Zack Kinslow is an award-winning writer, producer & creative collaborator with eight years' experience helping good companies grow their communities — both digitally and physically.
ROLE: Creative Production Manager, Producer, Director of Community
The Art Directors Club hired me during a pivotal time in the nonprofit’s 95-year history: a new Executive Director took over, and he wanted to “destroy and rebuild” the organization to infuse a whole new energy into the club’s brand.
They called on me (literally, with a phone, on a Saturday afternoon) to become his right-hand man — a hybrid creative/producer/writer/social media role to reignite the historic ADC community. So, I quit my ad agency job, moved to Brooklyn on a Tuesday night, and began working at ADC on Wednesday morning.
Through a whirlwind of creative production initiatives, we effectively brought in a tsunami of new programming, innovative events, membership perks, video content, community engagement (both online and in-person), a spiffy website redesign, and even the club’s first all-digital Annual book.
When I wasn't creating brand assets myself, I managed and oversaw all vendors and freelancers in the ADC Global Network (both locally and abroad) to produce eye-catching work — often with zero budget.
Some of my favorite projects while at ADC include:
ADC Global Rebranding Logo and style guide designed by Simon Chénier-Gauvreau of SID LEE; covered in Brand New; all components executed by me through various print and digital vendors (on a shoestring budget).
ADC Website Redesign Designed and built by Franklyn; nominated for a Webby award; all content management, writing and project management done by yours truly.
The Wonderful, Mechanical ADC Traveling Exhibition Designed by Simon Chénier-Gauvreau of SID LEE; constructed by Les Ateliers Guyon; physically produced/assembled in 3 cities (Barcelona, Los Angeles, New York) by myself and one teammate.
Of course, we made a lot of other cool things in those three years, and there are plenty of projects I'm leaving out (here are some videos if you're curious). I traveled around the US and the world producing events and spreading the good word about "the new ADC," from LA to Chicago to Toronto to Miami and even Europe.
By the end of my term, I increased membership revenue by 25% YOY, reduced churn, grew the social media community by 10x to 350,000, negotiated over $200K of in-kind donations, contributed to the development of $400K in paid sponsorships, and successfully re-energized the ADC community.
Throughout a year and a half as a producer at the tech startup Skillshare — an online learning community for creative professional skills with 2 million students worldwide — I've had the opportunity to work on a lot of fun projects with some fantastic brands.
The educational videos I produced range in topics from designing pictograms with purpose, to illustrating food characters, to making the perfect pizza, to “squirrel whispering” in wildlife photography, to turning your backyard BBQ into a lifestyle photo shoot that you can sell on stock sites.
All said and done, I've produced 50+ online classes earning over 200,000 students, 2 million site visits, and 5 million minutes watched.
I’ve collaborated with Skillshare's top-tier partners, managing project scope, budget, logistics and production for companies such as Kickstarter, Twitter, MailChimp, Wacom, Getty Images, Contently, Patreon, Union Square Hospitality Group, and the Noun Project.
From teacher selection and content development, to managing all aspects of the shoot, to overseeing freelancers in post-production, to writing all marketing copy for both Skillshare and the partner's channels, each project brought an exciting new challenge that I executed from soup-to-nuts.
Making Your Digital Photos Not Suck, with Elizabeth Weinberg (Skillshare Trailer)
Graffiti Inspired Hand Lettering with Ricardo Gonzalez (Skillshare Trailer)
Make Your Video Look Like A Movie: Ryan Booth (Skillshare Trailer)
Design a Playful Food Character from Geometric Shapes
MailChimp Email Marketing for E-Commerce (Skillshare Trailer)
Kickstarter Storytelling: Build Community Around Your Project (Skillshare Trailer)
Black and White Street Photography with Jamal Burger (Skillshare Trailer)
Cooking Pizza, Roman Style with Marta's Nick Anderer (Skillshare Trailer)
ROLE: Social Media Marketing, Brand Launch Consultant
When the COO of Aldine, one of New York's most notable luxury print shops, told me he was creating his own startup offshoot specializing in craft letterpress, I knew I had to get involved and build a digital community around this beautiful, physical product.
The concept behind Piggyback was simple: "carpool" 10 designs on the same press sheet, using the same color ink, so that everyone saves big on the setup costs.
But how do you get the word out about a tangible product, in a digital world where everyone's glued to their phones?
I began consulting for Piggyback Letterpress in 2014, advising the company's digital marketing efforts and effectively launching the brand's online presence and sales.
From writing and photography to physically posting on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, to managing paid advertising campaigns, I ultimately gave Piggyback a cohesive social media strategy with a consistent brand voice that could be carried forward for years to come.
The results: - 2,000+ followers on Instagram - 5,500+ likes on Facebook - 10% conversion on social leads to request sample packs - 2-4% conversion from social to actual sales of business cards
ROLE: Event/Interactive Production, Social Media Marketing
When Barcelona-based creative studio Hungry Castle (purveyors of the Cool Shit™ clothing brand) approached me to bring their acclaimed Laser Cat public art project to Brooklyn, I knew this was going to be an interesting production — one that would illuminate the sky with art submissions from all over the world.
