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Volunteer Spotlight: Franziska Pugh

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, February 19, 2019

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

I studied strategic communication at Michigan State University intending to become the next Samantha Jones of publicity. During my undergraduate studies, I received the opportunity to visit Los Angeles and tour advertising agencies, entertainment firms and production studios. After meeting with an Account Executive and learning more about the role, I knew I would find my home in brand leadership and strategy. I worked to gain relevant internship and research experience and began my career as an Account Coordinator and then Assistant Account Executive at DonerLA. Recently, I joined the MullenLowe team as an Account Executive working on automotive. I’m incredibly lucky to have worked with a diverse group of clients and agencies who are dedicated to mentorship, professional, and personal development.  



What inspired you to become a ThinkLA volunteer?

After moving to Los Angeles, I aimed to get involved in the community and meet professionals who were interested in advertising, media and entertainment. I was impressed by the variety of events that ThinkLA offered. After hosting the first the first Intern Summit event at DonerLA, I became fully immersed in the mission of bringing opportunities and community to Los Angeles and beyond.


What’s been one of your favorite ThinkLA memories?

I recently joined the Emerging Leaders Council and assisted in hosting the first ThinkLA She Suite event. This event was truly remarkable in bringing women across multiple agencies and industries together and creating dialogue around their success, barriers and opportunities. Events like these are so important in building a support system, mentorship opportunities and friendships.

I also really enjoyed the Intern Summit Series. I value being a part of energetic professionals that continuously strive to grow professionally and personally. It was a blast to volunteer at these events, meet the panelists and learn more about the advertising industry and professional roadmaps.


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

My personal motto is, “Hold the vision. Trust the process.” We are lucky to work in an ever-changing industry that has so many opportunities to learn and grow. This motto is my reminder to be patient and flexible in my approach. 


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


There are two lessons that my mentors have instilled in me.

  1. “Take a seat at the table.”
    When you get the opportunity to sit at a table with other professionals, make sure you listen to what they have to say and speak up to be heard. You will never get what you don’t ask for. Make sure you’re prepared, bring insight into the room and showcase your expertise.
  2.  “If you’re the dumbest person in the room, you’re in the right room.”
    A few years ago, I voiced a concern about “sounding dumb” when conducting informational interviews. One of my mentors told me that if I make it into a room where I have no idea what is going on, I am exactly where I need to be. This lesson still holds true. If you’re the dumbest person in the room, you’ve strategically (or, luckily) maneuvered your way into a place with people you can learn the most from. Listen, take notes, do your research after and build connections while you have the chance.

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    Franziska Pugh

    Tags:  #ThinkLA  #ThinkMembers  #volunteerspolight 

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    Volunteer Spotlight: Danielle Erves

    Posted By Administration, Thursday, January 31, 2019

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

    I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in public relations from San Jose State University and was lucky to get my first job at a PR agency in Oakland right out of college. From there, I moved to Los Angeles and started at Jukin Media, a digital media company that helps people make money from their videos on the internet. There, I was lucky enough to be able to work on the company’s marketing, PR, and social media

    My interest in marketing and public relations started at an early age in high school marketing things like school dances and alumni events. Once I began to study it in college, it opened up a new method of communication for me.

    What inspired you to become a ThinkLA volunteer?

    I attended my first ThinkLA event three years ago.
    I saw all the amazing people hustling, sharing, and building with each other. I knew I needed to get involved.

    What’s been one of your favorite ThinkLA memories?

    My favorite ThinkLA memory is from Toys for Tots last year. My coworkers and I had a crazy couple of weeks and had just wrapped up. We ended up laughing and dancing the night away. Work hard, Play hard..

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

    My personal motto is: You can’t have a bad day if you’re smiling. I try to smile all day long, I’m in a good mood and good things happen. If I do get into a funk, I put on my favorite song and jam out! I’ll be back to smiling soon after that.

    Are there any written materials you suggest to read?

