In this episode, Brian Rappaport, Founder of Quan Media Group, shares his journey learning the ropes of the media biz at Zenith Media and Rapport to eventually starting his own agency in 2019. He shares how Quan weathered the storm in 2020, and built the foundation to bring on top brands like FreshDirect, Zelle, GoPuff, and Daily Harvest.
Listen in for his take on how out of home fits into a company’s growth strategy, and what it takes to truly be a modern day OOH agency.
We welcome Brian Rappaport onto the show. He is the Founder and CEO of Quan Media Group. He has had an amazing career in advertising, specifically in out-of-home and has a lot to share. Let’s get into it.
Brian, welcome to the show.
Thanks for having me. I’m pumped to be here.
Thank you so much for coming on. I’m excited about this conversation. It’s always fun running into someone else from the same hometown, Jericho. Go Jayhawks. There are not that many people from Jericho from my perspective in the advertising marketing world.
There’s another one that I know of who has become a good friend, and she’s at another agency, but not many of us.
Unless your last name is Rappaport.
That’s true, and then you have three people in the industry.
How did you get interested in the advertising world?
This was not planned. I wanted to work in pro sports. I ran the bottom line of NBA TV for a full year out of college. I got to pick what stats went up on the bottom ticker. Dwight Howard averaged 15 points and rebounds in his 5 games. I thought that would get me into the pro sports world that drove to Secaucus, New Jersey every day, 4:00 PM until the end of the West Coast games and would drive back to Jericho at 1:00 in the morning. It was a temp job and it ended. It was very difficult to break into the actual NBA offices.
I had a best friend who was working at Zenith Media on the advertising side, and he was telling me, “This is a great job. We go to a lot of parties. It’s a fun office to work in and we do print advertising for Verizon. I can get you a job.” I was like, “I need a full-time job, so I will do it.” He got me an interview and I started at Zenith, but I was not feeling it. I did print advertising for two years and they had me go into the out-of-home world. All of a sudden, I fell in love and forgot that I ever wanted to work in pro sports. Here I am years later, after working in the agency world, working in out-of-home, print sponsorships. I’m out-of-home obsessed. I love it.
What about out-of-home is more exciting to you than print?
Out-of-home is a channel that’s never going to go away. It’s only going to expand, evolve, and become bigger and better. I believe in it as a media channel. If I separate myself from my day job, you walk around and look at what brands stand out and how you learn or are educated about brands. All of that comes from out-of-home.
Once in a while, you will see a great Instagram ad and they will be like, “This is cool. I should order this.” I did it with my wife and made it work, but out-of-home is incredible and you could be so creative. I’m such a creative person. I love learning about brands, who they are, what they are and then also seeing how brands one-up each other with their creative execution. There’s no other channel in the world that allows a brand to be over creative more than out-of-home.
Some of the campaigns that you have been a part of and worked on in your career have been incredible. I’m excited to dive into a couple of those.
It’s been a good run between Quan and then, even previously Rapport and both with Zenith. I have had the pleasure of getting to work on some fun brands.
You were in printout Zenith and then transitioned to out-of-home. Was it love immediately in out-of-home? What was it like originally?
I don’t think it was love immediately. It was cool. I got put into the “out-of-home group” at Zenith because they won Sonic Drive-In as a client. It was a massive beast of a client and all hands on deck. They had all of these markets that had Sonic Drive-Ins that they needed directional billboards to get off the exit here and the highway there. They gave me a bunch of markets and threw me into the fire.
I’m a competitive person. I’m like, “I’m going to learn out-of-home and be good at it.” I had good leaders, mentors and bosses that taught me to channel. It started with Sonic and was not the most glamorous of an account. After I got that down, they put me on Delta and then Caesars. I started working on some fun biz and I was like, “This is great. You have the right clients and work with the right brands. You are going to have a blast.” It was love at first sight.
What year was this when you transitioned to an out-of-home department?
I started at Zenith in November of 2007. I would say around 2009 and then hung around there until 2014 and all things out-of-home.
