Jay Walker – Priceline.com – Walker Digital CEO – TEDMED Owner and Curator
“The stories we tell, based on the messages we craft, are central to success in the modern world. There is no substitute for a clear and compelling narrative – it is the essential ingredient in how we persuade others that our mission, our product or our service should become an important part of their lives. David Hoffman is a master at this, not just because he has spent 50 years telling powerful, direct and engaging stories, but because he can think in story terms, he can imagine at multiple levels for multiple audiences, and because his insatiable curiosity about what motivates others drives him to find the best possible stories – the ones that capture the essence of what needs to be told.
As the curator of TEDMED, founder of Priceline.com and longtime associate of David, I can speak firsthand on his effectiveness at working with me on positioning and key messages for several large-scale projects. Thinking with David gives me a chance to express my ideas to a person who knows the power of listening is the root of communication. David puts the results of what I have said, mixed with his suggestions, on paper so that I can take it to the next stage. The result is highly creative, fast moving, and expressive. Working with David is a real pleasure. He has an unusual mind. What’s more, his thinking is always flexible when I, or other members of my team, come up with new approaches. I highly recommend him.”
Joe Rizzi – Serial Entrepreneur and Investor – Founder Matrix Partners
“I have worked with David Hoffman at a number of startups including SanDisk, MicroLinear, PostX, and Beatnik. Recently, I called upon him to help tell the story of the founding of Liquid Robotics and how it came to be the remarkable start-up it is. He quickly captured the heart and soul of our early days and presented it in a way that captivated the founders, the company, and many others that have since watched the film. I have been impressed by the power of David’s style of story-telling which has helped promote great interest and curiosity in our undertaking.”
Brian Dougherty – CEO Airset – Founder of GeoWorks – Wink & 7 other startups
“David is THE master of marketing communications. He has an uncanny ability to get to the heart of a company, a product, a person or a technology and figure out how to communicate its benefits to customers and key influencers in visceral ways. At Wink, we had the challenge of launching a new technology into the cable and satellite television industry. Without David’s help we would not have been able to cut through the noise.”
Mike Singer – CEO Strategic Partners – Owner of Cherokee Nursing Uniforms
“Ever since meeting David Hoffman at TED, he has worked for me in my company and on several of my startups. He is a unique talent in his ability to articulate ideas and to hear the ideas of others and re-articulate them in ways that benefit everyone. I take him on my exec meetings to add value and increase the likelihood of a positive outcome. I dialogue with him often. I am happy to recommend him to others.”
Kevin Surace – CEO Appvance – Formerly CEO Serious Energy – Awarded 23 patents.
“I have known and worked with David Hoffman for nearly 20 years. He has produced and directed impactful videos for me at CommerceNet, Serious Materials, Perfect Commerce and others. David is a storyteller–a story creator really. He uses video to express stories that are aimed at target audiences. But his expertise at YouTube, at Adwords, at positioning, and key messaging, mixed with his brilliant video storytelling capability, make him an invaluable asset to any company trying to get their message into the right hands (or eyes and ears as the case may be).”
Howard Urnovitz – CEO Chronix Biomedical – Former CEO and Founder, Calypte Biomedical
“In the age of mass communication, that is instant and in most cases uncensored, one can reach an enormous audience. Chronix Biomedical has discovered a breakthrough in cancer and needs to get the message out that it needs partners to help bring this discovery to the market place to save lives and reduce rising healthcare costs. The message needs to be crafted correctly and by a master storyteller. Chronix has engaged David Hoffman because he truly is one of those master storytellers. We are delighted he has agreed to work with us so we can combine his vast experience in science and technology film making with the new age of mass communication.”
Neil Greer – President/CEO, Impact Engine, Inc. Neil has founded & led companies in the Online Advertising for 18 years
“I’ve worked with David Hoffman for years. There are few people who can do what he does; period. As an entrepreneur in the software industry, people ask me about my “proprietary advantage”. Honestly, I’ve rarely found proprietary advantage in the technology. The magic of technology comes from the dramatic, sometimes amazing, impact it has on someone’s life when the technology enables that person to do something they otherwise could not do. Hoffman unlocks the power of that bottom line proprietary advantage — because he understands that the benefit from advances in technology are what make technology proprietary, not the technology itself. This has gotten me very real dollars and other support from the best of investors and partners. In short, if David Hoffman helps you, your story will get heard. In my opinion, this makes David Hoffman the ‘proprietary advantage’.
