To the Letter

To the Letter

Bigfish Creative Group coins new ‘Five Cs of AZ’

By Alison Bailin Batz


Bigfish Creative Group coins new ‘Five Cs of AZ’

Exactly 100 years ago — in 1918 — there were 1.75 million cattle in Arizona.

“There were nearly two million cows and only about 300,000 people,” says Joe Pizzimenti, owner of Bigfish Creative Group in the North Valley. “Similarly, thanks to irrigation that started here in the late 1800s, citrus started to thrive here around the same time.”

Copper mining soon joined cattle and citrus as a hot industry in Arizona. “Then, thanks in great part to our amazing climate and increased demand after World War I, the cotton industry took off here,” Pizzimenti says.

And that, according to Pizzimenti, is how Arizona came to be known for its iconic “Five Cs.”

“Each of these pillars of Arizona industry is certainly still relevant, but over the past hundred years, our state has done so much more, and it is time someone shined a light on our more progressive attributes,” says Pizzimenti, who — along with his team at Bigfish — put pen to paper on how to do it earlier this year.


Pizzimenti loves Arizona. But, like so many of us, he is no native.

Pizzimenti grew up in a blue collar family with five older brothers and a younger sister in Detroit, where the family business was in auto supplies. “Rather than join them in the family business, I got it in my head to move to Arizona to attend ASU in 1984, sight unseen,” says Pizzimenti, who — like so many Midwestern transplants — fell in love with the idea of 300 days of sunshine a year.  

After graduating from ASU, Pizzimenti got into the radio business, which took him back to the Midwest and then to New York City, where he had the chance to work for the then-top radio station in the country, before he was able to make his way back to Arizona in 1992.

“The tides had started to turn here by then — people were coming here in droves, and there was a spark of electricity to the area that I started to feel,” says Pizzimenti, who would work for KTAR and then start several of his own businesses before launching Bigfish Creative Group in Scottsdale in 2006. “Over the past dozen years, that spark has turned into an explosion of industry, both big and small, for my business and so many others across the state.”


Pizzimenti was not alone in this feeling. When gathered, his award-winning team — creatives lauded with local, regional and national creative, digital and advertising honors several times over — they practically burst painting the picture of how they saw Arizona today.

Enter Bigfish’s passion project: The New AZ5Cs. Over the past year, the team has worked around the clock in developing an interactive website, digital campaign and even merchandise to shout from the rooftops how far Arizona has come in the areas of: 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,” Pizzimenti says.


Launched in mid-September and now live, the platform boasts an impressive list of profilees, 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

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