One of the most successful ad campaigns of 2020 was “A Recipe for Seduction” between KFC and Lifetime starring Mario Lopez. Brown played an integral role in that partnership. The goal was to recraft an existing deal to play off the sensibility of the Lifetime audience to showcase KFC in a “cheeky” way. Mission accomplished: it ranked in AdWeek’s “Top Campaigns that Make Ad Pros Jealous,” while also trending #1 across all YouTube channels. Hoping to bring a new face to advertising, Brown is now laser focused on identifying the next generation of talent. “I’m energized by working with The Boyd Initiative as a frequent speaker in their program to bring a voice of what is possible through honest dialogue and mentorship/recruitment of their candidates,” she says. “With significant work to still be done, it’s important to be open to where the void exists and do something different to try and fill it.”
Do you think there has been significant progress on DEI in the industry in the past year?
While I believe real impact will take years, I do acknowledge there has been significant awareness and action in the industry over the last year. The level of awareness that has gone into talent recruitment, content creation, messaging and diverse initiatives is to be applauded. We do need to remain diligent in our focus on mentorship and retention and constant adjustment of the lens of what the industry looks like to ensure we are representing the underserved in our industry.
How have you been a champion of diversity, equity, and inclusion?
Growing up in an industry where there were very few who looked like me, I’m leaning deeply into recruitment of entry level candidates and mentorship to help the next generation see the future to be different and challenging them in the work we do to pay it forward as well. I’m energized working with The Boyd Initiative as a frequent speaker in their program to bring a voice of what is possible through honest dialogue and mentorship/recruitment of their candidates. We have created an impressive pipeline of current and future A+E networks employees through this initiative. It is important to impact their future and create awareness around A+E Networks as a workplace of diversity. With significant work to still be done, it’s important to be open to where the void exists and do something different to try and fill it.
My best advice for fostering open, honest communication is…
Be resilient, vulnerable and accepting that the message won’t be received by all, but lean into where you see engagement and use that to continue to push the agenda forward.