1) What industry trends or developments were most significant in 2018? 

2) How did your company, agency, network, service or studio adjust/adapt to the marketplace in 2018? (diversification, new resources/talent/technology, new strategies, etc.) You are welcome to cite a specific piece of work which shows how lessons learned in 2018 were applied.

3) What work in 2018 are you most proud of? 

4) Gazing into your crystal ball, what do you envision for the industry--creatively speaking and/or from a business standpoint--in 2019? 

5) What’s your New Year’s resolution, creatively speaking and/or from a business standpoint, for your company, agency or division? Do you have a personal New Year’s resolution that you can share? And if you like, tell us about a project you’ll be working on in early 2019

Mariota Essery
Executive Creative Director
Sid Lee

1) The industry landscape is changing, both in terms of what marketers need from agency partners as well as the capabilities that are the most effective.This has led to a rise in agency partners with unique offerings that are able to more nimbly deliver culturally relevant work. Also, it’s been a unique time where we’re seeing brands take on a more active role and voice in cultural issues.

2) Sid Lee is a versatile, full service agency with broad capabilities ranging from traditional advertising, design and architecture. In 2018, we expanded our entertainment offering creating content for a variety of studios and streaming networks. The market has changed due to a huge volume of content and platforms available, and it’s an exciting time for agencies to seize opportunities in this space. The challenge for our clients is that consumers don’t want to be marketed to - they want to be communicated with in an authentic way. This translates to creating contextually relevant work that drives earned media and recommendations within the target audience. Because the world changes on a daily basis, seizing on a contextually relevant moment requires us to concept work on a much faster timeline--sometimes within days or hours. Our LA office is a nimble agency that looks at the landscape differently. We have small teams that aren’t constrained by traditional agency roles. Often creative, account, production and strategy are handled on a collective basis which inspires ownership, accountability and most importantly collaboration.

3) In partnership with NFL, Yahoo Sports developed a first-of-its-kind app that brings fans live, local and primetime games for free. No sign, no cable or satellite subscription - just free football at the tap of an app. This not only marks Yahoo Sports as a serious player in the digital world of sports, but signifies a new era in football viewership and makes way for a new generation of fans.
To celebrate, we created a larger-than-life music video with the help of up-and-coming hip hop duo, The Seige. Putting a modern twist on the classic Monday Night Football theme song, they created a custom track aptly titled “Show Me the Football”. The music video embodies the spirit of football and speaks to a younger generation by weaving reality with surreal, digital animations and legendary moments from all 32 NFL teams. 
As with most productions, we experienced some challenges. To alleviate any potential setbacks, we made sure that all parties from the NFL and Yahoo Sports were satisfied throughout production. To achieve this we had daily check ins and open dialogue with our clients. 

4) There have been many changes in the industry that will most likely continue into 2019. The first being a trend of smaller agencies winning business due to them being nimble, allowing more cost effective approaches with less layers. The second is a growing marketing need to audiences of entertainment and streaming companies, which is a result of the volume highly produced film content they’re creating. Additionally, we believe that Los Angeles will continue to shine as technology and entertainment hub.

5) In 2019, our goal is to keep growing the Sid Lee LA office by creating culturally relevant, impactful work that will attract and retain great talent. We will continue to establish ourselves here on the West Coast and across the country. We have a lot of exciting projects on the horizon that we’re looking forward to working on in the New Year, including an exciting new product launch for The North Face, rebranding the 2019 Sundance festival, growing our entertainment marketing group and much more.
Personally, I hope to travel and read more, spend less time on my phone and spend more time with my kids.

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