The Blog

Statement on ANA ‘Self-Dealing’ Report

by Kris Dangla


In recent years, our industry has seen agencies increasingly offer production services—everything from shooting to editorial, and post production. And as that’s happened, there have been situations where some agencies ask for inflated bids from external production vendors for the sole purpose of undercutting those costs and securing the work for themselves.

This was detailed in a recent report by the Association of National Advertisers.

As the Director of Production at Copacino+Fujikado, with a background as an Executive Producer for independent production companies, I wanted to respond to this report in no uncertain terms: This practice is unethical and devastating to the bottom line of many independent production service providers.

There are many types of production projects that come to C+F.  Some with very small budgets and some with larger budgets.  We assess who is the best team to execute on an assignment (internal or external) and then move forward with determining costs. C+F has never engaged in this price-fixing behavior, nor will it.

A healthy, robust production community benefits us all. C+F values the production community and their contributions to our industry and will always maintain a fair and ethical stance when it comes to evaluating who is best for a project, even when it means, not choosing our own internal team.

Photo Credit: Jakob Owens

Facebook Reactions Beat Plain Ol’ Likes—Here’s What You Should Do

by Paul Balcerak


Image of Facebook Reactions icons

Facebook has updated its algorithm (again) to reward Reactions on posts more than plain-old Likes. No one Reaction—Love, Laugh, Wow, Sad, or Angry—is weighted heavier in Facebook’s algorithm than another. But they’re all a notch above a Like.

In short, the more Reactions on your Facebook posts, the better.

Here are three suggestions for how to get the most out of the algorithm update.

1. Write content that plays to the Reactions.

If you have material that would naturally cause laughter, surprise, etc., use that. Just remember to not explicitly ask fans to react a certain way—that will cost you.

A waffle shaped like a heart

2. Don’t ask people for Likes—ask them for Reactions.

If you’re in the habit of asking friends or coworkers to Like your posts, ask them for Reactions instead. And do the same when you React to your own posts.

Facebook’s algorithm probably knows to downgrade your Reactions if you’re a page admin or employee. But there’s a psychological aspect, too. If people see various reactions on a post, they might be more inclined to react beyond a Like, as well.

Bare minimum, it can’t hurt.

3. Apply contextual analysis to your Reactions.

Imagine for a second that you work at a bakery. You’ve published a post on your Facebook page that says you’re out of your most popular loaf of bread for the day. The Sad and Angry Reactions pour in.

Separate scenario—you still work for the bakery. But today, you’ve published a post about how you’ve changed the recipe for your most popular loaf of bread. The customary Likes and a few Loves appear, but you notice a heap of Sad and Angry Reactions, too.

Hands holding some bread

The Sad/Angry Reactions in the first scenario are arguably positive. People love your bread, and they’re bummed it’s out.

The Sad/Angry Reactions in the second scenario can’t be good. You’ve changed your recipe and people don’t like it.

So: Analyze your reactions contextually.

BONUS TIP: Recognize that most reactions will still/always be Likes.

Reactions have only been around for about a year, and the A1 button on every Facebook post is still the Like. Naturally, that’s the most common one for people to use. Don’t expect people to change their behavior just because Facebook updated its algorithm.

But also, don’t be discouraged. Look to gradually increase your Reactions-per-post over time. And pay attention to the types of posts that tend to inspire more.

A bunch of books in a hallway


To recap—Facebook now ranks Reactions above Likes in its algorithm. Here’s how you can take advantage:

1. Write content that plays to certain reactions.

2. Ask your friends/coworkers to React to—rather than Like—your posts.

3. Apply contextual analysis to your Reactions.

4. Expect to still see Likes on posts most of the time.

Got any other tips about how pages can take advantage of Facebook Reactions? Share them in the comments.


You’re Invited: C+F Round Robin, Vol. 1

by Betti Fujikado


“I’ve learned a lot from mentors who were instrumental in shaping me, and I want to share what I’ve learned.” — Herbie Hancock

“A lot of people put pressure on themselves and think it will be way too hard for them to live out their dreams. Mentors are there to say, ‘Look, it’s not that tough. It’s not as hard as you think. Here are some guidelines and things I have gone through to get to where I am in my career.’” — Joe Jonas

Apparently like Herbie and Joe, Jim Copacino has been a great mentor to many—sharing his love of advertising and a genuine interest in their careers. It’s become an important aspect of our culture at Copacino+Fujikado.

Informational interviews take place regularly, and we’ve decided to expand this even further with our first C+F Round Robin. It’s a chance for 30 or so college students to be introduced to C+F, advertising, and the various practices in it.

