Saturday, January 19, 2019

2018 Mid Year Report Card - Karen Costello

1) What trends, developments or issues would you point to thus far in 2018 as being most significant, perhaps carrying implications for the rest of the year and beyond?

2) What work (advertising or entertainment)—your own or others—struck a responsive chord with you and/or was the most effective strategically and/or creatively? Does any work stand out to you in terms of meshing advertising and entertainment?

3) Though gazing into the crystal ball is a tricky proposition, we nonetheless ask you for any forecast you have relative to the creative and/or business climate for the second half of 2018 and beyond.

4) What do recent honors on the awards show circuit (Cannes Lions, AICP Show/Next Awards, AICE winners or Emmy nominations) tell us in terms of creative and/or strategic themes and trends in the industry at large?

5) What new technology, equipment or software will you be investing in later this year or next year for your company or yourself personally, and why? Or, tell us about what new technology investment you’ve made this year and why it was a good decision—or not?

6) What efforts are you making to increase diversity and inclusion in terms of women and ethnic minority filmmakers? How do you go about mentoring new talent?

Karen Costello
Chief Creative Officer
The Martin Agency

1) Many significant things have happened in 2018, but it would be impossible to ignore the #MeToo movement and what it has done to open the eyes of companies and people everywhere to the pervasive culture of sexism, harassment and abuse, and the inequitable power structures that cultivated and perpetuated it. The reckoning that needed to happen for so very long, happened. And although many of us would say change is not happening fast enough, it is indeed happening and the ad industry along with many other industries, will be fundamentally altered. For the better.

2) I am struck by work that creates conversations, especially ones that we might not want to have, but need to. “The Talk” for P+G was one of those pieces of work for me. For a wide swath of people, ‘the talk’ is not something that existed in their consciousness and that is precisely the point. Empathy, even in :60 doses can be a powerful change agent. It is also a sobering reminder of how far we have not come, and reminds us all that there is still much work to be done.

3) I cannot overstate the importance of the mid-term elections in November. It may be good. It may be not so good. But I can’t imagine it will be neutral.

4) Good ideas still win. Brave clients still win. And more than ever, companies and corporations are using their scale and influence to create positive change in the world. I love that and hope it doesn’t reverse any time soon.

5) For me personally, I am divesting in technology. I’ve never been crazy into social media and all that, but I am making conscious and intentional effort to spend less time with technology. I do it for myself and my sanity but I do it for my kids too.

6) MWe are of course a member of Free the Bid. Beyond that, we make a big effort to always be researching interesting creative makers from all around the globe. We also tap into word of mouth and since we have a lot of international folks who work in our office, the influences come from all over.

All that being said, I would love more access to more resources to find more!

As far as mentoring new talent, giving a thorough answer to that would probably take more time and room than I have here, but I’d say that consistent, open and honest communication is one of the essential elements.

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