Full Name: Keren Cole
BE Words: Finding / Connection
Hometown: Huntington, NY
Alma mater: Syracuse University
How would you describe what you do here?
I find the canvas for the art that creative makes. It’s all about finding where that canvas is, considering if people are going to look at it and what their mindset is when they’re in that place. It’s a simplified description, but it describes exactly what I do.
On a day to day basis I do research on different types of audiences, build strategies on how to reach them and put together media plans. I act both as a one-person media department and also as a manager of outside resources dealing with our media partners.
It’s like a marriage of creative and business. I get to be a part of both worlds without necessarily living in either.
What got you into this business?
My family inspired me to get into this business. Growing up, my brother was a creative director my dad was a businessman and mom was a fabric designer. The New York Times actually wrote an article about the TWA Terminal at JFK International Airport which featured my mom’s fabrics for airplane interiors in the 70’s.
What brought you to KHJ?
The ability to construct a media department how I thought it should be set up. I am now able to live out my vision of how a media department should be run which is incredible after working 20+ years in this industry.
What’s your favorite thing about KHJ/ What’s the best part of your job?
The level of comradery at KHJ is abundant and genuine. Not only do my coworkers have an interest in our ultimate success with every project—we have fun working together. Everyone here is very open and it’s refreshing.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Family. Music. Food.
My family lives on Long Island, so I’m really dedicated to visiting them every other weekend. I want to be with them as much as possible.
I also love playing and listening to music in my free time. I went to see Tedeschi Trucks Band recently and met Derek Trucks after the concert at a bar. I bought him a beer and we spoke about music and life for about a half hour before he said “thanks” and disappeared – presumably off to his next show.
As for food, well, I haven’t met a food that I don’t like. I love going to restaurants and trying out new and fun places to eat.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I guess if I told you that, then they wouldn’t be hidden.
What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
During my first media agency job, I had to clean my boss’ office when she was on vacation one time. She left me a list of things to do and “clean my office” was at the bottom. I did what she asked but I’m not too sure what I learned about media buying that week.
Do you have a favorite quote?
“There comes a time when a blind man takes your hand and says, ‘Can’t you see?’”
I love this quote because it shows that you don’t need your vision to see what is right in front of you. People are trained to abandon their gut instincts, but this is a reminder that you can’t rely on your vision for everything the world throws at you.
What’s your favorite ad campaign?
I love the Volkswagen “Driver’s Wanted” campaign. I worked on it, so I guess I’m a little biased, but it stands out for me. It conceptualized the ideal Volkswagen driver in a very blunt way – a little fast and a little reckless, but LIVING life in a real way.