Navigating Brands Through Modern Media Culture

Based in Los Angeles, California, Mistress is an internationally awarded, full-service creative agency that applies the rigorous thinking behind traditional brand building to the pace and demands of modern media culture.

The results are integrated brand campaigns, world record-setting activations, social movements, online societies, influencer campaigns and ads-as-earned-media-stunts.

With deep category experience in sports, beverages and entertainment, Mistress seeks to invigorate brands, the marketers that work on them and the consumers that experience them.

The agency has been awarded at Cannes, One Show, Shortys, Clios, LIA, D&AD, Andy, A-List Hollywood, PromaxBDA and Game Marketing Awards.

Mistress was 2016 PromaxDBA North American Agency of the Year and 2011 Adage Small Agency of the Year (1-10 employees).

 
$100,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
50 - 249
 Founded
2009
Show all +
Santa Monica, CA
headquarters
  • Mistress
    2415 Michigan Ave, building H #G
    Santa Monica, CA 90404
    United States
    310.399.1515

Portfolio

Key clients: 

IMAX

Brown-Forman

Oakland Raiders

Coca-Cola

Netflix

AT&T/DIRECTV

Cedars-Sinai Hospital

VH1

Reviews

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Branding for Coca-Cola Beverage Dispensor

"I felt like we were a brand that people cared about within the shop, and I had the highest quality people in that shop working on my project."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
3.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
1,000,000 - 9,999,999
 
Jan. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Through a new tagline, video promotions, and other digital marketing efforts, Mistress helped to instill a feeling of empowerment for the client’s brand amongst its consumers.

The Reviewer
 
10,000+ Employees
 
Atlanta, Georgia
Eric Lewis
Brand Director, Coca-Cola
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

What sets Mistress apart is their willingness to take risks and create brand strategies that resonate with their target audiences on a personal level. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I work at The Coca-Cola Company, and right now I'm the group marketing director of a dispenser platform called Freestyle which is available in fast food restaurants. We have around 45,000 of them in place. The dispenser offers 200-plus brands and a personalized consumer experience.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Mistress?

I’ve been at Coca-Cola for 16 years, but I've been working with Freestyle for a year and a half. I brought Mistress in to help me with its branding.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

I started with Mistress with what we call a brand vision architecture. We sought to clearly define what a brand could stand for in the hearts and minds of consumers. Freestyle is all about empowering people to choose what’s right for them in a beverage industry where there are 200-plus brands to choose from. With Mistress, we worked to figure out what that empowerment would look like, whether it be a piece of film or a point of sale, or any kind of above-line communication. We wanted to bring the idea to life that Freestyle empowers you to choose. As a part of that brief, Mistress delivered a branding strategy and worked on the execution of the messaging, which included a piece of film that brought to life the message around empowering people to choose. They helped develop a tagline, which was “Choose freely.” They developed radio spots and points of sale, and they helped us with lifestyle imagery to use in social media, including various social media posts and digital marketing executions.

How did you come to work with Mistress?

On this project, Mistress was the first above-the-line agency that we worked with. Previously, I had worked with some digital marketing, social media, and PR agencies, but Mistress was the first above-the-line marketing agency. At Coca-Cola, I worked with Lee Roth, who then began working at Mistress. I believed in his strategic thinking, which is what opened the door to Mistress for me.

How much have you invested with Mistress?

We spent nearly $1.4 to $1.5 million with Mistress.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in January 2016, and our work is ongoing for the year.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We do a global tracker in which we get results back, and all of our key metrics are up for the year of 2016. The metrics are around brand awareness. There are increases in metrics around “I like Coca-Cola more,” “I like soft drinks more,” “I value restaurants where I find Freestyle machines.” Our key metrics are up significantly, and we’ve seen nice increases statistically.

How did Mistress perform from a project management standpoint?

I loved working with the account team. For the most part, I worked with a woman named Toshi, and Lee Roth was involved with a lot of the strategy. I’d give super high marks for both of them. I felt like they over-delivered and everything was on time, within budget, and of a high quality.

What did you find most impressive about Mistress?