How do Sonic and Delta measure the impact of out-of-home?
For Sonic, it was a little bit more internally in terms of there are all these franchisees and it was more about store traffic and sales. You have these franchisees that own 4 to 8 Sonics and they are very rich. That’s what they do. It’s simply about sales. For Delta, to be perfectly honest, there was not a focus, at least when I was at Zenith or an emphasis on Michigan at the time and out-of-home. Back then, out-of-home was still being utilized primarily as an awareness channel. When you are working on brands as big as Delta, for them, it’s the awareness. It was different with Caesars because I worked on the launch of Caesars online gaming and New Jersey.
That’s not like with sports betting, like when online gaming, in general, became legalized, online poker and all of that stuff. That was simply sign-ups and downloads of the Caesars app and it was a massive push throughout the state of New Jersey, everything from Atlantic City to Northern Jersey. That was a 5 to 6-month process that included taking over New York Airport, the highways and AC. It was crazy but a blast. It was awesome to be a part of and for them, that was measuring, downloading it and who was subscribing or joining the Caesars app.
In a campaign like that, is the out-of-home leading to downloads or more conversions on the digital part of their marketing?
It’s leading to downloads because if it’s all the same thing, as you see with all of the sports betting sites. It’s like you download and get X amount of dollars free. You get this first week a certain amount of plays or slots free. It was leading to downloads more so than it was. With out-of-home, you are seeing those offers.
The reason that I downloaded Caesars, BetMGM, FanDuel and DraftKings is that each one was offering all of this money the opening weekend that sports betting in New York became legal. It’s like, “I’m going to download all of these apps and then whichever one has the best functionality, in my opinion, is the one that I will stay with once my free money is gone.”
I’m the same. I have five different sports betting apps, and it’s effective. You see the promotion when you are driving down the highway. You get home and download it.
I don’t have a sports betting client yet but if one of them wants to give their business to Quan, I will delete all of the other apps and solely use that app. Loyalty is big for me.
Why should they leave whoever they are working with and come work with Quan?
I don’t think it’s about leaving. It’s just if they are looking for a change. To be honest, I don’t know where each of them is. If they want a little bit more personalization, work with their actual core demo, want someone who loves sports who knows out-of-home inside and out and not just one person, a team of people, I should say, they should come work with Quan. All of them are doing a great job because they see them all over the place in New York City.
Tell us about Quan.
Quan started in July of 2019. I had no plans also on doing this. I had an incredible job at Rapport IPG’s out-of-home shop. My job there was simply to be a Group Director to run the New York Office with my counterpart and oversee sister IPG agencies and any out-of-home that came out of there. I worked on JetBlue, Royal Caribbean, Canada Goose, Zelle and lots of fun pieces of business.
I was in the Subway back in 2015 at Casper everywhere. That’s back when they had those awesome cartoon-type creatives. I was like, “What is Casper?” I found out it’s a mattress. I said to my boss at the time, “I don’t know who else is in out-of-home but we should find out.” He’s like, “Why don’t you reach out to the CEO?” I did.
I emailed Philip Krim at the time, who was the CEO, and Casper was maybe 50 people. I said, “Who’s handling your out-of-home? We should talk because this is what we do.” He wrote me right back and was like, “Let’s have a meeting. I would love to learn more.” I went and met with him. I told him why he should be working with an out-of-home specialist. We have access to all of the media departments across the country and every market inside and out. We think strategically and look at markets holistically. We can measure if you want to measure. The next day, all they did was email me back. “I like to meet with you. Let’s work together.”
I’m surprised. I won a piece of business for my agency and I’m not even a biz rep. That’s not my job. I took Casper into Rapport in 2015 and that became like “my client, my baby.” It was a Rapport and IPG client but like I was working on it and after that, I got real hungry to win business. I’m like, “Let me keep doing this.” Any brands I saw on the Subway were not with an agency because in the out-of-home world, who has HBO or Apple. I’m not going to do that and go up to other people’s biz. I started reaching out to Daily Harvest, FanDuel and things at the time. Some of them, I brought. Some of them, I did not win. That was all fine and good.
