Edgewater ad firm not shy about embracing change

Partners bring varied skills, backgrounds to DXagency's mission

Andrew Sheldon//November 24, 2014//

Edgewater ad firm not shy about embracing change

Partners bring varied skills, backgrounds to DXagency's mission

Andrew Sheldon//November 24, 2014//

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DXagency, a multiplatform ad agency based in Edgewater, has a casual, laid-back work environment in its office. And that’s OK, because going with the flow has been working for the firm since the company’s founding in 2004.

CEO Sandy Rubinstein, sitting with an exposed brick wall behind her desk and a view of the Manhattan skyline, said the firm started as a street team for hire, serving record companies, until its clients started requesting other services.

Specifically, that the firm expand its efforts to the Internet.

The company said “yes” and suddenly went from the street to the information superhighway. Request after request, the agency expanded its services to meet the needs of its clients.

“Little by little, the company evolved into a digital agency just by virtue of our clients requesting these type of engagements,” she said. “We tell our clients ‘yes,’ and when our clients ask for something, our first answer is, ‘Let’s figure out how to do it.’

“If we can’t, we’ll tell you the truth, but nine out of 10 times, we’re going to make it happen.”

And that evolution is still ongoing. Within the last year, Rubinstein has noticed a trending request among clients.

“They’ll say, ‘Do you think you could take this beautiful website and make it a print ad? Do you think you could buy the print for us and plan it? Now, can you make a TV ad for us and buy that media, too?’ ” she said. “Although our roots are really digital, we’re turning into this engagement agency where we create engagements on all different types of platforms based in that digital idea.”

The types of clients have expanded along with their services. After serving record labels, MTV became one of the agency’s first clients. Then, much like MTV, DXagency shifted its focus from music to — more broadly — the entertainment industry.

It’s another natural evolution the firm has undergone as each of the partners of the agency offers a particular entertainment industry background: Benjamin Hordell comes from the music industry while Michael Dubb transitioned from Time Inc.

Rubinstein previously worked in the television industry, where she ran marketing for several networks, including Lifetime, Nickelodeon and TV Land. She said having been on the network side of the marketing equation is another asset she applies to her work.

Those varied backgrounds have been a real asset as the company took on new challenges.

“It’s allowed us to look at things with really wide eyes and say, ‘OK, packaged goods company, here’s why this type of thing might be better to ultimately deliver what you’re trying to do,’ ” she said. “It’s unusual as an agency, because usually you get pigeonholed in one vertical, and we work in all of them.”

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Name: DXagency
Headquarters: Edgewater
Founded: 2004
Employees: 42
Executives: CEO Sandy Rubinstein; co-partner Michael Dub; partner Benjamin Hordell
One More Thing: Clients include TV networks such as HBO, MTV and IFC, but its services extend to other types of companies, including Sun-Maid, Samsung and Sears.

Get ’em while they’re young

Training early is important to DXagency, which takes on five interns a semester between Rutgers University and the University of Miami, Rubinstein’s alma mater. After each semester, the company hires one of the interns.

“In our internship program, you work side by side with the account people. You’re not making copies,” she said. “You really do learn what we do here.”