Cornerstone (agency)

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Type Private
Industry Marketing
Founded 1996
Headquarters New York City, United States
Offices: New York, Los Angeles, London
Key people Rob Stone, Founder and co-CEO
Jon Cohen, Co-CEO
Products Strategic Marketing, Creative, Lifestyle marketing, Digital Promotion, Public Relations
Employees 90

Cornerstone is a New York-based creative lifestyle marketing and public relations agency with offices in New York City, Los Angeles, and London. It is helmed by co-CEOs Rob Stone and Jon Cohen. The company employs approximately 100 professionals worldwide, in addition to a network of field marketing representatives throughout the United States.


In June 1996, Rob Stone left a major record label to create Cornerstone, a Manhattan-based music promotion firm that worked primarily with record labels to promote their artists. After being joined by business partner and co-CEO Jon Cohen in 1997, the firm began to grow into a full-service marketing and creative agency recognized for its integration of hip music names in corporate branding campaigns.[1] The agency's work with clients such as Converse, Microsoft, Nike, Xbox, Mountain Dew and Diageo has given Cornerstone a reputation as a pioneer in the movement of branding and music.[2]

Stone and Cohen also founded The FADER, a music publication, in 1998.

Core practices[edit]

Cornerstone's clients seek out its services to help them reach the age 18-35 demographic with strategic marketing and branding campaigns[1] and for its experience in the music industry. In 2009, Rob Stone and Jon Cohen were featured on the cover of Billboard magazine's Music & Advertising issue with friend and marketing partner Pharrell Williams, where the agency was described as a pioneer in connecting musicians with brands.[2]

Pepsi-Cola North America's VP of portfolio brands Frank Cooper described the firm's capabilities as a "rare combination", saying in an interview that "they understand the record industry while not being confined by it. They have great creative instincts, strong research, and they understand how to work with large companies." Geoff Cottrill, Converse chief marketing officer, said "their understanding of pop culture and youth marketing is really unrivaled in their space."[2]

In addition to strategic lifestyle marketing and creative services, the agency's practice areas include digital marketing, radio promotion, brand consulting, music supervision[1] and Cornerstone Public Relations, a full-service PR firm.[3]

Notable campaigns[edit]

Grammy award nominated track “Better Than I’ve Ever Been” was commissioned by sportswear company Nike to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Air Force One shoes. Cornerstone executive produced the song, secured Kanye West, Nas, KRS-One and Rakim to collaborate, and oversaw production with Rick Rubin. The track was nominated for the Grammy Award for "Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group."

My Drive Thru was a collaborative single by The Strokes lead vocalist Julian Casablancas, American singer-songwriter Santigold, and The Neptunes producer and N.E.R.D member Pharrell Williams. The song was created for Converse's centennial and was released in June 2008.[4]

Green Label Sound produces and promotes tracks for notable young artists including Neon Indian, Chromeo and Freelance Whales. The label is managed by Cornerstone on behalf of soft-drink brand Mountain Dew.[5] In an interview with Billboard, Frank Cooper, Chief Marketing Officer of Global Consumer Engagement for PepsiCo, Inc., said "The best thing about Cornerstone is that they understand the record industry while not being confined by it. They have great creative instincts, strong research, and they understand how to work with large companies. It's a rare combination"[2]

In late 2010, Pepsi's chief engagement officer hired Cornerstone to do the creative on the brand's campaign, Pepsi MAX NFL Audible, due to the firm's history of creating successful urban marketing campaigns. TV spots aired during January 2011 NFL playoff games and online, featuring rappers Big Boi, Lupe Fiasco, B.o.B and Talib Kweli.[6]

Cornerstone began construction on Rubber Tracks, a free recording studio managed by Cornerstone and operated by Converse in Brooklyn, NY, in 2010. The 5,200-square-foot (480 m2) space is open for free use to artists in the area.[7]



  • Hermes Creative Awards: Platinum Award – Best Integrated Marketing Campaign – NFL Pepsi Anthems[8]
  • Music Week Awards: Music & Brand Partnership of the Year - Converse Represent[9]
  • MTVU Woodie Award: Tag Team Woodie for Kimbra feat. Mark Foster and A-Trak, "Warrior" - Converse Three Artists One Song[10]


  • Diageo Marketing Brilliance Awards: Best Owned Campaign – Crown Royal[11]
  • Record of the Day Awards: Most Effective PR Campaign for a Live Event or a Festival – Converse Represent[12]
  • Brand Event Awards: Best Event Strategy, Fashion – Converse Represent[13]
  • Music Week Awards: Music and Brand Parnership – Converse Gigs[14]


  • min’s Best of the Web Awards: Best Marketing Campaign – Levi’s & The FADER Fort[15]
  • OMMA Awards: Best Integrated Online Campaign, Apparel / Fashion - Nike Sportswear + FADER Presents Pitch Perfect[16]


  • Effie Worldwide: SILVER Award, Fashion & Style - Converse Connectivity[17]


  • New York Enterprise: Best Small Business[18]


  1. ^ a b c "Fountain of Youth". New York Enterprise Report:. January 3, 2007. 
  2. ^ a b c d Cortney Harding (June 6, 2009). "Brand New Day". Billboard Magazine. 
  3. ^ "Daily Dog". Bulldog Reporter. December 23, 2010. 
  4. ^ Eleftheria Parpis (2008-07-14). "Converse turns up the noise". Adweek. Nielsen Company. 
  5. ^ Elsa Keslassy (November 16, 2009). "Music honchos to hunker down at Midem". Variety. 
  6. ^ Andy Gensler (January 14, 2011). "Watch B.o.B.'s Pepsi Ad for Falcons vs. Packers Game". Billboard. 
  7. ^ Ben Sisario (October 6, 2010). "Looking to a Sneaker for a Band’s Big Break". New York Times. 
  8. ^ "Hermes Creative Awards". Retrieved December 16, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Music Week Awards". Retrieved April 12, 2013. 
  10. ^ "mtvU Woodie Awards". Retrieved March 17, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Diageo". Retrieved December 16, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Record of the Day". Retrieved December 16, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Brand Event Awards". Retrieved December 16, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Music Week Awards". Retrieved December 16, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Min Online". Retrieved December 16, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Media Post". Retrieved December 16, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Effie Worldwide". Retrieved December 16, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Effie Worldwide". Retrieved December 16, 2013. 

External links[edit]