After 2 or 3 years of Rapport, my name got out in the growing community and I would have people emailing me. “I got your name from so-and-so. We are looking to launch our first out-of-home campaign. Could we chat?” Before I knew it, I had about 30 to 35 brands, all not always on. Casper was, for the most part, always-on but others on and off. I was bringing in all this additional revenue into a Rapport. I have a lot of brands that said to me, “You should start your thing. If you start your thing, you are going to be successful. They are going to be brands that want to come with you.”
It took a while for me to envision what that thing was going to be and how it could be successful. It’s very scary and daunting to leave a great job that pays you well and you are probably the top holding company agency out there. You have a great work-life balance but it got to the point where if I did not do it, then I was never going to do it.
I drew up a business plan. Bounce some ideas off of people that I trusted. I leaped in 2019 and opened up Quan, which was at first coming out the gate like the D2C agency. We are going to work with D2C brands. D2C brand comes here. I realized that’s going to pigeonhole me. It evolved into this out-of-home concierge where you buy and plan out-of-home across the country. Internationally, we have that white-glove service but we also mix in a little bit of automation with that personalization. We emphasize measurement and attribution. We focus on strategy and know our stuff well. It’s been an insane ride since that launched in July of 2019.
How are things going?
We started the gate flying with no brands. In fairness and I’m pretty open about this because time has gone by, I did not understand what brands you could talk to and you can’t talk to when you leave a major company. I had a little bit of education on that and got myself in check. Some time went by and we built up our brand new client roster.
A lot of brands came and it gave us a shot, like Dagne Dover, away-like brands that did not have to but did. We stopped to build up this nice client roster and then some of my old friends came down the road. Brands that I have worked with in the past that did promise me, “If you start your thing, we are going to be here.”
It was not Casper. Funny enough, Casper had gone on to the holding company world. It was like they had evolved and that was all fine and good. 2020 came and the pandemic came. That was nuts but for me, it happened at a time that I could afford for it to happen. It was terrible for so many other reasons but I have super low overhead. I pivoted to offer brands a more opportunistic look out-of-home, marrying foot traffic increases and market recovery with opportunistic out-of-home opportunities.
It was almost like working in the rundown space for a year. I should backtrack. In 2020, I went and looked at it for almost three months in Florida when the pandemic was bad. I could have woken up every day, gone for a run, hung out at the pool and checked my email but I worked every day from 8:30 to 6:00 like it was normal timing. I sent emails, called, networked and introduced myself to new brands. All of them were like, “We are not running out-of-home now for obvious reasons but we are interested.” 2021 was the payoff for what I did in 2020 because the calendar toward the January, brands were running.
The vaccine was starting to trickle out and they were ready to go. We did six times the amount of business that we did in 2021. We are on pace to hopefully double that in 2022, which is nuts. Myself and three others who I have known very well, we are probably going to have to hire again soon. The brands that we work with range from brands I had mentioned: FreshDirect, Zelle, Gopuff, Daily Harvest, Casper and Public.com. It’s a full-circle moment. We are working with them again. It’s incredible the brands that we have the opportunity and are fortunate enough to work with.
I’m sure the value proposition of being able to connect with people in real life outside has been tremendous as things opened back up in 2021 and people got out.
There was a lot of pent-up energy from brands. It was great not just for Quan but for our whole industry. Anytime that I try and do some press or publicity, you always want to tell your agency and what you are doing. I say agency when I’m saying, “anti-agency.” It’s amazing for the out-of-home industry. It’s been such a nice recovery. My friends on the sales side and my counterparts on the buying side all deserve it. We waited a while for things to be reset.
It’s like a renaissance for out-of-home and there’s so much business out there to be had where people don’t have to be battling each other for it. There are so many brands within the same category. It’s unbelievable. For us, it’s great because we are not budget prejudiced. We work with brands that want to test out-of-home and they have $25,000 or $50,000 and then we work with brands that have $5 million and they want blanket a city. For us, each brand is the same. We treat them the same way.
