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Disrupting The Ad Agency Model, Hero Group Launches Hero Collective

“We think the agency model of the future is a collection of small ones who have varied skill sets that can work collaboratively without necessarily adhering to some of the bureaucracy that governs quarterly economic earning targets that somewhat stifle creativity and objectivity when it comes to bringing the best ideas forward,” Hero Group CEO Joseph Anthony said.

Hero Collective is an extension of the agency’s desire to help smaller boutique shops get some major attention and “dispel stereotypes about size really mattering in marketing anymore,” Anthony said. “Big agencies don’t have a monopoly on big ideas.”

With that idea in mind, Hero Collective was born. At its core the collective is a network of boutique agencies and startups vetted by Hero Group. The hope is it will take some of the work on the part of brands out of searching for reliable, smaller shops.

“If we can do some of that heavy lifting and use the credibility that we are creating, then it helps drive the economy and drive innovation at the small-business level where it typically begins,” Anthony said.

Check out the full story at Adweek


Tired of being labeled, a mega message from MINI

Once every four years, Americans go batshit crazy. As the Summer Olympics and presidential elections converge into a cacophony of red white and blue, it’s both a time when people come together for love of country while simultaneously trying to rip each other’s necks out for their stance on immigration.

That’s why we love this new campaign by car manufacturer MINI, featuring a diverse cast of U.S. Olympians. Some were told they were too small to compete, or that they were too dumb, or grew up feeling ostracized because of their race or religion. Appropriately titled #DefyLabels, the campaign was first introduced around Super Bowl 50, but it’s back just in time for the Rio Games and 30-second TV spots will be airing in August throughout the Olympics.

In an age of name calling and online bullying, confronting labels and being proud of who you are is an awesome message to be sending. These athletes have been called “too small,” “too muscular,” or pigeon holed as the “Muslim athlete who wears a hijab” or the “Latino boxer.” The message of #DefyLabels is that for these men and women, the only label that matters is “U.S. Olympian.”

This is a pretty smart campaign for MINI, which certainly is a car brand that has a pretty specific set of stereotypes attached to it. If these athletes can help shed labels, MINI hopes they can shift their brand away from feeling like a small, compact European car that lacks the horsepower Americans want. And if you’ve seen a MINI over the past few years, they are really not that small. A Ford Focus is only about 2 inches wider and 2 inches taller than the 2017 MINI, yet we still think of the MINI as well…mini.

Check out one of the #DefyLabels videos below, featuring Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad.


Chief Hero Calls Out Pepsi With #ChallengeMeBrad Campaign

How can small agencies compete with the behemoths of advertising? How can boutique agencies express their value proposition in a disruptive way? These are the questions Hero Group CEO Joseph Anthony asked himself before launching a first-of-its kind grassroots campaign. With a meme and a message, the #ChallengeMeBrad campaign was launched to promote boutique agencies, setting its sights squarely on PepsiCo Brand Manager Brad Jakeman. With dozens of agencies joining in, not only did this unique social movement get on PepsiCo’s radar, but had the advertising world buzzing about #ChallengeMeBrad. 

Check out our article in AdWeek.

Hero Group, publishes their first book on Millennials, authored by Hero Group, Partner and Chief Strategic Officer, Tru Pettigrew

Unlock the Millennial expertise of Hero’s own Tru Pettigrew with the release of his new book “Millennials Revealed. This empowering guide does double duty by helping businesses, brands and organizations connect, engage and retain the Millennial generation. While simultaneously helping Millennials better understand themselves and identify their life goals.


Millennials Revealed covers all the bases, addressing not only the generation gap, but also the cultural gap and the often overlooked expectation gap that exist between Millennials and their generational counterparts. It digs deeply to uncover why these gaps exist and how to mend them. “I wrote the book to help Millennials and those seeking to connect with Millennials to succeed.” says Pettigrew “In my experience working with this generation and the organizations seeking to connect with them, I quickly realized that this was the biggest generation gap that we have ever seen and that gap was fueled primarily by a difference in expectations.” Pettigrew continues, “’Millennials Revealed‘ is a guide that helps create and strengthen cross-generational connectivity and collaboration by helping organizations, and Millennials themselves, understand how to best meet and manage Millennial expectations.”

