Cashmere's founding principles put it ahead of the agency curve
Cashmere is one of those rare general market agencies that has multiculturalism as a founding principle. With that comes an understanding that what is considered diverse today will be general market tomorrow, and the agency has long been ahead of the curve. The L.A. shop is 75% multicultural, 55% women and 31% African American. All of the C-suite is multicultural, and senior leadership is 28% Black. A pay equity policy guarantees the same wages for employees at the same level, which adjusts with each new hire so no one falls behind.
Those demographics and values come through in the agency’s outlook, internally dubbed “MIXLY,” a term derived from the Roman numerals for the year 2042, when the U.S. becomes a majority-minority country. Last year, Cashmere codified it into a consultation service, the MIXLY Collective, that offers a daylong, immersive diversity camp for clients. The agency also launched an arm for virtual experiences, Nice Sweater, and a proprietary data engine called Dope Data Systems.
All this led to Cashmere’s most successful year on record. Despite the pandemic, staffing grew 20% and annual billings rose 40%. The agency won new business with Danone North America, Nascar, Facebook and Google. A social campaign for TBS’ “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” enlisted celebrity talent to draw attention to the underfunding of the Postal Service in an election year. A virtual prom for Jack in the Box convinced QSR customers to “#StayintheBox” during lockdown, and Snoop Dogg reached out to first-time voters like himself to “Drop It in the Box” with Rock the Vote. More than 2.3 million people tuned in for a virtual dinner party with DoorDash and influencers that generated nearly 3 million donated meals for Feeding America.
The agency’s content creation arm Cashmere Originals partnered with Vice TV to hold the Brown & Black Forum presidential forum, which brought together the Democratic candidates to answer questions important to underrepresented communities, drawing 3.5 million views on Facebook and 1 million on Twitter.
And in June, after the murder of George Floyd, Cashmere created OneOpp, a police reform and racial justice initiative that works with nonprofits like Color of Change and the Center for Policing and Equity.