Ad people doing good things
After an evening of elbow-rubbing and typical ad-world debauchery at the Soho House Sunday night, we crawled out of our cozy InterContinental Hotel beds and onto a shuttle bound for the 4A’s Transformation event in Los Angeles. Instead of way-too-common idea constipation, we were met with some serious inspiration. In his opening remarks, Chris Weil, our beloved Momentum CEO and 4A’s chairman, gave an incredible statistic. He said 73% of people believe our industry is capable of changing the world. He followed the statistic with a call to action—“Why don’t we?” That’s when the light bulbs came on. Our fearless leader’s question awakened a Mother Teresa-like pulse in our hearts. Why the hell don’t we?!
A short while later, four young industry leaders—rocking some bad ass pumps—took the stage. Jessica Merrell, Jennifer Hoffman, Lauren Johnson and Monisha Tripathi are 4A’s Rising Stars and key members of a new group called the ADvocates (and, yes, those are all girls’ names). As two intellectual, driven women ourselves, we were beaming with “You go, girl” smiles.
The four panelists represent a group of 20-30 (some of which are dudes). This millennial group represents the future of our industry. Typically, millennials enter the workforce with unmatched fire and the willingness to move things forward. Unfortunately, such spirit is usually hired in exchange for a small cubicle, an unimpressive salary and a jungle of Excel spreadsheets. AMEN. But these women unsheathed their theoretical machetes, and seized the opportunity to find a new path.
They revealed their upcoming project at the conference. Their mission with the project is to end world hunger. Our initial reactions were, “What? Yeah, sign us up. (Wait, did we get their business cards at Soho House last night?)” As they discussed their intentions for the coming months, we got instant goosebumps and perma-smiles.
In our industry, we have access to thought leaders, powerful brands and millions of people. How could anyone even hint that social change is “impossible?” This may just be our young “rising star,” “millennial,” “entitled,” Chipotle-loving, we-can-do-anything attitude. Or maybe it’s because we’re both first-born children and our parents pushed us harder and failure wasn’t an option. Hey, we said we were driven, right?
In closing, here are the three biggest reasons why this discussion changed our hearts:
- This is a chance to set the course for the future of our industry and our world.
- This is a chance for our generation in agencies across the nation to unite for a cause.
- This is a chance to make life worth living. We have the passion and the talent to make it happen.
Can’t wait to get home and light some fires!
—Stephanie Mulvaney and Nicole Conoyer
For more of Stephanie and Nicole's experiences and to see the conference through their eyes, check out their photos on Facebook.