When you mentioned “anti-agency,” what is the definition of an agency? What makes Quan different than an agency?
There’s a strong need for holding companies and large agencies. You are a major brand that needs all of your media in one place. You need to be able to have everything from creative to broadcast, OTT and everything. To me, that’s an agency. Hundreds of people, you do every single channel in the world, strategy, creative and one major path. I get that.
For us, there are no rules. If you work out-of-home and are not a specialist, that’s all you can do. If you want it to bring a sponsorship opportunity to a brand like there’s an amazing opportunity to be a sponsor of Governor’s Ball in New York City, and it involves digital, broadcast or whatever the case is, you have to get all of these other specialist groups involved.
It’s going to take forever to get that ironed out and get legal to approve terms and conditions. It’s going to be taking such a long time. We turned around a sponsorship opportunity for Zelle to see Shaky Knees Music Festival in Atlanta. We were able to move quickly. We are flexible and nimble. We act based on our client’s speed.
I have had a client call me on a Saturday night telling me they want to do this amazing stunt in Times Square on that Monday, and they have that screen ready to go on Monday. That’s how we are. It’s what we can do to show off that we are not an agency but more of a concierge. It’s like, “If you want to be on one screen in Times Square tomorrow, we will make it happen. Come to us if you want to be in five markets and focus on this core demographic.” We will do a strategic plan with our measurement components. We do it all and we don’t have any boundaries or guidelines as to what we can bring to our brands.
Speaking to that term concierge, one of your superpowers is your responsiveness. There have been times that you responded before I even hit send on a text or an email. The question that we are all wondering is who’s responding to our messages? Is it you?
It is me. I don’t know if it’s a mixture of neuroses or how I have been wired. To be fair, I did not start doing this when I opened up my shop. I was like this before at Zenith. The simplistic and corny first thing that I’m going to say is, “It’s how I was brought up to respect people. I believe that people send you an email unless it’s auto, bot or generated that you should respond right away.” There’s that sense of knowing that someone is on top of your brand from a client standpoint. I had a client at 10:30 at night texted me about aerial matters. I was lying in bed watching TV.
I can guarantee you and this is not trashing anyone else, 9 out of maybe 10 other people in doing what I do, probably not respond and just wait. As they should, it’s 10:30 at night. That’s not how I am. The client was so happy. They got what they needed. I was able to answer it on the spot. That’s how I’m wired. Whether somebody texts me for business-related questions or whether a media partner emails me and says, “I have this new offer,” they will hear from me within minutes unless I am playing pickup basketball, sleeping, on the Peloton or a call. That’s how I’m wired. It’s something that does set me but also sets Quan apart because my team is like that. They may not be as quick as I’m a little bit nuts but they are in the same zone as I am.
Going back to something you said that I found interesting is, you became a big name in the growing community. A lot of people associate growth, especially when hiring a growth manager, with data analytics and digital growth campaigns. It seems like so many of the incredible brands you work with are growing crazy. How should out-of-home play into a company’s growth strategy?
In the past, for newer “challenger brands,” it was a secondary and even tertiary channel they returned to. A lot of them are looking at it as a launch tactic as it should. It should be a launch tactic. Out-of-home is not an awareness play. On the measurement side, there are still some things that need to be figured out in the world of out-of-home.
Multiple partners are doing a good job of getting us to where we need to be but that out-of-home can be a super grinder and very hyper-local. When you take into account digital and programmatic, you can get focused on a certain audience and a poor demo. Why not turn to out-of-home?
Be flexible and nimble—act based on your client’s speed.
Other channels are super expensive. You don’t know what’s going on with fraud. It’s different with out-of-home. If you want to be in a certain market or place, there is something that will put your brand there or amplify your brand a lot better than what your other channels would do. I’m trying very hard not to trash up the channels because I have friends that own a channel.
Is there any data to suggest? I’m sure in an ideal world, it would be great if a brand spent 100% on out-of-home. Is there an ideal media marketing mix? What percent of a marketing budget should be on out-of-home?
