2 Minutes With ... Matt Dimmer, Co-Founder & CCO of Troup

On The Extra Mile and how his shot in the dark got John Vitro's attention

Matt Dimmer is the co-founder and CCO of Troup, a creative startup punching above its weight by helping brands solve business problems and ultimately grow sales. He's also the co-founder of Backyard Tea, a ready-to-drink THC beverage, as well as The Extra Mile, a nonprofit that helps financially strapped people wishing to visit their terminally ill loved ones.

We spent two minutes with Matt to learn more about his background, his creative inspirations and recent work he's admired.

Matt, tell us...

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I grew up in Lapeer, Mich., a smallish town about 30 minutes east of Flint. Home of Lapeer Days, where I proudly crushed a spicy rendition of Weird Al Yankovic's "Like A Surgeon" at the ripe age of 11.

Currently living in Chicago since 2015. (via Los Angeles -> Denver -> Los Angeles -> Chicago -> San Diego -> Atlanta -> Detroit). And have no plans to move again. At least for another 10 years.

How you first realized you were creative.

I was always into art and enjoyed all forms early on, from drawing to sculpture. So I was always the "artsy" kid. My hand-made posters for a failed middle-school class president run began to shape what would become my career.

How could I lose with the tagline: "FOR A BRIGHTER FUTURE, VOTE FOR DIMMER"

(Be nice, I'm an art director by background.)

A person you idolized creatively early on.

Felix Sockwell is an artist who had an impact on me. I loved the simplicity of his style, which used continuous lines. It was so clean and powerful. I convinced him to create a mockup for me that I submitted to a contest my agency was holding. And after winning that, we went on to work on several more projects together including a national vehicle launch for Ford.

A moment from high school or college that changed your life.

Thanks to my less-than-stellar grades, I transferred after my first year of college. At my second stop, I met a graphic design instructor who helped me realize that my art background had a viable place in the real world, and I could choose a number of creative career paths. After building a portfolio, I transferred to art school, and got a BFA in graphic design.

A visual artist or band/musician you admire.

Musically, one of my all-time faves is Tycho (real name Scott Hansen). I love his music well as his overall design aesthetic. And from an artist standpoint, Alexander Calder is a favorite. His variety of mediums, color palettes and shapes are timeless.

A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.

Shrinking on AppleTV is so, so good. 

Your favorite fictional character.

Clark W. Griswold

Someone or something worth following in social media.

Artist friends on IG:

How Covid-19 changed your life, personally or professionally.

Seems insane to say this, but professionally, it was exactly what I needed. Starting an agency while employed full-time pre-Covid would have been even more difficult if I had been in an office every day. Yes, there was a lot of juggling, like we all experienced. But my Zoom schedule was extra insane with potential clients for Troup as I continued to lead creative during my "day job."

One of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on. 

Not agency-related, and strictly a personal passion project. I founded my own nonprofit in 2011, just before losing my dad to pancreatic cancer in 2012. After traveling back and forth several times between San Diego and Detroit, I realized not everyone was lucky enough to have the resources to do the same. And I couldn't imagine not having that time together towards the end. So, I started The Extra Mile Organization to help make that special trip a reality for as many people as possible.

A recent project you're proud of.

My agency created and launched a massively successful TikTok campaign for Intuit TurboTax. The TikTok team had told us, with our media buy, we'd be guaranteed 500 million to 1 billion impressions. But with almost 2 million user-generated videos, we ended the campaign at 6.7 BILLION impressions.

Someone else's work that inspired you years ago.

Early in my career I loved the work that John Vitro and John Robertson were making at their agency, vitrorobertson (now called VITRO). So, in 2006 I figured out the max characters that I could buy for a URL, and sent a tri-fold postcard to John Vitro that simply stated: whatthefckdoesittaketogetmattdimmertovitrorobertson dot com. And on that link was my work. Needless to say, I got the job and am lucky enough to still call John a friend. 

Someone else's work you admired lately.

I really admire Aaron Starkman and the Rethink crew. How they come at things, and how they create quickly, using social to test their ideas and go immediately into production. Especially love some of their recent Heinz work.

Your main strength as a creative person.

Can I have two? Mentoring, as I love giving back and helping with career advice as much as I can. And it sounds lame, but connecting people. I get the biggest rush when I'm able to make introductions that benefit both sides. Whether a FT job search, or finding the right person for the right assignment, I love it. 

Your biggest weakness.

There are several but the top two are: I'm hyper f*cking critical. And I love baked goods. 

One thing that always makes you happy.

I have twin 8-year-old boys, and we have a little ritual most nights after soccer practice, homework and showers. We get on our couch and cuddle up to watch part of a movie before bed. I make them promise that's never going to end. But I know it will.

One thing that always makes you sad.

When I hear from friends interviewing for jobs that they don't receive an email back saying "we're going to pass," and are left hanging. Don't ghost candidates. It's lazy. 

What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising.

I love architecture and almost went that route, so I could see myself doing that or some sort of interior design and styling.

2 Minutes With is our regular interview series where we chat with creatives about their backgrounds, creative inspirations, work they admire and more. For more about 2 Minutes With, or to be considered for the series, please get in touch.

Jessica MacAulay
Jessica MacAulay is a contributor for Muse by Clio. She's also a recent graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder's College of Media, Communication, and Information.

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