maximum • marketing • mayhem
by Michael Dukes
In case you haven’t noticed, a new breed of creative marketers is turning the ad world on its head. They’re fearless. They’re hyperconnected. And they’re rewriting the rules of brand engagement faster than you can say “hashtag.”
Street Attack, a self-described Creative Disruption Factory, is a prime example. Founder Brett Zaccardi, who relocated from Brooklyn to Music City last year, has spent a decade building excitement around brands, including Keurig, Heineken, Microsoft, and Barneys New York.
Nathan Brown, artist, music remixer, and eternal skater kid, followed a parallel path doing guerilla marketing for record labels, bands, and LiveNation. He was based out of Atlanta and Denver before landing back in Nashville.
I caught up with this dynamic duo in their airy third-floor command center overlooking the 12th Avenue border of Sevier Park.
NAM: So how did you two meet?
BZ: Nathan and I had actually been working together for years, but it was always long distance. Suddenly we both found ourselves back in Middle Tennessee. If there was one person I could have met to make Street Attack happen in Nashville, it was Nathan. But it took knowing him for ten years.
NB: We finally met up in person at the 12 South Taproom, and it just sort of clicked right away. Within the first week a nice piece of business fell into our laps. We didn’t have an office yet or anything.
NAM: What makes Street Attack work?
BZ: What I’ve always done is person-to-person interactive marketing. Bring in these big huge brands that are ultra corporate and expose them to an age group that would have never touched them. When you come to a smaller market that hasn’t been exposed to the experiential marketing that we do, some really simple things can get a lot of attention.
NB: The first project here was to help launch a moonshine brand called American Born. So we did this thing we’d already done in New York and L.A., which is a form of temporary billboards. We actually have our own name for them—flyboards. We used the snake from the old “Don’t Tread on Me” flag. And they just said “The Nashville Run.” We put them everywhere.
BZ: It was a simple thing, but all these bloggers and people were asking, what is this with the snakes everywhere? Word got out.
NAM: Why Nashville?
BZ: The momentum of the art and cultural stuff that’s happening.
NB: I think Nashville will accept a lot of what we do in the art world, in the entertainment world. The potential is incredible. Nashville is accepting a broader range of music now in general, and we see that happening with the arts too.
BZ: The sheer [number] of musicians and artists. There’s an appetite for experimentation, for art, for creativity. I liken East Nashville to Wicker Park or Brooklyn. Nashville has this cachet now, even in places like Paris and Dubai, and it’s not just hype.
NAM: Why 12South?
NB: I just absolutely love this neighborhood. People running, walking their dogs, sitting on porches. There’s a lot of great restaurants and unique little bars. It’s inspiring to be over here.
BZ: When Phil [Krajeck] and I started scouting a location for Rolf and Daughters, 12South is the first place we looked. Even coming in as an outsider, it was obvious this little area had become one of Nashville’s cultural nodes.
NAM: Crystal ball time. What does the future hold?
NB: We want to bring stuff to Nashville that the city’s never seen before. Really expose people to the international scene. This city’s exploding already.
BZ: The cultural piece is still evolving. It’s all just at the very beginning of what I think it can be. I’ve done a lot, seen a lot, and I’d love to bring more of that here. I think we can actually make an impact.
For more information about Street Attack and the Creative Disruption Factory, please visit www.streetattack.com.