Outside of creative agency Tiny Hero’s Burbank studios, a shiny Airstream trailer sits next to a red golf cart that regularly shuffles staff to the Disney lot. Dogs play in the grass as co-workers share a bite or a beer while chatting about their latest projects.
Inside, eclectic decor and secret passages such as a full gym hiding behind a bookcase gives Tiny Hero’s campus a unique vibe that speaks to the company’s culture.
“We try to create an atmosphere that makes our team want to be a Tiny Hero, everyday,” said Tiny Hero President Ron Beck.
With just under 40 employees, Tiny Hero has been making a splash in the entertainment marketing award scene.
The agency has earned recognition from Promax for its work with such clients as Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Lucasfilm, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Lionsgate and MGM. It was nominated for four North American Promax Awards, including a nomination for Out-Of-House Program Promo for the below Ted Lasso spot ‘Complete the Team’ with Apple TV+.
Another highlight includes the agency’s spot (show below) for Amazon Prime Video’s A League of Their Own. Cut to Stevie Nick’s iconic song “Edge of Seventeen,” it was recently selected as a Promax Hot Spot.
Tiny Hero also teamed with Apple TV Plus to launch the series WeCrashed, starring Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway.
“We’ve had opportunities for rapid growth, but our priorities are our staff’s quality of life and making our clients feel like we’re part of their internal teams,” Beck said.
Kerianne Lentz, Tiny Hero’s senior vice president of creative, agrees that the company’s culture has contributed to its achievements.
“It’s about keeping humanity in your leadership and focusing on your talent and the urge never to stop innovating,” she said. “It’s also about making sure you are making your client’s life easier by being a great creative partner.”
Tiny Hero’s trailer for MGM’s How It Ends showcases the results of this philosophy.
Tiny Hero University
One of the key ways Tiny Hero attracts talent is through Tiny Hero University, a paid apprenticeship program that pulls from a pool of global, diverse applicants.
Accepted students learn from the agency’s constantly evolving proprietary curriculum, which is geared toward those who love to edit but don’t have professional experience.
“Traditionally, young editors may spend years working their way up the ladder through technical jobs,” said Beck. “At Tiny, we believe that individuals who demonstrate the innate talent to become creative editors should be trained as quickly as possible. Get them off the bench and in the game.”
When apprentices graduate, Tiny Hero either hires them or helps them find a job. As a result, approximately 80 percent of the agency’s editors started in the program, including Creative Director Adam Cooper.
“What makes it work is having leadership and a staff that love to mentor and support young talent,” Cooper said.
Never Stop Learning
One of the cornerstones of Tiny Hero is that its team is encouraged to never stop learning and to look for inspiration in unexpected places.
“If you’re not inspired, you’re dying,” said Beck.
The company’s leaders strive to create an environment where employees are not afraid to show partial ideas or ask for help. To that end, Tiny Hero has a company-wide email thread to regularly share industry news and developments, ensuring its team is exposed to fresh concepts and staying on top of cutting-edge trends.
“The goal is to create a safe place to experiment creatively,” said Lentz. “Our job is to find the magic in an idea, while supporting them to take it to the next level.”
The Tiny Awards
With encouragement to color outside the lines, Tiny Hero makes a point to celebrate some of the team’s most innovative work that never goes to air.
“If someone makes something genuinely innovative, it needs to be honored, not buried,” said Cooper.
To that end, each year Tiny Hero holds a fun but formal internal awards show, known as The Tinys, that recognizes exceptional projects. The entire staff nominates and votes on the submissions and then gathers for a celebratory night to reveal and honor the winners.
All of that contributes to a culture that rewards and celebrates innovation and encourages risk-taking, which leads to consistently excellent work.
“Find people with innate talent and a patient mentality,” Beck said. “They won’t need a boss, just a mentor. Teach them and get out of their way.”
Tiny Hero is a member of Promax Agency Marketplace. Head on over to check out more of its work.
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