Advertising, design, strategy, and production

Hub is a fully integrated strategy, design, advertising and production company with a unique business model that has been called “the model of the future”. Hub is a fully integrated strategy, design, advertising and production company with a unique business model that has been called “the model of the future”. 

 
$25,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2002
Show all +
San Francisco, CA
headquarters
  • Hub Strategy and Communication
    39 Mesa Street / Suite 212
    San Francisco, CA 94129
    United States
    415.561.4345

Portfolio

Key clients: 

San Francisco 49ers, Oakland A's, University of San Francisco, Blue Shield of California, One Medical, LinkedIn, Google, Nike, Slingbox, Microsoft, Sephora, dropbox, Jawbone, Chevy's Fresh Mex, Nimble Storage

Reviews

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Marketing Campaign for Cloud-based Camera Manufacturer

"They have an incredibly good understanding of who your customer is, how to reach them, and how to talk to them."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$1,000,000 - $9,999,999
 
June 2012 - Jan. 2014
Project summary: 

Hub Strategy and Communication provided print and digital marketing to raise awareness for a new iOT device. Their work alsdo included TV and radio ad production, media buying, and creative development.

The Reviewer
 
501-1000 Employees
 
San Francisco Bay Area
VP of Marketing at Dropcam
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Hub suggested focusing on location-based marketing, which led to clearer results and more nuanced analytics. They took the time to get familiar with the product. Although their production costs were high, their social media marketing led to an increase in brand awareness.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

I worked for a cloud-based camera manufacturer.

What is your position?

I was the vice president of marketing and ran all the marketing services.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with Hub Strategy and Communication?

We were in a relatively new category, and we were trying to drive awareness of our product, which was a home monitoring camera and cloud service.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in detail.

We worked with them on creative development in media planning and buying. They were our agency of record for essentially all of our advertising, creative, and offline spend.

How did you come to work with Hub Strategy and Communication?

When I was hired as marketing director, my first task was hiring a new agency of record for the company. I knew of Hub's work, and had been impressed with what I'd seen, so I proactively called them up to participate in the RFP [request for proposal] process. It turned out that DJ, the creative director, was actually a Dropcam customer. It was fortuitous because he had used and knew the product.

We met with them and got their pitch on what they would do for our business. We just felt like it was a great fit, in terms of their creative. I also felt like their team had a real appreciation for our product, understood the customer needs, and how to really bring that to life in the creative.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

Including the media, it was probably somewhere around $5 million to $7 million.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with them up until our acquisition by Google in January 2014, and then a little beyond. After that, the account transitioned to Google's agencies but, all in all, it was probably 18 months.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

We attributed a lot of Dropcam's marketing successes to Hub. One of the things they suggested that really helped us was to have a strong geographic focus for our campaigns. Their argument was, "If we use specific geos, we can really get the frequency and reach that we're looking for, and we can also do a better job of tracking performance in those markets." When we turned on our campaign in Seattle, we saw a very significant lift in our sales in Seattle, both direct on our site and through Amazon, and then ultimately when we turned on retail through our retails partners.

We also did a project with them in Canada. We did a radio and TV campaign in Vancouver, and we saw a three-times lift in retail sales in that market. In each market that we turned on Hub's campaign, we saw a significant increase in sales, and we were able to track that across channels. Our engagement with customers through social media also significantly increased with Hub, people talking about us and tweeting about us, some even talking about our advertising. We thought that was successful. People were actually emailing us and tweeting at us, telling us to post our TV and radio ads because they thought they were so funny. That's the dream in marketing.

What distinguishes Hub Strategy and Communication from other providers?

I think there are two things. One, I just think their creative is clever, and the quality of the creative is excellent. The real thing for me is, I think that they have an incredibly good understanding of who your customer is, how to reach them, and how to talk to them. I felt like they did a great job of understanding who is behind your our product, and then really targeting both the creative and the media buying strategy to that.

Also, just really recognizing who we were as a startup. I felt like they were just a great partner and an extension of our team. They understood our customer, understood our business, used our product, and built great creative to address that. All in all, they built up a great amount of trust from me. I've worked with a lot of agencies, and they don't necessarily take the time to immerse themselves in your product and your business. These guys did.

I think that Hub was a big part of Dropcam's success. From the time that I joined to the time that they were acquired, it really raised the sales, awareness, and profile and Dropcam became a much better-known brand. I think Hub was instrumental in that. I can't say enough good things about them.

Is there anything Hub Strategy and Communication could have improved or done differently?

I felt like their digital production was way too expensive for me, so I ended up doing that myself. I felt like I could do it for a quarter of the cost, and it would probably be 80 percent as good.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We were a startup...because they're expensive, but they're also good.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I refer them all the time.