Rob Faw – General Partner Investech – 35 years consulting with dozens of private and Fortune 500 companies
“I have called on David Hoffman to help me articulate my ideas with 3 of my businesses and for several of my Fortune 500 clients. Each interaction with him has been extraordinarily useful. His ideas are provocative, sometimes disruptive, constantly creative, and always constructive. He sees the world in wonderful ways. I have loved our interactions. I am working with him currently to help build a global media entertainment initiative, 33Hope, my newest effort.”
VC Lara Druyan – Partner, G&B Partners – Venture Advisor, SRI
“As a longtime VC in Northern California but originally from the East Coast, I search out others whom I can trust to give me the straight poop. I can trust David Hoffman. True he is from the East Coast and speaks “directly.” But the result of my interactions with him always makes me (and I hope for him as well) clearer regarding a company, a key individual, or an idea, David is a great under-the-radar researcher and I depend on him for his evaluations.”
Marc Porat – founder of Private Satellite Network – General Magic – perfect.com – CalStar Products & Serious Materials.
“I am currently at work on my 6th start up. It is the 6th time that I have called in David Hoffman. He has extraordinary insights, and can extract the essence of a vision, and idea, a product in a fresh and non-intuitive way. Working with David is a pleasure. He is passionate, persistent and highly effective.”
Fortune 500 Clients
John Johnson – Verizon Wireless Corporate Communications, Executive Director
“At Verizon Wireless, we needed low-cost targeted video communications that would reach and motivate employees in our stores throughout the West. I felt we had a good story to tell but we also had strong competition from other carriers. I brought David Hoffman and his team in to make the needed video communications for us but he did much more than that. He created the concept we ended up using, helped us understand the distribution platform (the web and live performance) and stayed with us until the distribution of his videos was completed.
His work captured the real differences between us and our competitors and using his unique “man-on-the-street” approach. The resulting set of video stories ran live before audiences of our sales forces and others. They got a standing ovation and, more importantly, achieved our goal. It was a magnificent experience and I will use Hoffman and his team again.”
Bob Kavner – Idealabs Chairman of the Board – Former Senior Officer at AT&T
“David is a valuable blend of innovation and determination – a communicator who can really listen. When I was the senior officer of AT&T, I took full advantage of David’s skills. He grew to become a highly respected consultant to our group of executives and helped us to articulate what we felt and thought. He produced wonderful materials that launched new products, coached me on presentations and wrote a number of important speeches including the keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show. Whether he is paid by the hour, on a retainer or with a flat fee, he will deliver more than he promised. David is a valuable blend of innovation and determination – a communicator who can really listen.”
Steve Block- Managing Director – Amazon Partners – Former Director of Advertising AT&T
“David Hoffman worked with me on dozens of projects over a 20-year period while I was director of advertising at AT&T. Our collaborations resulted in television commercials for direct response sales, real-people story commercials for network television brand specials, even issues-advertising commercials targeting Washington policy influentials. We crafted videos to help launch new technologies and to support executives with vision videos at international conferences. We won awards, surpassed sales targets, even made friends and influenced outcomes.
David became a highly valued and trusted partner for many other marketing executives across AT&T – so much so that he was asked to lead communications for one of AT&T’s silicon valley start-ups.
I found David to be the rarest of communications partners: a brilliant strategist, an idea man and a great producer. His insights drove unique solutions. He shines at articulating key messages via novel and high-impact concepts. When behind the camera conducting interviews of the ‘captains of industry’ or small children, David’s contagious enthusiasm always brings out the best and most sincere ‘performances’ from real people. He delivers unvarnished honesty and spot-on messages from his subjects and from himself. He tells you what he thinks, not necessarily what you are hoping to hear.
Working with David will make you a better thinker and improve your own ability to direct programs and leverage your team and talents.“
Blaise Heltai – President, genus2 Technology – former head of e-business at FleetBoston Financial & Bank of America
“I have known David Hoffman for over 25 years and am pleased to recommend him without reservation. I first worked with him at the Consumer Lab at AT&T Bell Laboratories. He and his team were known to us as extraordinarily talented and reliable filmmakers. They created films for public viewing as well as some for industry consumption. But Hoffman went far beyond that; He helped us to articulate who we were, helped us to understand who we were trying to reach and how each audience felt, and helped us in the end succeed time and again. Finally, what remains with me most are Hoffman’s personal attributes: his enthusiasm, his sheer competence as a communicator and his never-ending quest to listen and learn.”
