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Pride Month Recap 🌈🦄

Posted By Emily Hope, Friday, July 13, 2018

ThinkLA's corporate members celebrated Pride Month with many different events and fundraisers benefiting the LGBTQ+ community. We're all in this together. 🌈🌈🌈

 

605, a TV data and analytics company, takes diversity, inclusion, and community service to heart year around – and this past month, employees from coast to coast showed their pride by donating clothes to Ali Forney Center (New York) and LA LGBT Center (Los Angeles), organizations dedicated to lending a helping hand to LGBTQ individuals in need.

 

The Oath team marched together in the Pride Parade! For over 40 years, LA Pride has been a champion for equality, diversity, and inclusion in the LA community and beyond.



 

At POSSIBLE LA, it’s all about pride! Sarah Keene, Art Director at POSSIBLE created this beautiful representation of various LGBTQ influencers.


 

RPA raised $4,392.50 for The Family Village Services. This money will fund a program that serves some of the most vulnerable in society - homeless LGBTQ+ youth. This program has been a labor of love for the organization with no dedicated budget, so this money will have a HUGE impact for youth and teens in our community. In order to fundraise, RPA did hosted various events and sales:

  • RPA @ LGBT+ Dodger night game
  • Drag Queen Bingo to raise money for Project Q (LGBTQ outreach program featuring weekly support groups at their homeless youth drop-in centers) and Queer Kickback (bi-annual events sponsored by The Village bringing together LGBTQ+ youth in a safe space)
  • Raising money for The Village Family Services throughout the entire month of June via T-Shirt Sales and donation-driven breakfast and bar carts in addition to our Bingo and Art Gallery events.
  • Pride Art Show/Summer Concert Series Pride Happy Hour



 
At the core of PRIDE week at TBWA LA is a fundraising effort that benefits the LA Youth Network, an organization that provides hope and homes for foster and homeless LGBTQA youth due to the rising statistic that 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQA. The agency raised money with the following activities: 
  • Art Gallery: the agency curates an art gallery featuring pieces of work from an artist or photographer who either identifies with or is closely involved with the LGBTQA community. Prints are donated to the agency and auctioned off at the end of the week with all proceeds benefiting the non-profit organization. 
  • Bake Sale: the agency found a plethora of passionate bakers across the campus who love to get creative with rainbow-colored treats for the campus bake sale. 
  • T-Shirt Design Competition: the winning design is decided by Chief Creative Officers on campus, made and sold to employees with all proceeds benefiting the non-profit organization. 
  • Agency-talk and Musical Performance: a talk from Tre’vell Anderson, film reporter within the Los Angeles Times who covers the intersections of diversity and Hollywood with a focus on black and queer film, musical guest also included Gordi, an Australian folktronica singer/songwriter who identifies with the LGBTQA community, and pop band MUNA played at the agency. 
  • PRIDE Parade and Celebration: the week’s celebration culminated at the Los Angeles PRIDE parade where the campus came together to walk as a team. 

 

Giant Spoon celebrated the LGBTQ+ community with a new digital video campaign and activation at San Francisco Pride for its client MassMutual. Similar to its social mosaic video, Pride attendees were able to take pictures in a GIF photo booth. With a message that rings, "great things happen when we stand together,” the campaign invited the larger community to participate and stand together during Pride Month. 

 

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Would you like to see your company's PRIDE news on this list? Email don@thinkla.org and he can make that happen! 

Tags:  #ThinkDIG  DIG  Diversity  Diversity in Advertising  LGBTQ+  PRIDE 

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Global Wednesdays: July

Posted By Don Lupo, Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, July 11, 2018
It's big (ad) world, but we aim to make it feel even smaller by highlighting inventive, global ads, monthly, that break the mold from the mundane. To capture that global spirit, we will feature inspiration from outside of the U.S.

 

Welcome to the Cannes Edition of Global Wednesdays! Sorry if I am a bit late with this entry, but I was enjoying some fine vodka and blinis with my Russian friends in Moscow. Yes, at the World Cup! I want to highlight a few winners that might not have gotten the valued Gran Prix, but still delivered big in creativity, surprise, and effectivity. All the entries below are from the Brand Experience and Activations categories. 

