these platforms, because the one media principle that endures remains to “fish where the fish are.”   Today, more people surf online, deeply engaging with social media.  Sure, Web 2.0 heightens those engagements, but social media are the end result.  And this huge new platforms spells opportunity–or oblivion–for advertisers.

To Quote the Rolling Stones: "It's The Singer, Not the Song."

To Quote the Rolling Stones: "It's The Singer, Not the Song."


In a way, Web 2.0 is to social media as Illinois is to Lincoln: the rail splitting abolitionist made his home in Springfield, but his reputation and place in history live on a nation level.

When any cultural trend grows this large this rapidly, marketers pay close attention.  Social media provide advertising it’s biggest new creative platform since the launch of the modem-equipped PC.  Aside from these, advertising creatives have kept themselves busy polishing formats and incrementally innovating techniques first developed decades ago.

But social media is fresh snow that beckons all of us to carve the first glorious tracks through it.  As an online friend put it, if you missed the digital dance five or six years ago when Web 2.0 first rumbled in, here’s your chance for a reboot.  Because social media is huge.  It’s still new.  And no one owns it yet.

Get busy Mike…

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79