With less than a year under its belt, Dream Dedicated Media, a digital marketing startup in St. Augustine, has already aimed high.
When they created a video jingle for the local Chick-Fil-A, rapping about the delights of waffle fries and milkshakes, it earned them a year’s worth of free food from the store on U.S. 1.
Several months ago, the team — led by the firm’s co-founder, Shelton “Hype” Walker — offered their services up to the St. Augustine Police Department to conceive of and direct a lip sync video that got about 200,000 hits on Facebook and YouTube.
Their most recent venture could draw millions of views.
Dream Dedicated used their creative talents to submit an elf-themed video to “The Ellen Show” for its 12 Days of Giveaways promotion. The firm’s entry — a catchy hip-hop bit called the “Elf Shuffle” — was selected and the team flown out to Los Angeles last week to film a spot on the show. (The appearance aired Monday afternoon and can also be seen on ellentube.com.)
The company was launched last year by three local guys in their early- to mid-20s who attended Nease High School together. Walker is a vlogger, Jesse Martin (better known as “Jay Carter”) a musical artist, and Carlos Romero serves as creative director.
They, along with two other staffers, collaborate to create custom content for companies, organizations and other groups aimed at putting more eyes on their message or product. Dream Dedicated, with a studio office on Masters Drive, specializes in branding, graphic/website design, online marketing and videography.
Carter explained why marketing is so important in today’s digital world.
“These days, if you don’t have a social media presence you’re almost invisible to everyone online,” Carter said.
This past summer, when lip sync challenges became a thing in the law enforcement community and Dream Dedicated were still building a name for themselves, Walker called up St. Augustine Police Chief Barry Fox.
“I saw this whole thing going viral out there with the lip sync videos and I reached out to them [the police department] to see if they could use our help,” Walker said. “I think it was just helping them execute what they wanted to.”
In the video, Walker — as disc jockey on a fictional “Hype” radio program — introduces Fox and crew as they perform a mix of music styles, from “Another One Bites the Dust,” to “Cupid Shuffle,” against a backdrop of iconic St. Augustine locales like the lighthouse and alligator farm.
“A lot of people saw it, and we got a lot of work from that,” Carter said.
The firm’s clients range from an organic gardening company to a mortgage brokerage firm, producing informational content and “news you can use” type features, as well as the more entertaining fare they’ve become known for.
All three partners say over the next year the hope to expand their clientele and to, as Carter said, “become a recognizable brand in St. Augustine.”