 

Category: Brand Experience/Activation
This French entry made people taste the future and what’s at stake regarding climate change.

 

Category: In-store Experience
Carrefour in Paris created a black market inside its supermarket. Who said Supermarket marketing has to be boring?

Category: Live Brand Experience/Activation
This one comes from Perú. A social experiment so honest it's shocking.

Category: Brand Experience
Dairy Queen in Panamá. This stunt is absolutely on brand.


ThinkLA couldn't be more grateful for Luis Camano, ThinkLA Board Member, award-winning creative, and an expert in the field of Brand Activation, for being our Global Warrior and bringing these to our attention. We hope that Global Wednesdays inspires our members as much as it does us.

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Aaron Walton, Founding Partner, Walton Isaacson

Posted By Emily Hope, Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, July 10, 2018

How did you get started in advertising? What's been your career road map?

The truth is, my interest in advertising traces back to my childhood, watching Bewitched as a kid. I was fascinated with the way Darrin found creative solutions for the agency’s clients.

I wound up attending Babson College, which is known for a focus on entrepreneurialism. Roger Enrico, President of PepsiCola North America, was a Babson alum. I was involved in student government at Babson and Enrico saw me speak at a Board of Trustees meeting. That connection led to landing my first job in marketing. I started my career at Pepsi in research and brand management. I really wanted to work for the legendary ad man, Alan Potash. He was known as the godfather of Pepsi’s most iconic campaigns (Pepsi Challenge, Pepsi Now, Choice of A New Generation). I had successfully lobbied to be moved to his department when a special assignment came up. My transfer to advertising was put on hold, and instead, I was asked to manage the company’s music marketing efforts. I represented Pepsi on tour with Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, David Bowie, and the Miami Sound Machine.

My role evolved beyond music, expanding to include celebrities and all things pop-culture—basically tying the brand in the social zeitgeist. In the end, I never did wind up working directly for Alan in the advertising department.

Eventually, I decided I wanted to go out on my own, so I started Aaron Walton Entertainment (AWE). Pepsi was my first client. My focus was on using music, celebrity and pop-culture to amplify brand messages and connect with consumers experientially. Clients also included AT&T, Taco Bell, Frito-Lay, Pizza Hut, Budweiser and others. Omnicom acquired AWE as part of their DAS division. Following my tenure at DAS, I decided I wanted to start a new agency, one that expanded beyond celebrity and played a role throughout the strategic and creative development of 360 campaigns. Which brings me to Walton Isaacson.

What has been an important, perhaps the most important, lesson you’ve learned in your career thus far?

Culture matters. Leaning into culture, and specifically leveraging diversity of experience, drives innovation. But buckle up, because drawing from many perspectives is messy—but it can also be magic. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is key.

What keeps you motivated? Do you have a personal motto?

I embrace the philosophy of civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, who said, “We need in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers.” That applies to work, home – to virtually all aspects of life. And, what I love to see, what keeps me motivated, is my ability to work with young talent and shift their thinking from accepting the status quo to embracing respectful rebellion. Igniting sparks and setting minds on fire. When I can free a person up to think like an angelic troublemaker, then everything else falls into place – the work for clients soars, the personal and professional satisfaction of the team reaches new heights. I love identifying the person in the team who is ready to challenge themselves. My impact on them ultimately impacts others and we all grow.

What excites you most about this industry?

Telling stories that have not been told in ways that they have not been told. We are no longer an industry that does monologues, talking about ourselves to ourselves. We are in dialogue with people, we are collaborators, and the creative possibilities are infinite. Where is advertising is headed? What do the next five years look like? From a societal standpoint – whether brands accept it or not —cultural commitment will drive a brand’s success. That means awakening to the power of authenticity, being vulnerable, having values, prioritizing purpose. The more brands face the world the way they want the world to face them, the more successful they will be.

 

 




Photos: Don Lupo

 

What advice do you have for black advertising professionals who are beginning their careers?

You deserve a seat at the table and don’t let anyone or anything suggest otherwise. It may not be given to you, you may have to demand it, but you have earned it – not just because you’re Black, but because you’re great. And don’t be afraid to bring your cultural perspectives and, frankly, powers to the conversation. You understand the world in a way that many others don’t. You understand the good, the bad, and the ugly of human behavior. You have your finger on the pulse of the future. Don’t settle for the scraps and don’t feel obligated to teach others what it has taken you a lifetime to learn. The industry needs you and it must respect you.

