GET TO KNOW US
Douglas Van Praet :: Founder
Douglas Van Praet is a leading brand strategist, keynote speaker, writer and author. Inc. Magazine named his best selling business book, Unconscious Branding: How Neuroscience Can Empower (and Inspire) Marketing, one of the “Top Ten Marketing Books of 2014”. He is a contributor for Fast Company and Psychology Today. His approach to marketing draws from unconscious behaviorism and applies neurobiology, evolutionary psychology and behavioral economics to business challenges.
Douglas has positioned some of the world’s most iconic brands through effective, award-winning campaigns. For example, he is the brand strategist behind the Volkswagen advertising campaign that generated the highest market share stateside in 30 years. This effort included the wildly successful “Mini Darth Vader” Super Bowl commercial, which became the most shared ad ever. And when General Motors filed Chapter 11 amid public outrage over bailouts and corporate jets, Douglas wrote the brief that made the announcement, and developed the communications strategy that helped lead the turnaround allowing GM to emerge from bankruptcy in record time.
Douglas has been featured in international news media including: Time Magazine, Forbes Magazine, Inc., Fast Company, Business Insider, Psychology Today, UK Telegraph, BBC News, NPR, SiriusXM, Contagious Magazine, Communicate, Advertising Age and Huffington Post.
He has worked on numerous top-tier clients including: Volkswagen, Bank of America, General Motors, Saturn, Toyota, Caesar’s Entertainment Corporation, Mitsubishi Motors, Procter & Gamble, Kraft, Johnson and Johnson, S.C. Johnson, DIRECTV, Burger King Corp., Intel, Dr Pepper, Snapple, Listerine, Trident, Schick, Halls, Lubriderm, Neutrogena, Zantac, Jif, Centrum, California Milk Advisory Board, Lexus, Planters/Lifesavers, Twinings Tea and Nike/Hurley.
Douglas is presently working on his next book. When he has some free time, which is rare, he’s long boarding and motorcycle riding.
Anna Villano :: Partner, Creative Director
Anna has worked at top-tier agencies such as Deutsch, FCB and VaynerMedia, working with big name clients like Volkswagen, Taco Bell, Microsoft, Neutrogena, Unilever, Naked Juice, Sonic Drive-In, Toyota and P&G, to name a few.
She’s been on the forefront of the ad industry’s evolution from pre-digital to post-digital and was one of the first to use various social media platforms for ad campaigns. She was a Creative Director at VaynerMedia, an award-winning social media agency headed up by social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk.
At VaynerMedia, Anna led multiple creative teams to create some of the most innovative and successful ad campaigns. She’s an expert in understanding how the social media and ad machine really work and how they influence viewers’ buying decisions.
Anna speaks about the power of design, social media and smart branding at leading design conferences. In 2015, she was a judge for The Addy Awards, one of the leading award shows in advertising.
She received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley in Architecture, and a Master of Fine Arts in New Media from Art Center College of Design. In addition, Anna was a professor at the University of California Los Angeles teaching graphic design and digital media.
Bridget Bobel McIntyre :: Director, Business Development
Bridget started her sales career selling drugs (legally, of course) as a pharmaceutical sales rep in New York City. When she left the East Coast for warmer weather in Los Angeles, she joined the world of advertising at Culver City based creative shop Omelet. While there she worked in account management with clients AT&T, Moët & Chandon, and Microsoft, to name a few, then transitioned to business development.
A native Hoosier, Bridget graduated from Ball State University and worked in communications and marketing in Indianapolis before moving to the Big Apple. If you want to hear a few good stories, ask her about the time she competed at Miss USA 2006 as Miss Indiana, or her childhood spent performing in her hometown’s amateur circus.
Traveling, scuba diving and watching her husband cook are a few of Bridget’s favorite things. Most weekends she can be found at the dog park with her two rescues, Indy and Holly.
Jakob Frank :: Director, Editor, Cinematographer
While studying Film at Emerson College Jake discovered a deep love for storytelling that led him to a career in documentary filmmaking. His early endeavors include numerous short form documentaries about interesting Bostonians, including an award winning master model ship builder, and the actual inventor of the “Bop-It”. Before leaving Boston for good, he co-directed a student film festival award winning documentary on ex-gang members and their struggle to reintegrate into society based on their gang affiliated tattoos.
After moving to Los Angeles, Jake was the Director of Photography for “Just Like Being There”, an award winning documentary about the world of rock and roll show posters, that opened the SXSW film festival. Soon after, Jake combined his love for documentary and telling great human stories with the world of advertising. He has gone on to write, shoot and direct multiple human focused advertising series for brands like Microsoft, Jewel Osco, and Menards, each staying true to his passion for storytelling and people focused content. Most recently he has directed human focused branded content for clients like Jeep, Bud Light, and City National Bank. If he is not behind a camera or at a computer editing, you can find him at his local Dunkin Donuts, enjoying what he considers the world’s best iced coffee.
Alessio Piano :: Account Coordinator/Research Assistant
Alessio moved from Los Angeles, his hometown, to the Bay Area in 2013 to study political science at University of California, Berkeley. He developed a passion for philosophy specializing in political theory. His side hobbies focus around art and science. Recently, Alessio moved back to LA, not only because his girlfriend moved here, but he also loves the weather and the friendly attitude.
Samie :: Director, Happiness
Samie recently joined our staff. She loves mini walks, barking at the delivery truck and sleeping most of the day.