How a Pair of 360i Vets Cooked Up a ‘Culture Hack’

RXM Creative leveraged Instagram to create a viral menu

People in dark suits look at smartphones.
RXM Creative's origin story starts with an Instagram restaurant menu—and that's just the beginning. Adrian Nina

When RXM Creative co-founders Mihai Botarel and Raul Mandru came up with their first “culture hack” five years ago, they had no idea it would result in the birth of an agency. The pair worked together at 360i when friends asked for help hyping the launch of New York restaurant Cómodo. Botarel and Mandru decided to capitalize on a growing cultural trend—Instagram, still in its first few years of life—to “hack” their way to virality with an “Instagram menu,” convincing the eatery to include hashtags in its actual menu.

Their case-study video went viral the following day, and the campaign ultimately won a bronze Lion in the mobile category at Cannes. As the pair gained traction, they established RXM Creative in New York’s SoHo, boasting clients including Harper’s Bazaar, LensCrafters, Tabasco, Diesel, Reebok and Under Armour.

Instagram is at RXM’s core, from staffing (such as producer Chelsea Solitrin, whom the agency found on the platform) to creative. When the team saw Turkish chef Salt Bae wearing Ray-Bans on Instagram, Mandru said they direct messaged him and “put together an animated video with a pair of hands sprinkling salt [and] sent it to Ray-Ban.”


This story first appeared in the Feb. 26, 2018, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe. David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.