Desmond Attmore and Brian “Bwrightous” Wright, founders of Atlanta-based creative agency Six Degrees, named their company after the six degrees of separation: the idea that all humans are six, or fewer, social connections away from each other.
In its two years of business, whether building a pop-up for Budweiser or designing limited-edition shoes for Puma, the agency’s objective has remained the same: helping clients create content, products and experiences that authentically connect with consumers.
“We don’t want to approach our community with a product or service we feel doesn’t speak to them or isn’t going to help them,” Wright told Adweek. “Whenever we sit down with a client, we ask: When your campaign is over, what is going to be the lasting effect that actually helps and [resonates with] the community?”
New York natives, Attmore and Wright met while studying business marketing at Morehouse College in Atlanta in 2008. While getting their degrees, the duo interned at marketing agency Team Epiphany and worked together on a clothing line called Kreemo.
Their post-college careers began in the music industry. Working for producer Mike Will Made It’s label Ear Drummer Records, the two oversaw creative direction and brand partnerships for rap group Rae Sremmurd.
Their experience interning for an agency and working relationships with artists led them to launch Six Degrees in 2018. “We decided to take everything we had learned in the past 10 years, all of the relationships and resources we had, and put that toward creating our own agency,” Attmore said.
Both 29, Attmore and Wright said their eye for culture—and knowledge of influencers who can draw buzz—have helped them land projects for high-profile clients in the past two years. Examples of work that Six Degrees has produced, planned and curated talent for include:
- Puma’s T-shirt and sneaker collaboration in conjunction with photographer Gunner Stahl’s coffee table book release, promoted by 500 influencers
- A24’s private screening and afterparty for the Adam Sandler-starring drama Uncut Gems
- An interactive photo experience to promote the release of Google’s Pixel 3 smartphone
- A pop-up Hotlanta restaurant and fan experience to promote Future and Drake’s record Life Is Good, which drew more than 2,500 attendees
- An activation for the release of Budweiser’s limited-edition tallboy can and first hip-hop artist collaboration with Big Boi
Attmore and Wright cite the Budweiser experience, which was designed to resemble a gas station, as an example of how pitching a fresh activation idea paid off for the legacy brand. The product launch drew some 400 fans, industry executives and influencers.
While Budweiser initially tapped one of Six Degrees’ photographer clients to shoot promotion for out-of-home ads, Attmore and Wright pitched the brand an event that would draw a millennial crowd.
“We talked to them about the idea of building this gas station-themed experience. At first, they said it wasn’t premium enough,” Attmore said. “But we asked them to share the pitch deck with Big Boi to see what he thought. And he loved it, down to the lemon pepper chicken wings [catering]. The build was also cool and very elevated for Atlanta.”
While Six Degrees operates with a staff of six (the agency also hires contractors for many projects), Attmore and Wright said its size is a benefit when it comes to working as a team.
“We have more dedication and attention. When you start to scale or grow these teams, sometimes you can lose the real fabric of what the agency stands for and represents,” Attmore said. “We’re doing pretty well at creating a name for ourselves, with a solid team of people who wear multiple hats.”
Industry pros continue to call on brands to change the way they do business with Black-owned and multicultural agencies, primarily by hiring them for the same scale of projects as they would mainstream agencies. Wright and Attmore agreed, saying brands should start offering more opportunities to up-and-coming minority-owned shops. They added that brands need to improve their internal diversity, especially as they promote products and campaigns that cater to people of color.
“Brands need to have a five-year plan for diversifying. When they try to push a product toward Black people, there’s definitely a disconnect when nobody [at that company] is Black,” Wright said. “They shouldn’t tell us what is and isn’t going to work for our people.”
Attmore added that brands need to be held more accountable when it comes to representation.
“Brands are painting the picture, but not using our paintbrush,” Attmore said. “Brands need to hire actual multicultural agencies represented by people of color. Don’t just do what looks good on paper when that’s not what the fabric of your company is.”
Adweek will continue to spotlight Black owners of agencies to share their experiences and ways they want to see the industry take action for change.