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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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ELC LIVE!: Path To The She Suite Recap

Posted By Don Lupo, Monday, October 29, 2018

Written by Jessica McEwan, Copywriter at RPA




Photos: Linda Schwab

It was already dark outside when I arrived at ELC’s “Path to the She Suite” event, but inside Zambezi it was warm and bright. Women (and a few men) mingled together, chatting and taking pictures with a lightbox that said, “Welcome, Lady Bosses!”

Claire Thompson, Associate Director of Brand Connections at VICE Media was our moderator for the evening, introducing us to our panel of:

  • Sarah Ceglarski, Partner and CMO at Omelet
  • Jiah Choi, Partner and CEO at Anomaly
  • Jean Freeman, Principal and CEO at Zambezi
  • Sheila Marmon, Founder and CEO of Mirror Digital
  • Yumi Prentice, President and Managing Partner at David&Goliath

With so much success in the room, the first question focused, naturally, on failure. What had the panelists learned from it? Sheila Marmon urged us to remember that being laid off is not the end of the world, but it is important to always be aware of what is happening in your industry and be mindful of when it might be time to make a move. Jiah Choi recalled a time when she accepted a new job and was unhappy for months, but now feels it prepared her for her current role. Jean Freeman added that failure needs to be seen as part of the process, and that if you are just chugging along smoothly, you aren’t growing and learning from experience.

All of the women spoke about the importance of mentorship and how vital it is to learn from the experience of others. Sheila remarked that in addition to having strong mentorship, it’s important to really take a look at the power structures of the organization you are in. “It is important to position yourself in places where someone will hand you the baton.” Sarah Ceglarski pointed out that “your enemies are your greatest teachers, and as a leader not only do you need to be open to discourse and uncomfortable discussions, you need to lead those conversations.”




When asked what accomplishments they were proud of, Yumi Prentice shared that she is very proud that David&Goliath is a signatory to Times Up Advertising, and that they were promoting mental health by adding a mental-health day to their PTO package. Jean lamented that there is too much talk about diversity and not enough action, reminding us that “leading by example means holding yourself accountable.” She put that into practice by updating Zambezi’s benefits package to be more family-friendly.




The final panel question of the evening: “What’s a must-do in life?”

“Floss. And lead with compassion and integrity. If you don’t, the cost is too great to yourself.”
 – Yumi Prentice

“Be an agent for your own success. Don’t wait for someone to hand you that next opportunity. If you see a gap in your organization, fill it. Become an asset.” – Sheila Marmon

“Everyone should experience a U.S. National Park at some point in their life. Get outside and away from technology. Unplug.” – Jean Freeman

“Values are not values until they cost you something. Know what is sacred to you and protect it.” – Jiah Choi

“You must be empathetic. That’s more important than what you can learn in school. It’s how you connect and understand who you are talking to.” – Sarah Ceglarski

From there, Claire opened the panel up to Q&A. A small-business owner was having a hard time letting go of doing to focus on leading and wanted advice how to better manage that. Jean suggested she be honest with herself. If you’ve been in the same position for years and haven’t let go, do you really want to? Jiah remarked, “Neither you nor your business will grow if you are just doing.” Sheila suggested she bring on someone better than herself at the doing, so that she would feel comfortable handing off responsibility.

After a few more questions, Claire said there was time for one more. I raised my hand. Throughout the panel discussion, my eye had been wandering to the lightbox sign I mentioned earlier. I wondered, how did the women feel about this term, “Lady Boss?” Yumi chimed in first, saying she respected it and thought it had its place, and that there is an underscore to saying we are bosses who don’t fit the normal mold. Jean said she was looking forward to the rising of Gen Z, who don’t look to make everything so male or female. Jiah said, “I respect it, but I hate it. But I think that’s where we are. I’m looking forward to the day that we aren’t.” Perhaps the most empowering response, though, came from Sheila. “Being a lady boss doesn’t keep me from being a boss.”