I would also say this for LGBTQ, Latinos, Asians, Women across cultural segments – I would say it to any group for whom a career in this industry was not always a viable option and who still remain marginalized in many contexts.

Why did you decide to join the ThinkLA board?

I wanted to join ThinkLA because of the organization’s commitment to celebrating the creative power that fuels this town. L.A. has a deep bench of creatives across multiple agency models and industries, but they often go unrecognized or undervalued. L.A. is not always taken seriously and that impacts the way the industry here is viewed. But the creative talent in L.A. helps determine trends and communicates compelling stories through television, film, radio, digital content, advertising and events. There is amazing storytelling generated in L.A. and it’s essential that L.A. talent get recognized and honored for that. I am proud to be part of an organization like ThinkLA because of its mission to help amplify the work that comes out of this community – creativity lives in L.A.

Any closing thoughts?

Welcome to LA, King James!

 

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Aaron Walton is a Founding Partner of Walton Isaacson, a full-service advertising agency founded in 2006 along with Cory Isaacson and Earvin "Magic" Johnson. Aaron currently serves on ThinkLA's Board of Directors

Tags:  #ThinkMembers  Career Advice  Member Spotlight  Philosophy  Walton Isaacson 

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Sunny Behniwal, Senior Account Executive, Adelphic

Posted By Emily Hope, Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Updated: Thursday, July 5, 2018

How did you get started in advertising? What's been your career road map?

After earning a degree in Economics and Accounting from UCSB, I spent the first two years of my career in Accounting at Conversant. My career in Accounting was progressing well, but I felt I was underutilizing other skill sets I possessed. So I looked to make a change. Luckily, I was working for an AdTech company at the time and was able to move into and Account Manager role on the media team.

After a little over a year, I was promoted to Account Executive (AE). I spent a little over two years in an AE role with my prior company before joining Adelphic-Viant as a Senior Account Executive about a year ago.

What has been a surprising lesson you've learned so far in your career?

I’ve learned that emotional intelligence is one of the most important traits to possess and consistently work on. When I was younger, my thought process was very linear: Work Hard > Get Promoted > Make More Money > Success. However, there will be so many highs and lows during your career that learning how to treat people and react to situations during the lows becomes more important than your behavior during the highs in regard to your long-term success.

What keeps you motivated? Do you have a motto?

I’ve found the happiest people I have come across in my life are those who continue to strive for progress. So, my motivation every day is to make progress whether that be professionally, mentally, spiritually or physically.

Two of my favorite quotes which I often reference are:

  • "I do not believe in taking the right decision; I take a decision and make it right."
  • "You know the comfort zone is never static. It’s always in a state of expansion or retraction."

 




Photos: Don Lupo

 

What excites you most about this industry?

I love how the industry is constantly changing, forcing me to adapt, and continue learning. But more important than that, I love the diversity and inclusion of our industry. I have been able to interact and forge meaningful relationships with individuals from so many different walks of life.

Where is advertising heading? What do the next five years look like?

The industry is going to continue to consolidate with only truly differentiated companies remaining. With the consolidation, I feel the need for great customer service will be at an all-time high.

Transparency will continue to be a hot button, and I see advertisers moving more and more away from traditional digital KPIs while focusing more on meaningful measurement such as actual online/offline sales.

What advice do you have for those just starting in advertising?

I would advise anyone that is new to advertising to be as open-minded as possible and to try different roles/responsibilities until they find a truly great fit. Luckily for them, our industry has a plethora of job types within our industry ranging from Sales to Engineering to Creative to Analytics, etc. 

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Sunny Behniwal currently serves on ThinkLA's Emerging Leaders Council, and is a Senior Account Executive at Adelphic (a Viant, Inc. company). Prior to joining Adelphic, Sunny worked at Conversant

Tags:  #MemberSpotlight  #ThinkMembers  Career Advice  Member Spotlight  Members  Sales Career  Sales Executive  ThinkLA  ThinkMembers 

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Kristin Glushon, EVP Client Development, Branded Entertainment Network

Posted By Emily Hope, Wednesday, June 27, 2018

How did you get started in advertising? What's been your career road map?

