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McCann Detroit

Meet the 40 Over 40 honoree: Krysty Sagnia, McCann Detroit

Campaign US celebrates senior leaders on our 40 Over 40 list with deep-dive personal profiles.

How did it feel to see your name on Campaign US’ 40 Over 40 list?  

Surreal. During my career, I’ve never been recognized. Always a bridesmaid, you could say, so receiving this is such an honor for not only the work I’ve done through the years, but the many people I’ve worked with who have helped to shape my ad life journey.

Sum up your career in five words.  

Much to do, little time.

What are three essential qualities of a great leader?

Trusting, listening, supportive

What drives you toward success?

I have always wanted to be the best at whatever I do. But what drives me is seeing how the work I do impacts and motivates other people. I take great pride in the interactions I have with team members each day — the chats throughout the day, text, email, phone, when they reach out to ask advice about a situation. These times let me know a few things — I’m doing something right because they’re coming to ask for guidance, I must keep up what I’m doing to be of service and I need to train up the next person/people to take my role as I move on.  

What’s the most creative piece of work you’ve seen recently?

Other than our own work, I’ve been really moved by the P&G work Widen the Screen from March of this year, which takes on Black stereotypes in an interesting way forcing the viewer to widen their perspective about what is really at play.  

What do you love most about advertising?

I love having the opportunity to bring stories to life in a compelling and engaging way to move how someone acts or feels about a brand.  

What needs to change most about the industry?

Diversity needs to accelerate. Since 2020, there has definitely been an awakening to the desperate need to diversify the agency talent pool, but more can always be done.  Diverse voices and perspectives are needed throughout the agency, especially in Strategy and Creative, so that the work developed is a truer reflection of the target audience. Strides are being made, but this needs to be an urgent strategic shift for agencies and must be measured and accountable for real change to happen.  

What advice would you give to someone just entering the industry?

  • Stay curious.
  • Take on new opportunities, even when a lateral move.You will learn something and become more well-rounded.
  • Be patient with the journey. Many new people are anxious to jump from job to job for money but lose the experience and often plateau too soon because they have not allowed themselves the time to flourish and learn in a particular role.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

My parents. Knowing all they did to support and invest in me through the years inspires me to stay focused and continue reaching for the next rung on the ladder.

If we took your team out for a drink, how would they describe you?  

They would say “She’s a storyteller — everything is a story with her. She LOVES to talk but has a way of listening and observing that makes you feel comfortable. And she is a  little funny, but don’t tell her that.  She’s good people.”

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