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Google Creative Lab

Research, Strategy, Film

Google Assistant

The Pixel product team wanted a deeper understanding of how everyday people were interacting with the voice assistants on their smartphones.

Field research was the best way to approach this challenge. The aim was to include a cross-section of urban and rural communities, generational ranges, underrepresented voices, as well as iPhone and Android users.

The focus of the interviews explored people’s perceptions of AI, rituals where voice or text were preferred, how tone and language played a role in using voice, what types of activities voice assistance could help, awareness of the assisant’s full functionality, and how the assistant could be improved. 

For eight weeks (with the help of local handlers), I immersed myself in twelve communities across the United States. I collected 200 interviews, six of which were conducted inside homes, among people aged 18-72 years old.

I produced three short films and a deck full of compelling insights, quotes, strategic messaging, and product positioning. 

Research, Film

How do we equip art teachers with free digital art tools that will inspire and encourage elementary through high school students to consider careers in the arts, design, and other creative fields?

Conduct in-person and remote video interviews with thirty-five teachers in public and private schools across the United States.

The discussion focused on each individual teacher’s art curriculum, how technology played a role in the classroom, a wishlist of computer art tools, students’ attitudes and exposure to art, students’ understanding of careers in art/creative fields, thoughts on AutoDraw, and how such a tool could enhance arts education.

I produced one short film featuring the best highlights and insights from art educators.


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Research, Brand Strategy, Positioning
with the Pub

For nearly 100 years, the American Civil Liberties Union has been the nation's champion for freedom and justice for all. Their objective is to inspire and empower Americans to take part in democracy. Prior to Election Day 2016, the challenge was to build the brand, address a new generation of activists, and deepen relationships with current members.

Our methodology was a deep dive into the organization with stakeholder interviews. We spoke with thirty-five ACLU lawyers, board members, leadership, communication team members and clients of the organization. A post analysis of these discussions revealed several prominent insights and provocations that were the foundation for a new positioning: We The People Dare to Create a More Perfect Union.

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with PSFK

PSFK is a business intelligence platform, inspiring creative professionals as they develop new products, services and experiences across retail, advertising, and design.  As a consultant at PSFK, I worked on a number of research projects, mining the internet and world for actionable insights. We were commissioned by Apple to create a report because the company had noticed little business impact in the Japanese market and wanted to understand why.

Our research approach was data mining, desktop, and field research via the Purple List (an international network of field scouts). We produced bi-weekly reports and a unique PSFK site covering technology, cultural nuances, innovation, retail, and design in Japan. Our findings revealed why they weren’t making gains in Japan and showed how they could. We cited storytelling as a huge opportunity for the brand. Our final deliverable was a comprehensive report and presentation to Apple’s senior Innovation team. 

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with Wolf & Wilhelmine

Diageo was developing a new Bailey’s product with 20-something women in mind. The company was exploring the opportunity space for a non-dairy Bailey’s product by looking at the intersection of health and indulgence. In order, to gauge the sweet spot for this new product amongst multicultural consumers in the United States, Diageo wanted to create and test concepts for this new product alongside its potential customer base.

The approach was a fresh take on focus groups. What are the power moments that bring millennial women together? For three days, I trailed a group of women, aged 26-32 years old. First, we met for after work drinks Downtown – the topics discussed ranged from feminism, patriarchy in the workplace, office woes, and the best way to transition from work to night. And of course, what was the transition drink?

Next was a Friday night out and texting about the rituals associated with TGIF mode, getting ready, getting to the function, and letting loose. Lastly, we had Sunday brunch where it was revealed what all the questions were about and an open candid conversation ensued about how best to build a brand with conscious young women in mind. 

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Long-term Strategic Planning, Creative Strategy, Positioning, Research
with Commonground 

Working as the full-time senior strategist on Verzion, the brand’s critical question was “How do we create an emotional connection with an African-American audience?” Knowing the key barriers, their business objective was to convert more Black wireless subscribers onto the Verizon network.

Our research methodology combined findings from internal data, ethnography, social mining and an African-American segmentation. We identified community, creativity, cultural nuances, empowerment, and Black history as important pillars for the audience. Our strategic platform became Power of Us. The first creative campaign ‘Joy’ re-introduced Verizon to the audience with a spot expressing a bold take on holiday spirit.

In another campaign, ‘The Gift’, the messaging spoke to black creativity. Alone, one can do some powerful things, but with the right network behind you, you could reach heights unimagined. The work directly addressed the surge of black talent emerging as influential cultural voices in the arts, science, social media, and music. Television, retail, experiential programs, social influencers, a microsite, print, radio, pre-roll, digital banners, and interactive videos were designed to help people understand what Verizon provides by inviting them "to be a part of a movement that moves you."

Also, I created All Hands On Deck, an agency-wide hackathon to inspire our New York and Chicago offices to contribute ideas for the Verizon Innovation Forum. The guidelines stated that the idea had to tackle one or all of Verizon’s business problems head-on. In 24 hours, both individuals and teams fleshed out ideas into full-blown prototypes and presentations. The following day, presentations were given in 10-minute intervals and three projects were selected. 

As a way to create a breakout moment at the 2014 Essence Festival, I came with a killer idea. Verizon had rolled out their ‘For Best Results’ messaging and Prince was hosting the Festival. At the top of his game, Prince embodied Verizon’s promise but who could compete with Prince? Nothing could top Prince except PRINCE, so the idea was to follow Dave Chappelle along his journey to Essence Festival as he became the Purple One himself (as he did in a skit on the “The Chappelle Show”).