Here are the details:

C+F Round Robin – 3-5 p.m. on Thursday, March 23

You’ll learn about Creative and Content, Account Management, Insights, Media, Project Management, and Production in small group sessions.

There will be a chance for Q&A with the Directors, Managing Director, and Co-Founders.

As a final enticement, there will be food and drink as you move from session to session (because that’s just what we do).

Send an email to to reserve a space.

We hope we’ll see you there!

Thanks for Everything, Junior

by Andrew Gall

Few people have been tasked with writing an ad about their idol. Their childhood hero. The person responsible for many of their fondest memories growing up.

I have.

This is, in equal parts, the hardest and easiest ad I’ve ever written.

Because it didn’t come from research, strategy, or “reasons to believe.” It came, totally and completely, from the heart.

[Ed. note: Click for the full-sized PDF.]

Thanks for Everything, Junior (print ad)

Break The Hate

by Andrew Gall

breakthehate-box-croppedComing off a very successful launch of the Wing Luke Museum’s new Bruce Lee Exhibit in 2014, we were tasked with a new challenge: promote year 2’s version: Do You Know Bruce? Breaking Barriers. The exhibit itself focused on Mr. Lee’s groundbreaking achievements in the world of cinema and the media, showcasing Bruce’s hard work and determination as he broke down stereotypes about Asian Pacific Americans.

The story of the new exhibit was a compelling one, and one thing we’ve learned is that when you have a story worth telling, other people will be excited to help you share it.

We tapped into The Wing’s extensive rolodex of contacts, along with our own, to seek out local people or businesses with large social media followings and gave them a simple task: promote the new exhibit by posting content of themselves breaking one of our uniquely designed “Hate” boards on one of their channels.

The boards paid homage in equal parts to Bruce’s martial arts skills and his philosophy of inclusion.

As a result, a flurry of creative ways to “Break the Hate” peppered the social media channels of Seattleites and beyond. Watch the video to see how we were able to announce the arrival of the Wing Luke Museum’s Do You Know Bruce? Breaking Barriers exhibit with more than a little extra punch.

Like this campaign? See more of our work or get in touch.

The Seattle Mariners Brand Redesign Project: How We Collaborated to Update the Team’s Look and Feel

by Andrew Gall

Mariners 'True to the Blue' logo with 'rhombus' text styling

Clients and ad agencies always hope to work in a spirit of harmonious partnership, full transparency, and seamless collaboration—with a goal of creating campaigns that please both parties and motivate the audience. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always wind up happening that way.

But sometimes it does.

The Seattle Mariners came to us last fall with a behemoth of an assignment: Redefine and redesign their brand look and feel. A challenge, to put it mildly.

From top to bottom, there existed hundreds of discrete marketing materials that the new design would ultimately affect. Everything from television end cards, to pocket schedules, to bobblehead giveaway promotional graphics. Most of which would then be executed internally by the clients’ in-house team, not ours.


Kyle Seager bobblehead animated GIF

Frequent meetings; no egos

The key to success here was—stop me if you’ve heard this one—collaboration. How? We all spent lots of time together. In the same actual building. In the same actual room.

I talked to the Mariners’ VP of Marketing Kevin Martinez about the process, and the result.

“The Mariners and Copacino+Fujikado have always enjoyed a collaborative relationship, so the working sessions didn’t feel entirely different from other projects,” he said. “C+F went above and beyond by taking a look at the various ways we would need to use the design, and helped us develop a solution for each asset.”

Image of Seattle Mariners schedules and tickets with 'rhombus' design Imagine of Mariners Magazine covers with 'rhombus' text styling

What began as a series of weekly meetings steadily evolved into frequent group sessions that featured walls plastered full of work, multiple directions we were exploring, and a distinct lack of ego. In the early going, everyone brought in examples of work they liked, as well as work they didn’t, within the category.

Those weekly meetings sometimes became twice weekly. We spent them exploring, building out, refining, repeating. We found ourselves self-editing less, as we preferred to have an open discussion first about why something was or was not working.

The critiquing process was simple: if someone didn’t like something, they’d candidly explain why, we’d set that work aside or try to fix it, and we’d move on. Nobody got their feelings hurt, and nobody bogged down the process—the agency and the client marched on towards the promised land of great design.

“Bringing our designers together with the agency designers was incredibly valuable,” Martinez said. “Our designers were able to communicate how functional the design needed to be and how numerous aspects of the design would need to be turned around quickly due to the daily nature of our game.”

