Emily Heyward

September 15, 2006

Emily Heyward is a 26 year-old strategic planner at a large global ad agency. The IM conversation took place on September 6th, 2006 at 5:31 PM
EH: Hi
EH: hi
IMInterview: so . . . advertising: good or evil?
EH: hahahaha
EH: well– i think about this a lot, obviously
IMInterview: right
EH: and it’s a question that is much bigger than advertising
EH: because w/out advertising, there couldn’t be capitalism
EH: so the question is really, capitalism good or evil
IMInterview: ha ha I was just typing that
EH: which i’m not sure we have time to answer today hahahaha
EH: that being said
EH: i think there is a fundamental difference between people who think consumers need to be protected, and people who think consumers are smart, savvy, in control of the choices they make
EH: i tend to fall into the latter camp
EH: the more i’ve traveled around the country and spoken to people, the more i realize they are not sheep
EH: being controlled by the big evil advertisers
IMInterview: hmm . . . what about young consumers?
EH: how young? kids?
IMInterview: yeah
EH: i def. think we should have measures to shield kids from advertising
EH: i would be VERY reluctant to work on a kid-targeted brand
EH: unless it was like, vegetables haha
IMInterview: would you be reluctant to work on a brand that was harmful to adults, like cigarettes?
EH: yes
EH: i would never work on cigarettes
EH: and not bc i think adults don’t make their own decisions
IMInterview: how do feel about people that do that?
EH: i don’t think they are doing anything wrong–i don’t think advertisers are convincing people to smoke
EH: the reason i personally wouldn’t do it
EH: is bc i feel i need to BELIEVE in the product i’m advertising
EH: i need to feel good about it, think it helps people’s lives
EH: feel it’s a worthwhile product
EH: in order to do my job well
EH: and i don’t feel that way about cigarettes
IMInterview: do you think your way of thinking is common in this field?
EH: hmmm…
EH: well, to be honest, i think it’s the minority that stops to think at all
EH: in any field
IMInterview: other than cigarettes, what’s the hardest thing to advertise?
EH: well, i’ve gotten into debates about this w/ people at my agency
EH: but i have issues w/ prescription drug advertising
EH: however, i have spoken to people whom i really respect
EH: who work on prescription drugs
IMInterview: what are your thoughts on that?
EH: my thoughts are that there shouldn’t be direct-to-consumer advertising
EH: but i don’t really know enough about it to make a cohesive argument
EH: and i spoke to someone whom i respect
EH: who was saying that it really puts the power in the hands of the consumer
EH: etc etc
EH: it’s a tough one
IMInterview: how?
EH: that consumers are taking more and more control of their health
EH: that the doctors are no longer the gatekeepers
EH: i don’t know though
EH: from my small pool of knowledge i am extremely suspicious of drug companies
IMInterview: what about other products that people don’t necessarily need?
EH: see, for me that’s a silly one
EH: what does anyone really NEED
EH: that goes back to capitalism good or evil
5:40 PM
EH: i dont have a problem w/ brands enriching people’s lives
EH: i think it’s up to people to find true meaning outside consumerism
EH: it’s not up to advertisers to patronize them
IMInterview: do you think there’s virtue in someone buying a can of coke and being happy bc they have a sentimental attachment to that brand?
EH: not if that’s the only place they get a happy feeling
EH: but that’s not coke’s responsibility
EH: that’s the person’s responsibility
IMInterview: what are your favorite campaigns?
EH: haha i actually love the current coke campaign that’s running in movie theaters
EH: makes me happy and fulfilled
IMInterview: ha ha
EH: hahahah
IMInterview: I hoe that’s not the only thing . . .
EH: and VW always does a good job…
EH: love levis
IMInterview: who’s your dream client/product?
EH: i would love to work on a tourism campaign
EH: like for a country
EH: but i’d settle for a hotel chain
IMInterview: that sounds great . . .
EH: i think it would be fascinating
EH: especially to brand a country that no one thinks about right now
IMInterview: what makes for a good campaign?
EH: the best campaigns, i think, are based on real consumer truths
EH: something genuine
EH: not what the marketer WISHES people thought
EH: but what they actually think and feel
EH: and then of course there are the ones that just look f*cking cool
EH: and sometimes that’s okay too…
IMInterview: how difficult is it to achieve?
EH: it’s pretty difficult because there are so many factors from start to finish
EH: too many cooks
EH: that thing
EH: and it takes courage
IMInterview: what goes into it that we don’t see?
EH: ohmygod it’s SUUUUUCH a long process
EH: depends on the client but there are so many approvals, so many people who need to see it and okay it and add their mark
IMInterview: is that why there are so many bad ads?
EH: the biggest reason there are so many bad ads is caution
EH: on the part of the client, usually
IMInterview: they don’t want to take a chance and offend someone
EH: more like, they dont want to take a chance and do something new
EH: that isn’t PROVEN
IMInterview: why?
EH: bc they are usually not being judged on creativity
EH: and they want numbers that back up their decisions
EH: there’s also the fact that if you are too close to your product
EH: you think the consumer is going to care about every little detail
IMInterview: so bad ads still sell products?
EH: yes, often they do
EH: often bad ads just generate enough awareness vs. the other guy
EH: that you’re fine
IMInterview: very interesting
IMInterview: what kind of people work in advertising?
EH: i like them (for the most part!)
EH: they tend to be young in spirit
EH: people who want the safety of a corporate job but also want a creative environment
EH: work hard, play hard types
IMInterview: if they weren’t doing advertising, what would they be doing?
EH: probably depends on which side of advertising they are on
EH: i think a lot of the creatives would be artists
EH: or designers
EH: or writers
EH: whereas the account guys, the “suits”, would work for companies

