'Stay curious': Beyond the Brief with Anastasia Garcia, TBWA\Chiat\Day

Anastasia Garcia, TBWA\Chiat\Day

To celebrate its 100th Anniversary, the 4A’s has partnered with us at The Drum to pull back the curtain and look at an industry full of problem solvers, creative types and analytical minds. But what keeps them going once the briefs are written, the campaigns executed, and the pitches won (or lost)? The Drum is now interviewing 100 people at 4A’s member agencies — across all disciplines, levels, regions, and agency types — to get a glimpse into what drives them at work and what fuels them in life.

Anastasia Garcia is the content director for TBWA\Chiat\Day. Her role balances creative, strategy and digital and she focuses on creating innovative digital concepts. Garcia manages a team of designers, social media experts, and digital strategists who plan, produce, and publish cross-platform campaigns, for brands like McDonald's, Volaris, and Thomson Reuters.

Before TBWA\Chiat\Day, Garcia worked as an an art director with a background in project management, digital strategy, and community management. She worked as a social strategist at Big Spaceship, a Brooklyn digital agency, doing work with brands such as Google Play and YouTube. She also worked as a project manager at GSD&M, collaborating for brands such as Southwest Airlines, Popeyes, and Kohler.

Garcia’s love for the advertising industry, as well as her desire to innovate, shows how she is living beyond the brief.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

Network. As a young, proud woman in the industry, I never felt comfortable asking for help or imposing on others to solve my problems. But I quickly realized that networking is a mutually beneficial method of building your skills, developing a support network, and frankly, getting a job.

So always keep your coworkers close, but your previous coworkers closer. Recommend your old coworkers on LinkedIn, go out for happy hour or coffee, send an out-of-the-blue “How are things?” message, and make a point to remember acquaintances.

The moment you knew you wanted to be in advertising.

I was at a crossroads in college where I was considering changing my major to international business. On the one hand, my professional skills were perfect for the boardroom and I craved the global experience of international business. But on the other hand, I didn’t want to give up my culture-saturated, artsy, design-savvy creative freedom. Someone said “What about advertising?” and the clouds opened up and a choir sang and that’s the moment I knew.

What’s the biggest issue the industry faces? How would you solve it?

Innovation over process. We are constantly striving for innovative, new, disruptive methods of working, but we don’t always consider the implications on our workforce. How quickly can we enact change? Is too much change ineffective? To combat this, we should invest in an efficient internal process that welcomes and adapts to change with the intention to create better work as well as diverse, multi-talented team members.

What’s a virtue that you live by?

Stay curious. I believe life is a never-ending quest to discover and learn. Learning shouldn’t end in the classroom. Quick learners are valuable to employers and receive greater career opportunities. Always welcome change as an opportunity to learn something new.

What book would you suggest to a stranger?

One of my favorite books is Quiet by Susan Cain. It demonstrates the pressures on introverts in professional environments created to reward extroverts (one of those industries is advertising). It provides leadership insight into building diverse teams and ensuring that every voice (even the quietest) is heard.

What is an art that you cannot live without?

Real printed books. I created a book club with over 900 young women members who read novels and graphic novels. Professionally, this helps me build my storytelling capabilities and treasure multiple points of view; personally, it’s a great escape from the increasingly connected, always-on digital workplace.

To pitch someone from a 4A's member agency for Beyond the Brief, please complete this linked form.

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Haley Velasco

Haley Velasco is a writer based in Chicago, IL, who has a background in PR for a sports media company and has reported on a variety of topics, including sports, opinion, politics and celebrity news. Based in the Windy City, she covers industry happenings in the Midwest and throughout North America. She has been reporting for The Drum since May 2016.

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