Tim Schmidt – CTO: FAA -Former CIO, Internal Revenue Service
“David Hoffman is tenacious, persistent and to the point. While I was a senior executive at the IRS, I could count on David to clearly understand my needs and to present the best startup talent to my doorstep. I frankly find David amazing in his ability to sense the necessary chemistry, open communication channels, and to set the stage for mutually rewarding and enduring business relationships. I would recommend him to anyone having a need to stratify their marketing options and who must stay abreast of the evolving competition and upcoming talent within a specific industry segment.”
Valarie Gelb – Former Chief of Sales – MasterCard Worldwide
“As a senior executive in sales and marketing communications for more than a quarter century finding the best and brightest talent has often been identified as one of my core competencies. David Hoffman is one of those best and brightest that I have been fortunate to work with. David has the innate ability to take ideas and bring them to clarity and focus. He executes with excellence to bring these enhanced ideas to market. We have been fortunate to increase our sales and to bring clarity of message through our work with David.“
Agency and Social Media Clients
Rick Keating – Founder and CEO, Keating Communications NYC
“David Hoffman is a mentor to me. I am in the business of communication. They call me a public relations expert but my work goes far beyond that. On more than a dozen occasions, I have called on David to help me to articulate what my client needs to communicate to have success. Some times that involves his using his superb filmmaking skills. Other times, it is writing on paper that I need. Other times, it is just face-to-face or phone dialogue. For all of these, I have used and will continue to use David for his unique capabilities and his blunt but wonderful points of view. You can depend on David Hoffman and his team to stay with you and your client from the start of a concept through its distribution to target audiences and the analysis of its results. He understands how to begin, to produce, and to complete a project.
One other thing. I am decidedly an East Coast guy. David comes from the East Coast and although he has been out in California for a long time now, he maintains those East Coast sensibilities that I know so well. I would call him an East Coast/West Coast fellow who can communicate on both coasts and bring people together so that they can communicate with each other was successfully.”
Donnetta Campbell – The Barnyard Group Chief Innovation Officer
“In building The Barnyard Group I sought out the best and the brightest in each industry that we needed. I was fortunate to find a visionary communicator named David Hoffman. I call on him regularly and he dialogues about our vision, talents, and strategies that have helped us articulate what we are now offering to every brand CMO in today’s content rich global marketplace. David is a thoughtful, digital savvy storytelling “genius.” I am pleased to recommend David to any possible project. It will be better from his participation. And although he doesn’t always say what is easy to hear, he is a joy to work with.”
Andrew Mueller – Social Media Consultant to Fortune 500 and Startup Companies
“I know David Hoffman as communications master who is especially genius with YouTube video. David understands how people think and what they need to hear when what you have to offer matters to them — in fact he is brilliant at this. He was one of the first to use Google Adwords successfully and has advised corporations large and small on how best to reach and motivate their key audiences. As a strategic marketing consultant, I pride myself on my knowledge of the various ways to use social media to reach and influence customer audiences. When it comes to YouTube, I consult with David. I know no one who has a better grasp on the YouTube Network than David Hoffman. And one more thing — you can always depend on him to say what he thinks.”
Judy Shapiro – CEO engageSimply – formerly at tech companies large and small – AT&T – Bell Labs – Lucent Comodo & Paltalk
“I first hired David Hoffman when I was CMO at Paltalk. My goal was to work with David to create messages that opened doors to new corporate advertising clients. David did both superbly. Since I have founded my agency, EngageSimply. I now use David to help me to articulate my thinking and marcom as well. What I find is that when I am at a point where I just can’t “get it right,” speaking with David and having David express on paper my thinking and add his own, changes and improves my expressions. David is invaluable at this.”
Barak Kassar – Rassak Communications
“David brings something to the currency of corporate communications that is usually reserved for the big-budget TV commercial. That is the perfect marriage of message strategy and emotion. The results of David’s ability to hear and articulate stories that influence positive change. Though in some ways we “compete” I find myself calling on David to work with me on behalf of my clients.”