I don’t know if there’s a percentage. Out-of-home works well in tandem with other channels. Out-of-home and mobile or digital has been known to increase recall and lift X percent. I don’t have it in front of me but those channels do very well together. Brands that want to utilize out-of-home can’t skimp on the budget.
There is a way and I’m a believer. I say it all the time. “You don’t need to spend a ton of out-of-home to see success but you can’t look at out-of-home.” I have run into a few situations and it’s been very minimal but 2 or 3 brands we have worked with where the client has been so focused at looking at out-of-home when they look at other channels, measure every single impression and conversion.
We tested in this market. This board has 450,000 weekly impressions, age 25 to 54 but it says when we measured, there are only 200,000 conversions or exposures. It’s wrong. Put that on the side. You have to understand where you are going to need to at out-of-home, the audience that you are looking to reach and what you are trying to do. Allocate the budget you feel most comfortable with. Measure internally and externally.
They can slip on your side or the brand side that will help you understand if it worked and then turn to us to come up with a secondary measurement tactic that could help compliment that. It could be as simple as a vanity URL or call-to-action. Even if it’s a checkout survey, “How did you hear about us?” Billboards, out-of-home or something. Those brands look at out-of-home the same way that they look at other channels. They are not going to appreciate or see the success of what they want to say success.
I understand a lot of your business comes from referrals which is a testament to the amazing work you do and your team does. I loved the fact that you reached out to the CEO at Casper to land that. When you are doing outreach, whenever that may be, is the strategy always to go to someone in the C level?
I don’t do a ton of cold outreach, maybe 2 or 3 emails a day, and it’s brands I’m buying to work with. I get a lot more no’s than I get yes’s, or I should say a lot more no responses. For me, it’s like, “Why should that brand give me the time of day? What can I offer that brand?” One of the people that I admire most in the growth and marketing world is Nik Sharma. Nik is a friend, also a fantastic person and somebody to follow.
He put out a whole thread on Twitter about how to write the proper cold email. I have taken some of his tips but also I believe in personalization and understanding who you are speaking to. That’s what helps me go after who I reach out to for a specific brand. Sometimes the CEO, a founder or a celebrity. It’s funny because I have reached out to business celebrities and have gotten 1 not-great response and 1 awesome response. You live and learn.
Can you tell us about the awesome response?
I’m a massive fan of people that build things on their own and from scratch. I’m a Knicks fan but I was at a Nets game and I’m an NBA fan. I had the fortune of sitting courtside with a good friend of mine. When I was sitting courtside, a few seats down was Rich Kleiman. If you look up Rich’s story, it’s fantastic. He is over-successful. He and Kevin Duran have formed 35 ventures, invested in a ton of amazing companies and brands, and then also have a media company, Boardroom.
From the human standpoint, you are at a game enjoying yourself. I thought to myself, “I’m not going to go over there and introduce myself at the time and place.” I did say to myself on the way out, “I should email him because Boardroom should be doing some out-of-home. They have awesome podcasts and all this other material.”
Maybe some of the brands that Rich works with or invest in will ultimately need to do out-of-home. He needs to get in touch with an out-of-home guy. I sent him an email. I found his email address and simplified what I did. I said, “I’m a billboard guy. Everyone needs a billboard guy. I hate dumbing down what I do because we are so much more than that but out-of-home is such a weird niche world that you sometimes have to put it in black and white.”
That was it. I told Rich what a fan I was at Boardroom and what they have done in the brand they invest in. Within minutes, he wrote back to me saying, “Great timing. I have been looking for a billboard. Let’s talk.” I got on the phone with Rich that day at 12:30. He was the nicest, most genuine, down-to-earth person I had spoken to.
He asked me about my business. “Why I’m at out-of-home? What is Quan about? What brands did we work with? What it makes sense to do in the world of out-of-home?” Long story short, Rich introduced me to his GM that he works with, who is also a great guy. We went back and forth. There was this unbelievable placement outside Barclays Center. It is a huge Lamar board that stands the length of a block.
