Amber Justis Provides a Window into American Advertising on Transatlantic Podcast

Ty Gates | Jun. 23 2021

With our Los Angeles HQ mere steps away from the beach, we know a thing or two about the ocean. Amber Justis, Head of Creative here at The Many, sat down with Simone Nobili, host and seat captain of the Transatlantic podcast, to charter through a series of seven questions like the Seven Seas.
From learning how to pay attention to every particle in the room to making a commitment to drop the unnecessary and fully embrace her true self, Amber opens up on who she is and who she is evolving into, and how she stays in touch with her divine femininity.
Check out the full conversation below or head over to the Transatlantic YouTube channel to watch Amber’s episode and more.

Rediate Tekeste Joins Muse by Clio’s ‘Black Tea’ Video Series

Ty Gates | Jun. 22 2021

For those that haven’t had the pleasure to meet Rediate Tekeste, senior brand director here The Many, she effortlessly brings joy to your life.
Rediate recently appeared on Black Tea, a video series presented by Muse by Clio that exists to make the independent voices of our fellow Black ad women louder in the industry.
Chatting with the host Michelle Lawrence, the two explore how Rediate made her way into the ad industry, the incredible nonprofit that she founded – Ethiopian Diaspora Fellowship, and lessons you can learn from working with your direct reports, among other things!
Check out Rediate’s episode below or head on over to Muse by Clio to view life through her lens.

An Introvert's Manifesto on Leadership by Jackie VanSloten

Ty Gates | Jun. 21 2021

We’ve witnessed remarkable pieces from the team since the start of our Voices at The Many program. Jackie VanSloten, who previously had a piece published by Muse by Clio last year, has returned to Voices, and Muse, with another insightful piece.
Penned as an introvert’s manifesto on leadership, Jackie details her realization of being a true introvert, analyzing what industries stand to gain by spotlighting and empowering introverts more and how working from home as a result of COVID-19 helped introverts truly shine—a social experiment that taught us all a lot about our counterparts.
Click on over to Muse by Clio to take a journey through Jackie’s point of view and learn how an introvert sees and navigates the corporate world.

Jackie VanSloten is media director at The Many

Maury Povich, Dictionaries, and Life Lessons: Father's Day from Shera White

Shera White | Jun. 20 2021

I always look forward to celebrating Father’s Day! It’s been one of my favorite holidays since I was a little girl. I always made sure to separate my dad’s gifts from the rest of the family because he was that special to me.
When I was 14 years old, I went on a trip to Mexico with my best friend. I sent my family a postcard, but my dad got his own. It had a monkey on it holding a cigar that read, “Met a rich crop grower in… MEXICO, I’m never coming back.”

My dad was the “yes parent”—he was the reason I got to go to Mexico with my friend. He created these little moments of letting me explore life from a very young age. 
I could go on forever explaining why he’s so special to me, but just to name a few, these are my top favorite things about my dad: 
His unique voice with his overly opinionated self, he always had something to say, or his dry-wit sense of humor. I also happen to look just like him, but with more hair and a face full of makeup. 
I always found it humorous that he was a die-hard Raiders fan (he always had a Raiders hat on), yet I never saw him watch Sunday football (that’s my own recollection at least). 
Or, maybe it’s the fact that he enjoyed watching trash TV more than anyone else in the house. I swear I would come home from school and hear Maury Povich saying, “You are not the father!”
It’s impossible to summarize his big personality or our relationship in one story, but let me attempt to give you a better glimpse of what it was like to grow up with my dad… 
There was no such thing as just “hanging out” or “asking him any questions.” When it came to my dad, he would always magically put you to work/clean. I recall this one time in the fourth grade I came out to his man cave (aka the garage) to ask him how to spell Mission San Juan Capistrano. He turned to me and said, “Shera, pick up that cord over there on the floor and plug it into the wall…turn it on real quick, make sure you get each corner to and from the center and back.” 
When I was done, I stood there for about 5 minutes realizing I had just vacuumed the entire carpet in the garage even though the real reason I was there was to ask him for the spelling of the word Capistrano. It didn’t end there. 
Shortly after, he quickly had more directions for me and said, “Let’s put it away correctly, grab the cord and wrap it up in a crisscross pattern,” and I went along with it, assuming that was the correct method to put it away. “Shera, just loop it around from top to bottom.” 
After I was done, again, I stood there even more confused because I forgot what I was doing there in the first place. Finally, he went on to say, “It’s spelled C A P – now go pick up the dictionary, all you need is the first three letters for that.” 
I was puzzled, but not surprised. That was my dad, always discreetly getting you to do something for him, and one might even say it’s the Aquarius in him!

