Meet the next generation: Connelly Partners' Clark Shepard

Shepard participated as a juror for the Campaign US BIG awards this year.

What is your favorite app and why?

For all its faults, Twitter is still my go to social app. It’s nothing if not a copywriter’s medium. Long live “pithy wordsmithery!”

What is your favorite social media trend right now?

Using “I Think You Should Leave” memes as a response to literally anything on the internet is the gift that keeps on giving.

What is the coolest way you’ve seen a brand reach Gen Z?

Everything PBR has done in the last few years has been pitch perfect.

What’s a trend you wish would stop?

Most of them. The world has enough sequels.

What do you do for fun?

I’m a basketball junkie. A burger scholar. A novice fly fisherman. A lawn whisperer. A 60-year-old man in a 30-year-old body.

What are you working on right now that you’re excited about?

I’m working on a project for a major athletic apparel brand. Fingers crossed I can get some pointers on my jump shot from a few of its sponsored athletes. I’d also settle for getting dunked on.

What are some changes you want to make to the ad industry as your career develops?

Is it bad that I’m a traditionalist? Is it career suicide to say I’m hoping for a slight regression to the heyday of print ads and 60-second TV spots?

What are your top five tips to marketers hoping to connect to Gen Z?

1. Gen Z is more than the sum of their social trends, dig deeper.

2. Have Gen Zers on your team, and in the room where ideas are hatched.

3. If you think it’s cool, they probably won’t.

4. Take risks, and be OK with failing and trying again.

5. If it feels safe to you, it’ll feel fake to them.

Drop a meme that describes your creative style.

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