Joe Cool

Joe Cool

By Alison Bailin Batz

Scottsdale business owner has new vision for Arizona

Cattle. Citrus. Cotton. Copper. Climate.

“When I first moved here in the 1980s, the famous Arizona Five Cs all made perfect sense,” Joe Pizzimenti says.

A Detroit native, Pizzimenti initially moved here for the climate, attending ASU to escape the Midwest cold. “Aside from the obvious climate, there were cotton fields, cattle farms and citrus groves as far as the eye could see,” Pizzimenti says. “And the year before I moved down here, there was a massive copper mine strike, so certainly I heard about copper.”

After graduation, though he loved the desert, Pizzimenti moved to New York City to make a name for himself in the advertising world, eventually earning a position at the then-top rock radio station in the country. He would also move back to his native Detroit for a time to lead stations there as well.

“But, though I wasn’t born here, I belonged in Arizona,” says Pizzimenti, who dropped everything to move back to Scottsdale in 1992. “It had only been five or so years, but Arizona had come so far, in the best way possible. And while each of the pillars of Arizona industry was still relevant in its own way, I could see even then an electricity here, signaling big things for the next several decades.”

Some 26 years later, and more than a decade after founding his own Scottsdale business, Bigfish Creative Group, Pizzimenti felt it was time for the world at large to know what he’d known forever: Arizona freaking rocks.

And for the better half of the past year, he has worked on a top-secret project with his team to illustrate all things awesome about Arizona to the masses. “In our spare time, my team at Bigfish and I have created a new five Cs for Arizona,” he says.

The campaign, which is live now and includes an interactive website, digital campaign and even merchandise, focuses on Culture, Community, Connectivity, Commerce and Catalyst.

“The linchpin of the program is our campaign video, but we then spent about six months researching and reaching out to some of the most respected business, event and nonprofit folks across Arizona, interviewing each of them one by one to tell their story of success and share with the world how they fit into the new AZ 5 Cs as well,” says Pizzimenti, who has a special place in his heart for the C of “community” as a passionate advocate and board member of the local Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

The platform boasts an impressive list of profiles, including folks from the Fiesta Bowl, the Agency Arizona, Arizona State University, AXA Advisors Southwest, Washington Federal bank, Quarles & Brady, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Avnet, the Arizona Commerce Authority, Visit Phoenix, Local First, Genuine Concepts, Carvana, Hickman’s and many more.

The site and its campaign video are being pushed through paid search and traditional marketing right now, and the team hopes to launch a second, more interactive phase of the campaign with new interviews and insights in early 2019.

“Arizona is at the forefront of connecting data, ideas, processes and people in new and effective ways. Arizonans are competing, and winning, while at work and at play like never before,” Pizzimenti says. “Arizona has a new story to tell, and we want to help tell it to the world.”

For more, or to share how you relate to the “New Five Cs of Arizona” with Bigfish (and potentially, the world), visit az5c.com.