What's the Most Risky Thing You've Done in Your Career?
There's risk and then there's reward. But they don't always intersect. We asked participants at the Ad Age Brand Summit in Detroit this week about the riskiest brand moves in their careers. Some got the reward and some did not.
Rob Schwartz, CEO of TBWA/Chiat/Day
Allison Manswell, senior consultant, Cook Ross, didn't hesitate when considering the biggest risk she's ever taken in her career: It was deciding to write a book about race in the workplace. She faced some pushback and people suggesting she diversify the book, but she stuck with what she wanted to do. "It was probably one of the best decisions of my career."
Victor Kimble at Periscope
Suzanne Michaels, the executive VP of creative innovation at Leo Burnett, took the biggest risk with her own personal brand. She said "yes" to just about every opportunity that came her way. Hindsight is 20/20, as they say, so entering the agency space during the digital dawn of the 1990s, the future was anything but a given. The single biggest gamble: "Leaving BBDO to go to The Abundancy, which was a little startup incubator that was trying to do things differently and reinvent how advertising worked," she said. "We did that for a year and then got bought by Leo Burnett, so it definitely played out."
Roger Baran, creative director of Goodby Silverstein & Partners
Chantel Lenard, executive director of U.S. marketing at Ford, said the brand took a risk by using Snapchat to reveal the new EcoSport. Ford turned to DJ Khaled, who debuted the small SUV to his Snapchat followers in advance of the Los Angeles auto show. "It was a first-ever auto reveal with Snapchat," Lenard said. "Together we answered a lot of questions internally about who is the audience of Snapchat: Aren't they 12-year-olds who are never buying vehicles?" But "it really is millions of people, many of whom are over the age of 18 and we want to connect them with the Ford brand early on."