Pasadena’s Pastilla Institute and Kremsa Digital have recently merged. The combined marketing agency, based in Pasadena, operates as Pastilla in North America while leveraging Kremsa Digital’s market visibility for its presence in Europe.
Founder Rudy Manning established The Pastilla Institute in 2004, and, over the years, the agency has done work for easily recognized brands including Westfield Corp., Nokia, SAP, Hudson Pacific Properties, Warner Pacific Insurance and Microsoft Surface. With the newly added firepower of Kremsa, Manning wanted to work locally as well as globally and give back to Pasadena by bringing the team’s private sector marking and branding ideas to the public sector.
The team was introduced to Pasadena’s public sector when it was tasked with creating a campaign for the city’s Public Health Department.
“The first project we did with public sector was a campaign on tobacco control and anti-vaping, primarily focused on the Pasadena community overall, and specifically younger kids, to make them aware of the issues and reality of tobacco and vaping,” Manning said.
“I showed the project to some of the students, and we talked a lot about some of the things that we’ve learned and researched. We did a bus shelter campaign all over Pasadena, and we put postcards guerrilla-style in liquor stores. We also did a flavored tobacco campaign—a lot of people don’t know that it is being marketed to younger kids and we played up on that as a separate campaign,” he said. “That was the first one that kind of got us in the door.”
The project was a success, and Pastilla signed on to work with Pasadena’s Economic Development Department in a new campaign called “Future Yourself Here.”
Manning said of the team’s latest project with the city, “Pastilla was enlisted to develop a marketing plan to attract and retain the desired businesses and labor force needed to ensure a viable and diverse economy. We are completing the marketing plan and creative assets from marketing and promotional materials to attract new business and investment including corporate, finance, healthcare and, technology, and the further development of the retail and restaurant industry.”
Working on this particular campaign hits “close to home” for the entrepreneur—literally. Manning is a Pasadena native who attended school here. He remains entrenched in the community and encourages others to do the same, and his work with Pastilla reflects that ideal.
“I see all the talent that comes out of Art Center, and I see them leave after they graduate— they go to the Valley, Silicon Beach or New York. I went to Art Center. I stayed in Pasadena after I finished school and it’s been great for me. There’s been tons of growth (in Pasadena), I think a lot of the schools and the students see it, but (they) don’t go to companies that are local. They’re always thinking ‘outside.’ There are some great schools here. There’s some great talent here. There are some great businesses to align with,” he said. “And there’s a variety of great industries.”
Manning also hopes to continue promoting Pasadena while working locally, not only with the city, but some of its bigger private companies.
“There have been some opportunities,” Manning said, “with Innovate Pasadena and so forth, by trying to create a network or space for all of us to get to know each other. We’re all working with big companies outside, but we have a lot of collaborations, teams, and people here, too.”
For more on Pastilla, visit http://pastillainstitute.com/.