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Member Spotlight: Pete Favat, North American Chief Creative Officer, Deutsch

Posted By Emily Hope, Tuesday, April 3, 2018

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

It started in grade school. I started drawing stuff and became the go-to-guy for posters: sports, proms, yearbooks, anything. When I was 14, I was designing restaurant menus. People came to me for marketing because I drew all the time.

My road map has been to go with my gut. I was a CCO at 29. I mean, it was my own company, but I was running Converse.

How I got to Deutsch is really interesting and unplanned. Honestly, there are many times I have thought about leaving the industry and then something happens and I stay. I realized that the job doesn’t always need to be the one you thought it was. You can create your own. You can make docu-films or create an art show to help homeless people, like what we did with 100 Pieces. I have been able to use this job to do other things that satisfy my creative needs. What keeps me in advertising right now is that no one knows where the business is going and it is exciting. It keeps me young. The one thing I do know is that doing good is a passion.

Once, a reporter referred to me as a bonafide expert in advertising. If I’m ever an expert in anything, it’s time to quit.

 


Photo courtesy of Deutsch

 

What keeps you motivated?

If I’m not making something it’s because I died.

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

We can use our creative talents to make the world better. Sometimes people look down on advertising but what they don’t realize is that we have the ability to creatively move humanity forward. Advertising is starting to get a whiff of that and award it.

What excites you most about this industry?

The opportunity to help change the world with our creativity. We can partner with corporations to make the world better. And at the end of the day, that is what consumers want in 2018.

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

Brands are starting to understand that being a purpose-driven company and putting the good back into humanity is the currency of the future. People will buy things based on their emotional attachment to the way a company behaves. With so much competition, all product is parody. You create a product and in two weeks, you’ll have the same product made by someone else. People will buy with their hearts.

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

“Hate something, change something.” Taken from Honda’s 2004 “Grrr” campaign. Advertising is rapidly changing into something else. And if you don’t like it, you’re probably a good candidate to change it from the inside.

What does 2018 hold for you, and for Deutsch?

That’s the beauty: I have no idea and a ton of ideas. We just start trying things and experimenting. If you don’t, you’ll sink. But to start, let’s make sure we’re doing right by our people and creating a culture where they feel safe. That’s how great work gets made.

Any closing thoughts for the ThinkLA community?

L.A. is at an inflection point that I’ve never before seen in my career. I’ve worked in London, Boston, Sweden, China, and all over the U.S. and I have never seen the collision of creativity and the fusion of film, music, and entertainment. The only thing missing is fashion. L.A. doesn’t get any credit for fashion. Every day, I think this is the best time and place to be in the ad business. L.A. has a ton of opportunity. Relish it. If you’re a creative person, you can do anything you want. The world is wide open. You have just as much of a chance as the next person.

 

 

Tags:  #MemberSpotlight  #ThinkMembers  Deutsch  Los Angeles 

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Member Spotlight: Samantha Hawkins, Supervisor, Community Management, RPA

Posted By Emily Hope, Monday, March 26, 2018

"I was lucky enough to be Sam’s Mentor through ThinkLA’s Mentorship program and I fell in love with her immediately; she is so powerful, smart, kind, dynamic, understanding, AMAZING. Her desire to grow and learn from everyone around her is infectious – to progress not just for progression’s sake, but to expand and learn about everything around her. I so value our time together and our friendship moving forward!" - Leisha Bereson, VP, Group Director, Programmatic, Canvas Worldwide 

 


Photos: Don Lupo Photography

 

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

I was a Business Marketing major in college, I was active in extracurriculars like sports, but also within the business department. Because I did two sports year-round, I didn’t have a lot of time to get real-world experience with internships until around my senior year. So I supplemented my course work with things like clubs, organizing local business owner speaking events, competing on the business presentations team, etc.

I eventually did get an internship where I was the Public Relations and Marketing intern for a fashion brand that was new to the West Coast and was trying to get more awareness of its denim line. I did things like compile press clippings from magazines, ship samples to Nylon and TeenVogue for their photoshoots, reach out to local bloggers for events we hosted. It was a lot of fun that was formative for me early on.