Although I had a passion for communication, I don’t have a typical advertising career road map. Instead, I started in the research and technology sector, working for Thomson Reuters first as an editor before transitioning into Client Services and B2B Sales.

Interestingly, I think my background gave me a bit of a business consulting approach to the ad world, which I entered after earning my MBA at Pepperdine and taking a role at Interpublic Co. to lead the west coast expansion of one of their specialized media agencies, Orion. This agency experience allowed me to serve clients in every industry, globally and also afforded me the opportunity to support IPG’s Women’s Leadership Network, where I chaired their LA chapter and supported their national board. From there I joined Branded Entertainment Network (BEN) where I currently lead their global client development team, partnering with CEO’s and CMO’s to deliver custom brand integration campaigns into premium content across TV, streaming, film, and influencer programming.

What keeps you motivated? Do you have a personal motto?

I have a lot of respect for those with a strong work ethic, and following that approach keeps me motivated to never give up and to stay focused on delivering what I promise.

In today’s ad world, delivering results often requires us to wear many hats, and although being a mom of two little boys has schooled me in the art of prioritization, I’ve also learned to map out what I can confidently bring to the table and where I need to ask for help.

What excites you most about this industry?

It’s a really exciting time to be working within branded entertainment in particular because of the dramatic shifts we’ve seen in consumer behaviors and the value that integrations offers to reach a more engaged audience. Inside the content, brands have the opportunity to enhance, rather than disrupt, and reach consumers in an authentic and meaningful way. BEN is at the forefront of this evolving marketplace, so every day presents a new opportunity to introduce brands and creators to the power of integration.

 




Photos: Don Lupo

 

Where do you think advertising is headed?

In addition to the shifts in content consumption, I think we’ll continue to see growth in more sophisticated use of data and technology to make advertising more relevant to consumers and more successful for brands.

 What advice do you have for those just starting in advertising?

Regardless if you are just starting your career or sitting at the executive level, I think today’s marketplace requires us to be adaptable, informed and always learning.

I still believe face-to-face networking is the best way to get a head start and to grow your career. Take advantage of mentorship and also pay it forward by being a mentor – and seek out opportunities to learn from others who offer a unique perspective. Having these experiences will enrich your career journey and help support the growth of our industry to reach and engage with today’s diverse and inclusive audiences.

We are in the middle of a cultural shift with the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. What has/does BEN do to support women and inclusion in the industry?

BEN’s values of teamwork, accountability, passion, and inclusion are a part of our DNA and reflect an entrepreneurial spirit that supports everyone having a voice and an opportunity to make an impact. Today’s cultural shifts further reinforce our commitment to diversity and inclusion, ensuring that our workforce is representative of the multicultural communities where we work and of the brands we represent.

I am also proud to be the executive sponsor of BEN Includes, which is our committee that provides access to programs, services and events to support a workplace and community outreach that is welcoming, equitable and empowering to achieve success for BEN and our clients.

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Kristin Glushon currently serves on ThinkLA's Diversity, Inclusion, and Gender (DIG) Committee, and is Executive Vice President of Client Development at Branded Entertainment Network (BEN). Prior to joining BEN, Kristin worked at Orion Worldwide.

 

Tags:  #MemberSpotlight  #ThinkMembers  Member Spotlight  Members  ThinkLA  ThinkMembers 

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Member Spotlight: Frank Scherma, President, RadicalMedia

Posted By Emily Hope, Wednesday, June 13, 2018

How did you get started in advertising? What's been your career road map?

I started off as an assistant producer at Chiat Day N.Y. when they first opened their doors. Soon after, I was producing for the agency. Three years went by, and I left to freelance (there weren’t that many freelance producers in the market at that time) and worked for Ammirati Puris on BMW. Three years after that, I moved to Los Angeles and began producing for production companies and their directors. Eighteen months later, I opened up the West Coast office of my partner’s production company. We built that company into what it is today: RadicalMedia, LLC.

And how has the industry changed since you’ve been involved?

