Inside “Conversuasion”: Getting Cozy with Three Bigwigs
Posted by Sinthujaa Jeyarajah on September 19th, 2012
Last night, Ad Lounge brought together three renowned leaders in marketing and advertising to share their career stories.
Conversuasion was an authentic experience that subtly empowered the audience to be courageous and to be themselves. There was networking, a cheeky singing rendition of the house rules, three entertaining and inspiring storytellers and the all-telling introductions by the MC, Andrew Simon of Blammo.
The first storyteller, Franke Rodriguez (@AnomalyTO), told the charismatic story of how he came to work in advertising and lead Anomaly Toronto at the young age of 33. Throughout his life, Franke believed in always doing what you love – not just the things you think you’re supposed to do:
“Don’t let conventions or someone else tell you what you cannot do”
Franke talked about the many passions, activities and directional changes he went through in life before discovering that advertising was the right career field for him. From being a rapper, switching colleges, switching majors and working in finance. Franke has always stayed true to doing what he loves and if it wasn’t possible, he always found a way to make it happen.
The next storyteller was Robin Whalen (@RobinWhalen), Managing Director at Real Interactive. She recounted the best and worst advice she had received over the years in her story “Rules for Success in Advertising.. That I’ve Completely Ignored”.
Robin, a self-professed type A personality, related to the vulnerability of hearing feedback and shared her rather entertaining stories of how she chose to acknowledge or filter it. Among the good advice she shared was:
“It’s ok to lose”
“It’s how you say it”
“under promise, over deliver”
She also shared anecdotes of some of the less helpful advice, like “dresses are weak, wear a pantsuit” and “kids make you weak”.
The final storyteller of the night was Walter Levitt (@Mediamktgguy), EVP Marketing at Comedy Central, who told several fascinating anecdotes about his career.
“Calling Bullshit on One of the Most Popular Catchphrases in the Media Business”.
Walter started out working at a radio station in Montreal and as his career evolved, he began working in marketing teams for media companies such as CTV and Canwest (he also worked on shows, specifically The Trailer Park Boys).
Over the years he has been focused on creating successful media brands – not channels, especially with the evolution of social media and mobile technology.
“There’s way too much content out there; a great piece of content can get found or lost.”
Walter went on to share examples of marketing strategies that embraced and enabled the evolving nature of content and socialization – such as the “Obama Anger Translator” web video series that was deliberately launched exclusively online as a way to promote Key & Peele. It was an amazing moment to subsequently receive a shout out on the brilliance and quality of the idea from Obama himself on a late night talk show. And the catchphrase? Walter believes content is no longer king. He didn’t propose an alternative but left it with the crowd to mull over.
Following the speakers, there was a brief Q&A period and additional time to mingle and network. All in all, the event was a success and the crowd was craving more.
If you are interested in attending a future Ad Lounge event, please visit their website to learn more!