Then I got into my first real corporate job in Orange County in the automotive industry. I knew nothing about cars but Kelley Blue Book took me in as a Public Relations Coordinator. It was a temp position that eventually lead to a full-time role as a Marketing Coordinator. From there, I worked my way through the lower ranks of Marketing Specialists and then Associate Marketing Manager.

I learned a lot during those years, wearing a lot of hats in maintaining my team’s media and production budgets, learning to write effective briefs, managing our social media community and the content development process. I also learned a lot working with our media and creative agencies. I loved that the people were authentic, personable but had so much expertise in their fields.

I decided it was time for me to join the agency side so that I could learn from these amazing experts by working with them, and here I am at RPA!

 

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

I’m motivated by learning, growing, and helping others learn and grow. We should never lose a student mentality; we should always be learning. And at the same time, if we can each teach one another, we learn even more ourselves and we share that knowledge to help others grow. Let's elevate one another.

What excites you most about this industry?

The fast pace and changing landscapes that always keep me on my toes. I love challenges and collaboration, so this is a great industry for that!

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

As the content bubble begins to burst, we’ll leave the days of viral video, click bait, and surface-level content that is stimulating but not valuable. The pendulum is swinging toward advertising and marketing that is both valuable in content -- what that content contributes to the daily lives of people -- and also that puts the values of people and brands front and center: humanitarian values, societal values, equality, etc.

Authenticity, transparency, and equality take center stage. I also think we’ll see traditional continue to emerge in new forms. For example, the changing landscape of digital video and original programming and that shift from TV: what’s old is new again, just in slightly different formats and spaces.

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

Stay hungry! Hungry to learn and hungry to push for growth. Don’t expect to do the bare minimum and get more opportunity or to get meaning from your job; you have to dig deeper. Learn as much as you can and always challenge yourself, reach higher... and once you’ve achieved that, reach even higher again and again.

Make sure you give back, mentor someone, be someone’s role model, help bring someone up the ladder as you go, whether you had someone to do the same for you or not, again we need to lift each other up. Be yourself and have fun with it, surround yourself with people that contribute to your happiness and positivity; don’t feel you have to change yourself just to get by.

What should our industry be talking about in 2018?

We should be talking about what we’re actually doing to increase diversity and inclusivity within our industry, within our agencies, in the work we do for clients. Let’s talk about what we’re actually doing about it. How is it working? How are we measuring success? Let’s share best practices and learnings.

It’s 2018. We know the realities of this issue, so it’s time to show action and celebrate those that are doing it well.

Tags:  #MemberSpotlight  #ThinkDIG  Diversity  Diversity in Advertising  RPA  Social Media 

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Member Spotlight: Carron Brown, VP, Account Director, The Integer Group

Posted By Emily Hope, Wednesday, March 7, 2018


Photos: Don Lupo Photography

 

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

A dear friend at Leo Burnett encouraged me to get started in advertising. She was aware of my skillset and knew that my personality and expertise were a good fit for the advertising world. She was absolutely correct. It wasn’t until I began in advertising that I truly felt at home.

Prior to advertising, my background was in entertainment and technology. Therefore, I was able to make an immediate impact in my first agency role on the Universal Pictures account. This account brought all of my passions together under one roof. I was afforded the opportunity to combine my affinity for entertainment, multicultural marketing, media and content creation. Ever since, I’ve built my career with accounts that tap into my passion points and allow me to show up, each and every day, genuinely excited about the challenges and opportunities ahead.

I’ve recently joined the Omnicom family. I work on the AT&T account through the commerce agency, The Collective. In this role, I reside at the intersection of branding, selling, entertainment and technology. I felt that bringing the advertising experience full circle, and closing the loop at retail, was an important skill to add to my portfolio.

 

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

I stay motivated knowing that I’m assisting a brand in finding their authentic voice, and shaping that brand story in a way that connects to the target audience in a meaningful way.

My personal motto is derived from something Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I apply that in everything I do, and I aim to move in a way that encourages others, and empowers them to become their best selves.


What excites you most about this industry?

This industry is full of unapologetic passion and energy, and that’s contagious. We have the power to shape the way people see themselves and their place in the world. When used for good, that power is magical.
 

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

The future belongs to the companies that stand for something, and that's exciting. There’s increasingly a price to be paid for neutrality, and this is forcing brands to find their voice, have a POV and move with intention.

