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Pride Month Recap 🌈🦄

Posted By ThinkLA, Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, July 18, 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 'round. 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, L.A. Pride has been a champion for equality, diversity, and inclusion in the L.A. 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 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 (biannual 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 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 L.A. Youth Network, an organization that provides hope and homes for foster and homeless LGBTQ+ youth due to the rising statistic that 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ+. 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 with The Los Angeles Times who covers the intersection of diversity and Hollywood with a focus on black and queer film; musical guest 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 or other community outreach programs on this blog? Email don@thinkla.org with your news!

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

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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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Member Spotlight: Carlene Rowe, Director of Brand Partnerships and Experiential, Conill Advertising

Posted By Emily Hope, Wednesday, May 9, 2018

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

I’ve always been fascinated with storytelling, as I’m a big fan of film, television and music. One of my favorite movies as a kid was ET. My favorite part in the film was when ET was lured by one of the characters with Reese’s Pieces candy. This was my first encounter with advertising and product placement, which led me to study marketing and advertising at California State University, Northridge.

My first job out of college was working as a Contemporary Marketing Representative at Anheuser-Busch. During my tenure, I had the privilege to partner with top talent, travel the world and learn from the best minds in the advertising industry, as we launched memorable beer campaigns, which made Budweiser the iconic brand it is today. After years of moving up the ladder, I landed the best job in the company, as Sr. Manager of Sports and Entertainment, working with agencies on several campaigns.

This led me to my role as Director of Sports and Entertainment at Conill Advertising, what a great ride!

To this day, Reese’s Pieces is still my favorite candy… advertising works!

Do you have a personal motto?

I'm passionate about Sports and Entertainment, so doing something I love is always fun, rewarding and thrilling. In addition, my team at Conill keeps me motivated, as they are creative, hard working and inspiring leaders ready to make their mark in advertising.

My personal motto is, “Leadership is earned, not given”, so I encourage everyone on my team to be a leader. It doesn’t matter what title you hold, we all have the responsibility to share new ideas, think outside the box and make a difference as it relates to their project or field of work.

What excites you most about this industry?

Constant change. Data and innovation are KEY, as we are learning new ways to communicate with audiences globally. Data and innovation will continue to provide brands with the ability to hyper-target consumers and measure results more precisely and insightfully than ever before. In an era where we can tune in to watch an electric car being launched to Mars via social media for everyone around the world to see, not even the 'sky's the limit' anymore. With change comes growth, which is exhilarating!

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

Innovation, Innovation, Innovation!

VR, AI, voice-control systems and new apps, provide brands with a way to link with hyper-connected consumers, as a means to provide more authentic and personalized engagement. Look out for new ways of distributing branded content and new avenues of communication through advancements in technology that will impact the way we communicate with consumers globally.

What advice do you have for people in advertising that are beginning their career?

Find your niche. I manage the Sports and Entertainment department, which is a new area of focus at our agency; it gives us the ability to reach new audiences through influencer marketing and events, as it paves the road for our brands to get in front of consumers and engage in a way that is appealing and authentic.

 



Photos: Don Lupo

 

What should our industry be talking about in 2018?

There are so many things happening across the marketing landscape, that it’s impossible to call them all out. From my vantage point, innovation, experiential, and influencer marketing will continue to be pivotal in creating unforgettable experiences for consumers, particularly given changes in social media platforms, such as Facebook. Technological advancements in these areas over the next few years will continue to transform the engagement model and expand the relationship envelope.

Any closing thoughts?

As John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” We need more leaders who aren’t afraid to take risks and disrupt old ways of thinking. We must foster and cultivate the emerging visionaries in our business, so they can take us to new heights.

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Carlene Rowe is the Director of Brand Partnerships and Experiential at Conill Advertising. Carlene recently spoke at ThinkLA's Auto Breakfast, and was featured on ThinkLA's Women of Color in Advertising to Highlight list.

Tags:  #MemberSpotlight  #ThinkDIG  #ThinkMembers  Career Advice  DIG  Diversity in Advertising  ThinkMembers  Women 

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Spotlight: Rochelle Webb, President and Chief Strategy Officer, The Dialectic Compound

Posted By Emily Hope, Wednesday, April 18, 2018


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

I always knew that I wanted to be in the business of communicating with people. When I was in high school, I thought I would get into that through pictures, photography and visuals. While at Boston College, I figured out that I wanted it all. I became passionate about studying the strategy of advertising and marketing. In a very spontaneous move from Atlanta to L.A., I fell into the game of ‘knowing someone who knew someone’ that got me an entry level gig in a media agency and I never looked back.