When I started in advertising, television, print and radio were the main ways to reach the consumer. My parents were grateful to advertisers as they brought entertainment into our living room. Since then, we’ve had to adjust from strictly doing commercials, print, and radio. While those three still exist, we’ve all had to learn and embrace additional ways to reach the consumer. Branded content and digital storytelling, live events, memes, etc. We also work with brands who’ve begun to incorporate VR, AR, and experiential media into their storytelling as well, and I think we’ll start seeing more of that as time goes on. It’s still about the storytelling, just using different methods.

What’s an important lesson you’ve learned so far?

Be nice to everyone. Today’s assistant could be tomorrow’s creative director. Secondly, don’t be afraid of change. Embrace it and dive in head first.

What keeps you motivated? Do you have a personal motto?

My goal in life is to wake up everyday and still want to go to work. I’ve succeeded so far. I also try to live by Radical’s motto, which is "Never Established." Things are always changing, and it’s important to adapt to the times. If you want longevity, you have to be able to do it all: feature films, episodic scripted and unscripted television, advertising, experiential, public events, smartphone applications... the list goes on.

What excites you most about this industry?

The people, creativity, and the fact that it’s ever-changing. Everyday I learn something new.

 


Photos: Don Lupo

 

 Where is the entertainment industry headed? What do the next 5 years look like?

As I mentioned, it will always be about storytelling and finding an audience for those stories. Five years from now, streaming services will be even more prevalent than they are today. Network TV will still be there, albeit they will be looking for additional revenue streams from advertisers and cable/satellite companies.

What advice do you have for those just starting out in entertainment?

I have a few pieces of advice for those just starting out in the business.

One: Be the first one to show up and the last one to leave. It’s a bit cliché, but you have to make it known that you want to be there and you want to learn. Two: Ask lots and lots of questions, and don’t be afraid to not know the answer. The worst is pretending to know, when you really don’t. Third: Watch, listen, and get your hands dirty. Be open to trying new things and taking a different path. You never know where something can lead you. And lastly, step out of your comfort zone.

We are in the middle of a cultural shift with the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. What has/does Radical do to support women and inclusion in the industry?

RadicalMedia not only has a diverse staff, but a diverse roster of directors. As I like to say, we have directors that happen to be female, not female directors. We want everyone to feel like they’re working in a safe environment, always. That’s not up for debate.

Why are you involved with ThinkLA?

I enjoy working with the varied and interesting people on the board. It combines media, creativity, public relations, etc., in one place, kind of how ad agencies used to operate. And not to be cliché, but it’s rewarding to give back to an industry that has treated me very well over the years.

At the end of the day, I love what I do, and I think that’s the most important thing of all. 

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Frank Sherma is a ThinkLA Board Member and President of RadicalMedia, a multi-disciplinary studio that creates some of the world’s most innovative content across all forms of media. RadicalMedia has been honored with an Academy Award®, Emmys®, a Golden Globe®, Grammys®, Webbys, NASA Awards, The Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Communication Design, two Palme d’Ors at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, and just about every other accolade and trophy associated with the advertising, marketing, and programming businesses.

 

 

Tags:  #MemberSpotlight  #MeToo  #ThinkMembers  Entertainment  Entertainment Marketing  Member Spotlight  Members  ThinkLA  ThinkMembers 

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Global Wednesday: June

Posted By Emily Hope, Wednesday, June 13, 2018
It's big (ad) world, but we aim to make it feel even smaller by highlighting inventive, global ads, monthly, that break the mold from the mundane. To capture that global spirit, we will feature inspiration from outside of the U.S. and sometimes from brands that we've never even heard of!
 
ThinkLA couldn't be more grateful for Luis Camano, ThinkLA Board Member, award winning creative, and an expert in the field of Brand Activation, for being our Global Warrior and bringing these to our attention. We hope that Global Wednesdays inspires our members as much as it does us.

 

 

1. Absolut. Playing along its tagline "The vodka with nothing to hide” here’s an awkward, yet totally natural, employer’s introduction video. This is for real.

 

2. From Sweden, VW's contribution to safer roads. A very powerful reminder without the usual shocking images.

 

3. Boston Pizza has created the perfect Father’s day gift. My vote for year-long availability.

Tags:  Global Ads  Global Wednesday  Global Wednesdays  Luis Camano 

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Member Spotlight: Joe Camacho: Chief Marketing Officer, Sabio Mobile

Posted By Emily Hope, Wednesday, June 6, 2018

How did you get started in advertising? What's been your career road map?

