NYF: Why did you decide to accept the invite to NYF’s Executive Jury?
Michele: I judged the D&AD Awards in London 2 years ago and had a great experience. Not only do you get to see great work from all over the world, but it’s an opportunity to engage, discuss and debate purely about creative. There are no clients, no account people, no planners to consider. It’s a hiatus and boot camp in one.
NYF: Are awards show and winning awards important and why?
Michele: I think they’re a great motivation for people to do their best. It’s human to want to be recognized for your talent and hard work.
NYF: Are there any emerging trends this year, that you think will be reflected in this year’s work?
Michele: I think it’s a fair observation to say recent politics and elections have touched everyone on the planet. Just look at Facebook. It’s gone from baby pics to full on political cartoons and memes. So I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more ideas like Dove’s #AlternativeFacts print.
NYF: How has the way that agencies approach marketing challenges for brands changed in the last few years?
Michele: There’s a bigger effort to engage clients in the early stages. To set goals and expectations right from the start. I think that’s better. Like any relationship, you want it to be honest and open. If the agency wants TV and the client just wants a website. Let’s find out before we waste months and months of time and heart ache.
NYF: What’s the future of the advertising industry and how does it differ from when you first started in the business?
Michele: I’m not sure what the future will be. Wish I did, I’d be doing it now. The agency business has changed in so many ways since I started but that’s the kind of discussion you can only have over cocktails.
NYF: Why did you choose advertising as a career path?
Michele: At the time, I was worried I couldn’t afford 4 years in college and I thought advertising wasn’t a career you really needed a degree for.
NYF: What’s the best ad you ever created? Can you share the ad?
Michele: I like to think I haven’t created it yet but will one day.
NYF: Who gave you your big break and what was the defining moment in your career?
Michele: I didn’t really have these kind of Hollywood moments in my career. I’ve met nice, generous and talented people. And I’ve also met the opposite.
NYF: How do you or your agency champion young creative talent? Do you have any advice for someone just starting out in the business?
Michele: Grey London has an excellent placement program. And many have been hired. My advice to young people starting out is to keep trying and not give up. Sounds cliché but it’s important because there’s a lot of rejection in being a creative. Getting anything bought and made is like running through a long haul marathon.
NYF: What’s your favorite all time ad and why? (Can you share the ad?)
Michele: Grey’s Gun Shop. It’s an effective and great creative argument for the stupid gun laws in America. http://grey.com/global/work/key/new-york-gun-shop/id/5632/
NYF: Do you have a mentor that guided you in your career, what’s the most important thing they taught you?
Michele: No, I didn’t have one. I did all my “leaning in” on my own.