I took some pivots here and there from media buying to PR to media strategy and then to global brand marketing. I wanted to be a generalist, so I could be a CMO of a big company one day. I wanted to speak everyone’s language, so that I could be a great leader of people and of a large-end organization, and I felt I had to walk the walk, so I could talk the talk. After falling in love with business, I realized the big company that I would end up running would be my own and that I was destined to be an entrepreneur. Building became my new ‘sexy’ and Fortune 500 was in the rearview. Ever since then, I have been writing my future to cater towards the goal of starting my own venture and utilizing the skills I gathered along my journey.

After 17 years on both agency and client side businesses and finishing business school in the midst of it all, I emerged as an entrepreneur with a heavy focus on marketing. Marketing and strategy are at the core of everything that I do and I don’t regret a single move that I have made along the way.  

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

Work smarter, not harder.

I think this applies to people and strategy development. As a human, you need to arrive in a situation, quickly assess it, and understand where your opportunities for collaboration and value-add lie. You should understand where you can learn the most, as well as, understand the areas that allow you the greatest amount of visibility to decision makers.

But, that is only a small part of the puzzle.

The larger part of navigating the industry chasm is to have the gravitas to understand how to socialize and operationalize your work. This is how you gain traction, earn respect and position yourself to elevate your career. You have to work your audience in a way that doesn’t feel forced, over-confident or entitled.

I have always been results oriented.

I chase success metrics. I have had the opportunity to work on powerful pieces of business in my career, so my motivation has always been in the success of those businesses and being able to clearly identify the areas where my team and I have been able to make an impact.

What excites you most about this industry?

The constant change in marketing and advertising literally gets me out of bed every day! Most people wake up to see what’s going on in politics, I want to know what is going on in marketing. If you blink, you may get left behind.

I am always amazed at the pace at which martech and adtech are moving on a minute-by-minute basis. There is an off the shelf solution for almost anything these days, so teams and brands can be in better command of their own destiny and work smarter. It raises two interesting questions that I have always asked myself… Is it possible to have a ‘successful’ in-house advertising agency in client-side businesses? And what will happen to the traditional agency model as technology plays a bigger role in business? But now, I no longer have to wonder, it is happening before my very eyes and it is exciting to watch.

People are re-inventing themselves and their roles. There is a fresh eagerness to learn in order to stay ahead of the curve. I just hope that hiring managers adopt the creativity to be able to look at today’s talent pool and re-imagine them in these new world roles. There is no longer the ‘perfect resume’… it now relies in the ‘perfect pitch’ for yourself and networking, networking, networking.

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

Advertising is heading towards a more automated future and human assets will begin to play a different type of strategic role. I think media planners will have to start asking themselves, ‘how can we use technology to outsmart our competition?” or “How can we partner more strategically with our media suppliers to provide better brand experience to our consumer?” or “What resources are out there to help us better anticipate the consumer’s needs and make a bigger impact with our brand assets?” Rather than, “how many impressions or clicks does it take to make an impact?”

I am eagerly awaiting the shift in industry where agencies ‘think differently’, as Steve Jobs rightly coined, and am watching today’s planners and strategists revise the future.

In the next five years, we will see leaner teams, but more of them. There will continue to be an evolution of innovation arms to help navigate this impending sea change. We don’t get through this guessing, we have to encourage the habit of being curious and becoming more predictive, so that we prepare our current mid-level managers to be the best leaders that they can be in the future and you do this by always seeking answers to new questions. Today’s mid-level managers need to have the willingness to continue rolling up their sleeves to get the work done. We don’t progress by harnessing ambivalence.

