A Watertown-based advertising agency with a different focus has been in business for nearly a quarter century. Unlike most agencies it does not market products, it works on campaigns of behavior change, including Massachusetts’ COVID-19 prevention and vaccination efforts.
MORE Advertising is a full-service, integrated advertising agency, but there is a major difference from most agencies, said Managing Partner and President Judi Haber.
“Traditional advertising agencies sell products. We don’t do that. We actually are in the business of behavior change — what we call our change mission,” Haber said. “We promote issues and causes, and our public awareness campaigns promote wellness change.”
MORE has worked campaigns to improve public health in the state and region, including tobacco and vaping, substance abuse and recovery, and AIDS. The agency has created videos shown on television and online, billboards, ads on buses and subways, and social media posts.
The agency also worked with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on the biggest health issue of the last couple years, Haber said.
“Our most recent campaign, that is far reaching and really touches everybody, is our work that we have done for the state on COVID-19,” Haber said. “We developed the Trust the Facts, Get the Vax campaign. That campaign is a multi-channel campaign: broadcast and cable TV, and all types of social media.”
The agency does not just work with large state agencies, Haber said.
“We have those clients who are public sector non-profits, public sector, the Mass. Department of Public Health. There are also groups of socially responsible corporations and foundations who are our clients as well,” Haber said. “We worked with the Boston Red Sox over the last 20 seasons doing community relations consultation, and we worked with Liberty Mutual Foundation, specifically promoting the youth experiencing homelessness initiative.”
MORE Advertising was founded nearly 25 years ago by CEO and Founder Donna Latson Gittens, and has had multiple homes, but the agency has returned to where it all started, in Watertown, said Managing Partner and President Judi Haber.
“We started in January 1997,” Haber said. “(Latson Gittens) started the company in a very small office space right here in Watertown at 50 Hunt Street, where we are again.”
Haber had worked in sales and finance with Fortune 50 companies before she joined Latson Gittens (a former executive at WCVB Channel 5) at MORE in February 1997. Initially, Haber worked on operations finance and human resources, but her role evolved over the years and she became a partner and now is a co-owner.
MORE has grown over the years. After outgrowing its original space in Watertown, around 1,000 sq. ft., the agency moved to Walnut Street in Newton for about a decade. When it needed even more space, MORE found itself moving back into the building located on a quiet side street off Galen Street.
“We have 17 employees. We have grown deliberately over time,” Haber said. “Certainly, over the years we have gone through a few recessions, but I am happy to say we never laid anyone off. We hunkered down and pushed forward with who we are and what we do.”
The location is great, Haber said, near the Mass. Pike and just 15 minutes from Boston. Plus, the agency has partnered with other tenants of the building.
“This is an amazing building. It has been synergistic for us,” Haber said. “In this space we have a lot of videographers and production teams. We have been able to capitalize on being in the same building with these individuals.”