I feel we often underestimate the role of our fathers, and we sometimes can get anxious to ask them for help because we view our dads as “busy men” that shouldn’t be bothered. But when it came to my dad, he always surprised me by his ability to stay calm no matter what, and he reminded me without fail of my strength, value, and why he felt I always deserved the world.
He was my go-to guy for every little problem. I could always count on him to fix the situation by making me feel loved and safe. I now have a new appreciation for when my dad used to say, “YOU’RE SHERA, THE PRINCESS OF POWER!” because I knew he meant it. The help, support, and encouragement that genuinely benefited me always came from him.
If your dad is still with you, I’d like to remind you of something: don’t take the smallest of memories for granted because you never know how meaningful those moments are to your father, even a small, simple postcard from 21 years ago. He is truly missed — every. single. day! 
Happy Father’s Day to ALL of the awesome dads, stepdads and grandads out there! 

Shera White is Project Coordinator at The Many

Anissa Sanders on the History of Juneteenth and How to Be an Ally This Year

Anissa Sanders | Jun. 17 2021

This week, on June 15, 2021, the Senate passed a bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, an action previously blocked in 2020 by Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson. This small victory went on to pass through the House and is expected to be signed into law by President Joe Biden.
A small victory that has taken 156 years.
Let that sink in—156 years. Many of us didn’t even know that June 19th was a significant day in history until recently. Growing up, it was just another day of summer vacation for me. A day that was carefree and had no importance tied to it except for knowing the weather forecast and who I was hanging out with.
As a kid, I was taught that slaves were freed in 1863 when Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. I went on field trips to plantations and did war reenactments to learn the history of slavery and the Confederacy. Still, it wasn’t until college that my African American history class taught me something grade school failed to—it took over 20 years for me to be introduced to June 19, 1865, more commonly known as Juneteenth.
While the Emancipation Proclamation set slaves free in 1863, this was not applicable for states under Confederate control, including Texas. On that day in 1865, roughly 2,000 soldiers arrived in Galveston to take control and ensure freedom for those enslaved. Thus, Juneteenth was born.
It wasn’t until 1980 that the day posed recognizable meaning beyond what was taught in collegiate history classes. One hundred fifteen years later, Juneteenth was adopted as a holiday by Texas, a place where the history was rich.
Over the following decades, the day gained more traction, and states began to commemorate Juneteenth as a holiday with the exception of Hawaii, North Dakota and South Dakota. In 2020, a call for racial justice and world-wide protests amid the death of George Floyd pushed the holiday onto corporate calendars.
To avoid beating a dead horse, I’ll put it simple—2020 was a rough year for African Americans. Day after day, we had to show up and perform as if our brothers and sisters weren’t dying at the hands of local law enforcement. The year further highlighted the disparities in treatment, protection, and so much more that left the community in a sea of emotions.
To combat this overwhelming feeling, businesses began to slowly introduce Juneteenth as a day for reflection and to show commitment to racial justice. Only a year later, this day of celebration and reflection has already become just another day off, masking the meaning of such an impactful day.
But it’s not too late to change up your plans and give Juneteenth the recognition it deserves. So, what are some ways to commemorate Juneteenth and do more with your day off? Here’s a start.
Look into local celebrations, parades, gatherings.
A quick Google search of “Juneteenth + your city” can locate what is planned locally for the holiday. Across the nation, cities are hosting celebrations to bring people together through safe spaces to commemorate the 156th anniversary of Juneteenth. You’ll see the Juneteenth flag flying high as well as red foods to symbolize the bloodshed and resilience of the enslaved. In some cities, pageants are held to crown Miss Juneteenth, where winners usually receive a scholarship. (As always, be mindful of local COVID-19 guidelines!)
Educate yourself about the African American experience.
If you’re not comfortable going out into the world, there are still ways for you to engage with this day. While I can give you a quick synopsis of what happened on Juneteenth 156 years ago, there’s so much more you can read, watch and listen to to learn about that day and everything that has, or hasn’t, happened since. It speaks volumes that enslaved people waited two and a half years for freedom, which parallels the experiences still faced by too many today.
18 Books To Celebrate Juneteenth With
We Still Here: Pandemic, Policing, Protest, and Possibility – Marc Lamont Hill
Fight the Power – History Channel
The Legacy of Black Wall Street – YouTube/Discovery+
13th – Netflix
OJ Simpson: Made in America – ESPN/Hulu
High on The Hog – Netflix
Juneteenth 2021 Freedom Songs – Apple Music
History of Juneteenth – NPR
‘Henrietta Lacks’: A Donor’s Immortal Legacy – NPR
1619 Podcasts – NY Times
8 Podcasts To Better Understand The Black Experience
Buy Black.
Last but certainly not least, support local Black-owned businesses. NBC News put together a list of 200 Black-owned businesses to give you a place to start. Again, a quick search on Google of “Black-owned businesses + your city” will provide you with some local direction.
All in all, I can’t tell you how to spend your time, but I hope that at a minimum, even an hour out of your day can bring a newfound understanding and appreciation for June 19, 1865.