You see it when you come up from Atlantic Avenue Station and when you are entering the Barclays. As an out-of-home nerd, it’s one of my favorite, most underrated placements in the New York DMA and it was free. It was available. Lamar happened to give a pretty great deal because they did not have anyone on it at the time, which is insane to me. I immediately brought it to the Boardroom.
We brought them a bunch of different options in the area of Barclays but then also in New York City. We discussed what they wanted to do as a company. They ended up taking the board outside of Barclays and are on it. It’s a no-brainer placement, in my opinion. It’s contextual. You have KD up on there. It tells the brand. It’s their audience. It’s KD’s home. They are going to be there for the whole next stretch run as they head into the playoffs, potentially through the playoffs and finals. That’s it.
Out-of-home could be as simple as one smart contextual placement or it could be taking over a city but to me, that meant everything. The fact that Rich got back to me and we were able to have a conversation. They pulled the trigger and they are smart that they give out-of-home a shot. There were so many good things about it. We brought in a brand that had never spent it out-of-home into the out-of-home world.
Who knows what this means for the long-term? They are connected to so many other brands and have such great talent that works for them. That’s a win in my book. It’s not about us making money as an agency or any of that. It’s about almost me geeking out as a human being. It’s a brand that I thought of and I’m a big basketball fan. I was like, “I went ahead and did that Boardroom placement.”
The answer to this is it depends but how much does a placement like a block-long billboard at Barclays Center cost?
It does depend that I want to be fair to Lamar because they are great partners of ours and they give us a great deal. It was time and place but something like that is close to $100,000 for a month as it should be. Sometimes it’s luck of the draw. We are not in pandemic timing anymore. Out-of-home rates are pretty much back to what it was in January of 2020 as they should be. You cannot find a board in SoHo for the life of you.
We got a great deal on that. There was no one there and we got them to move rather quickly but something like that is $100,000. If you can save a brand 30% to 40% off and it makes sense for that brand, you got to move. You can’t count pennies unless budgets sit in big too. The brands that take chances and that hop on opportunistic things, those are the brands that end up winning and we do that better than anyone else.
If someone’s like, “Why Quan? What are some of the things that you do great?” All of my counterparts need independent out-of-home specialist worlds who are fantastic. At this point, our media partners know that if there’s something opportunistic that makes sense, send it to us because we will bring it to the exact client we think it makes sense for. Eight times out of ten, we will get them to buy it.
We have had boards that have come to us that are opened up in two weeks and I’m like, “That makes perfect sense for the brand SpoiledChild, FreshDirect, Casper or Daily Harvest.” They are on it in two weeks. No offense to our friends on the media department side. If someone’s like, “Here’s a great billboard in Las Vegas, we will give it for $1,500 to meet someone up on there,” odds are I’m going to be like, “This is not a fit.” I’m not going to waste my client’s time, my time and my media partner’s time on something that does not align with the brand. I’m going to be like, “No.”
If a partner comes to us and says, “Here is every link screen in New York City that is outside of sports bar for the two weeks of March Madness,” I’m going to say, “That’s genius. I’m going to go ahead and call up a handful of brands that this aligns with. They could build out a hyper-local smart and targeted plan in New York City. That’s going to get them on every link outside of sports bars when mask mandates have been lifted. People want to go out and party during the most fun stretch in a while. It’s going to get to bring great exposure.” That’s how we think. It’s a long-winded answer as to how much a board costs but it spins into thinking opportunistically in the world out-of-home.
Something that you do well is building your personal brand. You are active on LinkedIn. It’s quality content. It’s real and vulnerable. Why do you invest time into building your personal brand?
LinkedIn is going to connect you with some great people. It’s a very valuable tool and not enough people use it. I have been introduced to brands and got business that way. You learn and then also help educate. I’m the type of person that’s very blunt and not afraid to share things. Everything I put on LinkedIn is genuine. It may come off as cheesy and corny. I’m super self-aware and I get it.
