CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER
Never before has New York Festivals assembled an Executive Jury panel of this magnitude and executive level. The 2018 Executive Jury, is an elite dream team of Global Chief Creative Officers and C-Suite creative executives. Words like iconic, visionary, accomplished and influential, come to mind when describing these prominent award-winning creative leaders. This April they will assemble in New York City for 4 days of live judging across all mediums—one panel of advertising giants, 30+ strong, all coming together to select the World’s Best Advertising®.
2018 Executive Jury member Robin Fitzgerald is Chief Creative Officer at BBDO Atlanta where she oversees the work of each client. Her most recent effort is helping to transform Toys “R” Us from a toy store to a champion of free play with the “Today we Play” platform. Before making the move to Atlanta, Robin spent 15 years in Los Angeles at Crispin Porter + Bogusky and TBWA\Chiat\Day. At CP+B, she led high-profile work for brands such as Netflix, Old Navy, Grey Poupon, and PayPal, where she developed the brand’s first-ever Super Bowl ad and took home its first Cannes Lion. At Chiat, Robin worked on brands such as Gatorade, Energizer, and Nissan. She started her advertising career in Nebraska as a copywriter at Bozell after graduating from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
Robin has participated on juries for D&AD, One Show, Clios, Art Director’s Club, and New York Festivals, and her work has been recognized with many industry awards. But, perhaps, even more exciting, her work has been consistently picked up by the non-advertising world, being parodied on Saturday Night Live; featured on the NBC Nightly News, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, and Us Weekly; and nominated for an Emmy. She has been named one of Business Insider’s “Most Creative People in Social Media Marketing” and “Most Creative Women in Advertising.”
Being a Juror:
New York Festivals: What are you most looking forward to with this experience?
Robin Fitzgerald: The best part about being on a jury like this, is the exposure to my fellow judge’s opinions and experiences. It’s easy to get trapped in a vacuum, thinking your personal opinion is the way most people will view a certain piece of work. But my eyes have been opened so many times by the reactions of other creatives I respect. When I walk away, I try to keep some of the questions and insights they raised with me, so I can look at the work my team and I create through those different perspectives.
Working in Advertising:
New York Festivals: Tell us an experience (or two) that shaped the course of your career.
Robin Fitzgerald: Years ago, we were building an installation for a new show called “My Own Private Island” – and we had the idea to build an island in the Hudson by putting two barges together and covering them with sand, a hut, palm trees, in addition to a couple who lived there for the weekend. At the last minute, the client requested a carrier pigeon, so the couple could order pizza. This was on a Sunday night, almost every pet store was closed. And my partner and I were contemplating catching a pigeon off the sidewalk and bringing it in a cardboard box the next morning. We finally found a woman who rescued pigeons from the last pet store we called, and her boyfriend happened to be a carpenter who we convinced to be build a hutch for us overnight, so everything would be ready for the press coverage the next day. We were working with an event company to help us – but this was one of those times where you’re reminded that no one cares about your project as much as you. And ultimately you have to make it happen. Don’t ever think anything is impossible to pull off, there’s always a way. I’d like to think that has shaped what kind of ideas I approve and what kind of people I like to work with.
New York Festivals: Share your favorite ad that illustrates how advertising can change the world and tell us why you love it.
Robin Fitzgerald: I’m particularly proud of some work we just did for Street Grace – an organization in Georgia that wants to put an end to sex trafficking. We worked with survivors and a playwright to create an immersive theater experience to show people what it’s like to be trapped in a sex traffic operation. It’s one thing to make an ad, but this was something the politicians and lobbyists, invited to attend, could not ignore.
Here’s a link to the case study: https://we.tl/EEfMNDEhtN
And a link to the site: http://suburbanhorrorstory.org/
New York Festivals: What do you look for when hiring new talent?
Robin Fitzgerald: Ambition. Open-mindedness. And someone who doesn’t mirror me and my life experiences too much. We spend a lot of time at work, I want to be inspired by the people I hire. And even though as creatives it’s our job to work on different accounts and talk to different audiences we may not be a part of, we all still create from what we know. So, bringing in people with different experiences and backgrounds, in addition to genders and ethnicities, brings in more original and inspiring ways to tell a brand’s story.
This and That:
New York Festivals: If we asked for three adjectives to describe you, what would people who know you say?
Robin Fitzgerald Optimistic. Competitive. Pathetically-sore-loser-of-miniature-golf-and-scrabble.
New York Festivals: How do you find balance (or do you?) between your high-powered job and life/family/outside of-work fun? Any ‘secrets’ you can share?
Robin Fitzgerald: Have a great partner. I can’t stress this enough. Live with or marry someone who loves to cook. And don’t be afraid to leave the office some days for stuff that is really important to you at home. We never hesitate to leave home for all the stuff that’s important at the office.