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

Get in where you fit in… and where you don’t. It is important to quickly understand what you do well and lean into that, but more importantly, it is important to understand where you don’t fit in and determine why, and then understand how you can make it clear that you do fit. What I mean by that is that in professional situations, people tend to surround themselves by peers that look like them and very intentionally avoid the ‘agitators’ or people that often speak their mind and represent the unpopular point of view or ‘devil’s advocate’ perspective with the intent of driving innovation. People at the top sometimes see this as more work to invite this perspective into a meeting. But, you can insert yourself by using your intellect and professionalism to show people that the proof is in the pudding, and back it up by being solutions oriented. Bring the problem and the solution. When speaking, use facts, not generalizations. When listening, really listen and play it back, instead of waiting for your turn to speak.

What this doesn’t mean is walking into a company as an assistant media planner, walking into the Account Director’s office and demanding a raise and a promotion. What it does mean is when there is a problem to solve and the answer is not readily available, go to look for it, study it and present it back to the people that are responsible for solving the problem. Show initiative.

I often tell my mentees, “play bigger than you think you are… because than you are playing who you really are.”

 



Photos: Don Lupo

 

What should our industry be talking about in 2018?

The incredibly low percentage of women and minorities in leadership positions. I left agency-side advertising seven years ago to go client-side. And I left client-side corporate America to branch off on my own three years ago to start my own consultancy. I often attend conferences and seminars only to see a very monochromatic group of individuals. There is an adage or a stat that says, “people tend to surround themselves by people that look like them.” Okay, so I get it, there aren’t that many people in leadership that look like me, so how do I change it? I am a change-agent, so I don’t do well in stagnation, which is why I decided if my employers were not going to support my growth, then I have to invest in myself and start my own entity. I got an MBA and started my own company in an effort to stop working for other people. I am absolutely razor-focused on determining my own future success and supporting those that may not be the obvious choice. Those that look like me. 

Any closing thoughts?

I hope that this movement creates real momentum around changing the faces at the top and that we as a culture truly make a shift. I hope this is more than a movement of diversification, but diversity becomes reality. I promise to do my part, but I won’t lie… there are many moments in my day, every day, where I am dis-heartened by what I see. And there are situations that occur that cause me to reflect on my own career where I realize racism played a role, by people who I liked and respected and I thought felt the same about me. And that hurts. I don’t want to hurt anymore.

I stand for change, a brighter future and the rise of the underdog. There are enough powerhouses in the industry that if they continue to take the risks to make sure their voices are heard, that I believe we can turn the industry. I see hope with organizations like ThinkLA that make the conversation around diversity a priority. Using your mindshare to stand up for the under-represented means we have in fact taken a step in the right direction.

Thank you ThinkLA.

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The Dialectic Compound was born to incite immediate change in thriving businesses. It is a collaborative, curious and creative 'Think Tank' of highly seasoned business, marketing and operations executives who are curated from the wild.

Tags:  #MemberSpotlight  #ThinkDIG  #ThinkMembers  Career Advice  DIG 

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RPA's Cannes’ See It Be It

Posted By Emily Hope, Tuesday, April 10, 2018

See It Be It, Leading From the Inside Out: takeaways from the RPA - hosted Cannes’ See It Be It event, an evening of inspiring conversation addressing gender imbalance in creative leadership.

 

 

1. Self care is essential

Part of being a leader is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Peers look up to leaders who take care of themselves.

  • “To lead from the inside-out, you must take care from the inside-out,” - Tahirah Edwards-Byfield, Senior Copywriter, Saatchi & Saatchi.
  • “Show up for yourself how you show up for everyone else,” - Tahirah Edwards-Byfield
  • “Self-care at its core is about finding things that will improve your state physically and emotionally and it’s so important in this state,” Chloe Gottlieb, Chief Creative Officer, R/GA US
  • “Boundaries are important. It’s okay to say no,” - Tahirah Edwards-Byfield
  • “It’s not about how much time you spend with your family. It’s how present you are when you are with them,” Chloe Gottlieb

2. Leaders should instill inspiration, not fear

You shouldn’t feel intimidated by a leader; you should feel awe-inspired. When you’re in the presence of a good leader, that is when ideas come to fruition.

  • “When a good leader walks into a room, people feel less full of fear and more full of possibility,” - Lauren Carlyle Smith, Creative Director, 72andSunny.
  • “If there’s an environment of respect where people feel safe, you can have really transformative conversations with people,” -  Chloe Gottlieb

3. Be a team player

We can do so much more when we work together. When women collaborate, everybody wins.

