Tony Hawk announced the launch of D/CAL, a hybrid brand consultancy and creative agency, with co-founders Adam Wilson (Carhartt, McGarryBowen), Jared Prindle (Tony Hawk Inc., 900 Films), and Ryan Maconochie (Arc, Leo Burnett, Trisect).
With a diverse team of agency execs, brand marketers, cultural entrepreneurs, and a growing network of creators, D/CAL is uniquely qualified to help solve an equally diverse spectrum of business problems.
“As the next generation continues to favor meaningful brands, the ones that can reconcile cultural relevance with commercial success will endure,” said Wilson. “We’re here to help make that happen.” The company, with offices in Detroit and San Diego, offers a full suite of brand consultancy and agency services, but branches outside of industry norms by involving strategic and creative minds from outside the agency world, starting with D/CAL’s Co-Founder, Tony Hawk.
“I’ve worked with many brands and their agencies over the years and even as a relative outsider looking in, I understand the challenges between clients and agencies. Our approach is unique, with an emphasis on authenticity,” added Hawk.
To help brands of all shapes and sizes not just navigate, but thrive at the intersection of culture and commerce, the firm sets itself apart with four integrated components:
Adding more emphasis on helping clients triangulate the problem, the firm has developed an expedited “consultancy mode,” delivering a range of actionable, insight-driven strategies which include: purpose-driven brand planning, product/service innovation, “brand as publisher” consultation, and optimization of their client’s in-house capabilities. “Let’s help clients figure out how to unlock belief in their brand. Then figure out what shape our agency services need to take to help activate it,” explained Wilson. “It’s a subtle, yet big differentiator.”
Cultural Advisory Board (CAB)
Keeping the firm and clients closer to the ebbs and flows of subcultures, D/CAL created “The CAB,” a diverse, independent group from key categories that collectively influence culture at-large. CAB Directors Rick Williams (Burn Rubber) and Cathy Goodman (Skateistan, Tony Hawk Foundation) oversee the eclectic group that includes Atiba Jefferson (HipHop, Skate, Pro Sports Photographer), Paul Blair (DJ White Shadow, Producer for Lady Gaga), Joe Gall (Adventure Photographer), Jessica Murnane (One Part Plant), and Jon Gray (Ghetto Gastro). “They’re an extension of our consultancy. A trove of street-level, here and now insights,” said Wilson. CAB allows the company to “plug-in” to cultural verticals ranging from music, design, food, gaming, and of course, action sports. “It’s safe to say we have a solid panel of Action Sports experts,” added Hawk. The firm’s core team works with CAB to leverage their own networks to help D/CAL build its ever-growing Creator Network.
In agency “mode,” D/CAL turbocharges creative development with a re-imagined briefing process designed specifically for collaboration with next-generation creators who, by and large, have never seen a marketing brief. “We mine for conceptual raw material that can be polished into authentic work,” says Maconochie. This unfiltered thinking from raw creative talent allows a smaller team of more seasoned agency creatives to explore more creative territory in a shorter period of time. “Influencers aren’t just for buying audiences – with some rigor, they can have meaningful influence on upstream thinking,” said Wilson.
Remaining hyper-adaptive to client’s executional needs, D/CAL partners with an impressive (and growing) roster of Specialized Partners. From an in-house partnership with Hawk’s production company 900 Films (www.900films.com), to a preferred partnership with the world-class app development shop, Detroit Labs (www.detroitlabs.com), D/CAL believes they deliver on what many clients are yearning for—focus and flexibility. “We can build a full-service offering, or complement a brand’s in-house agency without putting the burden of scale squarely on our clients,” added Katherine Huber, Director of Client Services. “Clients and agencies don’t want to feel boxed in anymore.”
Current clients include: Michigan-based DROUGHT (https://droughtjuice.com/) and HoMedics (https://www.homedics.com/), San Diego-based Tony Hawk Foundation (www.tonyhawkfoundation.org), and Chicago-based CityBase (https://thecitybase.com/).
Information about D/CAL and its founders may be found at www.DCALagency.com.