What my stilettos taught me about inspiration

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 10.15.33 AMFor as long as I can remember, I have worn high heels. I often joke that I was born in them. I have 2, 4, 6-inch heels in virtually every color, every designer and even in both open and closed toes. I could never have imagined a time when I would not be suited up in my stilettos, having grown up in the advertising business where I had to adapt to environments and processes that often constrained new ways of thinking. But, when I moved to Dumbo to start my own business. I left my heels in Manhattan…and never realized how liberating it would truly be.

Believe me I tried to strut my 6-inch beauties around the cracked cement corners and cobblestone blocks. Besides almost breaking my neck, the whole thing robbed my shoes of their dignity. It was then I realized that the move to work in Dumbo came at a price. I traded in part of my style to be inspired by the rough edges, and amazing sights and sounds of a neighborhood filled with creativity. It made me question the whole notion of style over substance. Do we compensate in life with style choices because we are often uninspired by our surroundings?

This dynamic is often revealed in countless meetings when brand builders grasp for the “sizzle” because the hard work of building substance is just too tedious. It’s much easier to focus on the logistics of making things happen – hire a cool director or a sexy model, link to a powerful social media influencer, or give incentives away! It’s a seductive process. It moves fast, and logistics make it easy to direct a project to the finish line. Many of those ideas lead brands down a precarious road. They are short-term hits. Style over Substance. They provide a look, a feel, but they sometimes cause marketers to miss the opportunity to find sustainable inspiration on their business. At The Baiocco And Maldari Connection, we believe in doing the hard work it takes to get to a collection of choiceful words that define the meaning of the brand’s intention and how it will impact consumers. We call it the One-Shot AnswerTM. Once that phrase is realized, the creativity explodes. Creating inspiration and meaning for a brand unleashes its true power. A mark that every brand can find and deserves.

So you might ask aside from a flirty opening, what the hell do my shoes have to with anything? Well let’s just say, when I left them behind, DUMBO provided new inspiration. I’m ready to strut, just not in stilettos.

Maureen Maldari
The Baiocco And Maldari Connection

TheBamThinks #13


It’s official! The BAM Connection launches in Dumbo Today.


For immediate release:

The BAM Connection opens in Dumbo with a singular vision:
Simplicity Liberates Creativity

New York, NY – June 25, 2014. – After years working in the big, complex, multi-layered agency world, Rob Baiocco and Maureen Maldari officially launch The BAM Connection today in Brooklyn with a single mission: the tenacious pursuit of creativity through simplicity.

Baiocco and Maldari, two former Grey executives, have spent years driving billions of dollars in value for national and international brands like Captain Morgan, Pringles, Aquafresh, DIRECTV, Botox and E*Trade. They now vow to use that vast experience to take a necessary and unwavering streamlined approach to branding and content creation.

“The world of marketing is way overcomplicated,” said Baiocco. “And all that complexity sucks the life out of ideas, gets in the way of speed, and strangles creativity. Simplicity liberates creativity. And from there, the ideas just explode outward.”

“When you’ve lived, and fought that complexity everyday, you know how to eliminate it,” added Maldari. And I’ve gotta believe clients will rejoice because they must be exhausted by it.”

The Bam Connection opens at 20 Jay Street in the hotbed of the digital tech triangle of Dumbo. “It was time big branding crossed the East River,” said Maldari, a born-and-raised Brooklyn lifer. “This is exactly what businesses need today, the seamless marriage of the two disciplines that matter most: branding and digital. Everyone talks about merging. We physically brought our big branding experience and dropped it right in the middle of the Dumbo digital surround sound.”

“Dumbo is just cool,” said Baiocco, who grew up in Buffalo. “It has a gritty edge, an upstart attitude. Just walk into Brooklyn Roasting Company, it’s full of fringe thinkers, you can feel the energy.”

The BAM Connection opens with a list of clients that includes Terlato Wines, The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and Wrangler Western Jeans. “Rob and Maureen are hands-on and passionate about unlocking true breakthrough answers for your business, says Iain Douglas, VP Global Strategy and Brand Management for VF. “I think the meaning of creative partnership is back and alive again.”

The BAM will also be an active member of the Ad Council. “I’ve been on the Creative Review Committee since 2003, and nothing will make me happier than putting The BAM Connection’s creative energy toward doing the noble work of the Ad Council,” said Baiocco.

Baiocco and Maldari hinge their “creativity through simplicity” approach on a tool they call The One-Shot Answer: one short, compelling phrase that nails your brand meaning, then directs and connects all your communications.

“It’s not about dumbing it down,” said Baiocco, it’s about smarting it up, about being more clever, more artfully and powerfully succinct.”

“We are a unique combination, a creative boutique with global powerhouse experience, so we know how to operate with a tenacious efficiency,” added Maldari. “We achieve the absolute most with less words, less layers, less meetings.”

The name “The BAM Connection,” besides being an acronym for Baiocco And Maldari, points to this powerful simplicity. “If you’ve ever sat in a meeting asking yourself what are these people talking about with these endless semantics, then call us,” said Maldari. “We cut through it all, and get to the answer… BAM!”

And if that’s not enough explanation, Baiocco, a 4th-degree black belt, points to his 30 years in martial arts, and its inherent yin yang of efficacy and artistry. “I like to approach the work like this: be effective (martial) and be creative (art), like breaking four boards with a beautiful punch. BAM!”

About The BAM Connection

Baiocco and Maldari have partnered for nearly a decade managing global businesses for blue-chip marketers like GSK and Procter and Gamble. They have run nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars in billing, and achieved enormous business growth, nearly doubling revenues. They have created many award-winning campaigns along the way, including winners or finalists in major shows like Cannes, NY Festivals, One Show, the ADDYS, Clios, and London International. Their work has been featured in major media including The New York Times, The Wall St. Journal, USA Today, Ad Week, Ad Age, Good Morning America, The Today Show, ABC, NBC and CBS Nightly News, and dozens of websites like Gawker, BBC, CNN, The Cool Hunter, Digg and The Guardian.