Since we had already co-hosted events in NYC's ADC Gallery, Miami's New World Center, and Hungry Castle's Spanish stomping grounds of Barcelona, surely throwing another party should be a breeze, right?
We had approval on a good location for the event (underneath the DUMBO overpass), the art submissions were flowing in by the thousands, and initial teaser marketing nearly sold out the event right away. Easy peasy.
Boy, was I wrong.
Just a few days before the event, the location fell through, for reasons unknown (in retrospect, it may have had something to do with laserphobia). We no longer had a large surface on which Laser Cat would shoot his art.
I had to decide: do we reschedule / cancel the event? Or pivot and find another spot asap?
I chose to forge ahead and figure out a solution. Scouring the earth of every Brooklyn neighborhood, warehouse, festival location, and parking lot, I narrowed down our options and within 6 hours, landed on a new home for Laser Cat Brooklyn.
The show would go on — and it was, as the kids say, lit.
We even made friends with the neighbors — collaborating with The Makeshift Society (a creative coworking space that happened to live around the corner) to throw a cat-themed arts & crafts pre-party on the night of the main event.
Upon hearing the relocation news, the creative community was even happier than before to hear of Laser Cat's Williamsburg takeover, and people flocked from all over the borough to witness and appreciate the colorful projection show.
ROLE: Event/Video Production, Creative Direction, Sponsor Development, Digital Marketing
ADC StartUP is an ongoing event/video series I produced from 2012–2014 at the Art Directors Club, as part of a company overhaul that demanded, "out with the old, in with the new."
The TED-like StartUP talks featured creative entrepreneurs who quit their agency dayjobs and fled to greener pastures in the startup world, as well as influencers from both sides commenting on this industry exodus.
Highlights include Cindy Gallop (former head of BBH New York and now founder of Make Love Not Porn), David Carson (founder of Heavy.com, FUSE TV and The New Stand), Jared Cocken (Chief Product Officer of Fitocracy), Farrah Bostic (Founder of The Difference Engine, former creative strategist at Wieden+Kennedy, Digitas, TBWA/Chiat/Day, et al) Matthew Manos (CEO of verynice), Vik Harrison (Creative Director at charity:water), Pamela Castillo (Co-founder of Market Publique), Aaron Shapiro (CEO of HUGE Labs), Alexis Tryon (Co-founder and CEO of Artsicle), Imari Oliver (Innovation Director of LABS, mcgarrybowen), Kim Bost (Product Design Lead, Etsy) and many more.
From signing speakers and sponsors to developing content, to logistics and video production, website creative direction, graphic design and social media promotion — this event series was my baby.
I'm very proud of the inspiring content that came out of it, and excited to see that the events continued to sell out.
Farrah Bostic at ADC StartUP - "Starting Something Is A Little Like Going Crazy"
WeWork co-founder Miguel McKelvey at ADC StartUP
ROLE: Producer (Event, Digital, Print)
Portfolio Night™ is the world's largest advertising recruitment event — an international "speed dating for creatives" hosted in over 40 cities worldwide on the same night. I've had the honor of working on this event from both a local host capacity as well as a global capacity through ADC.
In 2010, I proposed to the Philly Ad Club Board of Directors that we revive Philadelphia's storied advertising past and put the city back on the industry map. They gave me the OK, so I proceeded to pull together the resources on the ground level.
Now, Philly doesn't have any agency 'giants' that would normally host this type of affair — no Ogilvys or McCanns or Leo Burnetts — just a bunch of hardworking, independent shops who are proud of their city's creative work.
It was on me to tap into that local pride, and I somehow managed to raise $10,000 by going door-to-door at each agency — plenty of funding to produce the event.
We ended up throwing the biggest Portfolio Night in the world at Lincoln Financial Field (Eagles Stadium) with over 200 people in one room — leading to countless job offers and networking opportunities for Philly's aspiring mad men and women.
This must've caught the eye of the program's founder, as he later hired me at the Art Directors Club after bringing Portfolio Night into the ADC family.
I then began producing the event on the global side — managing all of the print and collateral pieces to distribute to 40 cities around the world, running the Portfolio Night social media channels, and producing campaigns to tie together an eclectic and customizable brand.
I also helped spark the idea (in the event's 10th year) for Portfolio Night All-Stars, a weeklong competition in which the very best young creative from each city was selected, flown to New York, and participated in a week-long creative challenge for a global brand.
The All-Stars competition all went down at the Art Directors Club Gallery, where my team and I hosted these up-and-comers and gave them the creative experience that they'll never forget.
The winners walked away with a custom 3D printed skull trophy (designed by Morris Lee and Mighty Jaxx) for blowing their city's creative minds, and the team who won the challenge received an additional medallion as a keepsake — along with bragging rights for life.
Special thanks: Sarah West, Ignacio Oreamuno, Julian Alexander, Morris Lee, Mighty Jaxx, Heather Guidice Photography, Direct Source Packaging, American Icon Screen Printing, and all the city hosts and global sponsors who made Portfolio Night possible.