Jada Brazell is a content specialist with a knack for understanding what makes businesses tick.
As the owner of Jay Bee Communications, she has worked with clients in a variety of different industries, from luxury fashion all the way to high-tech designing comprehensive communications strategies across a range of touch points.
She dons the hat of the strategist and the creative at the same time – writing press releases, emails, social media content, blogs and any other communications her clients wield.
PA.O: What do you do for a living? Can you briefly describe your day-to-day tasks and/or responsibilities?
Jada Brazell: I am basically a content specialist. I work with clients who need both strategic advice and content. Right now, my main client is a cosmetic company. They regularly publish magazines, catalogs and brochures, and they need content that raises brand awareness and compels their target audience to make purchases. Projects vary based on client, however. Some need help figuring out where to publish content, and others need to streamline all their marketing efforts, from social media to email campaigns.
PA.O: What are your hobbies?
Jada Brazell: I’m into yoga and basically doing some sort of physical activity, including jogging and riding my bike. I also enjoy singing and just having a good time with my friends.
PA.O: What have you been absolutely obsessed about lately?
Jada Brazell: There are a few podcasts I regularly listen to. It can get a little excessive at times. One in particular, Professor Blastoff, is hilarious. It has launched me back into a little obsession with comedy.
PA.O: In your opinion, how is programmatic advertising – the growing prevalence of marketing automation, data mining and the cloud – changing the world?
Jada Brazell: It is changing the world on both sides of the fence. Consumers see ads that are more relevant and therefore, more engaging. This results in the potential for greater return on the business side. While this is an attribute for the business side, it is also a pain point, as programmatic advertising results in the need for better ads and the sharp competitive edge that’ll leave a lasting impression in a saturated market.
PA.O: What systems and ways of thinking do you think are being completely disrupted by the emergence of programmatic buying? By digital advertising in general?
Jada Brazell: A couple of them. First, human interaction is removed from the equation. The need to develop relationships is diminished through automated and digital processes. Creative thinking can also be compromised as computer algorithms deliver a specific and unwavering result. Human error is cut from the field, and that is good, but the connections involved in older advertising strategies were felt every step of the way – all the way to the point of purchase. It’ll be interesting to see if automation and digital advertising cause any kinds of shifts in culture as we know it. Will we become less connected? More connected? Will we crave and seek more interactive, human experiences, or casino will we get used to the disconnection? Only time will tell!
PA.O: How is this affecting our culture? And is this for better or worse?
Jada Brazell: Well, like I said, it’s too soon to see the long-term effects, but I think the short-term effect is positive for the most part. We are still in the honeymoon phase with the technology. We are still impressed by the ability of a computer to turn our behaviors into something we can engage with – something that is quite useful to us, whatever it is. Albeit when you step back and consider the enormity of it all, it can be a little frightening, but for the most part it’s still pretty exciting.
PA.O: We’ve often heard it said that “man is only limited by his imagination”– what might be the biggest growth areas for advertising?
Jada Brazell: It is hard to imagine the world of advertising being even more advanced than it is, but my gut tells me that the interaction among our mobile devices, products and services will become more dominant, frequent and natural. So for example, if I am jogging and I see someone in a jacket I like, I’ll be able to use my smart watch to somehow instantly capture the image and information and have buying information delivered to me. I almost think that going to a physical location to shop will be purely a hobby and absolutely unnecessary across the board.
PA.O: In your opinion, what are some significant trends emblematic of today’s advertising philosophy? Does it align with your own opinion of what’s the most effective?
Jada Brazell: The most prevalent trend I’m seeing is extreme customization and repetition. I think customization absolutely works because on a subconscious level people want to feel understood, and ads that speak to a person’s passions sink down on an emotional level. It makes people feel more comfortable than if they were being delivered messages that had absolutely no relation to their lives. I mean, imagine if an 18-year-old man was consistently [served] ads for dentures and adult diapers. That’d be unsettling, right? Wouldn’t he rather see ads for colleges and beer? Customized ads are the comfort food of digital life.
PA.O: Can you tell us about any campaigns over the past year that have caught your attention in a good or bad way? Why did they stand out to you?
Jada Brazell: OK, so this isn’t a programmatic ad campaign, but the ALS ice bucket campaign on Facebook really was so powerful. I think on a base level it made people feel important and altruistic at the same time, as well as part of something greater than themselves. I think it is a huge case study on how advertising can be approached. I mean, if you can come up with a campaign that makes your customer base feel like they’re on the cutting edge of a really cool movement – something that makes them feel good about themselves – you’re bound to succeed.
PA.O: Wearable tech is really starting to take off this year. We’re seeing everything from iWatch hype to mood-changing clothing, activity monitors and beyond. Do you have any favorites?
Jada Brazell: I’m not really into wearable technology yet, but I definitely see the appeal of health-tracking wearables. I think that’s the route I’d go if I were to invest in something like that.
PA.O: We’re looking at the cover of Ad Age 50 years from now. What would the headline be? What do you think the ad industry might be like? What about our consumer culture?
Jada Brazell: Somehow, I think people will be able to choose their own ads. And in some way, I think they’ll be able to absorb the information instantly. So maybe the headline would be something like, “How Thought Swapping Can Increase Brand Awareness” because who knows, maybe 50 years from now, some version of ESP will be a reality, and one that advertisers can profit from.
PA.O: What excites you about the future? What are you looking forward to?
Jada Brazell: I’m excited to see new technology and how people embrace it. There’s not really one thing since the future is unknown, but I know I like watching cultural evolution on the whole.
PA.O: Let’s play devil’s advocate; what are some of your concerns about the future? What keeps you up at night?
Jada Brazell: I’m honestly a little nervous that people will lose connection to each other. I hope I’m wrong, but yes, I fear that people will become increasingly isolated from the community.
PA.O: Every generation has its game changers – those people like the Steve Jobs’ of the world. What would you like to tell our next generation of innovators?
Jada Brazell: Well, based on the last question, I’d tell them that the most important thing of all is finding connections and to hold onto them. When all is said and done, what we have is each other and that is the most priceless lesson that can be learned.