In the next five years, agencies will be called upon for their strategic and cultural expertise, in equal proportion to their creative services.


What advice do you have for black advertising professionals that are beginning their career?

Embrace your empirical knowledge. The industry needs many different voices and experiences in order to offer clients well-rounded solutions. The industry is in desperate need of unique points of view. I would give that advise to any person starting out in advertising. Don’t allow your age or level of experience to shape your perception of your value. We’re in a business of culture, and an agency’s cultural currency is only as valuable as the sum experiences of its members. Your unique life experience is an asset. Treat it as such.

What should our industry be talking about in 2018?

In 2018, it’s time to officially acknowledge our new blended world as a reality, and not a niche market. While targeted marketing efforts are still very much needed, in order to ensure that we’re speaking with an audience, and not just at them; our definition of “general market” must quickly expand.


Any closing thoughts?

Be present. It’s all moving so fast.

Tags:  #MemberSpotlight  #ThinkDIG  #ThinkMembers  Career Advice  DIG 

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Spotlight: Bryanna Goecke, Ad Relief President, and Account Executive at Us Weekly

Posted By Emily Hope, Wednesday, February 28, 2018


Photos: Don Lupo Photography

 

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

I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I completely fell into the world of advertising. Growing up in Colorado, I had no idea that there was an entire industry dedicated to advertising, much less that it would be the perfect fit for me. I’ve always been an extrovert and enjoyed interacting with new people, and I’ve always been intrigued by the human psyche and knowing what makes people tick. From about the time I was in middle school, I was convinced I wanted to be a criminal profiler for the FBI; I was reading books like John Douglass’ Mindhunter about 20 years before Netflix made it cool. I was absolutely fascinated by the concept that you could study someone’s personality and past behavior to predict their future actions. I eventually decided I was not cut out for law enforcement. I had a Bachelor’s degree with a double-major in Psychology and Sociology, yet only a vague career goal of finding a niche where I could apply my understanding of human behavior and love for working with people.

During this time, I had also been managing a movie theatre to get through school. Right after graduation, one of my old co-workers approached me about coming to work with him as a Sales Planner at NCM Media Networks, which is the company that did all the in-theatre advertising at my theatre. Although I honestly had no idea what a planner was, I already knew the company was fantastic from working with them during my theatre days, so I jumped headfirst into the role. As soon as I started, I fell in love with the advertising world. I immediately knew that my end goal was to work in Advertising Sales. It was the absolute perfect fit—who knew there was a job completely dedicated to interacting with people and homing in on consumers’ behaviors to drive product sales?! I was lucky to work at a company where my management team was really vested in the success of their employees and helped foster our goals. They knew my passion was in sales so they helped me transfer to the LA Sales office to dive into the market.

It’s always been important to me to think one step ahead of my career path to create direct, actionable steps to get where I want to go. Just like I knew I needed to move to LA when I was working in Colorado, I already knew I wanted to develop my sales knowledge by working at Turner during the time I was at NCM. I actively networked and prepared for that role so I was ready when a position opened up. Similarly, while I was developing my skills as a planner, I was determined to move into a Digital Sales role with a reputable, trusted brand like Us Weekly. I took digital training courses, met people in the digital realm, and attended as many networking events as I could to help prepare me for my current role.

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

I’m a firm believer that the best motivation always intrinsically comes from within. I constantly challenge myself to learn something new, improve my current skills, or do something that terrifies me until I’ve mastered it enough to lose the fear. I will never be a finished product; I know I can’t be complacent because everything I struggle through now will help me prepare for the road ahead.

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

Don’t be afraid to be your awesome, crazy, authentic self. When I was first contemplating moving into advertising sales, I had this picture in my head of a slimy cars salesman who would say anything to drive business. I knew I couldn’t be that person, and questioned if I had what it took to succeed in sales. I have no poker face. I can’t even tell a white lie to my dog. I decided to embrace my own style and hope for the best. I am so thankful that I did because I quickly learned that you get further by letting people see your quirky, unique personality than by trying to fit yourself into a pre-set mold. I think my candidness has played a pivotal role in helping me build long-lasting, trusting relationships that allow me to be successful in my career.

 What excites you most about this industry?

