by Jeanne M. Nagle
Jim Moscou '90
An oft-repeated dictum in advertising is that "sex sells." The same can be said of humor. If these two conceits hold true, then Jonathan Schoenberg '90 and Jim Moscou '90 are likely sitting on a gold mine.
Friends since high school, Schoenberg and Moscou currently work together at the Colorado-based advertising and design agency TDA_ Boulder, a small creative shop that has received some big industry accolades of late. Schoenberg is creative director and co-owner with the company's founder, Thomas Dooley, while Moscou is the agency's managing director.
Since early 2010, Schoenberg and Moscou have spent a good portion of their time working on the Sir Richard's Condom Company, a brand born out of the agency's creative department, funded by Boulder investors, and overseen by Moscou, the fledgling venture's interim CEO.
Sir Richard's recent campaign interweaves humor, practicality, responsibility and just a soupçon of social consciousness. For example, Sir Richard's packaging includes suggested retail price stickers like "$874 less than a bugaboo stroller" or "$1,154 less than a year of diapers." And for every condom sold, the company donates one to a developing country. This fall, Moscou will head to Haiti for its inaugural condom drop in partnership with the renowned international health organization, Partners in Health.
Jonathan Schoenberg '90
"Branding and launching Sir Richard's Condom Company has been a rather unique experience," says Moscou. "The Schoenie and Jim from our Hobart days would have gotten a good chuckle out of it. But I also think they would be proud that we are helping to create a business that is doing good."
After graduation, the two friends followed separate career paths. Schoenberg attended a writers' program at Columbia University before embarking on a career in advertising as a copywriter at the international advertising agency Ammirati Puris Lintas and the now-defunct New York City firm Mad Dogs & Englishmen.
In 1996, Schoenberg had a oneyear stint with TDA before returning to New York so that his wife, Megan Battle Schoenberg '91, could finish her master's in social work. He returned to Boulder and the company in 1998, and has been there since.
Moscou put his master's in journalism and mass communication from University of Colorado to good use, making a name for himself as an award-winning reporter. His work has appeared in US News & World Report, Newsweek and the New York Times, among others. In 2001, he was selected as the American Journalism Fellow at Oxford University. Today a selfproclaimed "recovering journalist," he left reportage and landed in the Boulder office of Crispin Porter + Bogusky as a senior strategist working on Microsoft's global campaigns and Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection. In 2009, at the request of Schoenberg and Dooley, he joined TDA.
"When I switched careers and understood what it took to be great in this industry, and saw what Schoenie and Thomas were doing creatively at TDA, my gut told me this could be a great ride," Moscou says.
Moscou's instinct may be right. This year, TDA_Boulder was one of only three advertising agencies worldwide recognized by all four 2011 One Show competitions, the industry's top creative recognition. TDA also won a coveted 2011 Clio for its Sir Richard's package design.
In addition to Sir Richard's, TDA_Boulder helped to brand BOT, a successful beverage venture started by Brian '90 and Cricket Jacobs '92 Allen. The agency also boasts clients such as LL Bean, Russian Standard Vodka, 1% for the Planet, First Bank and Avery Beer.
Their work on Webroot's "Social Media Sobriety Test"—a computer plugin that keeps people from posting while under the influence—resulted in a huge awareness jump for the software company. The test was downloaded by users in 173 countries and was the subject of news stories around the world.
Schoenberg credits Moscou with keeping the company on track. "Jim joining the company has been so incredibly helpful," he says. "We have grown a lot and needed someone we trusted to take over the running of the company so my business partner and I can focus on creative and agency culture."
For his part, Moscou is, as he suspected, enjoying the ride. "When you leave college you hope that you can enjoy your work while also having fun," Moscou says. "Twenty years later, that's not only the case but I get to do it with one my best friends in the world."