Image collage of Mariners 'rhombus' text styling on Instagram posts Image collage of Mariners players in front of 'rhombus' stylized text with their names Image of Seattle Mariners icons in 'rhombus' design language

The Rhombus

Both the type treatment in general, and the rhombus specifically, suggest a sense of dynamic movement and athletic energy—evocative of how the game of baseball should be played.

“The use of the rhombus, a clean readable font that evoked the baselines on a baseball diamond, and the inclusion of Mariners branding elements created a fresh design that has been well received by Mariners fans,” Martinez said.

Image of Felix Hernandez pitching over an illustration of his name Image of Nelson Cruz superimposed over 'rhombus' text styling

In early 2016, the design started showing up around the city in every form imaginable, blanketing the city in all things rhombus-infused Mariners Baseball.

“Everyone involved from C+F brought tremendous creativity and energy that resulted in one of the best designs the Mariners have employed in the last twenty years,” Martinez said.

And without the true partnership of the longest-term client at the agency, we wouldn’t have landed in such a harmonious, happy place.

Image collage of Mariners players on 'barn doors' at Safeco Field with 'rhombus' text styling

Go team.


Enjoy 2 decades of Mariners ads
Text: How we collaborated with the Seattle Mariners to update their brand look & feel
Text: How we collaborated with the Seattle Mariners to update their brand look & feel

Facebook is Rented Space

by Paul Balcerak


Quote on image: "Don't panic: Your Facebook audience was never 'your' audience anyway"

Facebook has, once again, updated its algorithm. The company isn’t hiding how much the new formula will impact business pages:

The changes will affect all types of content posted by publishers, including links, videos, live videos and photos. Facebook said it expected a drop in reach and referral traffic for publishers whose audience comes primarily to content posted by the publisher’s official Facebook page. Just how much is difficult to say.

Organic Facebook reach has been dropping for years, so this isn’t a surprise. And it’s good to see this kind of transparent-ish statement from the company.

Still, there’s a little bit of reading-between-the-lines. There are two exceptions to the expected drop in reach, and they speak to what Facebook is really doing:

  1. (From the link): The changes “will have less of an impact, however, if most of a publisher’s traffic comes from individual users sharing and commenting on their stories and videos.”
  2. Ads and boosted content will, presumably, still appear as normal.

Facebook wants to keep people there

Point 1 is Facebook’s not-so-subtle way of encouraging web publishers (like news sites and blogs) to install their share buttons and commenting platform. Remember: Facebook wants people to come to and stay on Facebook, and those features help pull more people and content in. They also help drive toward a world in which Facebook is the default social sharing network.

Point 2 is the only thing Facebook left out of its transparent statement: You will have to pay to reach your fans. It’s a foregone conclusion at this point that Facebook Pages will become something like Facebook Premium—where there is zero organic reach, and publishers pay Facebook as a sort of digital printing press or billboard.

Don’t panic: It was never ‘your’ audience anyway

While this particular news is sudden, it follows a trend we’ve seen expect to continue to see over the long haul: Facebook will make changes to keep more people on Facebook, longer, and to encourage greater ad spending.

This is a no-brainer when it’s written out like that, but there are emotions attached to all this. People worked—hard—to build up their fan bases organically. Now they have to pay to talk to them?

That logic only works if you assume that your fan base was ever truly “yours.” You know the adage, If the product is free, then you are the product? This is that, where brands are the “you.” Facebook allowed brands to set up encampments on their property for years, and now they’re coming around asking for rent. Brands that don’t like it don’t have much recourse.

How brands can respond

That being said, this is by no means “the end of Facebook” for branded accounts. It’s an evolving reality, which ends with the “Facebook Premium” model that I described above. As we march closer to that, there are a handful of logical steps for brands to take:

  • Reemphasize spending and focus on your owned channels—your website, blog, email lists, etc.
  • Encourage people to share content from your site by installing share buttons (either Facebook’s or a third party’s) and/or comments.
  • Boost (pay for) posts to reach more fans.
  • Take a “multiple streams of income” mentality and build up your brand’s presence on several other networks.

One big asterisk on that last point: This is New York Times-level news because Facebook is the biggest social network on earth. But don’t think that other networks like Twitter or Pinterest offer safe harbor. They all want the same things Facebook does. Adopt a mentality where your website is home base and social networks are your embassies.


This latest Facebook algorithm change isn’t the end of the world for your brand. But if you’ve been treating your Facebook audience like it’s something you own, this should serve as a wake-up call. Focus more on the stuff you have full control over. Facebook is rented space.