I love that the industry is constantly changing. Every day is a new adventure and it’s so exciting to be a part of the evolution. I remember when I was first starting out in advertising over a decade ago, I was tasked with helping our company figure out how to sell digital as a brand new product. To this day I think we are still being tasked with this same challenge of changing our products and sales models to keep up with the latest offerings. It keeps you on your toes and makes things interesting.

 What advice do you have for those just starting in advertising? Take some time to really think about your career path and where you would like to be five years from now, 10 years from now, and 20 years from now. Plan out actionable steps. Once you know what you want, tell everyone about it. If you have goals and are ready to work hard to get there, people will support you. We are so lucky to be a part of the LA advertising community—I have seen time and time again that it is one big family where everyone wants to help raise each other up.

None of the opportunities I’ve had in my career would have been there without the strong support net of my industry family at NCM, Turner, and Ad Relief. When I first started out in advertising, they gave me projects to help teach me how to be a good seller, they introduced me to people who worked at the companies they knew I wanted to work at, and they always went to bat for me when it was time to move to the next position. The relationships you make are everything.

With that said, you also need to be ready to hustle. Take an active role in your own success. Say yes to every project that comes across your desk, even if it will require long hours and may fall way out of your comfort zone. Every assignment is an opportunity to learn something new and become a stronger asset.

Last but not least, put yourself out there. Meet as many people as you can. Go to every ThinkLA and Ad Relief event that you can possibly squeeze in. Any time you are invited to go out with co-workers or clients, say yes. This is a small community and you will be working with the same people for years to come, so make connections. Jump out of your comfort zone and say hi to a stranger.

How did you get started with Ad Relief?

When I first moved to LA, one of my co-workers invited me to go to the annual Ad Relief Movie Night. At the time I didn’t fully grasp what the organization was all about. I thought it was just another opportunity to go hang out with people in the advertising industry. Once I learned more about the charity, how events like the Movie Night and November Luncheon raise money for people in our advertising community who are going through a life crisis, I knew I wanted to become more involved. I’ve now been a part of the organization for about four years and am honored to have been inaugurated as President this year.

The events are always the fun part, but by far the most demanding and rewarding part of Ad Relief is acting as a case worker on the board to help our friends, co-workers, and colleagues who are going through difficult times. While we keep everything strictly confidential to protect the people we help, at any given time we may be assisting anywhere from one to dozens of fellow colleagues in the LA advertising community. No two cases are alike—we’ve provided support for everything from cancer treatments, to homes burning down, to industry vets who suddenly find themselves homeless and unemployed with a growing pile of medical bills. It is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever been a part of and I am so thankful that my co-worker brought me to that first event.

 What does 2018 hold for you, and for Ad Relief?

This is already looking to be a very busy year for Ad Relief. Unfortunately, the constant changes in the advertising landscape have pushed more people into hard times than ever before. We are constantly working to grow the organization to support the increased need we are seeing from the community. We are also very excited to welcome several new board members this year! In partnership with the new members, we are working hard to raise awareness for Ad Relief across all sectors of the advertising community, from digital to radio, as well as brainstorm some fun new events.

 Any closing thoughts?

It would only be right to give a quick shout out to ThinkLA. You have played such a big part in my career development, and I am so thankful that you are here to support me and the rest of the LA advertising community! If anyone reading this has not yet gone to a ThinkLA event, you definitely need to make it a priority!

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Are you interested in supporting Ad Relief

  • You can support the Ad Relief mission by attending their events throughout the year. The first event of 2018 is Bubbles & Brews on March 8 at OMD/Chiat. Considering the open bar, food, and games are all included in the $50 ticket price, it’s a great deal, and they always have an amazing turnout.
  • When shopping on Amazon, use smile.amazon.com and select “Advertising Industry Emergency Fund” from the list of charities. By doing this, Amazon donates 0.05% of all the purchases directly to Ad Relief.
  • Get involved! Ad Relief is always in need of donations, event sponsors, and volunteers.
  • Help spread the word! The more people we can educate about Ad Relief, the more advocates we’ll have ready when a tragedy strikes. When you are going through the unimaginable, the last thing you want to do is ask for help. We want to make sure everyone knows who we are before they are in that situation.

Tags:  #MemberSpotlight  #thinkMembers  Ad Relief  Bryanna Goecke  Career Advice  Community  LA Advertising  Member Spotlight 

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