True creativity never dies, it simply pivots in the face of adversity. When the pandemic first hit last year, creative companies like Bask were forced to get innovative with its services, but the payoff proved to be invaluable to its future.
Back in 2016, the independent creative agency was focused on providing full-on experiences for its party promotion services in New York. But once quarantine shut things down for in-person events, Bask made a choice to expand its creative tools into the world of digital marketing.
According to founder James “Doogz” McDonald, he originally launched the agency as a means to provide an inclusive place for Black and people of color to bask and thrive freely, hence what inspired the company name.
McDonald — who attended The College at Brockport, State University of New York as a broadcast journalism and sports management major — created Bask with a goal to shift the event space and, most recently, offer a new approach to digital marketing.
“I figured I could make the jump to a full-on creative agency because all the services I was providing for myself to do parties was the same that I could see be used for digital marketing,” McDonald told AfroTech.
Most of all, McDonald wanted to ensure that “whatever my brand did was an action of enjoyment.”
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While the agency relied on in-person events to keep the wheels turning, the pandemic provided the perfect opportunity to capitalize on its potential as a full-service creative company to help its roster of incoming clients.
Bask is described as a creative agency that “speaks to the level of experience we provide and where we believe brands and creatives should exist,” according to its website.
From content production and digital design to event planning and digital marketing, Bask incorporates the art of storytelling to create original content for its clients that genuinely reach their audiences across the digital landscape.
In addition to expanding his company’s services, McDonald has also always made it a point to hire creatives of color to bring his clients’ visions to life. As the agency has grown in popularity, it continues to attract more opportunities and high-profile clients to take it to the next level.
Bask’s client work includes partnering with companies such as G-Star Raw and Essentia, as well as artists from record labels like Roc Nation, Def Jam Recordings and 300 Entertainment, where it’s been able to lend its plethora of digital services.
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Bask’s most recent work amid the pandemic has helped the agency understand just how crucial digital marketing and content is now that everyone is hyper-focused on tech and the digital world.
Like many other creatives, McDonald believes that a post-COVID world will surely alter our expectations of live events and how they’ll be hosted moving forward.
“The pandemic has had a huge impact on party culture. It forced people to unlock more creative sides of themselves and on the other hand it filtered out a lot of people that didn’t really care about their crafts,” he tells us. “What we’re going to see as COVID-19 ends is there’s definitely going to be a lot of parties, but they won’t have the same feeling as pre-COVID.”
This same idea can be applied to Bask and its services that prioritize digital resources now that many major companies have allocated more attention to this area for its core audiences.
Looking ahead, Bask hopes to integrate tech as a central point of its services and continue expanding in order to open up its own physical space to house its creative resources and staff of creators employed by the agency.
“We want to create a physical creative studio to continue offering our creative services and capitalize on our digital services,” McDonald shares. “Photographers, videographers, editors, anyone that needs to make any type of content production. We want to be able to have a home for it so they can work freely and creatively amongst people that look like them, think like them and expand their thinking.”
“Obviously get more clientele and big clients, but more importantly I want to actually be able to help other people start their businesses,” he adds. “I just feel like a physical space is important for that process.”
For more information about Bask, visit its website.