Anissa Sanders is Media Supervisor at The Many.

Alyssa DeSangro Discusses TikTok Advertising with Digiday

Amanda Cosindas | Jun. 15 2021

Per Hootsuite, TikTok revealed in a recent filings report that 91.9 million Americans use the app every month while 50 million use it every day. With this significant number of active users, it is no surprise brands are bringing their advertising dollars to the platform. And as more brands come, TikTok has decided to raise its ad prices.
Alyssa DeSangro, associate media director here at The Many, recently spoke with Kristina Monllos of Digiday to discuss the recent costs increase to advertise on TikTok and how the platform is performing for its Gen Z demographic.
Check out the full story at Digiday.

When Everything Comes Up Rainbows

Todd Lombardo | Jun. 11 2021

It’s June, and it’s Pride, so get ready everyone, it’s time for the rainbows. Everywhere. They are over on LinkedIn, it’s #pridemonth on Insta, and Walmart sells them.
We’re here, we’re queer, and everyone is used to it. It’s hard to imagine a time when gay wasn’t a thing.
But I’m Gen X and I have a memory, so I can tell you, being LGBTQIA+ wasn’t a thing when I started in advertising in 1996. The White House wasn’t dancing in rainbow lights in 1996.
It was only two years earlier, in 1994, when IKEA broke rules and aired an ad by Deutsch featuring a gay couple. I might add about this ad: only in three “urban” markets, only “after family hour,” as gay + family don’t go together. Right?
And the uproar followed. Gay should stay where it belongs, in the closet. We don’t want your gay furniture, even at a fabulous price!
Flash forward a decade. 2004. LGBTQIA+ was not invisible anymore. So the President of the United States pushed for a constitutional amendment making marriage equality illegal. That was fun. And he failed.
Today, gay is everywhere, and many battles have been won. Yet new fights continue. Trans people are on the next front of equality.
LGBTQIA+ is a uniquely underrepresented community because who you are is not immediately visible to others. You can remain closeted and stone-faced if you choose. But if you can muster the strength, you leave your solitary confinement to be out and proud.
At The Many, we are proud of the representation of our very visible crew: many backgrounds, many ethnicities, and yes, many orientations. Still, studies show that many LGBTQIA+ workers feel the need to hide their identity at the workplace.
So we asked our peeps if they’ve ever felt the need to hide themselves at some point in their career. And since it is Pride Month, we also asked them about the thing they are most proud of.
Here’s what they told us. You can also check out and support their insights on Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Amber Justis Named to Adweek Creative 100

Ashley Milhollin | Jun. 7 2021

What happens when your Head of Creative is named one of Adweek’s Creative 100? First, you freak out (and maybe, probably, definitely pop some champagne). Second, you undergo the extremely difficult process of culling down the zillions of things you love about her down to just 100 to celebrate the news.
Even though it feels like Amber has been with The Many since the dawn of time, raising us all by her gentle, encouraging hand, she’s actually been sharing her creative genius all over the place for a multitude of agencies and clients, creating culture-influencing, ground-breaking, world-shaking work.

Remember that time Mattel undertook the massive evolution of Barbie from “busty doll” to “badass role model” with the “Imagine The Possibilities” campaign? Amber was there.

"Nothing gets me gassed up more than the exchange of energy and ideas between human beings. Continuous evolution is the goal and my greatest joy is helping other creatives connect to that same flow state in themselves. We all carry that potency. We just need someone to see it in us and make space for it. I am so blessed to see it all around me, every day at The Many. The amount of talent and opportunity we’ve amassed takes my breath away and we’re only just revving the engine.” - Amber Justis, Head of Creative, The Many.

And while Amber’s brain gives us genius, Amber’s heart gives us everything else. Whether it’s a personal shoutout during our all-agency meetings that just make you feel seen or the relentless dedication she gives to the team throughout the creative process (and what a process that can be), Amber shows up in a way that is genuine, real, awesome and inspiring. And a bunch of other things but we’re running out of character space. 
So, from all of us at The Many (and especially the creative and design departments that bask in your light on the daily) – Amber, congratulations on being part of the 2021 Adweek Creative 100!
We love you 100 x infinity.
Check out the news in Adweek.

