Guess who topped YouTube’s ad leaderboard?News

Yes, us.

Our Madden Season work for EA comes out at #1 on YouTube’s Ad Leaderboard in August.

YouTube showcases the musical sensation and provides perspective from EA as well as from Heat’s ECD on the work — check it out, and let it wash over you “like a rage-filled bubble bath.”

Heat appoints Justin Cox as Director of Strategy.News

Heat is proud to announce that Justin Cox has joined the full-service creative agency as its Director of Strategy, where he will lead Heat’s existing strategy team. Justin will work with Heat clients to determine the role of their brand in the lives and culture of their target audience, develop and increase the impact of marketing strategy, translate ideas into creative campaigns, and measure campaign success in market.

“Justin joins Heat at time of significant organic growth for us,” said John Elder, President of Heat. “Justin’s leadership and his broad experience across traditional and digital advertising, brand management and product development will be a welcome addition to Heat’s deep strategic bench, even if he is a Dodgers fan.”

Justin comes to Heat from DDB California, where he oversaw the office’s strategy practice, working across agency accounts such as ConAgra, Facebook, Partnership for Drug Free America, and playing an integral role in new business. Prior to DDB, he served as Strategy Director at Pereira & O’Dell, providing strategic guidance to brands such as Skype, Intel, Guitar Center, and Corona. Justin spent his early career developing strategies at Razorfish as well as Publicis & Hal Riney, working with Microsoft, Levi’s, Walmart, and Beam Global Spirits. Justin’s work has been recognized by Cannes, Effie, ADDY’s and the One Show. He has also been a featured speaker at SXSW, and Fortune and have published his perspectives on the ad industry.

MediaPost and AgencySpy both covered the news of his appointment.

La Crema crowdsources wine making with Virtual Vintner.La Crema, ,

In support of La Crema’s first crowdsourced wine experience, Virtual Vintner – a new digital program in which wine lovers virtually participate in the winemaking process to create a wine of their own – we employed a unique approach to drum up consumer awareness and encourage program participation.

Partnering directly with top-tier bloggers who are influential with La Crema’s Virtual Vintner demographic, we created custom editorial content that promoted the program and ran on the blogs, immediately driving a large spike in sign-ups. The bloggers also touted the posts through their own social channels, bringing additional reach.

A sampling of the posts:

Apartment34: What’s Your Wine Profile?
He Spoke Style: Choose your own adventure
A Piece of Toast: Chardonnay via La Crema
Britt + Whit: Summer Wine Party
Fashion Truffles: La Crema Virtual Vintner
Mrs. Lilien: A chardonnay a day
Shop Sweet Things: 3 Bite-Size Wine Pairing Recipes + Be the First to Try Virtual Vintner
A House in the Hills: La Crema Virtual Vintner
Dapper Lou: High Altitudes

We went on to identify the blog posts that garnered the most engagement and then amplified them via promoted posts on Facebook, resulting in nearly 1,000 new followers to La Crema’s Facebook page in the span of just one week.

We’re hiring.Jobs

Heat is a creative advertising agency that believes in the power of surprise to solve problems, build brands, and turn ordinary customers into raving fans. And we’re currently looking for a Creative Technologist. We prioritize creative thinking and take pride in what we do. A Creative Technologist at Heat works directly with creative teams, producers, and the account management group, working on digital concepting and development for a variety of accounts, including Bank of the West, Kendall-Jackson wines, EA SPORTS, and more, in addition to internal initiatives and new business as needed. We’re looking for someone who can work independently, and make terrific creative come to life.


  • Function as a team player with regard to agency and client relations, working closely with creative, account, and production teams to bring the best ideas to life
  • Contribute ideas to creative brainstorms
  • Provide recommendations on which platforms and technologies are the right solutions for each project
  • Understand and work well within clearly defined project constraints, such as client goals, technical considerations and budgets/schedules
  • Create estimates and schedules for development tasks
  • Ensure quality deliverables, with an eagerness to increase efficiency and effectiveness


  • 2-5 years experience at a digital or creative agency
  • Excellent problem solving skills
  • Proficiency with design tools like PhotoShop and Illustrator
  • Strong proficiency in client-side technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Solid proficiency in PHP, WordPress and MySQL, and understanding of other server-side technologies and databases
  • Knowledgeable about server architecture and hosting solutions such as Amazon AWS and CDNs
  • Adaptable and flexible when project requirements shift
  • Can speak about technologies outside of one’s proficiency
  • Animation, design, and typography sensibilities a big plus

#MaddenSeason scores #1 most engaging video.News

To say that the 3-minute musical we developed to launch EA SPORTS Madden NFL 15 “blew up” would be something of an understatement.

The ad immediately amassed 30+ million views and industry accolades from both the advertising and sports media. The press used descriptors such as “bizarre,” “bonkers,” “ridiculous,” “viral insanity,” and one of our favorites (courtesy of ESPN), “what might be the weirdest ad in the history of ever.”

Upon the video’s release, #MaddenSeason was instantly trending on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Twitter US Trends Facebook Trending

The spot was also named as an Ad Age/Creativity “Pick of the Day” and ranked by Ad Age as the #1 Most Engaging Spot.