I feel like there’s an intimacy about Mistress, no pun intended. It doesn't feel like a big shop where a smaller brand is going to get lost. Even though Coca-Cola is gigantic, the project I'm working on, Freestyle, is a very small part of The Coca-Cola Company. I felt like we were a brand that people cared about within the shop, and I had the highest quality people in that shop working on my project. I also felt like they were willing to take risks; they weren't afraid. That fearlessness comes across in the fact that they’re bold enough to name their agency Mistress, and they kind of live that brand themselves. I always feel like they’re going to give me riskier, cut-through, standout creative work, and I think they delivered on that.

Are there any areas Mistress could improve?

My experience with them was great. I would maybe push them a little bit more on a strategic level beyond just having cool ideas. We did great work together and had a great relationship in 2016, but I’m a little worried that two of my key people have now left the company. So far things seem to be going great, and I have no complaints.

4.5
Overall Score I liked the size of the shop, the quality of the work, and their style of working with me. There were no egos, but they still pushed back when they had a point of view that we didn't agree on.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I think they always met deadlines on time and on budget.
  • 3.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I felt like it was a good value but not a great value. It’s a solid “fine,” a good average.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They delivered everything on time, on brief, and on budget. I think the quality of the service was super high.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I loved working with them. It was a good experience, with high quality and great creative work. It was delivered on time and on budget. I was really proud of the work I did with them.

Brand Campaign for IMAX Corporation

"They have a wonderful combination of charm and firmness."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
1,000,000 - 9,999,999
 
Oct. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

To increase their market presence and resonate with their target consumer, the client employed Mistress to develop a full brand campaign for both digital and print. 

The Reviewer
 
501-1000 Employees
 
New York, USA
Eileen Campbell
CMO, IMAX Corporation
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Working with Mistress, the client has already seen significant improvements in their brand equity. Their project management is extraordinary.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

IMAX Corporation is an entertainment technology company that works in the area of film exhibition, cameras for Hollywood movies, and virtual reality. We have 1,100 theaters around the world.

I’m the chief marketing officer.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Mistress?

The business challenge was how to increase the salience of the IMAX brand when people are making the decision to go to the movies. We wanted to be much more present in consumers’ minds when they were making film decisions.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Mistress has developed our core brand campaign including both digital and print. They helped us develop a brand film which is used as a commercial and needed to have the adequate caliber to be able to be shown on our large screens with our high-powered projectors. They helped us with all the brand assets we use digitally. They provide us with support on social media including what we call contemporary brand content, to help us resonate with young consumers. They really are our agency of record and a primary partner for us.

How did you come to work with Mistress?

We found Mistress as part of an AOR [agency of record] search. We did a comprehensive RFP [request for proposal] with 14 agencies. The size of the agency was important to us. We were looking for an agency who was big enough, but not too big, which is how Mistress got on our radar. We were looking for someone with a great reputation for creative work and experience with brands that are targeted towards young males. After in-person pitches with 3 agencies, we selected Mistress.

How much have you invested with Mistress?

We spend $1,000,000 a year in agency fees which doesn’t include production.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in October 2015 and our relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We don’t have a lot of transactional data as a company but I can say that year over year our brand equity improved. We’ve seen when Mistress is involved in our social posts that our metrics are generally better and our engagement rates are higher. Our product changes every two weeks when we bring in a new movie. When it comes to movies that are available, 2016 was not as good as 2015, but even with that, our revenues will probably be up by 8% to 9% this year. Mistress was certainly a contributor although there are a lot of variables.

How did Mistress perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re the best agency I’ve ever worked with in regards to project management.

What did you find most impressive about Mistress?

Their project management and account management is extraordinary. They have a wonderful combination of charm and firmness. They keep us on schedule, which is a really special trait. They’ve got a great creative team. We work a lot with Damien Eley who is their chief creative officer and has been very involved in our account along with Christian Jacobsen, who is their senior strategy partner. They also have a great team under them which we’re very comfortable with.

Are there any areas Mistress could improve?

The only thing I would say is that they could be integrating a bit more research into our company.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’re not cheap but they deliver a strong value.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Mistress has been very consistent in terms of commitment fulfillment.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer