The Advance Guard

Back at the beginning of October I announced the formation of The Advance Guard, but did not talk a whole lot about it. Not sure why, but figured today would be as good as any to do so. Steve Coulson and I started getting calls to hire us shortly after our change in jobs. Both of us had every intention of staying strictly freelance, but after a couple of contracts got signed we realized that we should perhaps make this more formal for numerous reasons. Over breakfast at a diner in New Jersey we came up with company and made it formal.

We haven't focused on marketing materials, spin or a web site yet because we're too busy executing. But, to sum up what we do is fairly simple. We want to help brands and companies utilize new media to the fullest. The Advance Guard can come in and develop creative strategies that will leverage social media to reach those alpha adopters that everyone wants to get to. On top of creating these ideas we also bring the ability to take those ideas all the way through execution.

We've also worked in the capacity as a sort of black-ops creative team as well. Behind the scenes helping other companies pitch and win business. We have no problem being behind the scenes doing fun, creative and compelling work. We also don't focus on one technology over the other. Every engagement is different and we make sure to only suggest solutions that fit this time around for the particular campaign or initiative before us.

The Advance Guard Postcard - BackOne thing both Steve and I firmly believe is that the only way you truly learn in this space is to do it. I love coming up with creative ideas, but I want to make them happen so I can figure out if they work or not and how they could be done better. Campaigns today have to be more organic and flexible so that they can change and evolve as necessary. THAT is a key in our book and is something we are building our company on.

To date we've worked with clients in multiple areas including motion pictures, publishing, consumer goods and the beverage industry. We're currently leveraging our Facebook Group as a living, breathing social media showing of what we've worked on. If you are interested in what we are up to, consider joining that group as it is going to be one of our outreach mechanisms.

We are always looking to work with anyone interested in leveraging this space appropriately and effectively. Drop me an e-mail and we'll see where it goes from there.

Someone asked us if we were an advertising agency, a consultancy, a creative shop, a buzz marketing company or something different. My answer was we are a little bit of all of them and we adapt to the customer. On one project we did nothing but influencer outreach. For another we are providing feedback on how to take existing programs to the next level in new media. For another we are coming up with full blown strategies and now working towards executing them. Why get so specific with titles and definitions in today's ever changing landscape?

It has been a whirlwind couple of months and looking to 2008, I can't even begin to imagine what it holds for us. I'm very excited and proud all around.

Whitney Steele Music Video

Association for Downloadable Media Advisory Board Member