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We Can All Win: Words from ADCOLOR

Posted By Emily Hope, Thursday, September 28, 2017


By: Kendall Rouse, Account Executive, BBDO LA

The 11th annual ADCOLOR Conference and Awards were held in Hollywood, Sept. 16-19, 2017. Once just a dream for Tiffany R. Warren, Founder & President of ADCOLOR, the conference and awards reached a new level this year as it continues to bring together risers, changers, innovators, allies, and legends of very diverse backgrounds from multiple creative industries.

As a woman of color in the industry, the ADCOLOR conference was an extremely refreshing experience. I’m no stranger to the lack of diversity within agency walls, industry events and creative representation. ADCOLOR has been a change-agent in this conversation for years.

With a mission of rising up and reaching back, ADCOLOR champions diversity and inclusion in creative industries. Their goal is to create a community of diverse professionals who are here to support and celebrate one another. And with a theme this year of “Come Together”, the conference and awards did just that.


Here are some takeaways for us all to consider:

DIVERSITY is asking people to the party, but INCLUSION is inviting them to dance.

D&I initiatives typically end at “Diversity.” Companies look to reach quotas to appear to be a more diverse organization, not understanding you have to also engage diverse people in order to keep them.

Listen to them. Interact with them. Highlight them. And do it authentically. Diversity will never stick without inclusion.

Diversity is NOT generosity; it IS the very basis of decency.

ADCOLOR All-Star award recipient Jesse Williams summed this up best in his acceptance speech: 
“The use of the term ‘diversity’ is a distraction from decency. Diversity is marketed as labor-intensive ‘inclusion,’ as mandated corporate behavior, required action; an added burden, but for good, like a gift. But diversity is not generosity. Absent any self-reflection, diversity just becomes another sub-industry born of PR panic; a detour designed to distract from systematic exclusion. The truth is we don’t need anyone to hire a ‘diversity’ exec, assigned to hover toothlessly in the vicinity of decision makers. We need whole decision makers, who can do the entire job. We don’t need corporate culture going out of it’s way to begin including. It’s not about that. It’s about the ending of excluding.”

Be accountable.

We, in this industry, are indeed storytellers; we move cultural narratives. Its not “just advertising.” It never was. We have a responsibility to be accountable to how we represent people. This industry tends to deny the obvious truth for the comfortable lie. We have to address it. We have to understand where our own privileges lie and then challenge them in order to move the needle forward in the way most organizations outwardly say they would like to.

So it’s time to do the work. This is about the bottom-line. Slow down and make whole decisions, at all levels; understand culture and where it is moving to make the most impactful work for our agencies and clients.

The definition of culture is changing; intersectionality is real.

The industry, already years behind in attempting to address some of the errors made, is now taking a dated approach to the topic. It’s not as “black and white” as it used to be. What culture is has changed. The interconnected nature of communities has expanded in a way that we must acknowledge in the work we do. The first step is educating ourselves on context and being deliberate in understanding people. Let’s stop being reactive to the latest cultural trend, but rather proactive to know it’s already coming.

Recognize the Future Talent.

As a 2017 ADCOLOR FUTURE, I was apart of an extremely talented, selected, pool of diverse young professionals who represented creative industries across the nation. We are the future leaders of this industry. We are the risers and cultural change agents. We are apart of the group that organizations must engage. All it takes is acknowledgement to harness a young professional’s potential. Find us, engage us and allow us to lead conversations.

You are invited.

These types of awards, conferences and events are not just for people of color, women, LGBTQ+ and the many other marginalized communities. While we are here to highlight the amazing work coming from these creative communities and the issues that impact them, we are not here to just preach to the choir. We need real allies to join us in this. We need to “Come Together”. So please show up with us.

We are here.

And on that note, by showing up, you we realize we are here. The narrative we hear is that “we don’t know where to find diverse talent.” Yet, there we were.

Organizations must invest to meet us where we are. Send your company representation to meet diverse professionals who are already in the industry. Focus some of your outreach efforts at colleges or high schools where our youth are to ensure the pipeline coming in is one the represents the world we actually live in. See us and participate with us; this work can’t be done alone.