  • “’One team, one dream’, represents the coalition of women coming together. We are more powerful when we work together under one united mission,” - Isadora Chesler, VP/Director of Video Production, RPA.

4. Look at things with a fresh perspective

No matter what our titles are, we can all be creative. Look at each task with fresh eyes and approach it in a new and innovative way.

  • “From day one, I didn’t see the glass as half-full or half-empty. I wanted to redesign the glass,” - Chloe Gottlieb

5. Encourage and empower other women

As women, it’s essential we support each other and push each other to take risks. Don’t just find your voice, but encourage others to do the same.

  • “If women don’t see themselves as leaders, maybe the solution is simply telling them they are… If you think someone is doing a great job, tell them, because they just might need to hear it,” - Krystle Mullin, Associate Creative Director, RPA.
  • “#seeitbeit isn’t just about finding your confidence. It helped empower me to help others find their confidence,” -Carrie Dunn, Senior Writer, 72andSunny
  • “Do you know a hero? Tell her and then tell everyone,” - Krystle Mullin
  • “Jump. You have a soft pile of women to land on.” - Amina Halim

6. Believe in yourself

Don’t underestimate yourself; you are much stronger than you think. Find your voice and allow yourself to realize your full potential.

  • “Men will apply for a job when they are 60% qualified. Women will apply when they are 100% qualified…however, women underestimate their abilities by 30%, which means they won’t go after a job until they are 130% sure they are qualified!” - Carrie Dunn
  • “You have to find your inner voice before you can lead others,” - Chloe Gottlieb

7. You don’t need to be a bitch to be a leader

Don’t be a bitch; be bold, be brave, be a fearless leader.

  • “Women are naturally nurturing, good listeners…if you want to be a good leader, be more of a woman.” - Amina Halim

 

This passionate group of women led an evening of honest conversation aimed at enacting change in the advertising industry and in building a community of women who support each other and encourage diverse thoughts and opinions.

This article was originally published on Medium.

Tags:  #ThinkDIG  DIG  Gender  Women  Women in Advertising 

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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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Pose&Focus: Women In Advertising

Posted By Emily Hope, Monday, March 26, 2018

Earlier this year, we were thrilled to come across an ultra-fresh Instagram feed: @lin_marty, Linda (Lin) Marty's photography page. The instagram feed is beautifully designed, screams BOSS LADY, and has beautiful, bohemian portraits of many our ad friends. After a bit of research, we were even more elated to learn the message behind these gorgeous images.

Pose&Focus: Women In Advertising is Lin's personal passion project, dedicated to highlighting women in the advertising industry through interviews and creative expression. The imagery is a creative portrayal of who they are beyond the corporate meetings, events, and brands they work with. Their stories will be honest, comical and informative that look to inspire all female professionals within the industry to thrive.

"Having been in the business for over a decade, I found it very important for women (and men) to support female leadership in our community and industry," says Lin. "Especially with our current political climate, this mission is more important to me than ever before. I want our female readers to know when they come here they will get solid advice and actionable steps that they can use to elevate their own careers."

 

 

Photos: Lin Marty Photography

View the entire series at linmartyphotography.com. Nominations for Pose&Focus Vol. 3 are open until April 2. Nominations must be female, located in Los Angeles, and currently work in the advertising industry (agency, sales, ad tech, production, etc.) with at least three years of experience. Contact Lin for more details. 

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About Linda: Linda is founder, creative director, and photographer of Lin Marty Photography. She is dedicated to supporting influencers, creative entrepreneurs, and boutique businesses to discover, define, and elevate their digital brand identity through beautiful and professional portrait and product photography. Prior to becoming a photographer, Linda worked in advertising, most recently at Canvas Worldwide as VP, Director, Digital Investment.

The series is supported by makeup artist, Julia Alexander, and body paint artist, Scott Richards.

Tags:  #ThinkDIG  Lin Marty  Pose&Focus  Women at Work  Women in Advertising 

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Spotlight: Shari Holly, Program Director, PIPELINES

Posted By Emily Hope, Wednesday, March 21, 2018

When we made the call for our Women of Color in Advertising list,  we were thrilled to be introduced to a true champion of diversity and inclusion: Shari Holly. Shari is the Program Manager for PIPELINES at PRETTYBIRD, a non-profit aiming to close the access and opportunity gap by connecting underrepresented talent directly to opportunities and programs in tech and creative industries through a mobile app and series of engaging programs.

