2019 AME Grand Jury Perspective: Jake Katz
The AME Awards honors not just campaigns that are creative, but campaigns that hit the bullseye for brands, triumphing in both creativity and effectiveness and AME’s Grand Jury are the genius minds behind many of AME’s award-winning entries.
AME’s Grand Jury is the powerhouse behind the prestigious AME Awards, their high standard of excellence ensures that AME’s 25-year legacy is upheld and respected globally both by winners and industry reports measuring creative distinction. Their dedication result in truly award-worthy work being recognized.
2019 AME Awards Grand Jury member, Jake Katz is head of Strategy for Trailer Park. In this role, Jake works with clients across categories to help them understand the culture and context of their target audience, and how to engage them within a rapidly changing ecosystem of brands, content, and consumers.
Jake began his career within MTV's Insights Innovation team, and then as Director of Trends for NBCUniversal. While at MTV, Jake worked on the team that was tasked with re-positioning the organization for a new generation of youth culture. Jake comes most recently from launching Sean "Diddy" Combs' REVOLT TV – partnering with content distributors and advertisers to build a linear TV network from the ground up.
Prior to REVOLT, Jake was GM of youth market research firm Ypulse, leading strategy projects for brands trying to better connect with the cultural context of rising generations. Client work ranged from advising Teach for America on marketing a service-oriented opportunity in the thick of the recession, to redefining "masculinity" for Jack Daniels, to understanding family-fandom with the NFL, and more.
In the interview below Jake shares his thoughts the blurred lines between advertising and entertainment, his advice for potential entrants, and the secret to his success. /////////////
AME Awards: As a strategic creative, what stand-out attributes do you recognize in award-winning creative and effective advertising? What do ads that have taken the brief and turned it into a campaign that transforms opinions, evokes action and raises the bar for the brand have in common?
Jake Katz: The lines between advertising and entertainment have never been more blurred. The digital landscape has leveled the playing field of who can access the masses through media, and so advertisers now have opportunity to behave more like entertainment. Consumers are open and asking the advertising community to entertain them through content and move past static messaging. The other side of this new paradigm however, is that consumers increasingly hold advertising to the same standards as entertainment content. Effectiveness then means advertising doesn’t feel like advertising, and that people want to watch it. It’s always been true that great entertainment makes you feel something and gives you goosebumps, and those should be our soft metrics of success for effective advertising.
AME Awards: Why are effectiveness competitions like the AME Awards important?
Jake Katz: While we now have the opportunity in advertising to behave like entertainment brands, competitions like the AME Awards keep us honest in thinking deeply about the return on our efforts across a landscape of new platforms, new metrics, and new creative lines to color within. The AME Awards, and things like it, keep the industry narrative focused on driving client business as much as their brand love.
AME Awards: What advice or guidelines would you give to potential entrants on earning an AME Award?
Jake Katz: In submitting work think outside of the box when it comes to stating metrics of success and the ROI of your campaign. The advertising industry is in an era of more questions than answers. Effectiveness is an ongoing discussion. In speaking to the effectiveness of your work specifically in the digital and social space, look at metrics of success beyond views, shares, and quantity of comments to surface less obvious stories of marketing that moved the needle for a client.
AME Awards: What is one secret of your success that no one knows about you (till now)?
Jake Katz: I moved around a lot when I was growing up, so from a young age I had an outsider looking in perspective on culture around me. I lived in cities, rural counties, west and east coasts. This gave me exposure, but more importantly it gave me a sense of self early on. That sense of self combined with exposure is the reason I have a confident POV of consumer behavior, and why I have been passionate about building a career within the business of strategy and insights.