Join the conversation by purchasing the book here

Rich Schlansker Joins Hero as Managing Director, Head of Production of Hero’s Newly Formed Original Entertainment Division, Hero Studios

Rich Schlansker joins Hero as Managing Director and Head of Original Entertainment Production of Hero’s newly formed original entertainment production subsidiary, Hero Studios. Schlansker, will oversee both Hero Studios, original entertainment and branded entertainment divisions. With a focus on digital, Hero Studios, will seek to create compelling new content ideas for networks and on-line only platforms looking to establish greater equity with Millennial viewers. Additionally, Hero Studios will build off of the momentum of its parent company, Hero Group by working closely with brands to develop proprietary content and enhance their storytelling through the creation of original branded entertainment works.

Prior to joining Hero Studios, Schlansker has amassed a resume as a Director and Producer of unique corporate, musical, comedic and entertainment based content for some of the world’s top companies, artists, record labels and television networks.

He has directed and produced branded content projects and web series for corporations such as Novo Nordisk, Nikon, Microsoft Windows / HP, American Family Insurance and the week- long launch of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. Other projects include the 26-part “Katie Brown Workshop” for PBS and a culinary series for AOL’s featuring Top Chef host Gail Simmons.

To date, he has directed and produced 11 broadcast comedy specials including the upcoming Centric Comedy All-Stars 2015, Centric Comedy All-Stars 2014 and 2013, Centric’s Next Comedy All-Star, and Stand Up For Family 2010-2013. He most recently directed the upcoming Comedy Central Special Lil Rel “Relevent which is Executive Produced by comedian Kevin Hart.”

Rich directed the reunion concert for Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music including special guests, Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, Bette Midler, Scissor Sisters, Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, and Mark Ronson; Yaz / Yazoo’s Reconnected Tour at New York’s Terminal 5; Loreena Mckennitt’s “A Moveable Musical Feast” (live performance / tour documentary DVD and American Public Television special, Quinlan Road), Erasure “On The Road To Nashville” (live performance DVD / CD release, Mute Records), music videos with Jimmy Buffett for Discovery Networks Planet Green Channel, Ledisi “It’s Christmas” (EPK, Verve Records Group), and Loreena McKennitt’s “A Midwinter Night’s Dream” (EPK, Verve Records Group).

Rich served as Senior Producer on Paul McCartney’s “Back In The US” DVD and ABC primetime network special. He also produced Elton John’s “One Night Only” television special for the BBC. Rich has worked with other artists such as U2, Peter Gabriel, Bush, The Who, Stereophonics, Jamiroquai, Limp Bizkit, Filter, Run DMC, Mariah Carey, Garbage, The Black Crowes, Great Big Sea, Joshua Redman, and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.

Prior to that he spent three years at VH1, producing the “Rock Across America Series”, and the network’s artist profile features. He also produced the VH1 music special with George Harrison and Ravi Shankar that was recently featured in Martin Scorsese’s HBO documentary “George Harrison: Living in the Material World”.


While previous trailers for DOPE have provided glimpses into the Rick Famuyiwa-directed coming of age story, the red band trailer provides a much deeper look into the film.

The film follows the story of three high school kids who are trying to make it to university, but not until they solve a couple drug-related pressing issues. The film is executive produced by and features new music from Pharrell Williams, with appearances by A$AP Rocky, Vince Staples, and Casey Veggies. You can also catch Zoe Kravitz, Blake Anderson, Chanel Iman, and more in the clip.

Watch the trailer in the player above. DOPE hits theaters on June 19.


36 Days of Type is a project that invites designers, illustrators and graphic artists to give
​their particular view on the signs from the alphabet. 

36 days of restless creativity, in which participants are challenged to design a letter or number for each day, resulting in an overall view of the ability to represent the same sign from many different perspectives. 

A project that aims to create a space for creation around typography and its endless graphic possibilities.

To Pimp A Butterfly

Kendrick Lamar’s highly anticipated album To Pimp A Butterfly is finally out. TDE and Interscope dropped an early stream and iTunes link to help combat leaks from the project. The album is fierce and politically-charged, referencing Bill Clinton, Oprah, all police departments, american black, and Richard Pryor, all to show that K. Dot isn’t playing around. There’s some of Kendrick’s trademark boasts, delivered over a funk-informed track with a killer talkbox bassline that leads up to an acoustic guitar solo. He’s also proud of his Compton history, pondering if he should run for mayor one day. SPOILER! More…Read More