Where the ad world's top execs are not going on vacation this summer
This is not going to be a good year for the postcard business. It’s the unofficial start to summer, but Americans aren’t likely to take a vacation, or at least a traditional one, given lockdowns and disruptions due to the coronavirus.
And the cancellation of Cannes—often a jumping-off point for adland to take an extended European travel jaunt—has dampened prospects of that as well. So we asked marketing execs where they would have been going on their summer vacations.
Chris Beresford-Hill, chief creative officer, TBWA/Chiat/Day New York
I am not going to Napa Valley at the end of the summer. My wife and I have gone to the same resort every summer since we got engaged, and had to skip last year because of a new-business pitch, so maybe we don’t go every summer anymore.
Jeremi Gorman, chief business officer, Snapchat
I had to cancel plans to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. My whole family was planning to return to the UCLA Alumni Resort in Lake Arrowhead, California, a place very near and dear to our hearts. Our family started going when the resort first opened in 1985 and continued every summer through 1996. My sister and I both worked there as counselors when we were undergrads. The whole family was looking forward to returning.
Sam DiGennaro, founder and CEO, DiGennaro Communications
I was supposed to be in Europe the entire summer, post-Cannes. I was going to work remotely from Florence in July and do a sabbatical for our company’s 15th year anniversary and my 50th birthday in the month of August. I had plans to rent a villa in the countryside of Tuscany and had friends and family lined up to come visit throughout the month of August. It’s all blown up.
Tracey Faux Pattani, CEO, BSSP
We need to get creative with summer vacations. Not throw them out entirely. It’s an important reward for hard work. But we also need to be realistic. It’s not the time to go overseas, where you might find you are not welcome anyway. We’re putting the savings toward a trip next year and instead enjoying a local road trip. I’m not much of a camper, but I’m giving in to the family. It’s the only way the kids will voluntarily agree to spend any more time with me.
Claudine Patel, VP of marketing, upper respiratory products, RB (Reckitt Benckiser)
I’ve lived on the East Coast for a while, and making my second rounds back here. But I’ve never been to the Hamptons. That’s the place that keeps getting away. Instead, I plan to be a #boringhero and revisit the “The Art of Travel” (Alain de Botton, 2002) all the while sunbathing on the roof deck.
Nathalie Con, VP, strategy director, Giant Spoon
I had to postpone my wedding and cancel my honeymoon to Tokyo. But it’s hard to feel bad for myself when my fiancé and I live in Santa Monica with a very good dog and ample outdoor space. We don’t have children, so in comparison to many others, every day is a vacation.
Carmen Rodriguez, chief client officer and partner, Gut
My best friends are turning 50 this year and they are all surfers, including my husband. The idea was for us to have a surf trip in Fiji for 10 days in July where we would celebrate their birthdays and have an incredible party. The hotel was paid for and it will be hopefully transferred to 2021.
We have been joking that since 2020 birthday celebrations are not happening, we will not account for our ages and just transfer them to next year. Therefore they will still be 50 next year.
Pancho Cassis, global chief creative officer, David
After almost 10 years, I’ll be missing my almost religious retreat in Cádiz, Spain. A beautiful coast with a lot of little towns, where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean and seafood is simply superb (especially the tuna).
Michael Kassan, CEO, MediaLink
June will be busy with our virtual version of MediaLink Beach, and bringing Cannes to you virtually. I usually take a European vacation after Cannes—I’ll recreate that this year, but instead I’m going from the beach to the backyard. Stay tuned for my review of Hotel du Kassan.
Daniel Lobatón, chief creative officer, Saatchi & Saatchi New York
I got married in November of last year, halfway through selling the latest Tide Super Bowl campaign. And so I convinced my wife to push the honeymoon until after the Super Bowl so I could focus on the quick production turnaround. We wanted to go to Japan for the first time. “How about March or June,” I said. “I’m sure something else will come up,” she said as she rolled her eyes.
Courtney Beuchert, CEO, Eleven
My wife and I have long talked about the desire to drive around in the U.S., now that we are empty nesters. I have had the chance to see a lot of the highways and byways of the western U.S. since my family moved to California when I was 5. I have the most amazing memories of the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Monument Valley and hundreds of other places. But it was the rest stops, diners, motels and campgrounds that really made the trips for me, and I wanted to share that with her.
Stacey Grier, chief marketing officer, Clorox Co.
I hadn’t started planning my summer vacation when the pandemic arrived. Now I am glad I didn’t because I don’t feel like I am missing as much. I will take a look at my pictures from last year’s vacation to Eze, France. I went with my sister after Cannes 2019 and it was delightful.