    The best advice I can give to anyone regardless of their industry is to keep learning and reading. It’s so important to want to learn more, otherwise the world will pass you by. One reading suggestion is The Alchemist. One of my good friends gave it to me to read and it changed my mindset.

    What advice do you have for female ad professionals who are beginning their careers?

    Have a voice early in your career and establish yourself as a leader and someone who deserves a seat at the table. Know what you are worth and ask for it. Don’t be afraid to speak up.

    Any closing thoughts for the ThinkLA community?

    The first year I started with ThinkLA, I taught an Account Management 101 class and it was so rewarding to feel like I was making a difference to someone starting out in their career. The feedback I got was so positive, it only confirmed that mentoring and helping people around me grow, learn, and move up is one of the best things about my job. But I’m not gonna lie: the Award Show Gala after-parties never disappoint!

    Any closing thoughts for the ThinkLA community?

    The ThinkLA community is very unique and I’m very happy to be apart of it. It can be a difficult to know how to navigate organizations similar to ThinkLA, but the community ThinkLA has built is on the fosters up and coming professionals and educates the community in a fun way. I’m very happy to be part of it..

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    Danielle Erves 

    • website: ervesconsulting.com
    • IG: @ervespr_
    • Twitter: @ervespr
    • LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/danielleerves

     

    Tags:  #Thinkla  #thinkMembers  #volunteerspolight  Advertising  L 

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    Global Wednesdays December!

    Posted By Administration, Tuesday, December 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 handpicked by ThinkLA Board Member and Award-Winning Creative, Luis Camano. To capture that global spirit, we will feature inspiration from outside of the U.S.

     

     

    Coca-Cola / Brazil
    How to turn a negative expression into a positive message, and change culture organically.


     

    Centre Pompidou / Paris
    Old and traditional tactics worked for this Museum to become a tourist destination.


    WeChat / Hong-Kong
    A rewarding way to send money back home, while talking to your loved ones.


    Tags:  #Thinkla  #thinkMembers  Creatives  Global Ads  Global Wednesday  Marketing 

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    Global Wednesdays November!

    Posted By Administration, Tuesday, November 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 handpicked by ThinkLA Board Member and Award-Winning Creative, Luis Camano. To capture that global spirit, we will feature inspiration from outside of the U.S.

     

     

    Belgium
    A very timely activation for this Veteran’s Day, by the Belgium Office of Tourism.


     

    Ecuador
    "We are now open 24/7", said McDonalds in Ecuador. And to get the word out they took a very innovative, yet low-tech approach.


    Malaysia
    Tesco in Malaysia created a brilliant (in its simplicity) incentive for shoppers to re-use plastic bags. The effort had phenomenal results for the retailer as well as for the environment. Tesco continues to lead the way in retail activations.


    Tags:  #Thinkla  #thinkMembers  Creatives  Global Ads  Global Wednesday 

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    Jillian Ezra, CEO, Ezra Productions

    Posted By Administration, Wednesday, October 31, 2018

    How did you get started in advertising? What's been your career road map?
    I actually got started by playing around with iMovie on the weekends to keep myself from losing my mind while I was working 60- to 80-hour weeks in finance in New York. I realized that there was tremendous storytelling power in marrying visuals with music, and creating videos made me come alive. This was in 2011, right around the time branded content was emerging (anyone remember Casey Neistat’s “Make it Count”?) and I couldn’t get enough of it. I wanted a piece of it. It was also around the time the Canon 5D and Final Cut X came out, so I had the tools to pursue this new hobby without significant investment.

    I took my business, marketing and PR background from my time in finance and luxury goods and started Ezra Productions shorty after that. I started making Day-in-the-life videos and Family Legacy videos for families, and somehow I was able to convince some small businesses to let me make videos for them. The process was so thoroughly enjoyable and I felt like I was really contributing to the businesses, so I kept working and learning and getting bigger clients.

    Ezra Productions has grown into a boutique video production agency with offices in Los Angeles and New York and a roster of highly talented and diverse creatives who help us service clients like Lowes, JCPenney, La Perla, Umami Burger, and The Agency.

