Editor’s Note: Last week, we profiled two of the three U.S. winners of our 2013 Yahoo! Young Media Stars competition---Brian Zai of OMD and Allison Sims of MEC Global. Today we’re checking in with our third U.S. winner, Jennifer Jones of Initiative, who will attend the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity next week as Yahoo!’s special guest.
Jennifer Jones was a teenager when she was first inspired by the mighty power of advertising. Intrigued by the way words can impact people’s opinions, she majored in Communications Studies at Cal State Northridge. Her first taste of online marketing was as an intern at a startup website. When a good friend told her about a job opening at Initiative, Jennifer applied immediately. Now, over two years later, this digital planner and newly minted Yahoo! Young Media Star helps service the Dr. Pepper/Snapple groups account.
Yahoo! Ad Blog: How did you react to finding out you’d been named a Yahoo! Young Media Star?
Jennifer Jones: I was really surprised, because I knew other people’s videos had gotten more votes than mine. I had a feeling the voting on the writing component was going to be pretty neck-in-neck, so the video would be crucial to winning. When I got past the disbelief of being chosen, I was definitely excited and a little anxious about leaving. We do a lot of up-front planning for our clients this time of year, so it’s pretty busy. But I’m sure my separation anxiety will be more than balanced out by my excitement when I get to Cannes.
YAB: What made you decide to enter the competition?
JJ: I got a helpful little email nudge from some of my bosses here at the company. And the trip to France sounded pretty appealing, too!
YAB: What’s the biggest takeaway you’re hoping to get from going to Cannes?
JJ: I’d say it’s the opportunity to meet and listen to what all the thought leaders have to say. It will be great to have everyone in one place, talking about what’s happening in the industry and where we’re headed. And the scenic location doesn’t hurt!
YAB: What are your career ambitions in digital media?
JJ: I’d like to continue to work with brands that make it a point to really innovate and be at the forefront of media. That can obviously take number of different forms because everything changes so rapidly, but as long as I’m doing that, I think I’ll be happy.
YAB: What are your daily habits online?
JJ: I check email on my phone in the morning before work. As I settle into my workday, I usually browse the trades to see if anything big has happened---like someone buying Tumblr, for instance. In my downtime, I check the social networks just like everyone else. Even though it’s not a daily habit, I’m a big fan of the "Burning Love" series. It’s so funny. It’s really made a mark for online original shows, and that’s a big deal.
YAB: What are the most rewarding moments in your job as a digital planner?
JJ: My responsibility is to find solutions to clients’ business challenges. Whether I do that in a big campaign or by getting down into the nitty-gritty of what’s going wrong with an ad server, those victories, large and small, are the most satisfying moments in my job.