We can all win.

When we talk about things that solely focus on other communities or on organizational approaches that need correcting, there is usually a push back to spend dollars on it. But we have always been able to find resources when we made a commitment to doing it; and we have been able to do it at scale. D&I is no different.

Authenticity in the D&I space will only come from investing in and engaging it. We must challenge ourselves to create the level equity that is missing for marginalized communities in our industry. This can be a level playing field if we put the work behind it.

We must to ensure the door behind us is open, stays open and only wide. We can “Come Together” and we can all win.

For more information on ADCOLOR, visit http://adcolor.org/. To support ThinkLA's D.I.G. initiative, visit the DIG website.

Tags:  #ThinkDIG  ADCOLOR  DIG  Diversity  Kendall Rouse 

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A Musical Conversation with Canvas' AdJam Band, Blank Canvas

Posted By Sara H. Smith, Wednesday, September 27, 2017


Have you been to a festival this year? Do you have any money left? 
We work in advertising so no… and no. Ok…maybe 1. #millennials

If you went to a festival this year, did you lose anything? Your car keys? Your wristband? Your lunch in a port-o-let? Just dignity. Lots of dignity.

How many people in your agency or office play an instrument? Why aren’t they with you onstage?
…They’re at the bar…

Who ripped the holes in your jeans, you or someone in China?Cardi B

Are you old enough to remember mosh pits? Can you tell me what a mosh was? This question is condescending…*Googles ‘who is mosh?’*

Whose Spotify playlist would you rather hear:

  • Kim Jong-un’s or Jared Kushner’s? Kim Jong-Un’s
  • Kid Rock or Kid Cudi? KIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIID Cudi, obviously.
  • Steve Bannon or Pennywise the Dancing Clown? Same playlist full of circus music.

It’s been 10 years. Is it okay that we are still leaving Britney alone? Yes – What we NEED to be talking about is the New Taylor killing the Old Taylor. Talk. About. Drama.

Tags:  #AdJam  AdJam  AdJam2017  Advertising  Agency Bands  Battle of the Bands  The Novo DTLA  ThinkAdJam 

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A Musical Conversation with Possible's AdJam Band, Daft Funk

Posted By Sara H. Smith, Tuesday, September 26, 2017


Are you old enough to remember mosh pits? Can you tell me what a mosh was?
Yes, of course. I moshed HARD at Anthrax at the Troubador and almost lost my shoe, my hat AND my shirt in the pit at a Suicidal Tendencies show. See Anthrax "Caught in a Mosh" for details. – Vic, Drums

Trick question - Mosh pits are still a very relevant thing. It's a vulgar display of power (see what I did there), but with camaraderie and rules. If you you punch, kick or hurt anyone, you are just an ass. – Ciscos, Guitar 

How is a client call like attending a music festival? (You know, crowd too big, people elbowing to get in front, happens over two weekends…) There are a lot of people who shouldn’t be there and something smells like feet. – Cat, Keys

Has a guitar ever gotten you laid? What is the best brand of guitar for getting one laid? Asking for a friend.
I tell myself so. It's not about the brand of guitar, it's all about your fingering technique (too much information?) – Ciscos, Guitar

I'll show you. It's over here...in my room. – Vic, Drums

Who ripped the holes in your jeans, you or someone in China? I did! That’s why its trendy AF. – Roland, Guitar

Do you have any reefer? Thanks. Uh, obviously. Is that even a real question? – Brandon Bethea, Bass

Tits, bits and pits. Discuss. The making of a great band name. We’re “Tits, Bits and Pits. Lookin’ good, smelling better. Goodnight!” – Chelsea, Vocals

Tags:  #AdJam  AdJam  AdJam2017  Advertising  Agency Bands  Battle of the Bands  The Novo DTLA  ThinkAdJam 

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A Musical Conversation with Phelps' AdJam Band, Rukus

Posted By Sara H. Smith, Tuesday, September 26, 2017


Will Shepler – Singer, Ruckus

Are you old enough to remember mosh pits? Can you tell me what a mosh was? Went to a free Staind concert circa 2001 in Atlanta. Got 50 rows from the front, couldn’t breathe. Then the mosh pits formed and squished us more. not fun.

