Is there anything that Russell Simmons can’t do? As the brother of Rev-Run of Run DMC, Simmons co-founded the now major record label Def-Jam Records. He’s appeared in movies, produced TV shows, and his company, Rush Communications currently heads 10 non-profits and corporations. He was married for a time to beautiful model Kimora Lee, is a vegan, an ardent supporter of racial equality and civil rights. It seems he has a hand in a lot of things, and manages to stay on top of it all. Now he can add one more thing to his list which is an ad agency, ADHD, which will be under his media company All Def Digital (ADD). Both of the agencies are named to acknowledge that people have a shorter attention span these days due to the inundation of technology into our lives. ADHD will also serve hip hop loving audiences, a market which Mr. Simmons thinks is widely underserved.
“No one really understands this audience. It’s multiracial, but singularly cultural. It started out 95 percent black, and now it’s 45 percent non-black, and that’s going to keep growing,” Simmons explained. ADD CEO Sanjay Sharma brings up the valid point that hip hop dominates popular culture. “Last year, the three biggest media properties in America were Straight Outta Compton in movies, Empire on TV, and Hamilton on Broadway.” All of those are things that have hip hop as a big part of their storylines and performances. ADHD plans to broaden the types of brands that ADD works with, which has been mostly movies and car companies. The agency will be helmed by Josh Mandel, an industry expert who is passionate about reaching out to the hip hop loving millennials. “We feel like brands haven’t yet recognized the reality of hip-hop as the thread that unites this younger, multicultural audience,” he explained.
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