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Baker Street
October 9, 2018
Jena Benzel

This just in…Baker Street Advertising Snags SMARTIE for Hispanic Mobile Media Effort


Baker Street’s multi-channel Siempre Contigo Hispanic Media effort for Honda continues to get attention, this time winning a SMARTIE Award for outstanding Mobile Amplification and Location-Based Targeting.

Check out the award video, created by our partners, Clear Channel OOH, to see how our Media Bakers are blending cutting-edge mobile technology and old school Out Of Home to create dramatic results.

OOH Board | Odyssey

OOH Board | CR-V

Before winning the SMARTIE Award, Baker Street’s media caught the eye of Dealer Marketing Magazine in this article that appeared in our blog post from July 2018.

Credits, Baker Street Advertising:
President: Jack Boland
Media Director: Glenn Yajko
Media Supervisor: Jena Benzel
Chief Strategy Officer: Don Donovan
Chief Creative Officer: Brian Bacino
Art Director: Ken Woodard
Group Account Director: Dan Nilsen
Associate Account Director: Christine Rodriguez
Account Supervisor: Megan Boland

Accolades, Awards, Baker Streeters, Digital Marketing, Honda, Uncategorized

June 30, 2018
Lesly Pyle

Our #AskAnyHondaDriver Campaign Performs Just Like a Honda

NorCal Honda’s #AskAnyHondaDriver testimonial campaign is in its 4th year and is the most robust campaign we’ve created so far — with 19 long-format web films and 28 unique TV/web videos since 2015. Talk about legendary dependability.
This year, we feature four new happy Honda stories from all over Northern California.

2014 | Accord | Chris and Kelsey | Monterey 
Teeing it up are two golf pros who definitely drive for show.

2017 CR-V | Samanta | Richmond 
Second, is super sweet Samanta Beltran, who’s a Contra Costa Country school counselor by day, a baker by night and a lifelong Honda driver by choice.

2010 & 2011 Fits | Peters Family | Santa Rosa 
Third, we have 6 feet 6 Jacob, 5-foot Lauren and their 150-pound Great Dane Charles who believe their two Fits are the perfect fit for their modern family.

2016 Odyssey | The Crandalls | Tiburon 
Lastly, The Crandall Family, who have three tiny tots and one of the tightest turns in Tiburon.

Not only does this campaign help drive Honda’s record sales, but it drives people into action. Or should we say, interaction? Before we launched the first five stories back in 2015, research from BSA’s trademark “Discovery” phase revealed that Honda drivers love their Hondas so much, they want to tell the world. So we gave them a stage. We created an interactive platform on NorCal Honda’s Facebook page called “Straight From The Street” where Honda drivers can share their own stories for a chance to have it professionally produced for television and digital media.  

As you can see, it worked. And keeps working, becoming a self-fulfilling cycle of success. Every user-submitted story is a free ad for Honda. And the folks we’ve chosen to feature, above-the-fold so-to-speak, have become evangelists, sharing their souped-up stories with their own networks creating tons of efficiently-priced eyeballs. Hows that for performance? 

To see the previous Honda stories we’ve created since 2015, click here: #AskAnyHondaDriver

Credits, Baker Street Advertising:
President: Jack Boland
Chief Creative Officer: Brian Bacino
Chief Strategy Officer: Don Donovan
Copywriters: Brian Bacino/Lesly Pyle
Art Director: Ken Woodard
Producer: Brody McHugh
Group Account Director: Dan Nilsen
Associate Account Director: Christine Rodriguez
Senior Account Executive: Lisa Coonts
Senior Strategist: Howie Leibach
Media Director: Glenn Yajko
Media Broadcasting Supervisor: Sheila Taylor
Media Supervisor: Jena Benzel
Senior Broadcast Buyers: Shelly Kalianis/Cel Vital Bella

