This New York Shop Takes a Jazz-like Approach to Marketing and Events

Giant Step blends notes of music, food and virtual reality

Headshot of Marty Swant


Who President Esther Yoon, CEO Maurice Bernstein

What Media, marketing and events shop

Where New York and Los Angeles

Every band, and every brand, has a backstory of when and how they got their big break. Giant Step, which co-founder Maurice Bernstein started as a hip-hop and jazz club in the 1990s, evolved from helping break big names like Amy Winehouse and The Roots to mixing music and tech for brands like Samsung, Intel and SoundCloud. (As far back as the '90s, Giant Step created a "Miles Ahead" series for Levi's, which debuted artists including Jurassic 5 and Fatboy Slim.)

Bernstein, who served as interim gm for the Samsung 837 event space in New York, and president Esther Yoon often take a jazz-like approach to marketing by creating experiences that incorporate music, food and virtual reality. This year, Giant Step worked with SoundCloud to launch its subscription service by collaborating with various artists including Chance the Rapper and A$ap Ferg.

"The essence of Giant Step is that we approach our projects like a jazz musician approaches music. We do it in a very nontraditional way in creating a unique experience for that brand," Bernstein said. "With jazz, you never play the piece the same way."

This story first appeared in the December 12, 2016 issue of Adweek magazine.

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@martyswant Marty Swant is a former technology staff writer for Adweek.