Getting to know Foozi's 'overall nice guy', Damon Freeman
A world-first, Damon Freeman launched Foozi in March 2009 as the ideal advertising platform for marketers and advertisers aiming to reach the mass youth market. Leigh Andrews gets to know what makes this 'marketer, chief negotiator, and overall nice guy' tick...
Foozi's branded tables offer consumers an enjoyable; interactive; free-to-play game of foosball, in an environment where they spend their dwell-time. What's more, the completely unique aspect of this advertising platform ensures that your brand slices through the clutter and doesn't have to compete for attention. Foozi offers interactive, experiential marketing which ensures consumers feel good about your brand, ultimately leading to greater absorption of your advertising message and increased sales. Success is not new to entrepreneurial Damon. He started Brand inc. in 2004 as a freelance designer in a garage. Brand inc. has focused mainly on sport and event-related graphic design, not on purpose, but through word-of-mouth in the industry. Here's a little more about him...
1. What was your first job/ where did you start?
My first “real” job was as a graphic designer at a small design agency in the middle of Joburg. Before that, I was a part-time primary school sports coach; waiter; and telemarketer.
2. What made you want to build a career in your profession?
I have always had a passion for creative endeavours. I designed my first “business cards” when I was nine-years-old on my dad’s Apple 2 computer. I’ve also always been quite sporty, and spent most afternoons on the sports fields at school. I suppose this combination of creative promotion and sport led me to be involved in advertising in sports.
3. Describe a day in your life at present
I don’t really have a typical day. Most days are relatively relaxed – I wake up early; get my daughter ready for school; drop her off at pre-school; and head to the Foozi offices in Edenvale. Normally, there will be a status meeting in the morning, followed by the normal office processes of following up on emails, reading and compiling reports and proposals. Then, I normally fetch my daughter early in the afternoon, drop her off at home, and then head out to any meetings scheduled for that day with clients and suppliers.
4. How do you unwind behind the scenes?
I spend time with my family; play poker; and spend a lot of time reading.
5. Who would you most like to meet – dead or alive, and why?
Richard Branson, no question. His vibrant personality; his track-record of taking outrageous risks; and pulling off amazing successes is incredibly inspirational!
6. What has been one of the most important lessons you have learnt?
Find a way. There’s no such thing as “Sorry, it can’t be done…” or “It’s not my problem.” There’s always a way to make things happen, even if you have to improvise or throw more resources at a situation.
7. What is your secret indulgence and your three ‘can’t live without’ items?
Hmmm, I enjoy gambling. Not in a casino, but I’m a big fan of poker and sports betting. I try not to calculate how much I’ve spent on that indulgence… My three ‘can’t live without’ items would be are my laptop (it has my life on it); my PVR decoder (I don’t know how I survived before PVR!); and my Amazon Kindle (I’ve got all kinds of books stored on there, it’s brilliant!)
8. Who do you think is getting it right in the industry?
Well, I think Foozi is doing pretty well. We get a lot of compliments on our marketing and our approach.
9. Who is your alter-ego?
10. What is your favorite perfume?
Perfume? Whatever my wife is wearing.
11. Which car would best personify you, and why?
BMW X6. A little fancy; a little rough; and a little bit of a show-off.
12. What is your favorite reality TV series?
It has to be the Amazing Race. I like watching people under pressure get bitchy, and seeing how ignorant some people are about the world.
13. Who is someone you truly look up to, and which qualities do you most admire about them?
Richard Branson – for the reasons I stated above.
14. What’s your stance on social media?
They way of the future, no doubt. However, it’s clearly a lot more difficult to control your image through social media than through other forms of advertising. The ones that will benefit will be the companies that actually do the right things, or at least the most memorable things, rather than those that throw the most money at it.