IMInterview: what would you be doing?
EH: what would i be doing……………………
EH: other than driving a boat in jamaica?
IMInterview: ha ha ha
IMInterview: do you need a co-driver?
EH: own a store in the w. village
EH: hahahaha yes, i need someone to spot the waterskiiers
EH: thumbs up means faster, k?
IMInterview: k.
IMInterview: could you do this forever?
EH: no
EH: but
EH: i will prob stay w/in related fields
EH: i don’t have a 10 year goal
IMInterview: do all ad people get burnt out?
EH: yes, i think they do
IMInterview: why?
EH: because it’s the same fights over and over
EH: and it’s hard to be in a service industry
IMInterview: do any clients ever say, here’s my check, do your worst . . .
EH: hahahahhaha that sounds amazing
5:50 PM
EH: sometimes, but i’ve only heard about it
EH: never seen it myself
IMInterview: here’s hoping . . .
EH: and the REALLY cool advertising
EH: is often done internally, BY the client
EH: like target has their own creative dept.
EH: and nike has had the same guys working on it FOREVER
EH: they’re almost like clients
IMInterview: why is there more freedom internally?
EH: it’s not that there is more freedom, but i think there’s more of a sense of we are all on the same team
EH: there is more trust
EH: sometimes lack of trust btwn agency and client ruins the work
EH: different goals
EH: etc
IMInterview: but isn’t it in the agencies best interest to do good work?
EH: yes, of course, and the best agencies will equate good work with good sales results
IMInterview: right
EH: but agencies also want to win awards
EH: and be recognized
IMInterview: creative awards?
EH: yes
IMInterview: got it
IMInterview: what’s your favorite part of your job?
EH: these are good questions!
IMInterview: thanks!
EH: my fav part is thinking about people and what it is they truly want
IMInterview: what do we want???
EH: hahahahahah to be happy, thru the buying of consumer goods
EH: j/k
IMInterview: lol
EH: you (people) are very complicated
EH: you want a lot
EH: hahahaha
IMInterview: I’ll let you get back to figuring out what we want, but thanks for taking the time to do this!
EH: anytime, it was fun!
EH: goodnite!
IMInterview: good night!