Vivid Candi: The Only Digital Agency That Has Thrived in Malibu for Over 22 Years
- The Resilience of Three Executive Underdogs Fuels the High-End Digital Agency That Markets Internationally Recognized Brands, Celebrities and Industry Trailblazers.
Award-winning full-service digital agency, Vivid Candi, has made its mark as an industry pioneer and is now established as the only agency that flourished in esteemed Malibu, California over the last two decades. Built from origins of personal adversity, grit and passion, challenges are what propels the company to continue evolving.
“Adversity is rocket fuel for your dreams if you consciously recognize it and use it.” – Chris Wizner, CEO and Founder
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Every two weeks, tens of thousands of people collect their paychecks from Taco Bell. 16 year old Chris Wizner was one of them. In 1999, the young entrepreneur took his first $600 paycheck and founded Vivid Candi, an advertising agency dedicated to cutting edge, out-of-the-box creativity, in a town notorious for its concentration of millionaires and superstars. Pepperdine University, Malibu Magazine and Paradise Cove Beach Cafe were among the first clients to enlist the help of Vivid Candi, and have been part of its journey ever since. Chris was raised in poverty just a stone throw away from Malibu, the city that would become the flagship to a full-service digital marketing agency. Chris never had a father figure, and his hard working waitress mother lost her home to bankruptcy. Chris was temporarily homeless by the age of 16, which did not stop him from chasing his dreams; On the contrary, his adversity gave him a deep-seeded motive to invest in his future success. His connections to the coastal town, which has had a place in his heart since childhood, fueled his ambitions to blossom as a self-made entrepreneur, CEO and founder of the ad agency of his dreams. Always happy and positive, even in the darkest moments, Chris remains true to his origins and whole-heartedly passionate about his dreams 22 years later. His unique character and unquestionable devotion to what he does has attracted many world-class clients and a cadre of equally impassioned and skilled individuals that have helped to excel the business from an advertising agency to a full-service agency with teams dedicated to digital marketing, branding, custom websites, and fully scalable photography & video production.
One of the most influential catalysts that Vivid Candi encountered was 15 years ago, when Gerardo Cardenas came on board as a full-stack developer and designer – turned Creative Director and Partner. About as unorthodox as they come, Gerardo pushed quality, level of expertise and innovation to new heights, truly setting Vivid Candi apart from any competitors at this caliber. A self-made immigrant, Gerardo came from a background designing and developing websites and online video games for studios and agencies on high profile accounts like Sony Pictures, Lionsgate, Kodak, Scarface and Mad Men. Gerardo expanded boundaries at Vivid Candi, ingraining in the company a culture of risk taking creativity. His authenticity and exceptional talent propelled Vivid Candi to stay on the cutting edge, and to cater services to clients’ 360 degree range of needs. An agency Partner and Creative Director, Gerardo is a pioneer in committing to the latest technology advances and encourages the team to trust their artistic instincts and audacious creations, always garnering an element of surprise for clients. Gerardo pushes humanistic values as a core tenet of the company, and loves to embrace the moments shared with every employee and client.
“All we have is this moment. And in this moment we must create, learn, teach or have fun. These are the ideas that transfer into great results. When people are happy working, the results will shine.” – Gerardo Cardenas, Creative Director
Nobody suspected a third pillar of the agency was missing, until Anita Hoffman joined the team almost four years ago. Getting her foot in the door as Head of Sales, and quickly gaining respect and trust of high profile clients asking her to take the lead in account management on their brand strategy, Anita carved a path of exponential growth to emerge as Vivid Candi’s first COO at the age of 26 in the short span of her first year and a half within the company. By pushing limits as a leader, adept at understanding the needs of others while having the foresight to build and execute strategy to achieve almost any goal, Anita’s humility despite her extensive education and knowledge makes it easy for others to connect. This human quality, combined with an innate passion for team building, business development and client relationships, has driven Anita to identify a roadmap and support Vivid Candi to attain the next stage of growth. Anita is a believer that once we remove the idea of “can’t,” and instead choose to constantly learn from our experiences and surroundings, there are no limits to what we can accomplish. Anita always wants to give back to communities locally and globally, and dedicates a big portion of her life to helping and empowering women all over the world. Demonstrating her leadership and vision to a better place and planet, Anita spearheaded a corporate giving initiative for Vivid Candi that secured a key partnership with a non-profit focused on spurring entrepreneurship among disadvantaged youth.
After 22 years, Vivid Candi’s office currently overlooks the Malibu Pier on the infamous Pacific Coast Highway, and is home to a team of just under 20 talented and prosperous marketing and web ninjas in the digital world. Being a boutique agency, the Vivid Candi team regularly handles projects and accounts with as much strength and success as the biggest agencies in the country, and with a distinctly out-of-the-box and streamlined approach, aka the agency’s secret sauce.