    What has been an important, perhaps the most important, lesson you’ve learned in your career so far?
    The most important lesson I've learned is that I’ll never have everything “figured out.” Nobody does. Life will unfold as it does and the more I focus on pursuing happiness, riding the waves, and making the world a better place rather than focusing on all of the “should,” the better life will be.

    What keeps you motivated? Do you have a personal motto?
    I try to remind myself how lucky I am to tell stories for a living. I used to be a cog in a corporate wheel making rich people and companies richer. Now, I have the ability to really make a difference in people’s lives and help impact- and purpose-driven companies grow. I have to constantly re-visit my bigger vision, which is to tell stories that matter while improving businesses and the world, and to help women, minorities, and young people thrive in the production industry. Another thing that truly motivates me is discovering new creatives. Looking at great creative work, whether it is cinematography or graphic design, makes me come alive.

    What excites you most about this industry?
    Technology is evolving so quickly and becoming so inexpensive, and this is really lowering the barriers to entry and democratizing the creative field. If it weren’t for the inventions of the Canon 5D, iMovie, and YouTube, I would still be working in finance. I’m really excited to see the influx of talent, especially previously marginalized talent, and how they use new technology and their unique experiences to tell stories, reach new audiences, and change the world.




    Photos: Don Lupo Photography

    Where is advertising heading? What do the next five years look like?
    I think advertisers will be able to map our preferences and personalities so well that individualized content will be even more hyper-targeted to carefully segmented audiences. OTT platforms will continue to outperform broadcast as more people households cut their cords. Smart brands have started to lead with purpose and connect with their core customers authentically, and I think more brands will follow that lead. I can’t wait to see the measurable positive impact brands make on the world over the next few years.

    What advice do you have for emerging professionals who are beginning their careers, particularly women?
    Women: seek support from other women. We will be your champions.


    What’s been one of your favorite ThinkLA memories?

    One of my favorite moments was during the Math for Agencies workshop hosted by Bill Rosenthal. He asked the audience the most important word you can use when negotiating pricing with clients. The answer was “No.” It’s that simple!

    Any closing thoughts for the ThinkLA community?
    I’m so grateful to have found a community of likeminded people who are so kind and willing to help one another. If you’re reading this and I can do anything to help you, please drop me a line.

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    Jillian Ezra is CEO of Ezra Productions.

    Tags:  #EzraProductions  #JillianEzra  #Profile  #thinkMembers  Ad Club  She Suite  Women in Advertising 

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    Global Wednesdays October!

    Posted By Administration, Wednesday, October 10, 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 handpicked by ThinkLA Board Member and Award-Winning Creative, Luis Camano. To capture that global spirit, we will feature inspiration from outside of the U.S.

     

     

    Spain
    For most Spaniards, a nostalgia trip back to childhood. A forgotten brand and a sampling program that truly connects with its desired target.


    Virgin, Australia
    Just another promo giveaway. A brand content master class from Virgin Australia.


    China
    20 seconds. This is what it takes to wash your hands properly. For kids, 20 seconds is an eternity. Orange Clean, a brand of hand lotions/soaps in China, found an engaging solution.

    Tags:  #thinkLA  #thinkMembers  Creatives  Global Wednesday  Member News 

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    Lisa Tanner, SVP, Group Account Director, RPA

    Posted By ThinkLA, Wednesday, August 29, 2018
    Updated: Wednesday, September 5, 2018

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

    I actually lucked into the business! I didn’t really know much about advertising or the different departments, and I had a friend of a friend who worked at GSD&M in Austin TX, which is where I moved after I graduated college in Boulder, CO. I accepted an unpaid internship in account management at the agency, and a few weeks in someone unexpectedly quit and they needed someone right away. No better description of “being in the right place at the right time”! From there, I have worked in both account management and new business and both suit my personality. I’ve worked for mostly big agencies in my career on brands like Land Rover, AT&T, GM, DIRECTV, US Olympic Committee, YMCA, Marriott, and AmEx, to name a few. I currently run the Farmers Insurance account, so I certainly can say I lucked into the right department… and career!