What else could the letters EDM stand for? Ecstatic Drugs, Man

Why did you choose your festival song? Have you seen it performed live? Is it Haim? ‘Cause Haim is totally way better live, right? Corey Haim?

Do you have any reefer? Thanks. Just grass.



Amanda Chavez –  Singer, Ruckus

Have you been to a festival this year? Do you have any money left? Coachella and FYF. All of my money goes to festivals and concerts, so I am always broke.

If you went to a festival this year, did you lose anything? Your car keys? Your wristband? Your lunch in a port-o-let? My damn mind.

 

Shane Brouse –  Bassist, Ruckus

Are you old enough to remember mosh pits? Can you tell me what a mosh was? I am too old to remember mosh pits but my millennial friends say that there was one at the Melvins show we were at last month. The Melvins are older than me. Hopefully they aren’t counting on me to remember that they have mosh pits.

Have you ever had to choose between two favorite bands who were on at the same time? What was were your criteria? Do you use that same criteria in your agency life? I chose the one playing closest to the toilets. Yes, that’s universally applicable.

Tits, bits and pits. Discuss. Is the 2017 version of “Ass, grass, or cash”? Either way…No one rides for free!

Has a guitar ever gotten you laid? What is the best brand of guitar for getting one laid? Asking for a friend. No, but a guitarist has (I’m a bassist so I need all the help I can get).

Tags:  #AdJam  AdJam  AdJam2017  Advertising  Agency Bands  Battle of the Bands  The Novo DTLA  ThinkAdJam 

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A Musical Conversation with Deutsch's AdJam Band, Darth Vato

Posted By Sara H. Smith, Tuesday, September 26, 2017


If you could be any animal, would it be the muppet drummer? 
1000%

Tits, bits and pits. Discuss.
All should never smell.

Who ripped the holes in your jeans, you or someone in China? My American Thighs ripped my jeans.

It’s been 10 years. Is it okay that we are still leaving Britney alone? YES. LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE.

Tags:  #AdJam  AdJam  AdJam2017  Advertising  Advertising Agency Bands  Battle of the Bands  The Novo DTLA  ThinkAdJam 

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A Musical Conversation with Greenlight's AdJam Band (and reigning champs), Green Hot Chili Peppers

Posted By Sara H. Smith, Tuesday, September 26, 2017


Have you been to a festival this year? Do you have any money left? 
Yes. No - haven’t had anything to eat, other than Lunchables, the last 6 weeks.

If you went to a festival this year, did you lose anything? Your car keys? Your wristband? Your lunch in a port-o-let? Lost my car keys and wristband while losing my virginity in a port-o-toilet.

How many people in your agency or office play an instrument? Why aren’t they with you onstage?
No comment.

How is a client call like attending a music festival? (You know, crowd too big, people elbowing to get in front, happens over two weekends…) Lots of noise with very little substance until the end of the call.

Are you old enough to remember mosh pits? Can you tell me what a mosh was? Yes. Straight throwin’ bows on fools.

Have you ever had to choose between two favorite bands who were on at the same time? What was were your criteria? Do you use that same criteria in your agency life? Follow your stomach. Everyday, when I go to lunch and have to choose between the old person group and the young person group.

What else could the letters EDM stand for? Especially Despicable Mother-In-Law

Why did you choose your festival song? Have you seen it performed live? Is it Haim? ‘Cause Haim is totally way better live, right? We saw none of our songs.

Do you have any reefer? Thanks. We always position ourselves on the left hand side.

If you could be any animal, would it be the muppet drummer? No, I’d be a Rhino.

Follow up, of the members of the muppet band, who us your favorite? It’s Janice, right? Because if it’s not Janice you’re wrong. Muppets are for kids. Just like Trix.

Tits, bits and pits. Discuss.
A pretty standard day in the life for James Aardahl.

Who ripped the holes in your jeans, you or someone in China? My gluten free, vegan free, denim guy on Abbot Kinney who also handcrafts his own soap.