While still in film school at SDSU, I was also working in television production at the NBC O&O in San Diego. Besides running a studio camera, chyron and other production duties, I also had to manually record and load television commercials for Master Control to play. I was able to watch the best commercials… and forced to watch all the rest, but always reminded of the revenue generated through advertising sales.

My time at the station allowed me to work my way through grad school and eventually transition from production into NBC sales and marketing. And as I experienced the transition of television operations and media sales to become more and more digitized, so too has been my digitized career path into mobile as Sabio Mobile’s CMO. I’ve been fortunate throughout my career to work with extremely talented creative and technical teams.

Today, I’m privileged to work with a team at Sabio Mobile that’s so impressive not just from their technical mobile expertise, but also in who they are as individuals. Watching the careers of my colleagues flourish is the ultimate privilege of my own.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned?

Patience and persistence pays off.

By pressing on through adversity with a smile on my face, believing better days are just around the corner, and that all things work together for good, is my definition of persistence. Patiently, I’ve watched this optimistic perseverance work things out in the end.

What keeps you motivated? Do you have a personal motto?

The possibilities motivate me. We live in the heart of the most amazing time to be alive, as witness to the possibilities. Watching the technical advances all around us and taking part in them at our company is highly motivating. It’s why I love Mondays.

My personal motto is to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” It is over this foundation that the law is laid.

What excites you most about this industry?

Two things: One is the collective talent of creative teams who have learned to master mobile’s unique sensory capabilities to create exciting new ads that you can feel and touch. And the other is the capacity, as an industry and as individuals, to do good.

 



Photos: Don Lupo

 

Where is advertising heading? What do the next five years look like?

As economies continue to grow, ad budgets will also grow but more and more of that growth will be invested in mobile. Not only because it’s where the eyes are but also because the return in data about their customers is crucial to their new marketing strategies. As our smartphones continue improving their function as remote controls for our lives through IoT and their accompanying apps, the volume and quality of data available to marketers will continue to increasingly expand, providing rich insights about their current and future customers.

What advice do you have for those just starting in advertising?

You’ve heard it before but I’ll say it again. Learn to code. But also, learn from the vendors. Knowing what key services and products are required for a successful campaign and what differentiates the best vendors from the rest is important.

Any closing thoughts for the ThinkLA community?

I talk about you all the time. I’m fortunate to attend and sponsor ad club events around the country and all of you keep coming up in conversations. You’re known for doing amazing work for your clients and our ThinkLA community. Thank you.

But please, if you are in the carpool lane and everyone else is going faster than you… you’re probably in my way.

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Joe Camacho is Chief Marketing Officer at Sabio Mobile. Prior to joining the advertising industry, Joe served as a Marine Air Traffic Control Radar Technician for the U.S. Marine Corp. from 1984-1990. Thank you for your service to our country, Corporal Joe Camacho!


Tags:  #ThinkMembers  Career Advice  Joe Camacho  Member Spotlight  Sabio Mobile 

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Member Spotlight: Kristina Jenkins, Chief Strategy Officer, Zambezi

Posted By Emily Hope, Wednesday, May 30, 2018

How did you get started in advertising? What's been your career road map?

Believe it or not, I have E.T. and the Reese’s Pieces candy he loved eating to thank for my start in advertising. My mom took me to see the movie to celebrate my eighth birthday and when the final credits started rolling, I turned to her and asked if she could please take me to the store to buy some Reese’s Pieces. When I took my first bite I didn’t like them at all (yuck; M&Ms tasted so much better, I thought), but I kept eating them because E.T. did.

I knew the influence the movie had on me and I was fascinated. I wanted to be part of creating that type of influence one day, by inspiring people to make choices that they enjoyed. Advertising seemed like a way (at least to my 8-year-old self) to do that, and so here I am.

E.T. inspired my start and me in countless other ways. He showed me that even if you don’t see yourself in the place you dream of being a part of, that doesn’t mean that you won’t get there. I never saw a Kristina Jenkins in any of the cultural expressions of who worked in advertising growing up (I’m not Darren from Bewitched or Amanda from Melrose Place). I still rarely see her today. But I’m here in the place of my dreams.