Text: Follow @copacino on Twitter for more social media news and insights
Quote on image: "Don't panic: Your Facebook audience was never 'your' audience anyway"

Advice to a Graduate on Your First Day at Work

by Jim Copacino


Image with quote: "What are you going to do with your brick today?"

I like to think of a career as a building made of bricks. So, for a moment, imagine that every day of your working life is a single brick.

What are you going to do with your brick today?

You can use it to build a monument to your own self-importance.

You can use it build a prison of self-pity around yourself.

You can throw the brick through a window like an angry vandal.

You can put the brick aside and do nothing with it.

Or you can build a dignified tower dedicated to high purpose, excellence, generosity, collaboration and the joy of a job well done.

It won’t always be easy. At some point, you will be treated unfairly. Your hard work will go unrecognized. You will stumble and fall. You will have to occasionally endure unreasonable requests, stressful conditions and difficult projects. There will be days when you’ll want to stay home.

But remember this: You have more control over your career than you realize. Because the character and attitude you bring to your job each day will determine your destiny.

Over time, brick by brick, you can the build the career and the legacy that you choose.

Good luck on your first day of work. Start building something remarkable.

Image with quote: "What are you going to do with your brick today?"

Why Empathy Marketing Should Replace Real-Time Marketing

by Paul Balcerak

Graphic that says Empathy Marketing

“Real-time marketing”: It’s been one of the hot, buzzwordy phrases in the marketing and advertising industry the last few years, ever since Oreo dunked in the dark during the 2013 Super Bowl.

The tweet and the overall thinking were great. The power’s out at the Super Bowl. Let’s make something to entertain people in this specific moment.

Like anything on social media, though, it quickly became played out.

But there’s something else brewing that also happens in real time and deserves its own name: Empathy Marketing. To see it in action, look no further than the viral wall post that was shared on Southwest Airlines’ Facebook page a couple weeks ago:

Here’s the full text of the original post (emphasis mine):

Southwest Airlines employees brought pizza and sodas for all the American Airlines passengers stranded at Midland after we were diverted from DFW due to bad weather. How cool is it that?

When you board a plane at 11:30 am with no food service and have not eaten anything since… and then find yourself in a huge line at 11:30 pm waiting to get a hotel voucher… it’s hard to describe what a pizza means to you! It’s funny that American was giving out $7 food vouchers that wouldn’t be useful until the next day, but Southwest met our needs on the spot… and we were not even their customers (yet!).

You can also look at the outpouring of support from businesses and community groups after the awful Pulse nightclub shootings in Orlando. Shortly afterward, JetBlue, which is based in Orlando, announced that it would offer free flights to victims’ family members who needed to quickly fly to or from the city.

If this sounds simple, it is. But to do it successfully, brands need to create the conditions for it to happen.

  1. Foster a culture of empathy at your company. The people working the American Airlines desk that night were apparently content to just follow the protocol and hand out food vouchers—nothing wrong with that. Something made the Southwest employees want to go the extra mile.
  2. Empower your employees to act on their empathy. I don’t know if the Southwest employees paid for pizza out of their own pockets. But I know they’d be way more likely to make this move in the first place if they had a budget or stipend each month to do stuff like this.
  3. Don’t expect anything in return. My guess is stuff like this happens every day, but it just doesn’t go viral on social media. Even if this hadn’t, think of Southwest’s investment via this move: A few hundred dollars in pizza for the potential of several thousand dollars from those stranded American fliers the next time they booked a trip. That’s a pretty great ROI.

Empathy Marketing. Let’s make it happen (more).

Q&A: Scott Foreman, Copacino+Fujikado’s New Managing Director

by Jim Copacino

Scott Foreman, Copacino+Fujikado Managing Director

It’s an exciting time at Copacino+Fujikado, as we welcome new Managing Director Scott Foreman to our team. Scott’s been brought on board to oversee our day-to-day operations—new business, account management, media, and production.

He comes to us by way of Publicis, where he worked for nearly 15 years, most recently as CEO. You may recognize some of his work if you’ve paid any attention to T-Mobile over the last decade-plus. Scott was part of the team that initially launched T-Mobile nationally in 2002. He also worked closely on some of its most memorable campaigns: Get More, “T-Mobile Girl” (a.k.a. Carly), and its current “Un-Carrier” initiative.

We’re very grateful to have Scott join our team. You can read more about his hiring in our press release.

Here, we wanted to dedicate some space to getting to know Scott as a person. We sat down with him recently and asked him some questions—ranging from insightful to ridiculous—that were posed by members of our staff.

