Mid-Year Industry Report Card

At the end of 2017, Shoot Magazine asked Erica what she thought about the state of the industry and our agency's New Year's resolution to bring conversations with and about women 40+ to the forefront of marketing communications. This week Katie shared her POV on the most significant strategic and creative industry trends we see developing this year. Take a look at what she had to say:

What trends, developments or issues would you point to thus far in 2018 as being most significant, perhaps carrying implications for the rest of the year and beyond?

Women’s voices are becoming louder. Women are fighting (still!) for ownership of their bodies, they’re forming strong communities, they’re running for office, they’re making change and normalizing talk around important issues. Women are creating a much more open and honest dialog than ever before about everything woman from abortion to sex to menopause to mental illness to everything. Nothing is taboo, nothing is off the table.

As a woman-owned creative agency dedicated to elevating what matters to women, we are running head first into this challenge to help our clients communicate openly and authentically with women, raising awareness and motivation to bring previously “hidden” products and topics (sex toys, lube for vaginal atrophy, adult incontinence, fertility technology, cannabis, etc.) into the mainstream.

What work (advertising or entertainment)—your own or others—struck a responsive chord with you and/or was the most effective strategically and/or creatively? Does any work stand out to you in terms of meshing advertising and entertainment?

Our “Do it. Every day.” campaign for adult retailer, Lion’s Den is changing the conversation around shopping for sex toys. Making it into a normal, everyday thing that “people just like me” are doing. Treating sexual health like any other daily workout, and suggesting that there’s no time that’s not a great time for a little fun and connection. Giving women the confidence and courage to walk into the store and ask for whatever they want. It’s working. Women love the work and have been flocking to the store.

Though gazing into the crystal ball is a tricky proposition, we nonetheless ask you for any forecast you have relative to the creative and/or business climate for the second half of 2018 and beyond.

One of the loudest groups of women is a relatively ignored one. At least as far as brands are concerned. They have money, they have influence, they have 40+ years on this planet. Little by little, we are seeing brands embrace this invisible group (Chico’s How Bold Are You and Criminal Case: Pacific Bay are a couple of good examples). It’s our prediction that as brands wake up to the fact that women over 40 aren’t letting it all go, in fact, they’re building fortunes, launching companies, winning political offices and yes, spending money on new, interesting, relevant, game-changing products and services, more and more will want to engage in a conversation with this important group.

What do recent honors on the awards show circuit (Cannes Lions, AICP Show/Next Awards, AICE winners or Emmy nominations) tell us in terms of creative and/or strategic themes and trends in the industry at large?

Again, women matter here. Libresse’s “Blood Normal” winning the Glass Lion for Change brings to light a part of life of 50% of the population that’s been hushed, and secreted, and obscured forever. #metoo and Time’s Up and the courageous women who first told their stories, and then spoke out at the awards shows in Hollywood, are empowering women to add their voices, not just around the issue of sexual misconduct but also demanding equal pay. For the first time, any kind of disrespect for women is being considered very seriously and this is creating a better lens through which to view the work and the way we work.

What new technology, equipment or software will you be investing in later this year or next year for your company or yourself personally, and why? Or, tell us about what new technology investment you’ve made this year and why it was a good decision—or not?

As a small agency, we’re hesitant to add technology that will ultimately complicate our lives in an effort to simplify them. That said, keeping track of all of our projects, managing what could be done when, etc. was becoming overwhelming. So our head of project management has pushed us onto Asana to keep tabs on the work, who’s doing what, and who needs to be reminded to do it. I’ve come to love the sight of that little unicorn flying by as I complete a task!

What efforts are you making to increase diversity and inclusion in terms of women and ethnic minority filmmakers? How do you go about mentoring new talent?

We’re a 100% woman-owned and led creative agency. And we’re dedicated to elevating what matters to women. That includes creating an environment and work structure that compliments the way women want to work, seeking talent that intimately understands the project and the target (which are almost always female-focused), and can bring perspective that pushes the idea and the conversation forward. When we work with new talent we mentor by example. Seeing women who have had babies, raised children, built careers, then built a business lets newer women in the industry see that it can be done. It’s not easy, it’s not balanced (there are lots of ups and downs), but it is ours, and it is the future.

Katie was included among a choice set of other innovative industry leaders, see what they had to say about where we're headed by checking out the whole article here.