What trends, developments or issues would you point to thus far in 2022 as being most significant, perhaps carrying implications for the rest of this year and beyond?
The fight for equality on all fronts, this year and beyond.
How have any societal issues--such as the pandemic, the Supreme court decision on abortion, calls for equity, inclusion, diversity, racial and social justice--impacted the way you do business, company policies and/or selection of projects/creative content?
For DE&I, as a company, we believe in thinking and acting on many levels; internal, external and individual. First and foremost, it is integral for our teams to reflect our commitment to every form of equity and inclusivity. At BSSP, we have goals to ensure we give opportunities to BIPOC directors/editors/photographers/DPs. We are engaged in our community with local Bay Area non-profits like First Graduate and Larkin Street. We sponsor The One School and Where Are All The Black People. As a leadership group, we believe in learning and challenging each other and have partnered with Courageous Conversations. As individuals, we all mentor people from underserved communities within and outside of our industry. And finally, as makers and storytellers, we are creating work that challenges and spotlights issues within our society, like our recent work with Blue Shield of California that talked about gender discrimination in healthcare #HearMe.
What’s the biggest takeaway or lessons learned from work (please identify the project) you were involved in this year?
One of our agency values is an old Japanese proverb, “None of us is as smart as all of us.” My biggest takeaway this year was a reminder of that. Our best work this year, whether for ESPN, Blue Shield of California, Amazon, FootJoy, or Activision Blizzard, came from a deep understanding of teamwork. No one does good work by themselves. Time and time again, we are at our best when we do it together.
What work (advertising, entertainment, documentary) -- your own or others--struck a responsive chord with you this year and why?
So few pieces of film, content, and ads struck a chord with me as much as “Mass” this year. Though the movie came out in 2021, I was able to watch it this year. The topic is unfortunately top of mind. Without giving away the plot too much, the piece is about the aftermath of a school shooting with four characters in a room having incredibly powerful and raw conversations.
While gazing into the crystal ball is a tricky proposition, we nonetheless ask you for any forecast you have relative to content creation and/or the creative and/or business climate for the second half of 2022 and beyond.
As you said, it is a tricky proposition. But, I predict more brands will continue to take stands to fight against inequality in all forms. On the other hand, there are more studies coming out showing in the face of societal challenges, people want to laugh. We will see more work with a tonal shift to humor and wit.
Has the first half of 2022 caused you to redefine or fine tune the goals of your company, division, studio or network--and if so, in what way(s)?
For us, it’s about understanding the moments that we are in, both economically and culturally. We study, then act on these shifts quickly and take appropriate creative risks. History tells us that marketing through recessionary times leads to stronger brands in a recovery.