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

Matt Ian
Chief Creative Officer
mcgarrybowen New York

1) At the end of 1993, I transferred to a school in LA. It was 10 days before the Northridge earthquake which took out the 10 Freeway, the city’s primary east-to-west artery. So, I had to learn to get around town without it. Facebook is kind of like the 10, and the election was kind of like Northridge. I don’t know if this is a trend or not, but I find myself getting around without Facebook a lot more now. I’m still on there, it’s not like I deleted my account or anything, it just doesn’t play the role it once played and there doesn’t seem to be anything comparable.

2) I’ve been in this role at mcgarrybowen a little more than two months, so literally everything is a change for me in 2018. All the resources are new, all the technology, and all the strategies are new. What’s struck me initially is how progressive mcgarrybowen’s approach to strategy is. It wasn’t until I got to Droga5 that I even saw strategy and comms work in concert. And at mcgarrybowen, Jen (Jennifer Zimmerman) and her team have really impressed me with new initiatives to integrate smarter comms planning.

3) Having only been in this role for two months, my list is pretty short. (I got all three of my kids successfully enrolled in a healthcare plan, but that’s probably not the type of work you’re asking about.) I did get to work on some cool stuff for DAZN with Smuggler’s Brian Beletic. And I got to meet Michael Buffer, Canelo Alvarez, and Oscar De La Hoya (who stopped by the set). So that was pretty awesome.

4) The second half of this decade has been wildly unpredictable. So, I don’t know how much stock I’d put in my predictions--I think my crystal ball is just trolling me at this point. The only thing I believe we can truly depend on is clarity of purpose. Brands that have a clear purpose will continue to navigate the cultural landscape successfully and on their own terms. Nike proved that to us yet again in 2018. The industry can learn a lot from their example, and if they don’t, 2019’s going to be a long year.

5) I’ve got this new job to figure out and lot of people to get to know. There’ll be a ton coming at me from every angle and I need to remember to enjoy it. This is advertising, not banking. We can get up every day and do something we hate, or something we love. So, I resolve to do the latter. And get more sleep. And go to the gym. And drink more water, eat better, order from Seamless less, and go to the dentist more. It’ll be an exhausting first week of January.


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