He also helped me discover that inspiration resides in the most unexpected places like aliens and in candy. It doesn’t matter where or who your dream comes from; it’s where you take it.

Throughout my career, I’ve followed an inner compass more than a road map. My career started with a calling that gave me a vision for what I wanted to be and why. I wasn’t always exactly sure where I wanted to go. There were many times when I got distracted, disappointed or lost during my career. And when I did, I closed my eyes and thought back to that moment when I watching E.T. with my mom in a Long Island movie theater. It’s the moment when I decided that I would do extraordinary things in advertising. I remember how I wanted to help influence people in positive ways. Then I opened my eyes, promised myself I would settle for nothing less, took some time to get clear on where I was going and figured out a way to get there.

What keeps you motivated? Do you have a personal motto?

What keeps me motivated is thinking about all the people who are made to feel that it’s not okay to be different, who encounter “no” and “can’t“ and “never“ again and again while they’re pursuing their dreams and goals. I think about a generation of talent that is growing up right now dreaming about being a Chief Strategy Officer one day, and I keep doing what I’m doing so that they can see themselves in what I do and what I am, and so that they have someone who inspires them to do great things in this industry, to remind them not to let anyone talk them out of their dream or make them doubt the difference they can make.

 



Photos: Don Lupo

 

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned?

When I found the courage to be myself and do things my way and take on roles that allowed me to think and collaborate with supportive talent, that’s when I realized there was nothing I couldn’t achieve. I’m totally comfortable working with companies that aren’t always the “it” award-winning agencies with the top clients in the hottest cities. I’ve learned to look past all that and focus on my own vision and larger purpose, and on my career. I look for the right opportunities with the right companies at the right time. That’s what I’ve learned to do.

What excites you most about this industry?

Complex business problems and heightened consumer expectations are creating all sorts of opportunities for agencies and their leaders to let go and re-imagine existing strategic staffing models, fundamentals, frameworks, and playbooks. This excites me the most. In too many instances, we’re relying on 20th century ways of working to solve 21st century challenges. This industry can be more of catalyst for what’s new and what’s never been done before.

Where is advertising heading? What do the next five years look like?

I think it’s going to be challenged in unprecedented ways. Those that hang on and resist change will become irrelevant. Those who create opportunity out of these challenges will thrive.

What advice do you have for those just starting in advertising?

Discover that you’re different. Surround yourself with people who believe in your “different.” Master your “different.” Push boundaries with your “different.” Help others unlock and confidently charge forward with their “different.”

This industry may try to make you feel that you are lucky to work in it. That’s how the industry made me feel when I first started. Remember that this industry needs you. We need your optimism, courage, energy, and “different" to help us re-imagine the way things have always been done.

Be the strongest version of yourself, mentally, spiritually and physically. This industry requires a level of strength like you can’t imagine. Unapologetically create space and time to take care of yourself and recharge.

I’ve made all my career decisions by listening to my heart. For example, saying "Yes" early in my career to what many saw was a huge mistake (leaving a big NYC TV agency to live in the sunshine in L.A., while also working at a digital agency). There also was a time when I said "Thank you, but no thank you" to working 24/7 at some of the most prestigious agencies on the most iconic brands, so I could say "Yes" to working with a company that designed a role around me and the life I wanted.

Start by asking yourself what life you want. Then think about the job you want and where.

You’ve worked in advertising in both coasts. Which does it better?

They are very different and offer very different opportunities. There is nothing like working in advertising in N.Y. It’s a city that celebrates sophistication and polish. It’s a city of random collisions that lead to collaborations and ideas that otherwise wouldn’t exist. Agencies own their point of view. There is an electricity that fills their walls, along with a relentless pursuit of greatness. It forces you to assert yourself in unprecedented ways. It humbles you and challenges you with setbacks where you have to decide if you are going to get back up and try again daily.

Los Angeles is bright, optimistic and full of possibility. It doesn’t take itself so seriously. I once read that California is the place that New Yorkers go when they want to be a better version of themselves. I’ve found that to be true. It’s a great place to be as a talent if you want to experiment with new ways of approaching things. It gives you space and permission to recharge, and encourages you to use the inspiration that emerges when you do in your work.