It’s around Mother’s Day and I do a post on my mom, how she was a single mom and raised three boys. That’s genuine. That’s how I feel like International Women’s Day and I’m speaking about Ashley Moll, who works with me, not even for me. I have worked with her for 5 or 6 years. That’s how I feel about somebody.
When you are genuine, it shows the type of person you are. People want to work with you based on your work ethic and doing what you do well in that whole industry thing. As a human being and a person, that also plays a very important role. For me, in LinkedIn, you have people that are posting personal stuff like pictures of their car and crazy things that should be more on Facebook and Instagram.
I’m not like that but that does not benefit others in your industry or network. You should post things that not only speak well about yourself and who you are but also can help other people or your network. LinkedIn is super valuable. Sometimes I will go quiet for a week and a half because I don’t have anything to say and I don’t want to force it. Sometimes I will post four days in a row. It depends on how I feel.
We don’t have any boundaries or guidelines as to what we can bring to our brands.
Follow Brian on LinkedIn. It’s a good follow. What’s next for Quan? Are any exciting campaigns coming up?
We have a lot. We are growing. I would love to have a West Coast LA office. That’s sooner than later. We are working internationally. We helped launch an incredible campaign for Gopuff in London. Credit also to Ashley Moll, who works for me and lives in London. We got people on the ground overseas in the UK who were able to help make that happen.
We do have some incredible brands that we are working with. I mentioned Gopuff all the time. To be fair, we work with them on a pretty loose basis. We are not exclusive. None of that stuff but I love the brand so much and have followed them for so long. We get to help them here and there with certain campaigns. They tend to do fun outside-the-box things in the world out-of-home. I’m excited to keep working with them as a conquer market by market. Everyone should download that app because it’s a game-changer if it’s available.
We have continued to work with Public.com, which is fantastic. They do great things. Speaking locally, FreshDirect is celebrating its anniversary. They have some fun non-traditional things in store. They are New York-focused. If you are in other markets and you may not know them or use them, they have been a legacy out-of-home brand and are fantastic. I’m excited about that. We are up for three Obie Awards at the Geopath Conference. That’s exciting. It’s the first time we have been up for our awards.
What I love about that is that they all involve different partners. They are not Quan-based. One of them is Traeger Grills and we are building a farm underneath the billboard. That was in collaboration with the Zambezi, an insane partner of ours. They allowed us to help them out. At the same time, Alpha Foods and what they did with chicken inflation and taking over the NASDAQ suite.
That is testament to Mischief @ No Fixed Address, which is by far one of the most innovative shops out there, and they are utterly fantastic. Two of the most incredible campaigns and then thinks and what they did on a painted wall in Brooklyn, along with projection mapping. It’s exciting to get the opportunity to celebrate ourselves in the work that we have done and our partners have allowed us to do.
It all ties into people giving us a shot, references and great things like that, we have a lot of other stuff coming up getting to work with a lot of fun. Beverage brands, The Finnish Long Drink, which is co-founded by Miles Teller, Kygo and Ricky Fowler, that’s exciting. JuneShine has done an amazing job for hard kombucha and then launched some new products. Check them out.
It’s amazing. We get brands that come in daily. Some I know and I can’t believe they are reaching out to us. Some I have not heard of and are blowing up. That’s why I work with any brand regardless of their budget. We want to be there. I also love Traff and the other one that we have got some good stuff coming up.
It’s been fun and inspiring. I watched you build Quan. I’m tracking all the success you have had in your career. Before I let you go, we have got the lightning round. It’s four questions. The first question is, what’s your favorite youth sports memory?
I’ve fallen in love with basketball. My dad coached me for Roslyn Booster Basketball before I moved to Jericho. I was never an athletic kid. I tried Little League. I did not love it. I tried one year of basketball. I did not love it and then all of a sudden, my dad took me to the next game. I saw Patrick Ewing and Doc Rivers. I came back. I got into basketball and that was it. I played pickup four days a week. It all stems from Roslyn Booster. I love it.
Where can people find you on the court?