Small Business Clients
Michael Freeman Founder & CEO Cocoabella – Former Macys Head of Candy Sales
“I head up a company that sells some of the world’s greatest chocolates–made by individual artists whom I select. My wife and I came to David recommended by a colleague, to help us articulate our value – to be used in packaging, store design, signage, print materials, YouTube videos, and radio. What we got from David was everything we expected and more. He even wrote some of our key copy lines. All working as a consultant at a moderate fee–with me providing him with a regular dose of our superb chocolates.”
Dr. Arlene Noodleman – CEO Healthstyle
“As the marketing head of AgeDefy Dermatology and now the founder of HealthStyle, I need media to express my company’s value proposition. In the past I have hired David to do the heavy lifting communications. But he always goes way beyond that, giving me language and thinking that enhances my own. Sometimes he is provocative. And usually quite blunt. So I hold onto my chair and ride with him on a journey that always ends up with me more successful in achieving my goals.”
Bill Fallon – VP Marketing at Comodo – Formerly at Audible & EasyLink Services
“When the task involves articulating and communicating the essential value of a company, product or service, David Hoffman is the best that I have ever worked with. Hoffman’s way of thinking begins by asking: ‘why should your audiences care about this?’ You find yourself engaged in a dialogue with someone who has helped executives in companies ranging from the world’s largest to startups. Someone who has created award-winning communications that moved millions of people, worldwide. Although he always has an opinion, Hoffman is very adept at hearing what you have to say and adjusting where he is going so that you feel heard. This aspect of working with him is unique and much appreciated. Good luck David Hoffman.”
Alberto Aquino Alejandro – Co-Founder Helio Solutions Inc. Also with Fooey In and Xenter Inc.
“Hoffman’s techniques on how companies, people, and their stories CAN BE HEARD and FELT, is nothing short of brilliant! I have often tried to understand how David does what he does. After observation, it becomes glaringly simple. He LISTENS! I mean; HE REALLY LISTENS, to people and situations. But more importantly he listens and stays absolutely true to the soul of their stories and not just to the “interesting” parts, but also to the mundane stuff that actually ends up being the golden nuggets of their stories.”
Katherine Reid – BioChemist – Serial Startup Chief Scientist
“I am a Ph.D. biochemist and I have worked in biotechnology /medical diagnostic industry for over 15 years. When I met David I told him of my recent personal scientific discovery, that my daughter’s autism behaviors were completely managed through diet, namely by removing all the excess glutamate (also commonly known as MSG) that is in our food. I wanted to share this information, but at this point the only way I knew how to share scientific information was through a scientific journal. David had the idea of making a video in a grocery store, a place that everyone could relate to, and post on YouTube to help others suffering from autism. I was impressed how David was able to visualize the end product and then film, edit, and message to make the final product. He has a fabulous and unique set of skills. He assembled a great story with key messaging and has helped me tremendously in reaching out to those most in need. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jJj9W4uF_4
Jeffrey Munks – Executive Learning, US Navy – Founder – Arista Knowledge Systems – Language Line Services
“From using the video to create a breakthrough communication piece that won awards and opened new markets, to using his wonderfully intuitive imagination to suggest new approaches to reaching audiences, David has always been a source of actionable strategies. There are many compelling dimensions to David’s approach. The dimension I appreciate most is his candor – he knows no way to communicate other than honestly and openly. As a result, you always know where he stands and I find this helps me to better express my thoughts and desires as we engage the creation, production, and distribution of a communications effort.
Bryant Austin – Whale Photographer
“David Hoffman approached me to make a YouTube video that would also be distributed to junior high school and high school students. We spent several hours together with his one man band video rig and the results were surprisingly wonderful. Beyond my expectations. As I understand it, junior high and high school teachers are flocking to take advantage of the video in their classrooms. Thank you David.”
Tropiquarium – Reptile Store – Aaron King and Brandyn King, Owners
“David was interested in what we do. He spent about 40 minutes videotaping us and then put the results up on YouTube. It was amazing. We’ve got thousands of responses and customers. Painless, easy and successful. We didn’t really know how good a movie he was making.”