Credits, Production:
Director, Brian Bacino, Baker Street Advertising
Executive Producer, Jed Mortenson, Waypoint Films
Director of Photography: Kevin Emmons
Editor: Alan Chimenti, Ntropic
Producer: Tamara Treu, Ntropic
Senior Flame Artist: Amanda Amalfi, Ntropic
Sound Engineer: Andy Greenberg, One Union Recording

Brian Bacino, Creative Chief B2, Digital Marketing, Honda, Uncategorized

April 23, 2018
Harrison Chapman

Dream Commute


Well, the parade of disasters continues in the news and it seems like now more than ever, people could use an escape. When concepting for Honda’s 2018 Dream Garage Sales Event campaign, we could think of no better opportunity to give people that escape than exploring the “Dream” part of “Dream Garage.” We wanted to show people a safe, kind world where literally every single thing dances and sings in Pee Wee Herman-esque harmony. Every plant, every house, every dog, and even every cloud in the sky smiles upon you. There aren’t even sharp corners in this world because everything is just that safe.

Dream Commute :30 TV Spot

Meanwhile, Honda has been rolling out their increasingly impressive safety suite, Honda Sensing, in most of their new car models. Honda Sensing has all these cool systems that warn you about nearly any danger you could possibly encounter while on the road, in addition to new driver-assistive technologies that help you stay in your lane or brake quickly to avoid collisions. So while our Dream Commute spot is pure fun, it’s pretty much a feature demonstration. Of course, it’s a feature demonstration with a singing dog atop a toilet and a bird that brings you coffee, but a feature demonstration, nonetheless, brought to glorious life by our talented animation partners, Bent Image Lab.

We also had some fun with characters of our Honda Dream World in our social campaign extolling the final days of the National Sales event.

Dream Commute Behind The Scenes Social Video 

Dream Commute Dancing Cast Social GIF

Sound System GIF by NorCal Honda Dealers - Find & Share on GIPHY

Dream Commute Dancing Flowers Social GIF

GIF by NorCal Honda Dealers - Find & Share on GIPHY

Baker Street Advertising Credits:
President: Jack Boland
Chief Creative Officer: Brian Bacino
Chief Strategy Officer: Don Donovan
Copywriter: Harrison Chapman
Art Director: Sarah Inglis
Producer: Brody McHugh
Social Media Animator: Xavier Li
Creative Manager: Lesly Pyle
Senior Strategist: Howie Leibach
Group Account Director: Dan Nilsen
Account Supervisor: Christine Rodriguez
Senior Account Executive: Lisa Coonts
Media Director: Glenn Yajko
Media Broadcasting Supervisor: Sheila Taylor
Media Supervisor: Jena Benzel
Senior Broadcast Buyers: Shelly Kalianis/Cel Vital Bella

Production Credits:
Directors: Solomon Burbridge and Joshua Cox, Bent Image Lab
Executive Producer: Ray Di Carlo, Bent Image Lab
Director of Photography: Kevin Fletcher, Bent Image Lab
Editor: Brent Heise, Bent Image Lab
Colorist: Roger Krakow, Rough House Editorial
Motion Graphics: Eric Stafford, Rough House Editorial
Post Producer: Michael Pickman-Thoon, Rough House Editorial
Audio Mixer: Andy Greenberg, One Union Recording

Digital Marketing, Honda

December 5, 2017
Brian Bacino



Baker Street just won a Gold and Silver in the prestigious 2017 W3 Awards, recognizing the power of web creativity. We won Gold for our SF Giants interactive story, “Orange Fridays,” part of our 4-part digital film series for the Giants. And we won Silver for our very own website, BakerStAdvertising.com.

“Orange Fridays” Interactive Film

Our Giants Client challenged us to create innovative content for their social channels and we delivered the triple W win with this interactive campaign that showed Giants fans they can experience many different flavors of Giants games depending on the day of the week.

