Consider this: more than 80% of all purchases are made by women. Yet in spite of the fact that most women say they don’t like the way they’re marketed to, only 3% of all ad agency Creative Directors are women.
The 3% Conference and community exist to showcase the business value of women CDs to ad agencies and brands. But 3% isn’t just about women. It’s about tackling a critical business problem that’s plaguing every industry. Corporate America is shooting itself in the head by not making the most of the diverse resources at its disposal—the very diversity that could drive us all toward innovation and economic success.
What am I doing about it?
As the 3% CCO, I'm helping shape the agenda for the 2-day Conference in San Francisco and Road Shows in 5 U.S. cities; I'm creating the curriculum for the first-ever CD Bootcamp (debuting in November of 2014); I'm CDing our documentary; I helped organize and host our Super Bowl Tweetup; and cofounded Speed Mentoring. So yeah, you could say that when it comes to 3%, I'm all in.
If you believe, as I do, that there’s a she-change coming that’s good for us all, I hope you’ll join us in November. Because change may be fricking hard but whatever we can do together to make the waters rise even an inch will lift ALL boats.
But we all want to make meaningful connections, get great advice & exchange ideas. How many times have you gone to conferences and meetups hoping to meet your idols, only to find that approaching them is just TOO awkward?
It's equally frustrating for the people you're hoping to meet. Industry icons are people too. They want to help others but just don’t have the time to mentor everyone individually. That’s why I created Speed Mentoring. To help you get actual face time with some of the industry's best minds.
I first launched Speed Mentoring at The 3% Conference because as the only conference where hundreds of Creative women (and men) come together to connect and problem solve I thought it deserved something way beyond "networking".
In 2015, Speed Mentoring will be offered at the fall 3% Conference in NYC as well as 3% MiniCon events. A customized session titled "Speed Date Your Way To Massive Social Impact" will also be offered at #SXSW in the Social Good Hub.
How does it work? In each Speed Mentoring session, 20 Mentors and 20 Mentees meet in a fast-paced setting, ask and answer questions & have the option of making a long-term connection. Mentees have a chance to speak openly with industry leaders, get career advice and hack business problems. And leaders are able to speak one-on-one with bright, curious Mentees about the topics and questions that matter most. It's a great way to give back – and to meet new talent.
Check out the video to see Speed Mentoring in action.
Students trying to choose a college need more to go on than brochures and websites designed and written by old geezers or campus tours led by undergrads known for their salesmanship.
Potential students want to know if the kids they’ll be going to school with are “their people” and whether the campus culture feels like a fit. So we convinced Skidmore College to let us set up cameras on campus and see how students responded in the moment to different situations.
If you’re Tide, how can you make a big splash at the London Olympic Games in a way that’s brand appropriate? Celebrate the patriot in all of us in a very personal way. Talk about the fact that Tide is the keeper of America’s colors, the only brand trusted to launder the Olympic athletes’ uniforms. Then ask people to tell their unique American story of what those colors—the Red, White, and Blue—mean to them.
That was the idea behind the “My story. Our flag” social-driven program. Full disclosure: I didn’t come up with this idea. I was the ACD on the team. My biggest contribution was to pull this audacious idea out of the trash bin, breathe life into it and present it—internally, to our clients and agency partners.
The centerpiece of the Tide Olympics program was a Facebook app that let people add and share their story which was tagged on a piece of the digital flag alongside the stories of their friends, family and Olympic athletes.
But the program wasn’t limited to the online world.
In addition to living on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Tide.com, through iMedia
and so on, the idea also existed in the real world. An actual, humongous flag measuring
117 feet x 52 feet was stitched together, with fabric swatches tagged with the
online stories and displayed at a 4th of July event at Bryant Park
in New York City, complete with Katherine McPhee singing a heartfelt rendition
of the national anthem.
A website is like a puzzle. All of the pieces have to come together to tell a larger story. But each piece must make sense on its own because there's no telling which part of the puzzle people will play with first. How do you write a story where there is no defined beginning, middle or end? By focusing on the user’s experience.
I’ve written and Creative Directed all kinds of websites, from simple blogs to complex, transactional sites, taking the same approach to each and every one. I focus on what people want to do and then try to provide the simplest, most intuitive way for them to do it.
Here are just a few of the sites I've worked on thus far.
When I was asked to be on the reunion committee for Occidental College, my alma mater, I was determined to make it a party to remember that would help my classmates connect to each other and the college like super glue. As it happens, the class of ‘83s most famous alum was Barry aka Barack Obama. Would he come to the reunion? Or would his Presidential duties keep him away? In the end, we knew it didn’t matter because even if he couldn’t come, POTUS (President Of The United States) would be there in spirit in the form of a life-sized cut-out that everyone would be dying to tell stories about and take photo ops with.
Lest you think this was all fun and games, check this out. Reunions are the life blood of colleges since returning alumni who have a good experience tend to give more generously. I’m now talking with Occidental about creating a program for each returning class that helps make their reunion the social glue that bonds them to their classmates and the school.