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

    Don’t compare yourself to others.
    That’s probably what I think about most now that I am more senior in my career. It was a hard and long lesson to learn, and I try to teach that to people around me often. We are all on our own career path, and sometimes things don’t happen the same way for everyone; and that’s okay. Trusting you are on your own, right path allows you to learn so much more about yourself, your workstyle, the industry, your clients.

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

    What keeps me motivated is continuing to be challenged on a daily basis: challenged by my peers, by growing my awesome team, by constantly being hungry to learn more about advertising, what makes great creative work, consumer behavior, media consumption, etc. When I ever stop being challenged or rewarded at the end of each day is when I need to start looking for a new job. I’ve been doing it a while and that hasn’t happened too many times! It’s also not too bad to win a few awards and have your ad campaign become part of pop culture.

    What excites you most about this industry?

    Where to begin? It’s exciting to see how the agency model has shifted since I started my career and learn how best I can adapt to it and still be current. It’s exciting to see ideas that don’t cost a lot or have to air during the Super Bowl to get traction and acclaim, like Fearless Girl. It’s exciting that the discussion about woman executive leaders is finally happening and that I am in a position to participate and hopefully make a difference. It’s exciting to see what impact advertising really can and does have on our client’s business in real time based on analytics and technology. It’s an exciting time for this . industry, and I am happy to be along for the ride.

     

     




    Photos: Don Lupo Photography

     

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

    It’s a complex question and one I think we will all be surprised to watch. TV is not going away, Super Bowl TV ads won’t be the end-all be-all, and we will continue to be geo-targeted for all the habits we exhibit online or things we say to one another. Clients will look to their agencies more as partners and less as vendors, and the full-service agency models will have to turn a corner to be more nimble and cost-effective as content continues to be king. Having everything in one office seems to be the way things are leaning again, which makes such a big difference to get great work and efficiencies all in one place.

    What advice do you have for female ad professionals who are beginning their careers?

    Have a voice early in your career and establish yourself as a leader and someone who deserves a seat at the table. Know what you are worth and ask for it. Don’t be afraid to speak up.

    What’s been one of your favorite ThinkLA memories?

    The first year I started with ThinkLA, I taught an Account Management 101 class and it was so rewarding to feel like I was making a difference to someone starting out in their career. The feedback I got was so positive, it only confirmed that mentoring and helping people around me grow, learn, and move up is one of the best things about my job. But I’m not gonna lie: the Award Show Gala after-parties never disappoint!

    Any closing thoughts for the ThinkLA community?

    For L.A. to continue the momentum we have as a creative hub of the world, we need to keep taking it to the next level and pushing the envelope. There is so much talent and energy in the community right now; I want to make sure people participate and have a voice in keeping us at the top of the game.

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    Lisa Tanner is SVP, Group Account Director at RPA and serves on the ThinkLA IDEA Council.

    Tags:  #thinkmembers  Ad Club  Advanced TV  Idea  LA advertising  samsung ads  think members  thinkla idea council 

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    Kyle Carpenter, Senior Sales Executive at Samsung Ads

    Posted By Don Lupo, Wednesday, August 22, 2018
    Updated: Wednesday, August 22, 2018

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

    It’s almost as if I was drawn to digital advertising before I ever knew that it was a possible career path. When I was in high school, I had the opportunity to spend a week shadowing Colin Drummond at AKQA in San Francisco. It was my first exposure to agency life, and while I wasn’t thinking about the future at the time, it planted a seed that grew years later.

    Flash forward eight years, I’m working at NBCUniversal, in a job without growth, and looking to find a career path. A friend (Travis Volk) invited me to a couple of ThinkLA events, and I was hooked. While I didn’t know what anyone did, I knew these were the people I wanted to work with. It was “SnowJam” that sealed the deal. I can’t think of a better way to recruit young/eager minds than a weekend trip to Mammoth that passes as “work”.