“We Are Sundays” Interactive Film

“Two for Tuesdays” Interactive Film

“Day Baseball” Interactive Film

Credits: SF Giants
Larry Baer, President/CEO
Staci Slaughter, EVP, Communications and Senior Advisor to the CEO
Mario Alioto, EVP, Business Operations
Danny Dann, VP, Marketing & Advertising
Paul Hodges, VP, SFG Productions
Bryan Srabian, VP, Brand Development and Digital Media
Becky Biniek, Digital Media Manager
Kara Gilmore, Marketing and Advertising Project Manager

Giants Video Credits: Baker Street Advertising
President: Jack Boland
Chief Creative Officer/Copywriter: Brian Bacino
Chief Strategy Officer: Don Donovan
Copywriter: Robert Leon
Art Directors: Ken Woodard/Jason Wong
Interactive/Cinemagraph Art Director: Xavier Li
Producer: Brody McHugh
Creative Manager/Script Supervisor: Lesly Pyle
Senior Strategist: Howie Leibach
Account Supervisor: Nick Spillner
Senior Account Executive: Juliana King

SF Giants Video Production Credits
Director: Brian Bacino, Baker Street Advertising
Executive Producer: Mark Dwyer, Dwyer Productions
Director of Photography: Cliff Traiman, Little Giant Lighting & Grip
Line Producer: Jon Bowden
Editor: Alan Chimenti, Ntropic Editorial
ECD/Founder: Nate Robinson, Ntropic Editorial
Post Producer: Emily Avoujageli & Danielle Cheifetz, Ntropic Editorial
VFX Director: Aaron Vasquez, Ntropic Editorial
VFX Artists: Ethan Chang & Miguel Diaz-Rivera, Ntropic Editorial
Colorists: Chris Martin, Nick Sanders, & Kristy Navarro, Ntropic Editorial
Graphics Artist: Erica Poat, Ntropic Editorial
Flame Artist: Mark Everson & Todd Hemsley, Ntropic Editorial
Junior Flame Artist: Jerome Knight, Ntropic Editorial
Rotoscoping Producer: John Mendaros​, Ntropic Editorial
Rotoscoping Artists: Roel Elaco, Jun dela Pena, Alfred Ilagen, Ntropic Editorial
Post Assistants: Gillen Burch & Yvonne Pon​, Ntropic Editorial
Audio Mixer: Andy Greenberg, One Union Recording


BakerStAdvertising.com snares Silver.

One of our biggest accomplishments of 2017 was the optimization of our new Baker Street website. A labor of love spearheaded expertly by our Writer/Creative Manager/Super Star, Lesly Pyle and our Design Director, Ken Woodard, our site stylishly displays our process, our work and our people, and we are very proud of them all.

BSA Website Credits:
President: Jack Boland
Chief Creative Officer/Copywriter: Brian Bacino
Chief Strategy Officer: Don Donovan
Art Directors: Ken Woodard/Brian Powers/Lesly Pyle
Copywriter/Digital Producer/Site Admin: Lesly Pyle
In-House Video Editors: Harrison Chapman, Jane Goodwin-Bell
Senior Strategist: Howie Leibach
Video Editors: Michael Pickman-Thoon, Eric Stafford, Rough House Editorial
Executive Producer: Jen Marek, Thunderbeast
Technology Director: Scott Johnson, Thunderbeast
Lead Visual Designer: Eric Lindsey, Thunderbeast
Lead Developer: Adam Shen, Thunderbeast

Brian Bacino, Creative Chief B2, Digital Marketing, SF Giants, Sports, Sports Marketing

October 25, 2017
Brian Bacino

NorCal Honda Takes on Millennials


#Millennials #and #Adulting

While developing work for Honda’s latest campaign, targeted toward younger car buyers, we discovered The Holy Grail of Millennial Marketing Secrets:

Millennials are young humans!!!

There it is. We shared our billion bitcoin secret.

