Connecticut Creatives

Mascola Group

Location: New Haven
Duration: 30 years
Key Players: If there is someone on the Mascola team that that is not a key player, I haven’t found them. We operate on the simple principle that we are greater than the sum of our parts. Since there are no traditional layers at Mascola, each individual is integral to the success of the whole. If we had key players, we would have secondary players, and there is just no room here for anyone who is not capable of leading. 
Key Clients:
I’m not going to elevate some clients above others. I have twin daughters. It’s the same as asking me which one of them is more important. Our client mix is both challenging and rewarding, every single day. Just as with the key players question – each one of them is important to us.

When/how was the agency born?
In 1987, I knew I wanted to get off the train for my daily commute to Chiat/Day down on Madison Avenue. There were two choices: Either become a Manhattan resident or focus on building my brilliant home town – New Haven. I decided to bring the same creative talent I was working with down in New York to the Elm City. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Why do clients hire you and not another agency?
To be frank, it’s usually about rapport. That’s usually how it is with all agency relationships. We tend to attract clients who value: smart, strategic thinking; experience in destination, lifestyle, or B2B marketing; and a record of success in those categories. Some of our clients like that we do almost everything in-house – including media planning and buying. But one thing is valued by all of our clients: the team itself. Mascola Group is comprised of very unique individuals who work best together as a cohesive team; each of us has genuine respect for one another and for the clients we partner with. When the relationship is based on mutual trust and respect, the entire process is easier.

What makes your process unique?
It’s not. We all do the same thing, and to some extent use the same tools. We are a strategic-based firm and do lots of research to get the answers we need to create effective campaigns. With that said, our very roots are in the superiority of the creative product. Chiat/Day and their extraordinary creative team, implanted that appreciation and desire for creative perfection into my brain. Our process is unique because our people are unique, and have a unique synergy with one another.

Why Connecticut?
At the end of the day this place is simply beautiful, perfectly situated between the ocean and the mountains, close enough to the City and rural enough to inspire. Connecticut is filled with progressive thinkers, especially in New Haven, where Yale has made its home for over 300 years. It’s great to be part of such a bright, shining city.

Describe your ideal client.
The clients we have right now are our ideal clients. They appreciate who we are and what we do. They provide the business plan and the budget to allow us to put the action steps in that plan. They enjoy their work and are positive. They understand that we work much more as a department of their company than as a vendor. They also get that what we do every day requires a certain balance of art and science.

Describe your ideal employee/team member.
The ideal team member enhances our team. They are confident, demanding, and frankly, a pain in the ass. They are appreciative and respectful. They are smarter than most, and more intuitive than others. They understand their role, but keep trying to expand it. They take up the slack and are self-motivated. I don’t have the time or the desire to micro-manage. So I need people that don’t need supervision. They are extroverts and enjoy life, inside and outside the office. They value family and companionship.

What is your favorite cause?
The survival of Catholic schools and the success of kids.

Who are your favorite partners/vendors?

We have had the pleasure of working with some of the most talented visionaries in Connecticut, including Bill Ahearn at Tapeworks Inc. for audio, Aaron Kotowski and Steve Walter for photography projects, and Derek Dudek for film.

Where would you like the agency to be in 5 years?
Exactly where we are now — 434 Forbes Avenue. Doing great work for great clients.

What is unique about the culture of the agency? The physical space?
My grandfather first opened his barbershop on these premises in 1915. The building, while it has many upgrades to keep us in the 21st century, nods back to the building’s history in nearly every corner – from the antique radio collection in our conference room to the barber pole we’ve secured in our front widow (which sometimes causes passersby to request a haircut). I would say everyone who works here has an appreciation for that history and knew when they walked in the door that this was a different kind of agency – one that they wanted to work for. That is one thing that affects the culture here. Overall, we’re a tightknit group that plays hard but works much harder. It is not uncommon to be hit in the head with a Nerf bullet or enjoy a burger on a hot day in the courtyard, but we are focused on producing beautiful and effective work when the day is done.