    I was fortunate enough to fall in with a group of people who were willing to mentor me through the process and help me find my first job in digital ad sales. A year later, I had a sales role at a mobile start-up and was on my way to Mammoth for “SnowJam” (#lifegoals). Since joining the industry, I’ve grown alongside the shifting consumer behavior. I was selling mobile (ChaCha) before the application won the war against mobile web. Then I joined a leading network (Conversant) to learn the power of audience buy and pivot tables. There are few things more calming then a good pivot table.

    With the rise of programmatic and the increasing demand for video, I made my way to a video DSP (BrightRoll) to learn how to apply data to the ever-elusive branding goals. A little industry reshuffle (BrightRoll gets acquired by Yahoo… Yahoo gets acquired by Verizon), and I knew it was time to follow the consumer once again. Now focusing on Advanced TV at Samsung, the same things that initially drew me to digital advertising stand true.

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

    The most important lessons I’ve learned in my career are to never to stop learning and that everything is easier with friends. I wouldn’t have made it this far without mentors to guide me along the way. I’ve been fortunate to have some fantastic managers that showed me tangible and intangible skills about advertising, people, and life. I guess I would call it networking now, but early in my career I was just making friends. The positive relationships I’ve built along the way make the hard days bearable, the struggle manageable and reminds me that failure is human. I’ve learned the importance of cultivating positive relationships at every opportunity and in many cases, the ability to work with others is more important than the work we do.


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

    I believe that energy comes from energy and the energy you put in comes back with interest. If I can convince myself to wake up early and jump into the freezing ocean to surf, everything else seems more relaxed in comparison. While I have to put in a tremendous amount of energy to get myself going, the energy comes back in spades. I find that to be true in all areas of life, whether it’s a hobby, task, challenge, or relationship.

     

    What excites you most about this industry?

    Finding the connection between technology and emotion is what excites me the most about our industry. It tickles both sides of my brain in fun ways. I get to understand how to use technology to facilitate a conversation between a brand and its customers. No matter how deep the ad tech rabbit hole goes, the human element is at its core. We can leverage predictive algorithms and attention-grabbing placement, but decisions will always be the customers. 

I imagine crawling into the customers' mind to experience a campaign through their eyes to see how it feels: is there enough context to grasp its message, is it annoying, or helpful? I try to take a step back to see the whole picture from brands objective to the emotional state of a consumer and then connect the two. Maybe it’s all part of being a middle child that wants help translate one sibling’s intentions in a way the other can understand.  

     

     




    Photos: Don Lupo Photography

     

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

     Advertising is a facilitated dialog between a brand and their customers. I believe the tools we use to mediate the conversations will allow for more productive interactions with less. Through personalization, we can convey more. I think commercials will be shorter and consumers will see fewer of them. With less clutter and more impactful ads, we can reduce the frequency while maintaining recall. Instead of a lecture where an ad campaign hammers a message home through frequency, it will be a conversation. Consumers will drive the interaction as much as the brand, and the campaign will adjust as needed. While I believe this is the direction we're heading in, there are some technical and business hurdles we need to overcome.

    Going through some old boxes recently, I found a notebook from a Mass Communications course I took during my senior year in college. On the third page, with little context, I wrote: “Someday TV and the internet will be the same thing.” While I wrote that line over 10 years ago, I think it will finally happen within the next five. The statement is simple, but the ramifications are far from it, and it will be fun to see how disruptions change the rules.

    What advice do you have for young ad professionals who are beginning their careers?

    Surround yourself with people who motivate you and cultivate friendships. You will grow together and share the things you learn along the way. It makes ThinkLA events a heck of a lot more fun, and you never know who you will be working for in the future. Maintain enough humility to ask questions and enough confidence to fail. 

    What’s been one of your favorite ThinkLA memories?

    Hands down, the first Advanced TV Breakfast is my most meaningful ThinkLA memory. Taking the event from idea to reality was downright scary, and the day of the breakfast was emotional. From the speaker to the guests, seeing everyone come together to debate and learn as a community reminded me why I love this industry.

