In this week’s edition of ’10 minutes with‘, Essence’s Garcia-Minaur talks to us about why advertising is brands’ closest form of journalism, why she would choose to cover a space launch if she were a journalist for a day and why Elon Musk is one of her biggest inspirations…
How did you get into the industry?
When I graduated from university after studying Business & Marketing, I wasn’t sure about which area of marketing I wanted to get into, only that I was interested in data and consumer behaviour. After a bit of research, I realised that media agencies fitted what I was looking for and so here I am!
What is your proudest career highlight?
This would probably be when I joined Essence during the first lockdown in March last year. I had to work on onboarding two new clients, not only having to do this working remotely but also having to work with teams in the agency that I was only able to meet virtually.
What ad campaign or person do you admire most? (Other than your own campaigns!)
This may sound very cliché but the ad campaign I most admire is the Dove Real Beauty campaign promoting body positivity amongst women. It focusses on a real issue that their own consumers face with society’s beauty standard and humanises it.
Best piece of advice you’ve received?
A piece of advice that really changed the way I see things is that, when faced with a problem, take a step back and think about the bigger picture. It’s incredibly easy to get overwhelmed by problems when you are solely focusing on that one thing – and it can really drain you emotionally. Taking a step back allows you to look at things in perspective and helps you look for a solution.
Why does advertising matter?
It’s the brands’ closest form of journalism. You read newspapers for the latest news on the economy, politics, sports. Advertising allows consumers to learn about the latest news on brands – a product launch, their brand values or a new initiative the brands’ supporting. Advertising is the way in which brands can communicate this to consumers.
What’s your favourite ad campaign featured in news brands?
Adidas’ Forever Sport double page ads, where they used the fold as part of the design to showcase different types of exercises. It shows how you can be innovative and creative with print ads, making the most of the space that´s offered to brands for users to interact with it.
You’re a journalist for a day: what would you cover?
If I were a journalist, I would love to run longer investigative pieces that deep dive into a topic, but if I could only be one for a day, I would go with something quite different: I would love to cover a space launch! I think it would be incredibly exhilarating and allow me to cover the whole story in one day.
How does journalism matter to you?
With how busy we are in our day-to-day, we don’t have time to spend researching current events and an analysis of these. We want to have a one stop source which will give us this, which is what journalism offers to the public.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
I’m really inspired by people who are always striving for more: to find a new great idea, to improve themselves, to help those around them. I try to never get too comfortable and try to push myself whenever I can. Many people from all walks of life spring to mind, but someone I think embodies this quite well is Elon Musk.
People may not agree with some of his views, but he’s always innovating and trying to find ways in which he can help make people’s lives better; either by enabling digital payments in a time where they were nearly unheard of, by mass commercialising EV’s, or by democratising space flight.
Who are your fantasy dinner party guests?
Music and film are two of my favourite hobbies, and although this is an unusual combination, I would invite Jimi Hendrix and Robert Downey Jr. I would love to hear about Hendrix’s experiences during the late 60’s – particularly his classic Woodstock performance, as well as how Robert Downey Jr turned his life back around. Plus, I think they would probably get along well and be quite funny together.
How do you switch off from work?
Lately, I’ve found running to be a great way to switch off from work. I have been enjoying going on runs, not just because the exercise helps me release stress, but I also love taking in the scenery and enjoying nature in the park I run in. About a month ago I decided to challenge myself and run the London Landmark Half Marathon, and although it was tough it was also incredibly rewarding.
If you weren’t in your industry, you would be…?
I would probably work in something related to the travel industry. I love travelling so my dream is to be able to travel the world and share my experiences and recommendations to help people know where to go and what to visit abroad.
Gym or gin?
I would love to say gym but it has to be gin! Especially now with the easing of restrictions and the nicer weather, having a drink with my friends outside is my favourite weekend plan.