Watch the video here, and check out what the press had to say about it below.

Advertising stories, with references to Heat:

Highlights of sports and mainstream coverage (alphabetic):





Madden GIFERATOR – The live NFL GIF engine.EA Sports,

To keep smack talk in the air all Madden Season long, we teamed up with Google’s Art Copy & Code to create the Madden GIFERATOR — a highly sophisticated NFL GIF engine.

Our aggressive, bleeding-edge technology fuses live NFL data with Madden NFL 15 footage to kick out real-time GIF highlights for every game throughout the season. The result is an ever-growing arsenal of customizable GIFs that football fans can hurl towards the face of their rivals.

A few that are winning the Internet so far

Feeling all the feels.EA Sports, ,

NHL 15 is so incredible it’s stirring up some serious feelings in players across the league. Big feelings, powerful feelings, raw feelings. Feelings they just can’t keep inside. So they’re sharing with the rest of the world, any way they possibly can. And it’s awesome. 

Check out Marchand’s song here.

Heat named one of the most effective agencies in U.S.News

We’re honored to be receiving top honors from some of the industry’s biggest awards organizations during the 2014 awards “season.”

Heat was just recognized by The Effie Awards as one of the 15 most effective independent advertising agencies in North America (and the only one in San Francisco). The win was defined by creative and media strategies, and the ideas themselves.

Our most recent campaigns are also continuing to amass accolades. Highlights include:

  • North American Effie, Gold – Madden NFL 13
  • National ADDY, Silver  – Episcopal Community Services
  • Adweek Watch Award, Best Advertising Video – Titanfall “Shadow”
  • Interactive Media Awards, Best in Class – Episcopal Community Services
  • Webby’s Official Honoree – Eyebrow Bowl (Viral Marketing) and Episcopal Community Services (Non-Profit)
  • Internet Advertising Competition – Episcopal Community Services (Best Non-Profit Website) and Madden Stereotypes (Best Sports Online Video)

Digiday Innovation Camp 2014 download.Blog

One of the reasons to come to conferences like Digiday Innovation Camp is to be exposed to cool campaigns, and get inspired by some of the brightest in the industry. It’s easy for most of us in the industry to get caught up in the everyday of our jobs, or even the opposite – we get focused on the future and advancing our careers. At Innovation Camp, there was a common thread amongst many of the speakers: work closer together, let go of our attachment to past processes, and have faith in our ideas.

Here are a few of the speakers that inspired me with their advice and campaigns:

First, in a talk titled “Demo or Die,” Christine Outram, VP, Invention Director, Deutsch LA, took us through the process of recently ideating and inventing the Fuelcaster for eSurance. Deutsch was faced with a challenge that a lot of us are faced with today: on a tight budget, create something awesome, with which people will actually engage. What was unique here was from ideation to creation, the process took only seven weeks and Deutsch actually built and tested it out before presenting it to the client. Christine stressed that one of the reasons this program turned out so well was that they had all the right people in the room at the same time working together and collaborating.

Key Takeaway: Take your headphones out, go sit in a room together, and brainstorm the hell out of something with your coworkers.

Second, Max Lenderman, CEO at School, led a discussion called, “How to Find Meaning in Your Work.”Max’s agency strives to make the world a better place through advertising – seemingly lofty, but he gave some great advice if you think about it in the context of your consumers’ end experience. Considering how much “stuff” is out there in the world, he gave this great quote from Design House Stockholm: “Don’t make something unless it is both necessary and useful, but if it is both necessary and useful, don’t hesitate to make it beautiful.” He encouraged us to ask ourselves how our ideas are useful, how they help the world, and ultimately how are they are part of the creative solution to our clients’ problems. Case-in-point: the campaigns that won at Cannes in 2013 were both useful and beautiful. For example:

  • The Smart TXTBKS campaign won the Mobile Grand Prix, in which Smart, the Philippines’ largest telecom, took SIM cards and turned them into a free school textbook delivery mechanism called Smart TXTBKS.
  • The Immortal Fans campaign won the Grand Gold Prix. The soccer club Racife in Brazil encouraged fans to sign up for organ donation (a huge issue in Brazil) so that they could “keep cheering for Sport Club Recife forever.”

 Key Takeaway: Constantly ask yourself if the solution you’re proposing is actually useful.

Lastly, in his talk, “Permanent Beta is Beta,” David Slayden, Executive Director, Boulder Digital Works, gave us some advice on the future of media, creative, and employment—but not the typical advice you would expect from a conference. The first part of his talk centered on the theme of “non-attachment”—don’t get too attached to your title, the way you work today, or the latest technology because “new shit is always, always coming to light.” What he means is new information and new technology is constantly being introduced that is changing our jobs and changing the way we work, so we need to be flexible in order to really solve our clients’ problems . The second part of his talk centered around advice on our careers— don’t worry about a career (gasp!), but instead go after things that interest you and get really, really good at what you do.

Key Takeaway: Be authentic, be flexible and have fun.

- Kim Shores, Associate Media Director