 


Photos: Don Lupo Photography


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

My career road map is rather unconventional. Growing up in Detroit, at the time there weren’t many other black women pursuing creative careers, starting businesses, or creating non-traditional methods for success. There was a stigma (which is what I was taught) to find a stable and secure job (government, lawyer, teacher doctor), climb the corporate ladder, and retire with a sweet pension: the good ole’ American dream. I knew I was born a creative, but you really don’t know what you don’t know, and furthermore, without much access or role models, pursuing creative careers seems rather far-fetched in a sense.

I moved to Kalamazoo (yes, it’s a real city), graduated from college with a degree in Business and Spanish, and formed the idea along the way that I wanted to work in Immigration Reform and/or International Business. I wasn’t until I moved to Chicago and worked for the Tribune that I’d realize that I actually belong in Media and Entertainment, not the government. Working in advertising at the Tribune exposed me to a world of creative and media that I long to know more about and this is where my creative career was born.

After reaching my wits' end with Chicago’s brutal weather, I moved to LA never having been here before and made looking for a job full time. A month later, I landed a job (which apparently rarely happens to transplants who move here) working for a direct-response advertising agency assisting a media buyer. I didn’t love it. Numbers and post logs have never been my thing. I did that for about a year before moving on to a post-production house where I worked in Digital Media Services.

In my two and a half years here, I learned quite a bit about new age media and how VOD platforms are drastically changing the way content is digested. It was very interesting, but as much as I learned, I had reached a point in my career of having the strong desire to do something purposeful. Spending 75% of my life at a job that didn’t have purpose or give back was not something I wanted to do anymore.

I came across an opportunity to be a Diversity Program Manager for PromaxBDA. I had zero experience in D&I or Program Development but knew this would be an opportunity I would enjoy and would find purpose. Kat, the VP who interviewed me (and now, my lifelong mentor) took a chance on me and hired me because she felt my passion and commitment to this cause. It was at PromaxBDA that I realized for the first time in my life, that this is where I belonged. This work is the work that I want to do for a lifetime, and that’s to commit to doing what I can to close the access and opportunity gap for aspiring, yet underrepresented creatives, to increase inclusion in our creative industries and to create space of belonging for minorities in this industry.

After PromaxBDA, I worked with the Directors Guild of America and the Association of Independent Commercial Producers to jumpstart their first-ever Commercial Directors Diversity Program, then moved on to PRETTYBIRD, where I am currently spearheading the PIPELINES diversity and inclusion initiative. Here, we are taking a radical, unconventional approach to connecting underrepresented talent to our tech and creative industries through a mobile app. We also host a series of engaging programs and events for our demo as well. I am committed to this and exactly where I belong!

 

 

 

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

On a personal level, life genuinely keeps me motivated. I never take a day that I wake up in the morning for granted. Every (new) day that I have is another literal opportunity to do something different, to take my purpose to a higher level, to be thankful for my many blessings, to spread truth and peace.

Professionally, the amount of work that still needs to be done to create more direct paths the underrepresented to opportunities in our creative industries is what keeps me motivated. I have a “can’t stop, won’t stop” mentality when it comes to my work.

My personal and forever motto is “I don’t need easy; I just need possible”. I heard this in a movie called “Swimfan” and coined it as my personal mantra in everything that I do.

What excites you most about this industry?

That it’s always, always changing, and that the opportunities are limitless. Entertainment and Media are very unique industries that constantly require adaptability and change… and I love change.

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

Hopefully, advertising is moving away from the "safe" and "traditional" and gravitating more towards the radical, boundary-pushing work that’s reflective and inclusive. I believe the next five years look like more biracial parents in commercials, more VR experiences to increase empathy in our branding for example. Brands will also face a challenge of engaging a particular, demanding, and technology-dependent demo. Brands will have to connect with their diverse demo on a deeper, personal, and more emotional level as it’s becoming more about the person and less about the masses. What a time to be alive!