Has a guitar ever gotten you laid? What is the best brand of guitar for getting one laid? Asking for a friend. Ibanez- it attracts the raunchiest of music lovers.

Tags:  #AdJam  A Advertising  AdJam  AdJam2017  Advertising  Agency Bands  attle of the Bands  Battle of the Bands  dJam  dvertising  gency Bands  he Novo DTLA  The Novo DTLA  ThinkAdJam 

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A Musical Conversation with RPA's AdJam Band, Untitled Folder

Posted By Sara H. Smith, Monday, September 25, 2017


Have you been to a festival this year? Do you have any money left? 
Music festivals are too much for me to be honest. 

Are you old enough to remember mosh pits? Can you tell me what a mosh was? I’ve paid my dues to the mosh gods. Broke my nose in one – 2010. The good ol’ days. 

Have you ever had to choose between two favorite bands who were on at the same time? What was were your criteria? Do you use that same criteria in your agency life? I always go with my first instinct.

If you could be any animal, would it be the muppet drummer? No, definitely a bear with chainsaw arms.

Has a guitar ever gotten you laid? What is the best brand of guitar for getting one laid? Asking for a friend. I have never had much monetary success in the music industry, but playing in a band DEFINITELY gets you laid.

Whose Spotify playlist would you rather hear: Kid Rock or Kid Cudi? Kid Rock – American Badass

Tags:  #AdJam  #ThinkAdJam  AdJam  AdJam2017  Advertising  Agency Bands  Battle of the Bands  LA Advertising  The Novo DTLA 

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A Musical Conversation with Saatchi and Saatchi's AdJam Band, Ampersand

Posted By Sara H. Smith, Monday, September 25, 2017


Are you old enough to remember mosh pits? Can you tell me what a mosh was?
Mosh comes from “Nosh” – which is the Yiddish word for “eating” or “hungry”. A mosh pit resembles a traditional dance called “the hora” that is done at bar mitzvahs and jewish weddings. As the dance ends, attendees then “nosh” (eat the meal). At the Rainbow Theatre, London, on December 31, 1977, the Ramones recorded their live record “It’s Alive”. In between songs, Joey Ramone (who was Jewish) can be heard advising the crowd of rowdy punks “Ay youse guys, you gotta be careful in the nosh pit”. On the recording it sounds like “mosh pit”.

What else could the letters EDM stand for? Electro Dynamic Magnets (how do they work?)

Who ripped the holes in your jeans, you or someone in China? My dog ate my homework. And my jeans.

Tags:  #AdJam  #ThinkAdJam  AdJam  AdJam2017  Advertising Agency Bands  Battle of the Bands  LA Advertising  The Novo DTLA  ThinkLA 

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A Musical Conversation with Innocean's AdJam Band, HB Riots

Posted By Sara H. Smith, Monday, September 25, 2017


Have you been to a festival this year? Do you have any money left? 
No and no.

If you went to a festival this year, did you lose anything? Your car keys? Your wristband? Your lunch in a port-o-let? Probably would have lost a little dignity.

How many people in your agency or office play an instrument? Why aren’t they with you onstage?
We have 38 guitar players. They didn’t make the cut.

How is a client call like attending a music festival? (You know, crowd too big, people elbowing to get in front, happens over two weekends…) Lots of noise with very little substance until the end of the call.

Are you old enough to remember mosh pits? Can you tell me what a mosh was? Yes. Mosh pit: noun – an area in which purposefully thrust your body into several random, sweaty, overly amped strangers. It’s not as fun as it sounds.

Have you ever had to choose between two favorite bands who were on at the same time? What was were your criteria? Do you use that same criteria in your agency life? No.

What else could the letters EDM stand for? Especially Despicable Mother-In-Law

Why did you choose your festival song? Have you seen it performed live? Is it Haim? ‘Cause Haim is totally way better live, right? Haim makes me more sleepy than turkey

Do you have any reefer? Thanks. Be cool, man.


If you could be any animal, would it be the muppet drummer?
I see what you did there, and the answer is yes.