Carter Baker Chats with Mashable Journalist on Why She Kept Seeing An Ad That Looks Like Poop

Ty Gates | May. 28 2021

Social media brings all of us connection, laughter, and information. Yet to this day, one of the greatest mysteries that most people ponder on is the ads we get served on Instagram. Sometimes the ads are spot on and sometimes the ads ambush us from the land of random and don’t make much sense. Carter Baker, associate director, digital media here at The Many, recently spoke with Rachel Kraus of Mashable to discuss all things dynamic ads. 
Check out the full conversation over at Mashable.

Meet Our Effie Judges: Melissa Cabral and Todd Lombardo

Amanda Cosindas | May. 21 2021

Since 1968, the US regional Effie Awards has honored and celebrated the best marketing ideas that contribute to a brand’s success to come out of the country. Every year, the Effie United States taps the industry’s very best to be jurors and participate in judging the entries for that respective year.
For the 2021 Effie US Awards, we’re excited that The Many’s Melissa Cabral, Head of Strategy, and Todd Lombardo, Managing Director, Excellence, were selected as jurors. And what makes this news even more amazing, is that it’s an opportunity to share with you the dynamic and incredibly interesting backgrounds of these two people.
While the two have been busy handling their duties at The Many and judging Effie entries, we were able to sneak in some time to chat about advertising, life and some things in between…

Q: Let’s start with the obvious question—in one sentence, tell us how you found your way to advertising?
“The seeds were planted with all the TV and magazines I consumed as a kid, but I weaseled my way into advertising through the VCU Brandcenter.” – Cabral
“By way of everyone telling me a kid from Jersey at school in Virginia could never get a job at an agency in New York. So I didn’t stop until I did. Dream smaller was terrible career advice, and I’m glad I ignored it.” – Todd
Q: Where do you currently live? Describe your location as if it was the setting of a commercial script!
My partner and I moved outside of Palm Springs, our gay, palm tree-lined oasis where we can wear our wacky shirts and nobody bats an eye.” – Cabral
California dreamin’ in the hot dry hills north of Los Angeles.” – Todd 
Q: What are your three words to describe how you feel about being an Effie judge? 
Proud, immersed, dang” – Cabral
“Say what now?” – Todd
Q: What kind of work leads to you giving it a perfect score; do you have a recent favorite? (Without giving away any Effie intel)
You can tell when an entry was written to fill in submission boxes and when an entry was really thoughtfully crafted because the latter reads like a story. Some entries are so damn dry it feels like I’m reading meeting notes.
But I read an entry last night that was just dynamite. It was about a new product launch for a relatively niche QSR brand. You could tell they took the time to lock the narrative before sitting down to craft the actual entry because it was so engaging. I actually couldn’t wait to click into the next section to see how the rest of the case study unfolded. It was a legitimately entertaining and educational read. Only when you’ve worked out your key beats (situation, challenge, insight, bringing the idea to life, etc) can you get to a place where the drama can get turned up a notch and taken to 11. And the best part and most important thing, the results wildly exceeded every key metric. It was a very inspiring submission. I’m getting stoked just thinking about it now! ” – Cabral
I’ve never given a perfect score. However, one in particular this season stands out in my memory: a beloved brand with both heart and magic. An insurmountable business challenge (aren’t they all), until you crack it. A solution that wasn’t an advertising solution, but a killer idea that worked from shelf to packaging to TV to GIPHY to culture. And the submission read like a tight novel with specific results tied to the effort. It sold itself, I just scored it.” – Todd
Q: What part of yourself do you feel most influences the work that you do everyday? 
“At the root of strategy, we’re trying to decode and understand the world around us and then translate those insights and observations to different audiences. We constantly ask why? Why do we have certain perceptions? Why do we behave in certain ways?  When I think about being a child of immigrants, being the youngest of three daughters (with a sizable age gap between my two older sisters and me), being raised Catholic but also knowing I was gay, all of that contributed to my questioning, interpreting, and translating cultural codes and norms from a very young age. 
It wasn’t until I was a lot older that I realized my personal story gave me opportunities to hone the powers of observation, distillation and translation that influence the work I do every day.” – Cabral
“Growing up LGBTQ+ in the pre-Internet 1980s-1990s, I was taught I was an abomination. And marriage for me was illegal. That’ll do a number on a thirteen-year-old in suburbia. Coming out of that, and coming out, I learned to question everything, because all the “rules” didn’t fit me anyway. Today that translates to pushing against conventional wisdom. For example, this has manifested itself in how we are aiming to reinvent work culture in a post-pandemic world. We want to define a new road ahead.” – Todd
Q: Is there any other question you’d like to be asked?
What came first, treadmills or hamster wheels?” – Cabral
Yes.” – Todd