We also created a campaign that taps into a powerful life stage our 20-something target is experiencing: “Adulting” — that moment when you find yourself, for the first time, doing very grownup things. And to break through the skepticism, millennials have toward slickly-prepared advertising, we enlisted Bent Image Lab to create a look that seems to be homemade and organic, yet jumps from the small mobile screen with cutting edge technology. By the way, Millennials would hate that last sentence.

Web Videos

“Civic Reasons” :30

“Speed vs Space” :30

“Iceberg” :30

“Run The World” :30

Baker Street Advertising Credits:
President: Jack Boland
Chief Creative Officer: Brian Bacino
Chief Strategy Officer: Don Donovan
Copywriters: Brian Bacino/Robert Leon/Sarah Inglis/Bob Dorfman/Lesly Pyle
Art Directors: Sarah Inglis/Ken Woodard
Producers: Julie Costanzo/Brody McHugh/Lauren Finerman
Senior Strategist: Howie Leibach
Group Account Director: Dan Nilsen
Account Supervisor: Christine Rodriguez
Senior Account Executive: Megan Boland

Production Credits:
Directors: Soloman Burbridge, Joshua Cox and Rob Shaw, Bent Image Lab
Partner/Executive Producer: Ray DiCarlo, Bent Image Lab
Executive Producer: Anthony Greene, Bent Image Lab
Producers: Brianna Vitale/Gabi Villasenor, Bent Image Lab
Sound Engineer: Lance Limbocker, Limbocker Studios

Brian Bacino, Creative Chief B2, Data Analytics, Digital Marketing, Honda

August 19, 2017
Howie Leibach

Are Millennials About To Kill Ads Too?


According to new research from The McCarthy Group over 84% of Millennials no longer respond to traditional forms of advertising, nor do they trust it.

And Only 1% of Millennials say a compelling ad would make them trust a brand more.

It sounds pretty dire; but does the ad industry actually believe this?

BSA has noticed a shift in ad strategy to “address” the polarizing belief that Millennials — the same awful generation who killed cable TV, the beer industry, hotels, and even Applebees — will soon want to kill ads too.

Curious how some agencies are beginning to please these Millennial “media-killing” machines?

Here are 3 big trends I’m seeing right now:

1. The product takes a back seat to content.

So Millennials don’t like ads? Let’s just hide the product behind good content!

Recently Chase created a Battle of the Paddle video to promote Chase QuickPay. Rather than hard-sell their payment product anywhere upfront, Chase was more concerned about great content. They got high profile names to play in a competitive game of ping-pong, and only after breaking lots of furniture at the very end do Steph Curry and Serena Williams subtly use product at the end.

Here, Chase realizes that people are coming to watch the stars. They aren’t necessarily interested in shoving the product down people’s throats. Chase’s value proposition is compelling content, not the product — which is downplayed, but promoted towards the end.

This soft-sell strategy relies heavily on attracting organic eyeballs first, with the hope that Chase’s product trickles down to interest just some of the majority of people — most of whom only came for Steph and Serena content.

2. Destroy the ad.

So Millennials want to skip ads? Let’s just blow it up before they can!

This strategy is being utilized by a few gutsy agencies with a defeatist (or perhaps honest) mindset: if you can’t beat them; join them!

Geico grabs your attention by bragging “You can’t skip this ad because it’s already over!” They know you don’t want an ad to begin with. So just skip it … courtesy of them!

Geico, and other top brands like Honda are filming ads with a new POV: the whole concept of an ad is perhaps too aggressive and silly — and they’re willing to play along.

This rather transparent approach says “hey, we know that you know that all we really want is your attention so let’s just be honest about what’s happening here, make you laugh, and maybe you’ll like us a little more long term.”

Sometimes humility goes a long way and you might take interest in the brand. And sometimes they just entertain you for 6 seconds and you move on with your life.

It could go either way.

3. We’re in on the joke!

Millennials are over ads? Let’s just disguise them as something else altogether!

Netflix was caught trolling themselves in order to promote a new comedy lineup.