Artists and Film Makers
Peter Thomas–America’s most famous voice over narrator
“I have been in the business for over 60 years. I have narrated hundreds of films, television commercials and series, etc. both the United States and abroad. In all of that time, I can confidently say that I consider David Hoffman to be the best in our business. His writing and directing talent and dedication is like no one else.”
Thomas Dolby – Composer, Song Writer, Internet Artist
“I am an artist who has worked in the world of music but always appreciated multimedia, filmmaking and video. To me, David is a master filmmaker. I have consistently bounced ideas off him and used the results to improve my creative output. Also, a while ago he was key consultant to my company Beatnik and was a part of the company’s successes from its beginnings.”
Journalist Chris Clarke, Sr. Alfredo Figueroa, and Filmmaker, Robert Lundahl at the abandoned site of Blythe Solar, once touted as the largest solar project in the world. Robert Lundahl, ©2014
Robert Lundahl – Emmy Award winning filmmaker – Robert Lundahl & Associates
“David Hoffman is my friend, colleague, co-filmmaker, and co-communicator. He dedicates time to helping fellow professionals, myself included, achieve their goals through communication. In my case, the making of the film ”Who Are My People?” which you can read about here, was a strategic challenge. It involved supporting non-profits and Indian groups in their quest to fight the building of utility scale renewable energy facilities across the deserts of the West – where they were sited poorly – on and around Native American cultural resources and “Sacred Sites”. Because I am an environmentalist, and support renewable energy in general, I see both sides. David helped me clarify my perspective, which became instrumental in raising awareness to stop several large projects, conserving many square miles of pristine wilderness habitat and protecting Native American antiquities. Not only are they ‘wrong’ – they’re a bad idea.”By Robert Thorp Lundahl
Kirk Wolfinger – Emmy Award winning filmmaker – Lone Wolf Pictures
“David’s film accomplishments are legendary as evidenced through numerous industry awards. What is less recognized by his awards is David’s laser-like ability to conceptualize, articulate and target the message of every communications he is responsible for producing. There are many excellent media producers but very few of them understand ‘message making’ and presentations. In my experience, David Hoffman has no equal at this. His corporate clients– AT&T, Mobil, Fidelity, Merck, UTC, understand this well and utilize David’s unique ability to make marketing communications for targeted audiences with tailored messages that work- amazingly well.”
Catherine Hand – Currently in an executive position at the US government – 30 year Film and Television Veteran
“Of all of the people who David Hoffman has asked to recommend him, I am probably the one who knows him the longest. We first worked together on Alaska Senator Gravel’s successful political campaign in 1972. Throughout my career including my time with Norman Lear, I have worked with David on communications strategy, positioning, and film and video storytelling. In each case, he delivered more than what was expected from him. Every great filmmaker has the same talent – knowing how to be heard by the audience. For me, most video producers these days can’t really do that, but all the great ones can – and that’s the class that David is in. He is a great filmmaker, communication strategist, and entrepreneur. I proudly recommend him.”
Bruce Bennett – Owner / President at Bennett Marketing & Media Production
“To many in my generation of professional filmmakers, David Hoffman is a mentor. He has articulated how to achieve what we all strive for–creating communication that is first and foremost credible, and then reaches and touches and motivates the audiences for whom it was intended. When trying to reach audiences as large as the general public on television and as small as a single mover and shaker individual, his work has succeeded at this time and again. That is why I selected Hoffman as one of my 5 examples of great communicators for my video series, Creative Inspiration.”
Linda Naleway – CEO Storytime Legal Productions – Trial Technology Specialist
“I create settlement documentaries and day-in-the-life videos for lawyers representing clients in serious cases involving complex liability issues and physical and emotional injuries or wrongful death. David is a gifted storyteller and filmmaker who has worked closely with me to help create compelling videos. His filmmaking abilities are unsurpassed in the industry. I would recommend him to anyone needing first-rate filmmaking.”
Legacy Films Clients
Joe Kraus – Partner Google Ventures – Founder of Excite, JotSpot, DigitalConsumer.org
“I have known David Hoffman for some time and worked with him on several occasions. I recently felt the need to record my aging parents while they were still healthy and filled with stories that I knew future generations of my family would want to see and hear. I could have done this effort myself. But I knew that it would be better to bring in David. He spent time encouraging my mom and dad to tell their stories and the results that he created for me will be a cherished part of my family’s legacy for generations to come.”