People can find me at Equinox 61st Street on the Upper Eastside. Let me tell you something. You find somebody that can grab offensive rebounds like me, bring them to me. I don’t think so. That’s the one thing I do well. I can’t dribble and shoot but I can only rebound.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Two-prong. One, I want to be an actor and be famous in the spotlight. As I got older, to be a little bit more realistic, pro sports from a sports announcer broadcaster and then realized that maybe that was not the right path into professional sports marketing and PR. That transpired me to out-of-home but being an actor and then working in pro sports work.
What is a brand whose marketing you admire most?
ClickUp. That’s the first thing that comes to mind. I have seen ClickUp everywhere. I was in Austin for Austin City Limits, ClickUp all over the place. Driving back from New Jersey into the city, ClickUp on a huge billboard coming into the Lincoln Tunnel. They have done a fantastic job of introducing themselves all over the country. To be fair, ClickUp is a brand that I don’t work with and then a brand that I do work with this stuff off because they have the brand identity and colors down.
Their creativity is witty and funny. They know how to take advantage of great cultural moments in the markets they want to be in and also introduce themselves to a market when they are launching there. ClickUp for the brand that I would love to work with but also that I admire and then go pop for the brand that I am unfortunate to have.
What is a go-to cause that you like to support?
There are a lot out there. It’s anything around mental health. It’s important, and there’s not enough attention paid to it. At the same time, suicide prevention too. I, fortunately, don’t have anyone close that I have lost to that, but peripherally, I have heard some sad and upsetting stories of people. There’s not enough attention paid to suicide and mental health.
Mental health is not focused on enough, especially in the corporate and professional world. That extends to pro sports and there have been some courageous athletes that have spoken out about mental health. At the same time, another person that’s fantastic about it is Alex Lieberman, one of the founders of Morning Brew, who does a great job of shedding light on that.
One last question for you. How did you come up with the name Quan?
I was on a flight picking up a business plan watching Jerry Maguire. I love Quan and that movie means everything. It’s not one thing. It’s the money, family, happiness and success. I could not trademark Quan for obvious reasons. I had to throw the media group in there. It stuck. I asked a few people why come up with a cliché agency name that’s too scientific or sounds too agency. There’s no Q in the out-of-home world, and I love it.
Brian, thank you so much for coming to the show.
Thanks so much for having me. This is a lot of fun.
Thank you for reading this episode with Brian Rappaport. As a recap, we discussed Brian’s incredible journey from a statistician at NBA TV, to Founder and CEO of Quan Media Group, the importance of out-of-home and a media marketing mix, and how Quan is changing the out-of-home game. Thank you for tuning in. See you next time. Play on, everyone.
About Brian Rappaport
Brian Rappaport is the Founder and CEO of Quan Media Group, a modern approach for modern brands looking to use OOH as a viable media channel to grow. Founded in 2019, Quan works across all categories but specializes in the DTC & Startup world. With full National – and International reach, Quan focuses on utilizing smart, strategic and measurable OOH to help scale brands – while emphasizing creativity over complacency. Current clients include AWAY, Ro, Daily Harvest, The Farmer’s Dog, Zelle, FreshDirect, Tend, GoPuff and Public.com among others.
Prior to founding Quan, Brian spent 4+ years at RapportWW (IPG) where he was a Group Director for the NYC and BOS offices. During his time at RapportWW, Brian managed over $115M in billings and personally built a direct client roster of over 30+ trailblazing brands in the DTC space that he scaled the OOH strategy for (Casper, Ro, Luminary, and FreshDirect among others). Additionally, he managed relationships with IPG sister agencies’ Mediahub Mullenlowe, Trilia, HUGE INC, and Initiative.
Before coming to RapportWW, Brian started his career in media at Zenith (Publicis), where he worked across different media channels for 7+ Years
With over 13+ years in the media industry, Brian is a determined, motivated, and creative individual that thrives on challenging situations, leading a team, and ultimately proving OOH can be a strong growth driver. Brian has a true “client first” mentality, and is well known for answering emails within 5 minutes of receiving them. He also has a Spotify playlist ready to go for every day of the week & believes in ice coffee everyday regardless of the season.