BIG CARDINAL

responsive cardinal


Unmistakable Perspective

The cardinal is one of the most recognizable birds. They stand out in a complex landscape. Big Cardinal is a communications consultancy helping you stand out by identifying what’s important, pushing your thinking further and delivering unmistakably differentiated strategy and creative solutions.

Experience + Experimentalism

Built on know-how, talent and a unique disposition to support people who want to do things differently, founder Ken Habarta has over 12 years of experience in marketing and consulting. His background connects the dots between many areas, leading to successful work in fashion, sports, entertainment, music, technology, retail and the arts. He has held leadership roles in media, creative boutiques, social start ups, innovation consulting and digital production. He is a graduate of School of Visual Arts and Columbia University.

It's All About Ideas

What’s your toughest question? Your biggest concern? Your burning issue? To help figure out the answers and face them head on, Big Cardinal specializes in story-based, insight-rich solutions, strategies and ideas. Given big challenges, Big Cardinal will challenge your thinking.


If you want to understand animals, you don't go to the zoo, you go into the wild.

Insight Discovery starts with clearly defined objectives and leads to bringing meaningful vital information to light. The key is exploring with a guiding sense of purpose, pattern recognition and empathy.

Fundamental to LEGO making its turnaround in 2005, they commissioned deep ethnographic studies into how kids play around the world to reveal new understanding into its core consumers. As part of the iniital wave of research partners, this work set the groundwork for them to build pathways back to leadership, which they still hold today.

What if you could expand your business without expanding infrastructure?

Creative + Branding Strategy is the glue holding a brand experience – your building blocks – together. The strategic choices a brand makes need to be differentiated with fresh, unique ideas to solve present and future communications problems or goals. We build strategies flexible enough to allow for risk taking and inspired evolution.

A leading global media company wanted a sightline on the disruptive shifts faced by the television industry over the next five to seven years – and how they would impact the television medium, industry, viewing experience and looming choices regarding mobile and streaming commitments. This high level work provided a roadmap of the critical shifts in how consumers find, access and watch television; how creators promote, distribute and produce it; and outlined the strategic pathways for their brand, programming and business model to succeed.

Ideas that move you forward.

For any pitch, product or advertising effort, idea generation and strengthening is essential. Idea development is built on a clear articualtion of the challenge, existing data and collective wisdom. To get the best out of your teams, we run a handful of exercises to get creative thinking on the problem to deliver powerful ideas that are on-strategy, and high value.

DEKA labs and Coca-Cola's Sustainability Team partnered on a project to bring clean water to people in underdeveloped global villages. With DEKA's technology, called "Slingshot," at the core, the challenge for us was transforming this concept into a movement among today's Millennials. Co-creation sessions were held with students at eco-friendly campuses in the US. This work showcased the creative potential to move the needle on Sustainability, engage students in a deep way and provided guidance to Coca-Cola on how to further scale the program to other universities.

Clear narratives make the difference.

Storyfinding + Pitch Design is both art and science. A good story brings together three elements: an emotional truth, rational proof points and transformation. Most clients struggle with the balance and yet are passionate about telling stories. Having worked with large CPG manufacturers, global entertainment companies and sales teams, Big Cardinal uncovers the stories that need to be told and powerfully presented to the world. Graphic credit: Simon Sinek's 'Starting With Why'.

Some presentations are better than others. Some are well designed. Some have hyper memorable takeaways. Some are clearly structured. But the best ones represent all three. A top 15 broadcast cable network needed help with their Upfront storyline and sales script. This work translated the client's research and brand voice into a visual language and compelling story. It served as a key resource for their ad sales team to discuss the network and viewer's value with advertisers.

People who are very influential tend not to be susceptible to influence.

If one fish swims away from the group, the rest will ignore him. But if two swim away, the rest will follow. It takes two to start a trend. Business Intelligence works with an understanding of the mechanics and trends of your marketplace to challenge the most strong-willed of minds.

A global toy and game manufacturer was concerned their business approach and category were at risk. Using a range of inputs based on stakeholder and expert interviews, intelligence audits and workshops, this work showed the forces shaping their macro environment today and in the near future. The frameworks and vocabulary created was incorporated into workstreams at all levels – from insights, game designers and inventors, to brand managers, strategic planners, marketers and the C-suite and board.

These are a few of the companies we've been fortunate to work with.


We'll make your work fly.

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