To promote their new big comedy lineup Netflix disguised billboards throughout LA as rude Netflix insults. Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chapelle, Chris Rock, Amy Schumer and Adam Sandler all have multi-million dollar deals on Netflix.

By making themselves the butt of a joke, Netflix got lots of blank stares, but also got lots of people talking — and created a PR firestorm in the process.

Like most of their disruptive content, Netflix got by on word-of-mouth for years. So this approach feeds into their DNA — let’s get people talking first — and worry about the construct second.

So is it finally time to flip your Millennial campaigns up-side-down?

In short…no.

At BSA, we believe you should embrace your product benefits; not hide from them. Yes, you need creativity as all the digital concepts above definitely have, but don’t underestimate the most basic and essential ingredient for success: purchase intent!

In BSA’s most recent NorCal Honda Millennial campaign, we are flashy, fun and hopefully trendy. But we also play up the notion that Millennials are ambitious and want to make things happen. The Honda car models tap into their psyche, offering aspirational benefits — Rule The World, Climb The Ladder, Be the Man/Woman You Want To Be!…It all comes together in a Honda….But first we remind them that it can only happen by getting into the dealership.

Ad Trends

These experimental ad formats are a response to Millennials becoming hyper-stimulated, super-low-attention-span-clicking digital natives who get inundated with 1000s of ads each day.

It leads to a risky agency POV of “whatever we put out there for picky Millennials must now be game-changing content they’ve never seen before!”

But Millennials don’t actually want hyper-stimulating, outside-the-box content. They just need content to be relevant, intriguing and useful.

Yes, Millennials skip ads if they’re bored (59% of them skip) but 29% of them actually watch online ads to full completion.

So of the 80 million Millennials out there, at least 23 million will hear you out at any given moment.

Just make sure you have something to say.

Huffington Post
Google Images
Business Insider

Analytics, Data Analytics, Digital Marketing, Honda, Qualitative Research, Quantitative Research

May 15, 2017
Sarah Inglis

Mariani’s Probiotic Prunes Deliver a 1-2 Punch to Pills and Yogurt


Despite “probiotics” being a buzzword, there’s been a lot of confusion in the category. So when Mariani asked BSA to help launch the world’s first Probiotic Prunes, we strove for transparency.

We challenged consumer notions of probiotics by directly addressing our two biggest competitors — yogurt & pills. Creating several online videos, we demonstrated why Mariani’s Probiotic Prunes offered a better route to good digestive & immune health — one that didn’t include yogurt’s high sugar content or add to consumer pill fatigue. And to pique viewers’ curiosity, we leveraged a few bizarre visuals and injected some humor into the messaging.

Here’s our launch spot:

And two shorter spots that narrowed in on our major probiotic competition. In this version, Mariani warns against a Pillpocalypse:

And here, Mariani takes a swing at probiotic yogurt:

The videos led to a landing page with more in-depth explanations of the product benefits:

Baker Street Advertising Credits:
Chief Creative Officer: Brian Bacino
President: Jack Boland
Chief Strategy Officer: Don Donovan
Copywriter: Robert Leon
Art Director: Sarah Inglis
Producer: Brody McHugh
Senior Strategist: Howie Leibach
Senior Account Executive: Juliana King

Production Credits:
Director of Photography: Cliff Traiman, Little Giant Lighting & Grip
Editor/Animator: Darren Orr, Beast
Sound Engineer: Andy Greenberg, One Union Recording Studios

Digital Marketing

November 1, 2016
Brian Kelleher

Programmatic Collaboration, What?!?


Big-brand agencies have complained that there is a lack of Cannes-worthy creativity in programmatic and little integration among the creative, media and data operations that go into a modern ad campaign. This is typically due to the agencies separating their departments into specific silos with little collaboration. Holding companies like WPP are missing many opportunities due to a lack of communication between their creative and media agencies.*

Audience Data Visualization

“We sit on top of the data, see all the signals and know how they are being used, but we don’t have direct access to content creators, so we often need to script up the piece of content we need in order to accomplish the goal that the advertiser wants. It would be amazing if the two can go together in a meaningful way. We are constantly reaching out to WPP agency leads directly or through GroupM. But the [collaboration] hasn’t happened significantly yet.” – Tim Bagwell, VP of Xaaxis Labs, a division of GroupM.

