What did you expect coming into fluent360 and your first impression of multicultural agencies?
E: Coming into fluent360 I didn’t know what to expect. When I began my studies as an advertising major 3 years ago, I learned a lot about the ins and outs of the industry, but not about the different niche . As I was introduced to multicultural advertising I saw it as a way to still be a part of the advertising industry and still be able to tackle issues in today’s society. I expected a multicultural agency to be a group of diverse people working together to solve issues.
D: I didn’t know multicultural advertising was a thing until I got here. I just thought everyone understood that there were cultural differences and knew to respect them. It wasn’t until I got to fluent that I saw how important it was to have a strong understanding of different cultures and know how to tap into them.
M: I had no idea that multicultural advertising agencies existed until I heard about fluent360, so I had a lot to learn. I knew that advertising had to target certain demographics, but I didn’t realize that there was an entire niche industry for this within advertising. So far, fluent360 has taught me about the various ways we tap into different cultures and rework general market advertising to be more relevant for these cultures.
How did you hear about this internship opportunity and what steps did it take to get here?
E: In Feb 2017, I received the Most Promising Multicultural Student award from the American Advertising Federation which recognizes select diverse students from around the US. At the conference I met Mark Revermann, VP of Business Integration at fluent360, who led a workshop on the importance of diversity in advertising and our role as new professionals in the industry. I was interested in multicultural advertising as a career path and followed up with Mark and the rest was history!
D: It’s funny because one of my favorite pastimes is going on LinkedIn and researching people’s backgrounds to see how they got to where they are in their career. I came across Louis Carr, who is the President of Media Sales at BET. I saw that he had the Louis Carr Internship Foundation and through this highly selective foundation, 10 students are selected and placed in corporate marketing and advertising internships in Chicago, Detroit, New York, and DC. I was placed with fluent360. This is my first time in advertising and not only did I find out that it was a multicultural agency, I also discovered that the CEO is a black woman, and found that very inspiring and motivating.
M: I went to university with Esther for 4 years. After securing her internship here, she informed me they were looking for a production intern and put me in contact with Ciara Medina, Producer at fluent360.
What is your typical day like as a fluent360 intern?
D: I get here around 8:45, but my day starts at 9 – I try to get here as early as I can. I finish up any assignments I have let from the day before. I check in with my supervisors, Mark, Corey and Alex, to see if they have anything they are working on that I can help them with. That’s usually how my day goes.
E: I like to get here early so that I can get some of my work done without any distractions in the office. Throughout the day I work on various assignments from designing digital banners, to concepting for experiential events, sitting in on calls, making edits and compiling decks, among various other design work. I just got back from LA at the Nissan BET Experience activation which was really cool to see work the whole office has been working on for so long finally come to life.
M: As the production intern I do a lot of checking in with the teams and making sure everything is moving smoothly and on schedule. I also communicate with vendors to get our work produced and paid for in a timely fashion.
What does inclusion & diversity mean to you?
D: Diversity to me means having no regard to a person’s background and accepting people for their differences. It comes in many different forms other than the color of their skin, but where they were born, their culture, the way they dress and just being authentic in yourself. Inclusion to me means not leaving anyone out and always making room for everyone.
E: When I was young, I didn’t really have an idea of what inclusion and diversity was. Although I grew up in a mixed race family, I was raised with a caucasian identity. So, to me, the concept of diversity has evolved over the past 21 years. I think often times people use the word “diversity” to differentiate different groups of people by race, gender, sexuality and age; but I think diversity constitutes of much more, including life experiences, passions and personalities. I view myself as a more diverse person because of the things I have gone through rather than any attribute I was born with. Inclusion to me is the acceptance of diversity; it is respecting people for their ideas and valuing the different ways people see and interpret the world. Especially in today’s political climate, inclusion is important to continuing conversations about diversity.
M: Inclusion and diversity to me are all about acceptance. We might not all understand each other’s cultural backgrounds but accepting and more importantly respecting each other is vital to progressing today.
What is your favorite multicultural trend of 2017?
D: My favorite MC trend of 2017 would have to be the Black Girls Magic movement. In 2017, black women are not held to the standard that they should. By having the BGM platform, it allows black women to see the beauty from within and understand that everyone is beautiful in their own way.
If you weren’t in advertising where would you be?
D: One of my other career goals is to be a real estate broker and investor. If I wasn’t interning here I would probably be out learning the market and shadowing an agent.
E: I’d probably be trying to sell my artwork on the streets and working at a coffee shop part time to pay the bills.
M: If I wasn’t in advertising I would want to own a restaurant.
What’s you favorite 90s/00s jam?
D: I have a lot. 90s R&B is my favorite station on Pandora, so I can’t pick just one. But If I had to, I’d say Monica “Before You Walk Out My Life” or Aaliyah “One in a Million.”
E: Any Backstreet Boys song, but definitely “I Want It That Way.”
M: Closing Time by Semisonic. Because it taught me the lesson that “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end”
Tell us something we don’t know about you.
D: I am over ambitious, which is a good and a bad thing. I often feel like all my goals and dreams are attainable no matter how unrealistic or farfetched they are.
E: When I was 10 I learned how to unicycle. Unfortunately, I have since lost that skill.
M: In 6th grade I won my elementary school’s geography bee.
If a documentary was made about you, who would play you?
D: Yara Shahidi. But in High School, people said I looked like China Ann McClain & Willow Smith.
E: I would want Mila Kunis to play me. She is insanely talented, but doesn’t let it get to her head.
M: I know she is a lot older than me and looks nothing like me but I think Meryl Streep is so talented that she could somehow make it work to be me. And make me look like a total badass.
Do you have a personal motto?
E: Live everyday like its your last because one day, you’ll be right.
D: All men are created equal, so you have to grind in preseason.
M: Always eat dessert first because you never know when you’re going to die.
What do you do for creative inspiration?
E: I have a lot of sources of inspiration. I go for long runs to let my mind wander. I explore things & look for patterns. But more importantly, I eavesdrop on people’s conversations because I find that you learn a lot from people when they don’t know they’re being listened to.
What is it like going to an HBCU?
D: Attending an HBCU is like going to a family reunion every day of the school year. It’s a lot of fun and one of the most inspiring places for a black intellectual. It’s honestly a breeding ground for black excellence.
Where do you want to go in the production industry?
M: I love working in an advertising agency and I could see myself staying within advertising for some time. But I’d also like to work for a production company to directly create the work both in and out of advertising. Something I would really love to get into is editing and creating movie trailers to connect an advertising aspect to a different production element.