What should our industry be talking about in 2018?

I’d love to hear more conversation about what senior leaders can learn from talent that is brand new to the advertising industry. They have much to teach us. I’ve always wanted to create a program where someone who is a year into their career mentored someone who has been in the business for 20 years.

Any closing thoughts?

We never do great things alone. There are so many people who have been part of helping me get to a place where I can inspire others. To each and every one of them I say, "Thank you".

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Kristina Jenkins is Chief Strategy Officer at Zambezi. Prior to joining Zambezi, Kristina was Culture Intelligence Officer at mcgarrybowen. 

Tags:  #MemberSpotlight  #ThinkMembers  Member Spotlight  Members  ThinkLA  ThinkMembers 

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Key Takeaways from the 3% Minicon

Posted By Emily Hope, Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Written by Brook Hauge, Associate Director, Strategy at Canvas Worldwide and Jana Wentz, VP, Account Director at RPA

Edited by Don Lupo, Director of Content and Marketing at ThinkLA

Diversity is about representation, while inclusion is having an equal seat and a voice at the table. At the end of the day, I notice and you notice. We have the ability to make this world more open and inclusive for everyone.

If we keep pushing at the same ideas and ideals, we are simply pattern matching, which runs the risk of “mirror-tocracy” (funding and working with those who look, feel, and seem just like yourself) vs. meritocracy (influenced by those in power).

From a technology perspective, people are inherently looking for, craving, and designing more connections, but are we really creating meaningful ones? We teach ourselves bad habits, and now through AI, we are teaching our devices bad habits. We are starting to see the effect which AI devices have on emotional intelligence when we remove “Please” and “Thank you” from our digital connections.

This also questions how we are able to infuse empathy into technology processes. We wonder how we will teach the next generation to be utilitarian with their various connected lives and how we will teach them to use the power of human connection and empathy to connect through these same devices. It will become necessary to connect with others through experiences that remove us from our own bias and put us in simulated environments that shape a more inclusive self.

We also learned that change is difficult, and everyone recognizes the need for uprising. However, few know where to start to implement real change. There are so many cultural conversations that need to be dimensionalized. Humans know what is right, but we need forums like 3% to rally around and to lean into ideas other than your own or your small circle.

The CMOs have taught us that inclusivity builds business. Being vulnerable, authentic, and drawing knowledge/inspiration from others is how great culture is formed; dictatorial and didactic leadership is not accepted in today’s workforce. We learned there is no better place to start than forming allies: share success, not just failures. We can build up each other with positive stories.

 

 

Representation is at the root of it all. Who are the people making the decisions? Who is writing the script? How are decisions being made? You cannot just convince people; they change their point of view when they experience something that challenges their beliefs. The world is one social conversational moment at a time: those moments become movements, but they remain moments if we call them that. By dismissing things as moments and not embracing them as movements, we remove the power of all the steps that got us from then to now.

When there is 30% or more of any group in a room, psychologically, we stop seeing anyone as a minority.

In addition, Radical empathetic listening is about putting ourselves in others’ shoes to truly understand what they are experiencing. This helps us all understand how others might be marginalized or not included at all. Empathic listening is really about exercising how we listen and learn about someone’s story and using “I” language. Using “I” when you tell another person’ story as if it was your own, you begin to feel what they feel. Understanding someone else is the societal start to truly connecting. Everything has become very data-driven, and we are missing the emotion in it. Radical empathy can inject that back into the experience.

At the intersection of all things possible is tech and human content. Choose your words: Communication is the tool we use to create change. Language is a creator or bias and is fundamentally crowdsourced. We need to break the system. Unconscious bias leaves people with a desire not to speak; language can be an excluder, but there are ways to participate (rewrite the dictionary, educate to empathize, believe in change). By using new language, we can actually change.

Final thoughts:

Fight. Flight. Freeze. (Change through the Freeze). We are a collective; heroism is gone. We are in search of the connections, and women and leaders who are redefining the rules by which we live, work, play. Speak and include everyone at the very beginning.


Tags:  #ThinkDIG  3%  DIG  diversity  Diversity in Advertising 

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