Without further ado….

Copacino+Fujikado: You’ve been at a big global agency and now you’re here at an independent agency. Why, and what are you most excited about?

Scott: It’s funny because I never thought I’d work at an independent agency, I was always this sort of big agency guy. But when I got a chance to meet Betti and Jim, their energy was contagious, and as I got to know more and more folks that worked here, I just really thought they had something going on. They built something special, and it just felt right.

C+F: What do you think is the biggest challenge in the industry right now?

S: I think there’s a challenge for advertising agencies to be able to bring something special to clients that clients can’t get on their own. I think that they can do research and these type of things, but the power of the agency is always going to be the unique creative idea, and showing how it works across all the new and emerging media.

C+F: What role do you see clients playing in the creative process?

S: I think it’s growing. I think clients want to be in the creative process. The agency’s job is always to recommend and the client’s [is] to approve, right? That’s sort of the historic role, but I think clients want to feel a part of the process more. And I think that actually can help because they’ll know the brand better than anyone. It takes a special client to know when to let the agency run with the idea, but I think the days are gone where we show up, present something and “take it or leave it, we’re the only ones that have the answer.” I think the best solutions come through a collaboration.

C+F: You have a reputation as a funny and fun-loving guy. What are you watching right now that makes you laugh?

S: I’ve got to tell you, the most recent thing I’ve been watching is Veep on HBO. That is just unbelievably cringeworthy, so that’s great. I also go back to the classics; I used to watch The Three Stooges with my daughters.


C+F: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

S: That’s a great question. I don’t know if it’s just one place, I take in a lot of popular culture, so whether it’s movies, TV—I read a lot of books, magazines, music. My three daughters kind of keep me relevant. So I don’t say there’s just one thing, it’s a mix of things.

C+F: What do you love about the business? What makes you want to do this every day?

S: I just love the idea that you can come into the office any day and something cool may happen. You may be in the room where that original thought comes to life that winds up changing the future of a business. And you have to believe in the power of a creative idea to change the trajectory of a business. If you believe that, then this is a great business to be in. So that’s what I get excited about—the idea that something cool may happen today. I don’t know what it is, but it may happen.

C+F: Can you remember a specific time when you were in a room where that happened?

S: Oh yeah, sure, like the campaign for “who’s in your fave five” for T-Mobile, because that’s been my past. Or an idea that was actually an event that ended up driving the whole campaign. Just different unique ideas, like the birth of “The Uncarrier” for T-Mobile, when you’re in the room where you actually see it take shape. Those are some memorable ones.

C+F: What’s the career achievement you’re proudest of?

S: To date—hopefully, it’s to come here—I launched T-Mobile to the U.S. market back in 2002 and ran it up until I came here [to Copacino], so for 15 years. That’s a long-term relationship that was nurtured over time—five different campaigns, four different CEOs, seven different CMOs. We did a great job for them, and my philosophy is you have to be a high-output low-maintenance agency. That tends to be a good recipe for clients in long-term relationships, just doing good work that works.

P: What’s your favorite ad campaign that you didn’t work on?

S: I think the insight on the Snickers campaign was great. I think “you’re not you when you’re hungry;” that was just a great strategic insight creatively brought to life in a remarkable way. I thought it was terrific.

C+F: Let’s jump into some quick hits here: Hulu, Netflix or TV?

S: Netflix, because Narcos was on there and I liked that.

C+F: Nirvana or Pearl Jam?

S: Pearl Jam. I’m an Eddie Vedder guy.

C+F: What is your favorite Tom Selleck role?

S: (Laughing) Oh gosh, beyond Magnum I’m trying to think of what else he did. There’s a couple movies I like that he did, but I guess Magnum PI.


C+F: What is your favorite millennial word or phrase?

S: “First world problems” is one I hear quite a bit. I think that’s probably the one.

C+F: Favorite music? All time or just right now—your choice.

S: Yeah, gosh, I don’t know if this is embarrassing or not—I do like Taylor Swift, if I came back in another life I’d probably be Taylor Swift.

C+F: What’s your favorite mode of transportation?

S: My bike!

C+F: What was your favorite class in high school?

S: I would say, probably history. I’m kind of a history buff. I read a lot about history; just biographies and things like that.

C+F: Last question: What keeps you passionate about the advertising industry?

S: I just think it’s a really, really interesting business. It’s filled with interesting people who just think differently. I think that being around it is energizing, I could never drive a desk for a living, you know? I really have to be around people and share ideas, it just makes it more interesting.