Key Takeaways:

“Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.” – Sheryl Sandberg

“There is no work/life balance, there’s only work/life integration. You just have to enjoy what you do. The only way you can spend this much time working is if you like it.” – Jiah Choi

“Be open to discourse and uncomfortable conversations. That is part of your job. If you want to be a leader, you have to lead those conversations. If you have an issue with someone, you have to talk to them and sit them down and say, ‘I have an issue with you.’ That is such a powerful thing that I’ve only recently learned to do. But don’t assume malice every time. Pull back your immediate emotional reaction.” – Sarah Ceglarski

“People in successful leadership positions are curious and always looking to grow. Warren Buffet spends half his day reading.” – Jean Freeman

“Remember that when you get to where you are going, the people you need to mentor may not look like you or have the same background.” – Sheila Marmon

“There are incremental things you can do to promote diversity and equality. It doesn’t always have to mean joining a huge movement.” – Yumi Prentice

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Jessica McEwan is a copywriter at RPA and an instructor for The Book Shop School for Ads.



Tags:  #ThinkELC  #thinkStars  C Level Women  ELC Live!  Membership  professional development  She Suite  Women at Work  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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Global Wednesdays September!

Posted By Sara H. Smith, Tuesday, September 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.

 

 

If you don’t already know it, Lego Technic let’s you build things for real. How about a drivable Bugatti? Yup!
Great activation of a partnership. And very engaging content.

 

Omo/Unilever in South Africa has found the formula to separate kids from their screens. To the delight of parents everywhere.

 

Carlsberg/Denmark shows us the Danish way of living in a mini documentary series. And what people will do for a beer.

 

 
 

Tags:  #thinkLA  Creatives  Curiosity  Global Wednesday  Global Wednesdays  Member News  ThinkLA Members  ThinkMembers 

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Nick Platt, Founder and CEO, LO:LA

Posted By Don Lupo, Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, September 5, 2018

How did you get started in advertising? What's been your career road map?
I started in advertising at the age of 19 in London, when I left school all I wanted to do was draw. I wanted to find a job that allowed me to make a living out of my passion, and I was lucky enough to do so. Over the last 30 years, I worked my way up from intern, to Executive Creative Director, to Agency owner. All that time it’s been about connecting with people, creating work that truly resonates with people. Our mantra at LO:LA is that everything is “Made with Love” and I’m proud to say that that resonates in everything I’ve done and that we do.

What has been an important, perhaps the most important, lesson you’ve learned in your career so far?
Being open and transparent about how you feel, about the work or a situation or a problem we have to solve for. Being myself and being honest have been great guides for developing more interesting and effective solutions. 


What keeps you motivated? Do you have a personal motto?
I so love making great work. The actual process and craft of creation are things I have always loved, and I really believe that the newness of getting a new challenge and then creating to work to meet that challenge keeps me constantly motivated – it never gets old, you know? After all, this job beats working for a living.

What excites you most about this industry?
So many things! Off the top of my head, I’d say the convergence of technology with the immediacy of access to information, storytelling, the changing role of brands in people’s lives... are all exciting. Navigating this always-evolving industry for our clients is more exciting than ever!




Photos: Don Lupo Photography

 

Where is advertising heading? What do the next five years look like?
In advertising, we’re all creatively driven, and the industry continues to evolve as technology and how we interact with each other changes, so with so many variables, I don’t think I can make an accurate prediction on where advertising will be in fiveyears.

But what I’d like to see, and what we’re trying to accomplish at LO:LA, is making sure that the work serves our clients and the people that they’re trying to reach in a more human way. We’ve stopped talking at each other and have finally started talking to each other. I’d really like to champion the humanness of our industry and see where that goes. 

What advice do you have for emerging professionals just starting in advertising?
Be a sponge. Soak in, and soak up, different types of media to see how things work. Be tenacious, be true to yourself and never give up.


What’s been one of your favorite ThinkLA memories?

Winning a ThinkLA creative award for our creative work on the Toyota Camry.

Any closing thoughts for the ThinkLA community?
It’s an honor to be part of this community. I look forward to learning, collaborating and contributing to the creative industry. Together we are stronger. Cheers.

--------- 

Nick Platt is Founder and CEO of LO:LA.



Tags:  #ThinkMembers #NickPlatt #LOLA #Profile 

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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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Global Wednesday: August

Posted By Olivia Christian, Wednesday, August 15, 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.

 

 

Ikea, Sweden
A print ad that demonstrated what you can expect from their beds and mattresses.

 

Noblex, Argentina
One tweet and all hell broke loose.

 

Smart, Spain
In the age of “I want it now!”. Well, here it is.

 

Tags:  Global Wednesday 

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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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