W elcome to the second series of blog posts sharing conversations held directly with community leaders about top of mind industry issues. Community Table was formed from the collective efforts of Matt Nycz and Kate Chase of Brite Productions and Heather Elder and Lauranne Lospalluto of Heather Elder Represents with the idea that there is nothing more powerful in our industry than education.
I work with the Heather Elder and Brite teams to transcribe and edit the posts. It is an invaluable experience to sit down with art buyers and have candid discussions about issues important to them as art buyers and producers. I’m grateful to be a part of it and to publish the intro here on POP with links to the full posts on both the Brite and Heather Elder blogs.
The intro and first question are below. Please click through to the Brite Productions Blog or Heather Elder Represents blog what the art producers have to say about websites, blogs, social media, email marketing (and lists), portfolio events, sourcing photographers and much more.
Community Table was inspired by LeBook’s Connections; an industry trade show which was founded with the vision of bringing together the worlds top reps with producers and creatives from the world’s leading agencies and clients for a day of sharing and connecting.
And so it was through this bringing together that we found ourselves headed again to Connections, this time NYC — the media capital of the world, a city overflowing with a legacy of first moments in the history of advertising in America – and to name but a few: The first convention of advertising agents; J Walter Thompson inventing the position of account executive; NW Ayer hiring a first full-time copywriter and establishing a Business-Getting Department; Doyle Dane Bernbach inventing “the creative team” approach; David Ogilvy publishing “Confessions of an Advertising Man”; Mary Wells as the first woman to head a major agency, establishing Wells, Rich, Green; MTV; Mad Men…
Though we could go on, more to our point is photography and more specifically is that advertising photography and that it would come into its own here in the 1920’s, through mass-circulated magazines employing photographs — and where the agencies eagerly sought work from Steichen, Penn, Avedon, and others because they recognized their distinctive photographic visions as effective selling tools — where advertising agencies, clients, and magazine leverage the photographs power to sell a story or a product. And for most agencies now that seeking work from a photographer is influenced strongly by an art producer – a person whose job it has become in bringing the advertising photograph to life. And in NY, the culture of Madison Avenue is demanding and the art producers we work with some of the world’s best.
So in working with these clients for years now, we knew we’d get the straight story in response to our questions, that their feedback would be invaluable so we invited them to a seat at the Community Table. What we weren’t prepared for was the exponential effect of bringing them together in one room for an evening roundtable discussion of the things that matter most to them. The result was fierce opinions, deep camaraderie, and the complete candor that is pure New York. In short, essential reading for anyone interested in and motivated by the hard truths as told by some of the most influential art buyers in the country.
As a reminder, each Conversation Starter was directed to one person with a general discussion ensuing. Not surprisingly, many of the answers were similar to those of our LA colleagues. Therefore, rather than sharing the entire conversation, we included the original question and then the quotes and notes that were most relevant. Please note, often times the person leading the conversation spoke most often.
Participating Art Producers:
Julia Menassa, TBWA\Chiat Day
Trish McKeon, The CDM Group
Robin Daily, The Cementbloc
Jackie Contee, Uniworld Group Inc.
Andrea Kaye, McCann
Lisa Oropallo, Digitas
Helen O’Neill, Y & R
Betsy Jablow, BBDO
Robin Daily (The CementBloc)
Jamie Appelbaum, mcgarrybowen
Hillary Jackson, Saatchi & Saatchi
Jenny Read, kirshenbaum bond + partners
Cheryl Masaitis, Deutsch
Amy Zimmerman, mcgarrybowen
CONVERSATION STARTER #1/Julia Manessa, TBWA\Chiat Day
Marketing over the years has gotten more complicated and more expensive for photographers. Not everyone can afford to participate in every option. So knowing that not every photographer has the means for hiring out for marketing consults, which of the marketing channels are most effective at getting your attention and what are some of the best practices?
“I can only speak from my own experience with the two agencies I’ve been with…the gimmicky promos get tossed. The true strength of the image is what matters. Photographers can spend a lot of money but they don’t really need to. If it is a strong image, it will end up on our walls. “ Julia Manessa, TBWA\Chiat Day
“I know this is picky, but I am not a fan of promos that are wrapped in plastic. It slows you down when you’re looking fast through a stack of promos and they are not environmentally sound. I understand that photographers use them because they don’t want the card to get damaged, but I would advise against it. “ Julia Menessa, TBWA\Chiat Day
“My vote is for something that is simply designed that just needs a few images. Think clean. And please remember that we have limited spaces at our desks. I love the huge posters that some photographers are doing which can work if you want to keep them. But sometimes these are not always the best approach because they get tossed and it’s heartbreaking to think they spend so much money on them. Julia Menessa, TBWA\Chiat Day