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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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Aaron Walton, Founding Partner, Walton Isaacson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What excites you most about this industry?

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

 

 




Photos: Don Lupo

 

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

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

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

Why did you decide to join the ThinkLA board?

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

Any closing thoughts?

Welcome to LA, King James!

 

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

Tags:  #ThinkMembers  Career Advice  Member Spotlight  Philosophy  Walton Isaacson 

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Sunny Behniwal, Senior Account Executive, Adelphic

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

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

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

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

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

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

What keeps you motivated? Do you have a motto?

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

Two of my favorite quotes which I often reference are:

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

 




Photos: Don Lupo

 

What excites you most about this industry?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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