Twitter announced this week that Jayanta Jenkins will become its new global group creative director, a move that is expected to bring his unique eye to the "in the now" platform that characterizes Twitter.
Jenkins was most recently at Apple/Beats by Dre, TBWA\Chiat\Day, Wieden + Kennedy, Gatorade, and Nike.
Jenkins was interviewed today by the VP of Global Brand Stragey Joel Lunenfeld at Twitter. He said that it was Jenkins' vision, philosophy, and creativity that makes him the right person to lead the Twitter brand into the next phase. During a brief Q&A between the two on Twitter, Jenkins shed some insight on both what fuels his creative thinking and how to better understand how brands can creatively tell stories that resonate.
According to the post, throughout his career Jenkins has worked with some of the most iconic brands in business today and he was asked how to distinguish or create culture - not advertising - for a brand.
"Iconic brands have a tendency to inform culture, not mirror it," Jenkins said. "The result often creates inspired narratives and conversations that engage people in a meaningful way. Advertising and culture can and should coexist. Iconic brands tend to use advertising as the vessel with a cultural point of view as the engine."
One of the fundamental ways brands can tell meaningful stories, Jenkins added, is to know what they stand for. Whether that’s true on a personal level - like being drawn to an artist like Picasso, a musician like Prince, or brand like Apple - Jayanta states that knowing what a brand stands for is also a draw and what separates it from the pack depends on how it is represented and connects with the world.
"On some level, people want to see themselves in the brands they embrace. It will be fun working with everyone to unlock that center for Twitter. The world wants to know what Twitter stands for and it's time to create that narrative."
Jayanta also reflected on what brands are doing on Twitter that is unique and interesting.
"Historically, there are so many brands that have (and continue to) use Twitter in innovative ways. A few examples that come to mind are Nike Chalkbot, Old Spice Man answering Tweets in real time, and Grammy’s “Sing my Tweet," he said. "Brands get the power and immediacy of Twitter’s 'in the now' platform. I am eager to join with my Twitter colleagues to identify and recruit additional brands to use the platform in increasingly innovative ways."