Marketing Campaign for Professional Sports Organization

"With Hub, we've won the National Sports Forum's ADchievement Award, which is the highest award in our industry."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
2009 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

In order to drive ticket sales, Hub Strategy and Communication curated the brand’s identity through irreverent TV commercials (including writing, producing, and editing them), promotions, and print collateral.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
San Francisco Bay Area
Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Professional Sports Organization
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Hub deftly navigated the post-recession years to deliver higher ticket sales every year. Hub’s nontraditional business model allows them the nimbleness of a small firm and the scalability of a major house. They have a smooth integration between the business and creative sides of the operation.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company.

I work for a professional sports team.

What is your role and responsibilities?

I'm the vice president of sales and marketing. That encompasses three main areas – our corporate sponsorship sales, ticket sales, and outbound marketing activity, so promotions, events, and advertising.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What was your goal for working with Hub Strategy and Communication?

I think Hub has been with us for five or six years, and the business challenge for sports teams is pretty simple. It's primarily ticket-driven – you want to get as many people to the ballpark as possible. There's some long-term goals that go along with that obviously: building the brand, creating brand identity, generating interest in the team, identification with the culture and organization, and all the things that go along with it. When we first began talking with Hub, I'd say that was five years ago, around 2009 or 2010, the team was down, the economy was down, and there were some other headwinds we were facing. It was a time when we really needed help getting people interested in coming to the stadium.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their work.

I think it's fairly traditional, although some sports teams don't do as much TV-oriented work as we do. We have a long history with fun, irreverent, high-impact TV commercials using our players. They do all of our TV production for our commercials: writing, production, editing, and so forth. We do about eight of those in the preseason and those run throughout the course of the year. Some of them are brand-oriented, some of them are promotional oriented, and some of them are a combination. We also do typically film one or two more in season, depending on what topics are hot.

In addition, they produce our print advertising, although obviously that is quickly shifting to digital. Generally, the campaign has been running fairly similarly for the past few years, the tagline and the general theme of the campaign, albeit with some changes to the look and feel of the execution.

What was your process for selecting Hub Strategy and Communication?

We had been with another agency for a few years. That was the agency I sort of inherited when I came to the club about eight years ago. After a very successful term with them, we just decided it was a good time to open up the account and consider a change, especially with some of the business challenges we were facing.

We collected a group of agencies to bid, pitched the business, and I think Hub came to us through a friend of mine that worked in a digital advertising, SEO [search engine optimization]-type of business. I was asking him who some of his clients were, and he put me in touch with one of the guys in his firm, and they recommended Hub.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What were the results of the project?

Their quality is excellent, and we've been very happy with the results. Otherwise, we would not continue to use them. 

There are a lot of factors that affect attendance in sports, so not all of our gains in ticket sales can be attributed positively or negatively to your ad campaign. But, in the five years we've been working with Hub, our attendance has increased every year.

Do you have any statistics or metrics on the project?

With Hub, we've won the National Sports Forum's ADchievement Award, which is the highest award in our industry, and have gotten second place a couple of times. In our work with Hub, we've won the TV category a couple of times as well as the outdoor category various times. There's a whole host of awards that we've won through the NSF ADchievement.

Hub has also entered our work into the Telly Awards and the American Advertising Awards, and a bunch of other awards that we've won. So, from a creative point of view, from the advertising industry, we've won many, many awards. I think we're recognized within the sports world as being one of the most creative, high-impact organization in terms of sports advertising. We're not afraid to go out on a limb, and hub definitely supports and strengthens us in that.

Is there anything unique or special about Hub Strategy and Communication that really makes them stand out?

First of all, agencies are really the people, and Hub has a great core of people led by DJ [O'Neil], the founder and creative director. One of the unique things with their structure, which I'm sure they would explain to you better, is that it's a relatively small agency, so you can get the personal attention from them, that you might not get from a much larger agency. Yet, because they structure themselves like a hub, they have a network of resources that they can call in when we need something special or specific. I think that also helps keep the work fresh because they have different writers and creatives they use, and that's important.

A final point is because DJ is both head of the business and the creative director, it allows for a smoother line of communication between the business and creative side of things. We're not dealing with outside people who get brought into the process late, and who may not understand the strategy, or it may be more difficult to get them to adjust on the fly, or anything like that.

Looking back on the work so far, is there any area that you think they could improve upon or something that you might do differently?

No. We're very pleased with Hub. They've been great to us and a really good partner.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    That's a tougher one. I think they do well in comparison with other agencies we've worked with, or who have pitched the business. You're always looking for more efficiencies from anyone but, overall, we're very satisfied with the cost aspect as well.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer