On a Roll: Jonathan Ressler

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Jonathan Ressler, 36, got his start in entertainment marketing in the early 1990s with New York-based Ressler Marketing, but he sold the agency in 1998 and joined TLP Marketing, Wilton, Conn. Mr. Ressler felt confined in a big agency and five months later launched Big Fat Promotions, New York, where he's president-CEO. The shop now boasts 115 employees and clients including Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., Pepsi-Cola Co. and Seagram Spirits & Wine Group.

Credo: Accountability. Like the name of the agency: I'm 6-feet-4 and 300 pounds; we are what we say we are.

Edge: We target young adults with promotions for national marketers through bars and events, using a field marketing staff of 90 people spread across the U.S., linked by technology.

Insight: Marketers want to know how many people sampled a product or participated in a promotion. The days of giving clients foggy feedback are over.

Opinion: A lot of our efforts involve college audiences, and the only way to reach them is through peer-to-peer marketing. Credibility is essential.

Tip: Recognize that today's young consumers are brand investigators. Make sure your product is rock solid before launching it, because consumers will discover its weaknesses faster than you can fix them.

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