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Home / Smith Brothers Agency Wins DiBella’s Subs and Launches Fresh, New Ad Campaign

Smith Brothers Agency Wins DiBella’s Subs and Launches Fresh, New Ad Campaign



Smith Brothers Agency is now the agency of choice for DiBella’s Subs after a competitive pitch among multiple agencies. AJ Shear, DiBella’s Director of Marketing, cited the agency’s experience in the restaurant category and clear insights into differentiating the DiBella’s brand as key factors in the choice for Smith Brothers.

A digital ad campaign for Rochester, NY-based DiBella’s will launch on June 3rd across digital platforms including programmatic display, Youtube pre-roll video, Facebook, Instagram, paid search and Yelp.

The campaign photography was shot in Smith Brothers’ in-house production studio, Foothold Studios, where they were deliberately authentic and avoided over-styling the subject: subs, chips and drinks. The final assets include static and animated video.

The new campaign adopts a refreshingly frank tone, feeling like the guy behind the deli counter might be speaking to you as he makes your over-sized sub with headlines like, “Sure we have salad, we just recommend it between slabs of our fresh-baked bread,” “Yep, we’ll cut your sub, but we’ll never cut a corner,” and “You are entering a kale-free zone.” The tagline is a clever mnemonic for the brand promise - “DiBest since 1918.”

“Subway has value covered. Jimmy Johns is freaky fast,“ said Smith Brothers co-founder, Lindsey Smith. “DiBella’s has a better product. It’s old school. With outstanding, fresh-baked rolls that are piled high with quality ingredients, DiBella’s subs are all about really enjoying the food.”

“We saw an opportunity to reject the perfectly styled subs you see in a lot of sub shop ads and depict DiBella’s in a refreshingly authentic fashion,” said Bronson Smith, who with his brother, co-founded the agency.

ABOUT DiBELLA’S SUBS
Founded in 1918, DiBella’s is a restaurant chain based in Rochester, New York, with 47 locations in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Connecticut, Michigan, and Indiana. The restaurant chain first began as a family owned and operated delicatessen in the city of Rochester and opened its first sub shop in 1998.

ABOUT SMITH BROTHERS
Smith Brothers is a digital-forward, performance-based marketing communications agency. The agency’s experience includes launching innovative campaigns for category leaders, challenger brands and start-ups. Clients include Nestle, Premier Nutrition, Mezzetta, Spangler Candy, Nonni’s, Rivendale Farms, and Truwhip. For more information, visit www.smithbrosagency.com.

About Abdi

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PJA Brings ‘Uncornered’ Stories to Life in Photographic Exhibit for College Bound Dorchester


Two years ago, PJA Advertising + Marketing (PJA) launched a bold, innovative, pro-bono campaign based on a new word “Uncornered.” PJA felt that a single word could change the way people think about the potential of gang members to be positive change agents who can end systemic, generational, urban poverty, according to PJA’s Chief Executive Officer, Phil Johnson.

Johnson states, “We started PJA Advertising to specialize in healthcare and technology and I sometimes asked what do new technologies, life science innovations, and gang members have in common? They are not easy to sell to the public."

However, the name "Uncornered" has drawn national attention to College Bound Dorchester’s first- in-the-nation 'corner-to-college' solution that pays gang members $400 per week to go to college, get a degree, stay in the community, earn a living wage, and become positive (rather than negative) role models in Boston’s most violent streets.

PJA brought this branding to life with the Uncornered Photo Documentary Exhibit, which was on display on Boston Common this past summer and is expected to move to Boston’s City Hall and the University of Massachusetts / Boston later this year.

It paired striking photos of famous and unknown people by Boston photographer John Huet with stories about a time when participants found themselves cornered by racism, a traumatic event, or low expectations and what happened to get them to turn things around and become ‘uncornered’.

Uncornered Students Share Their Stories


Brittany Baldwin, Boston Uncornered Student 
After months of neglecting my health and abusing drugs and alcohol I caught pneumonia and fell into a coma. Within six months of coming out, I lost two of the most important people in my life, my boyfriend and my mother. Losing them was my Uncornered moment. When you lose everything you love, you have to find something to fight for. So I fight for my children who keep me grounded.

Alex Diaz, Boston Uncornered Student
I didn’t care if I lived or died. I went to prison and missed the birth of my first-born daughter. When I got, out, I promised to never miss another day of her life. My daughter saved me from myself, my daughter UNCORNERED me.

Quaknesha Garvin Johnson, Boston Uncornered Student 
I grew up seeing my family members and friends being incarcerated and not understanding why. By my second arrest I was facing 20 years and had almost given up, until I heard the quote “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” That began my UNCORNERED journey.

Mark Culliton, Founder and CEO, College Bound Dorchester
I was living in San Francisco, lost and had forgotten who I was. My father got very sick and I came back to be with him. In those last months together he reminded me of who I was and all that was possible. His path to dying UNCORNERED me.


ABOUT COLLEGE BOUND DORCHESTER
Founded in 2009, College Bound Dorchester is a Boston nonprofit using education to end systemic generational urban poverty and violence through its Uncornered solution to quip young people with the attitude, skills and experience to graduate from college, focusing on engaging gang-involved youth to become positive leaders in their community.

ABOUT PJA
PJA is a $75 million advertising and marketing agency with offices in Cambridge, Mass. and San Francisco, Calif. PJA serves a global roster of technology, life science and healthcare clients that includes: GE Healthcare, PAREXEL, Patheon, Molecular Health, Xylem, and Aprecia. For more information, visit agencypja.com.


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