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

There was a clip we shot of Omar Johnson, former CMO of Beats, explaining his experiences being the “only black person in the room” and what we expressed was so simple yet so powerful and something I will never, ever forget. Being black and in entertainment, there will be many times you will experience being in meetings/rooms/sets where no one or hardly anyone looks like you and while many will view this as a disadvantage, it’s actually quite the opposite. It boils down to perspective. He expressed that once he shifted his perspective, so did the dynamic in his interactions. He said that he views being the only black person in the room as a superpower. A superpower! That your views and ideas are unique, much needed, and unlike any other perspective the majority can offer. You can empathize in ways others cannot. You can offer a view that is special and autonomous. No one can offer your (necessary) view except for you and that is where you find your power, your confidence, your authenticity in your work. A light bulb went off as I watched this clip and not only have I shifted my own perspective, but I encourage other black creatives and professionals to do the same.

What should our industry be talking about in 2018?

What they can be doing specifically to create an inclusive work environment and how they can change/revamp their hiring practices and culture to attract, hire, and retain more diverse talent? Aside from the fact that having more inclusive teams and work environments increase the bottom line, the world and the world of entertainment is evolving drastically and company cultures must do the same.

Any closing thoughts?

“If you don’t prioritize your being, your doing will suffer. It’s simple, but not easy.” – Robyn Ward

 

 

Tags:  #ThinkDIG  #thinkMembers  Diversity  Diversity in Advertising  Member Profiles  Member Spotlight 

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Influential Women in Marketing

Posted By Emily Hope, Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Enjoy this partnered content provided by Laurel Mintz, CEO and Founder of Elevate My Brand. To provide content on your company's behalf, email Emily Hope, emily@thinkla.org

 


Laurel Mintz, Elevate My Brand

 

There have been countless women over the last few decades that have influenced the upward trajectory of our journey. What most have in common is that they understood the value and importance of marketing. From Madam CJ Walker, the first self-made millionaire who turned her own hair loss into a thriving CPG brand, to more current marketing mavens like Alli Webb, founder of Drybar, who also changed the hair game with her bold vision and smart marketing initiatives. These, and countless others, are and have continued to take over the world one marketing message at a time.

Here are some of the women who I think are trailblazers and influence millions with their own brand of marketing.

Social Media - Mari Smith (@marismith) – Even a decade later, consumers and brands alike continue to be stumped by social media marketing. Mari Smith is one of the sharpest and most well-known marketing gurus for small business on Facebook. She is best known for taking $50 and turning it into 500k followers. Now that’s what I call trailblazing with a tangible after burn.

Influencer – Julie Solomon (@julssolomon) – Julie spent years in the PR world, but knew she could help more people by developing a brand to help others understand how to brand and monetize themselves in the influencer world. An influencer in her own right, she now teaches others through her workshops, podcast and extensive social presence. Her infectious smile and warmth is palpable through her stunning pink hued branding as she advises her followers.

Content – Pam Neely (@Pamellaneely) – We used to say content was king, we now know it’s all about engagement through content. Pam Neely is one of, if not the most influential content marketer of our generation. If you need to build your following, e-mail marketing lists, and brand voice, you can’t do better than this content diva.

Experiential – Sarah Boyd (@sarahpboyd) – Also starting her career in the PR world, Sarah had a vision to create events where influencers and brands could engage with each other in a meaningful way. And so Simply Stylist, now Simply, was born. It was such a bold brilliant idea, that media powerhouse NYLON decided they needed it in their stable, appointing Sarah President of West Coast Operations. Sarah now jets from LA to NY to Dubai living her dream and executing her idea as a global experiential brand.

Networking – Sarah Zapp (@sarahzapp) – If you live in LA and don’t know Sarah, you’re at the wrong party. Whether flying off to do content with Martha Stewart in Norway or hosting tastemaker events with Baron Davis, Sarah Zapp is a community builder and one of the most connected women I’m lucky to call a friend.

I always tell our clients, "marketing when done right, it's the funnel to awareness and conversion when you are clear about your KPIs and measure constantly."

The above are just a few of the many ways to market well and, if you’re going to do it, you might as well follow in the footsteps of the trailblazing women who have come before you. Thank you to all the women who make seemingly impossible inroads possible for the rest of us.

By: Laurel Mintz, CEO and Founder of Elevate My Brand and Columnist of On Brand for Inc. Magazine.

Tags:  #ThinkDIG  Diversity  Elevate My Brand  inclusion  Women  Women's History 

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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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