Programmatic creative is enriched with some form of data, either retargeting or audience data, and is served with the intent of advertising something the audience have recently shown interest in while web browsing. For example, a user goes onto Zappos, looks up a pair of Nikes and then leaves the site. That person is then retargeted with those same Nike shoes shown in the unit, or possibly similar shoes they may have missed. This tactic can go deeper to the point that when our media is looking to serve an impression on a given site, if the data for this person also shows this person lives in a windy area, we can serve that person a unit for a Nike windbreaker. You can also use these tools to set up automatic tests to optimize toward the best performing creative for that audience. Audiences are formed within a dynamic creative optimizer. The combinations of what we can learn of a person based on their browsing history, and how we can use this to serve them the most appropriate ads at the best time, are virtually limitless.

Dynamic Messaging

Baker Street Advertising, being a nimble, full-service agency has a great advantage here.  Our ability to make adjustments quickly will allow us to swim circles around the larger agencies where such a change will take much more time to implement.

BSA Image


If person A is 3 months away from buying a car, we can serve a broad “see your NorCal Honda Dealers now!” message.

If person B is 2 months away from buying a car, and we know they are interested in midsize cars, we can serve them a carousel unit where they can scroll through various offers for Accords, Civics, or Insights.

If we know person C went to a dealership in the past month from their phone’s GPS, we can pair that with their browsing history to serve them a hard-hitting message, like “that Civic you were eyeing is now only $169/month!”

“A really simple observation I had when I moved from media to creative is that they’re two totally separate worlds. Media people are spending their days figuring out optimization and targeting, but it’s done completely separate of the actual idea.” — Adam Cahill, Anagram Founder, a programmatic agency.”**

Data Analysis

Part of the problem does stem from brands not being willing to share their data. While we do experience the issue of our clients being unwilling to share customer data (a very understandable stance considering privacy issues), our partners are able to gather enough information within their pixels that allow targeting to be highly focused. Pairing this targeting with templated creative management tools that will allow us to create dozens of variations of ads with different copy and backgrounds at the flip of a switch, allows us to break down which audiences are responding to each variation. Our teams need to continue to educate each other on what is available within our targeting capabilities, and why a certain message might resonate with a specific audience.

Of course, this route will bring up questions on the cost of producing so many variations for so many audience segments. How niche should we go with targeting and creative before we hit zero return? We need to test, retest, and continue testing audience segments with various creative. Start by finding a new, micro audience that is responding to a more generic message and adjust units to fit that audience. If media is able to generate a new micro audience that is showing promise, creative can then move to create and assign specific creative to that audience (i.e. targeting football moms with a Honda Odyssey unit with a tag line “Space for all your gear and the kids too.” – [sorry, not a copywriter]. This approach will also help us to avoid creative burnout.

BSA already demonstrates excellent collaboration, and as we work towards adopting new creative tools, such as Rich Media and Dynamic Creative, our teamwork, communication, and education across specialties will make our client’s campaigns that much more successful. Pairing data enabled targeting to custom content through dynamic creative is fast becoming the next big tactic, and we are on a great path to become leaders of this approach.

Brian Kelleher is an Associate Media Director at BSA, specializing in digital strategy, planning and buying.
* Digiday – “ The Programmatic Divide Still Persists” By: Yuyu Chen http://digiday.com/agencies/gap-programmatic-creative-media-planning-still-exists/

** Digiday – “Programmatic Creative Inches to a Fix” By: Shareen Pathak http://digiday.com/agencies/programmatic-creative-inches-toward-fix/

Analytics, Digital Marketing, Programmatic