    Any closing thoughts for the ThinkLA community?

    I firmly believe that rising tides lift all ships. When we celebrate each other’s success and push for innovation, we raise the community as a whole. I challenge each of you to put energy into the betterment of our little harbor; you might be surprised by what you get back.

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    Kyle Carpenter is Senior Sales Executive at Samsung Ads and a member of the ThinkLA IDEA Council.


    Tags:  #ThinkMembers  Ad Club  Advanced TV  Idea  LA advertising  samsung ads  thinkla idea council 

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    Sheila Marmon, Founder and CEO of Mirror Digital

    Posted By Sara H. Smith, Wednesday, August 15, 2018

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

    Everyone is surprised to learn that I began my career on Wall Street in finance. I was an investment banker in the media and entertainment industry where there is a very close connection to advertising because it is the primary revenue stream for the television, magazine, cable, and digital media companies who were my clients.  

    After a big stock market crash, I jumped from Wall Street to Time Warner where I worked in strategic planning for the magazine publishing division. I worked on some groundbreaking projects building digital brand extensions for titles like InStyle, Real Simple, and Time. I also worked on some amazing new business launches in the multicultural space with brands like Essence, Sports Illustrated Latino, Suede Magazine that focus on African American, Hispanic, and multicultural consumers respectively.  

    After a successful career in corporate America, I decided to become an entrepreneur to marry my passion for working with diverse voices in multicultural media with my love for the innovation in digital media and technology. The result is my company, Mirror Digital, that I launched six years ago. We are a multicultural ad network, and the largest digital media company focused exclusively on Multicultural America.

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

    My personal motto is derived from a quote by Henry David Thoreau: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” Being an entrepreneur is an incredibly challenging path. Additionally, being in the “Ad Tech” sector there are very few women and even fewer women of color represented. That said, every day I remember that I am privileged to be able to run a company doing something that I love.


    What excites you most about this industry?

    I find it exciting that our clients and agency partners are beginning to realize the tremendous business potential of the multicultural consumer market (African Americans, Asian Americans, and Hispanics). Through our work at Mirror Digital, our team shares insights on how multicultural consumers contribute to our culture and economy and grow our clients’ businesses with our innovative digital campaigns. 

     




    Photos: Steven F. Heuer Studios

     

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

     The industry will have to decide the fate of publishing and whether advertising can be as effective without these partners who deliver our clients’ marketing messages.

    Being a female, African-American CEO in advertising must not always be an easy journey. What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned so far?

    When I launched my company, there were almost no black women visible in the technology start-up world which made it impossible to secure venture funding to grow my business like my white, male counterparts do.

    When things are difficult, the most important thing I do is just keep going. I stay focused on my purpose and the reason I started my firm. Experiencing success thus far with creating jobs for young people of color in our industry, helping clients achieve their goals, and building a profitable business make it all worthwhile.


    What advice do you have for young, black professionals just starting in advertising?

    My advice to any young professional starting his or her career is to find a firm where people will train you and invest in helping you build skills. From that point forward, don’t ever stop learning. Be a constant student who is willing to learn from everyone: read the trades, sign up for free webinars, understand the latest trends.

    Everyone is extremely busy in our industry, especially in the agency world.  If you can build expertise around a topic that no one has figured out yet (whether it be a new social media platform, new advertising technology, or a new media partner) you can make yourself valuable to your team and your company beyond your specific job title.

     For young black professionals and other under-represented groups, my advice is to find allies early on in your career to help you navigate some of the political situations that you don’t learn about in a text book or in school. Also, remember: these allies do not have to necessarily look like you. Find people you get along with and who are willing to help.

    What should our industry be talking about in 2018, 2019?

    We should be giving some hard thought to the ongoing consolidation within the media industry and the continued growth of the dominant digital technology and advertising platforms. These changes will have a lasting impact on the economics of our industry as fewer companies amass buying and selling power.


    Any closing thoughts for the ThinkLA community?

