Why authentic representation in casting matters
Tuesday @ 10:30am
This panel will be 45 minutes and end at 11:15am
In advertising, we are just scratching the surface on representation in casting. While clients are asking for more and more diversity on the team that will be leading their business, agencies are still receiving requests for “ethnically ambiguous” on screen talent. However, brands should be leaning into their values, and the nuance and authenticity that creates audience connections that are both relatable and exciting, including intentional representation in front of the camera.
As brand values move to the forefront of consumer purchasing decisions and transcend demographics, storytelling with strong characters is a meaningful way to connect with newer audiences, especially younger consumers. Brands have a tremendous opportunity to showcase their values by creating these deeper audience connections. In this conversation, we will discuss the importance of thoughtful, diverse casting to not only make stronger work, but build a partnership with clients that encourages them to lead with their values.
Group Creative Director
Josh Paialii is a creative leader with extensive experience driving both award-winning campaigns and business growth across automotive, gaming, CPG and QSR categories alike. Over the past 15 years, he has collaborated with and developed breakthrough work for brands such as Panda Express, Chameleon Coffee, Lexus, Riot Games and Netflix, to name a few.
Since joining The Many in 2019, where he now serves as Group Creative Director, Josh has played an integral role in the agency’s transformation, contributing to nearly a dozen new business wins. Prior to that, he worked both in-agency and in-house, at companies like Team One, Riot Games, Ubisoft, Pitch, TBWA\Chiat\Day and more.
When it comes to the work, Josh believes in brand storytelling with human tension at its core. He also believes the best ideas aren’t merely a question of how, but from whom, and that representation matters. Josh is constantly working on new ways to introduce local high schools to industry mentorship programs in Los Angeles, with the hopes of building greater pipeline opportunities for the next generation of award-winning creatives.
Ash Ramirez (Moderator)
DEI Lead at The Many
A proud Tejane and chingone -- Ash Ramirez (they/elle/papi) serves as the DE&I Lead at The Many. They have been involved in building and fostering diverse creative workplaces for more than five years working at shops such as Wieden + Kennedy, Droga5, and Digitas Health. They have a passion in developing programs and initiatives that center the experiences of historically excluded groups, taking part in various organizations throughout their advertising career. Their mission -- to create spaces for all to feel empowered to make impactful work, advance in their careers, and most importantly be their authentic selves.
Director, Agency and Creative at eBay
Maryann Bell is Head of Creative for eBay North America, where she has set the strategic vision for eBay campaigns, brand expression and social marketing since 2020. A strategist, designer and writer with more than a decade’s experience guiding marketing strategy in Silicon Valley, Maryann is committed to applying data, creativity, and her passion for building community to guide corporations through powerful brand transformations. With a portfolio that includes enduring brands like Java, Palo Alto Networks, University of Phoenix, and Citrix, she is a leader in positioning organizations for success by bringing solutions and stories to life.
Bennett D. Bennet
Founding Partner of Allyship & Action and Co-Founder of 600 & Rising
Bennett D. Bennett is Senior Vice President, Creative Director at 22Squared, and co-founder of talent advocacy nonprofit 600 & Rising. At 22squared, he leads the agency’s new social and content practice 22Forward. Most recently, he’s spent the last couple of years as a hybrid creative director and content strategist, as well as supporting the next wave of inclusion and equity efforts through efforts at 600 and as a founding partner of the Allyship & Action platform. Bennett’s 10+ years in the marketing and media world included stints at Interbrand, BBDO New York, The Drum, and his own storytelling consultancy, Aerialist. His current and most recent work has paired him with Popeyes, Allyship & Action, Netflix, Google, Mass Mutual, Black Voters Matter, and Amazon Prime Video. A 2013 MAIP Alum, Bennett’s been honored as a 2017 ADWEEK Young Influential and one of the 100 People Who Make Advertising Great.
Jeanine Lewis Canales
Vice President of Brand Management at Bumble Bee Foods
Jeanine Lewis Canales is the Vice President of Brand Management at The Bumble Bee® Seafood Company. In her role, she is responsible for managing the Company’s diverse brand portfolio within the Shelf Stable Seafood Category as well as leading the innovation strategy, consumer insights, and omni channel shopper marketing in support of those brands. In less than two years with Bumble Bee, Jeanine not only led the development of the Bumble Bee Brand Identity including Belief, mission, and visual identity, but she also developed and deployed the Company’s regional growth strategy, identified category drivers, launched a breakthrough campaign called “Good For You” aimed at capturing younger brand fans, and improved brand health by >15 points vs. 2020; making Bumble Bee the 3rd most improved brand in 2021 according to YouGov.
Jeanine has over 15 years of Brand Management experience; predominantly in traditional CPG in key classical brand leadership roles, but also in Multicultural Marketing, and Innovation. She has held positions at The Coca-Cola Company as Brand Director of Coca-Cola Trademark, at Shell Oil Company, and General Mills. Jeanine also led Retail Marketing and Media at Office Depot.
Known for her strategic thought leadership, passion and authenticity, Jeanine has a track record of infusing inspiration and vision into iconic brands. She not only does this through identifying opportunities for business growth, but also by elevating her teams; and the individuals within them.
Jeanine is a wife and mom of a six-year-old son and lives in Boca Raton, Florida. A believer in living with intention, Jeanine invests her spare time in continued learning, but also in creating lifelong memories with her family through travel and by designing special everyday moments.
Co-Founder of Asians in Advertising and Head of Integrated Creative at Zambezi
Bernice Chao is the Head of Integrated Creative at Zambezi and is the co-founder of Asians in Advertising, based in Los Angeles, California. She not only understands emerging platforms but gets excited by them and has spent her career helping craft brand stories, bringing non-traditional ideas for clients like Google, HBO, Uber, Amazon, Chime, etc. She’s been featured in Forbes, AdAge, 3% Conference, Adweek, and SXSW.
She has a passion for creating opportunities and paths for others to succeed. She is president of TEDxCulverCity, a professor at LMU, and is co-writing “The Visibility Mindset: How Asian American Leaders Create Opportunities and Push Past Barriers,” available in November 2022.