Tits, bits and pits. Discuss.
Everyone has them. End of discussion.


Who ripped the holes in your jeans, you or someone in China? We prefer cargo pants and chinos.

Has a guitar ever gotten you laid? What is the best brand of guitar for getting one laid? Asking for a friend. I think I’m beginning to understand the Muppet thing.

Why did you name your band that? Really. Is your mom okay with it?
My mom picked it out, and she’s thrilled.

Whose Spotify playlist would you rather hear:

  • Kim Jong-un’s or Jared Kushner’s? Kim’s because, K-Pop. DUH, Muppet man
  • Kid Rock or Kid Cudi? Cudi.
  • Steve Bannon or Pennywise the Dancing Clown? (Or is it the same playlist?) Same playlist, same person.

It’s been 10 years. Is it okay that we are still leaving Britney alone? Yes, leave her in the past (and Vegas).

Tags:  #AdJam  #ThinkAdJam  AdJam  AdJam2017  Advertising  Agency Bands  Battle of the Bands  LA Advertising  The Novo DTLA  ThinkLA 

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A Musical Conversation with ymarketing's AdJam Band, Y Stripes

Posted By Emily Hope, Friday, September 22, 2017

Have you been to a festival this year? Do you have any money left? Yes, and no. But it’s our fault for splurging on the helicopter.

If you went to a festival this year, did you lose anything? Your car keys? Your wristband? Your lunch in a port-o-let? Our innocence.

How many people in your agency or office play an instrument? Why aren’t they with you onstage?
A lot. Clearly we have only the highest and most specific standards. Also they couldn’t get babysitters during practice.

How is a client call like attending a music festival? (You know, crowd too big, people elbowing to get in front, happens over two weekends…) The only way to be heard is to shout as loud as possibly and interrupt whomever is talking. Also the copious amounts of alcohol required to enjoy it.

Are you old enough to remember mosh pits? Can you tell me what a mosh was? Mosh Pits are why Gen Xers never had enough remaining energy to actually do anything with their anger.

Have you ever had to choose between two favorite bands who were on at the same time? What was were your criteria? Do you use that same criteria in your agency life? The one that had the cooler stage to look at.

What else could the letters EDM stand for? Erectile Dysfunction Man, a superhero for the limp and lively.

Why did you choose your festival song? Have you seen it performed live? Is it Haim? ‘Cause Haim is totally way better live, right? One of our people just saw one of our songs performed live at a festival last weekend. Our version is better.

Do you have any reefer? Thanks. Shh. Be cool.

If you could be any animal, would it be the muppet drummer? He’s the only drummer crazier than Keith Moon. He wins.

Follow up, of the members of the muppet band, who us your favorite? It’s Janice, right? Because if it’s not Janice you’re wrong. No, dummy. Animal is the best. See above. Dude needs to be chained up when he’s not playing. That’s a rockstar.

Tits, bits and pits. Discuss.
The trick to all three is to let them breathe. And if you don’t mind your pits you’ll never see anyone’s tits and bits.

Who ripped the holes in your jeans, you or someone in China? Holes should be earned, not purchased.

Has a guitar ever gotten you laid? What is the best brand of guitar for getting one laid? Asking for a friend. The best guitar to get you laid is the one you can actually play.

Why did you name your band that? Really. Is your mom okay with it?
My mom doesn’t know, nor would she understand the reference. Which is a good metaphor for our relationship.

Whose Spotify playlist would you rather hear:

  • Kim Jong-un’s or Jared Kushner’s? No.
  • Kid Rock or Kid Cudi? Kid Cudi is a musician, Kid Rock is like the human version of a cigarette butt floating in an above ground pool. So Kid Cudi.
  • Steve Bannon or Pennywise the Dancing Clown? (Or is it the same playlist?) Bannon isn’t the same as the Dancing Clown, he just used to work for the Dancing Clown.

It’s been 10 years. Is it okay that we are still leaving Britney alone? I sort of don’t think we ever should have in the first place.

Tags:  #AdJam  #ThinkAdJam  AdJam  AdJam2017  agency  Agency Bands  LA Advertising  ymarketing 

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