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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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