Effie's Veronica Parker-Hahn on YouTube tutorials, the best 'Star Trek'—and staying skeptical of institutions
Veronica Parker-Hahn is senior vice president, growth & innovation at Effie Worldwide, the organization that hosts the annual awards show recognizing advertising campaigns for not only their creativity but their marketing effectiveness.
In this episode of the “Ad Block” podcast, Parker-Hahn talks about how she and her husband have learned how to renovate their home—and even prepare for having a baby—all from watching do-it-yourself videos on YouTube.
After buying a 100-year-old house in New York City, they set about fixing it up without shelling out for contractors. “My husband and I were like, ‘Well, we could figure this out. Why pay someone to do this?” she says. “We looked online for how to fix plaster walls. There are awesome YouTube channels that tell you what to do.” The couple followed instructions from Ana White, the “DIY Diva,” to build a farmhouse table that would have cost thousands of dollars to buy.
“The reason we do a lot of projects ourselves is we don’t necessarily see ourselves in mass-produced products,” says Parker-Hahn, who is African American. Mainstream outlets cater to mostly white, suburban consumers. “We have an Americana style, but Americana means stuff that reflects my dad’s town, Accomac County, Virginia, or reflects where my mother-in-law is from, which is Panama.”
She even watched YouTube videos to verify whether she was going into labor before actually heading to the hospital. Years of needing to be her own advocate, whether working in marketing or receiving healthcare, led to a “lack of trust for certain institutions,” she says. “But I also utilize those institutions. I just don’t do it blindly.”
Parker-Hahn also geeks out about “Star Trek: Discovery” and its predecessors; explains why Miles Morales and “Into the Spider-Verse” are the best incarnations of Spider-Man; and sings a local jingle from Philly.