    Los Angeles is one of the most diverse cities on the planet. We cheat ourselves by not fully leveraging the dynamism of this diversity in our industry. I love that ThinkLA helps us by bringing disparate groups together as a community. From this shared sense of community we can see that there is a lot to be gained by offering everyone a seat at the table.

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    Sheila Marmon is Founder and CEO of Mirror Digital.


    Tags:  #thinkMembers  Brand Marketer  diversity in advertising  marketing  mirror digital  thinkla  woman owned agency 

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    Myra Marayag, VP of Sales, Defy Media

    Posted By Don Lupo, Thursday, August 9, 2018
    Updated: Wednesday, August 8, 2018

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

    My first job was an Assistant Producer working on the Lexus account at TeamOne Advertising. After a few years, I moved over to an Account Strategy role since working with clients and brainstorming with my creative teams was extremely fulfilling for me. I learned so much at TeamOne and that agency will always have a special place in my heart. Plus, they had beer on tap which helped a ton! After finishing up my Master’s Degree at USC, I moved to New York and landed a job in digital media working on the Volkswagen, Diageo and Konami accounts. After a few years of working on Madison Avenue, L.A. was calling me back, since my husband (boyfriend at the time) and I were doing long distance for a few years, so it was time to head back west

     

    I made the move over to the publisher side and worked at CBS Interactive selling their Entertainment and Gaming properties. My boss at the time continues to be my business mentor to this day. And now, I currently work at DEFY Media as a brand storyteller, helping grow revenue across the Gaming, Automotive and Entertainment verticals. My experience working on both agency and publisher roles has helped me understand this industry so much and I’ve been tremendously lucky to have worked with so many great people! 

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

    Honestly, my family keeps me motivated. Every day I get home from work and my kids (ages 4 and 2) don’t care if I closed a deal or crushed a PPT presentation. They care about the simple things, like how the flowers smell in our backyard or watching airplanes fly in the sky. Seeing the world thru their eyes really makes me want to be a better person in all avenues of my life.

    As for a personal motto, I’m a big believer of the saying: “Surround yourself with good people, surround yourself with positivity and people who are going to challenge you to make you better.” 

    What excites you most about this industry?

    There’s so much change happening in the industry today so it’s exciting to see how much of it is continues to evolve. One year, MCN’s are the hottest thing to talk about, now it’s all about the power of influencers. It definitely keeps you on your toes as you need to constantly educate yourself in the marketplace to see who is really disrupting the industry.  

     

     




    Photos: Don Lupo

     

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

    We already see it now but there’s such a big focus on the power of content. Major companies are consolidating so that they can create more premium content for consumers (i.e. Disney acquiring Fox). Companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu are all doubling down to make sure they have the next Handmaid’s Tale or Stranger Things franchise. The concept of Skinny Bundles really shows you that content is king and that consumers will dictate what they want to watch, so I think in the next five years, companies who create authentic content with truly engaged audiences will succeed. 

    Being a female Sales Executive in our industry must not always be an easy journey. What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned so far?

    Trying to take on too many things and spreading myself too thin. I learned quickly that you really have to focus on the important things that move the needle. Also, I think it’s important to make yourself a seat at the table since it’s not always given to you. But make sure you are worthy of that seat! 

    What advice do you have for emerging professionals just starting in advertising?

    I can’t say this enough when I mentor folks who are just graduating from college: network, network, network. Most career opportunities will happen due to your own personal network, so make sure your networking game is strong. Also, I recently attended a Women’s Leadership conference, and they reminded me that working on your own personal brand is extremely important.

    Any closing thoughts for the ThinkLA community?

    The ThinkLA community is amazing. If you aren’t actively involved, I definitely urge you to do so, as you’ll meet so many friends and business mentors who will help you grow in your career. 

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    Myra Marayag is VP of Sales at DEFY Media and currently serves on the ThinkLA IDEA Council.

    Tags:  #thinkMembers  defy  media  myra  sales  wom  Women 

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