Meet the next generation: Jack Morton Worldwide's Joy Antwi

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

What is your favorite app and why?

My favorite app is Artsy, hands down. I’ve always been fond of visual art, but I am a HUGE fan of Hugo Liu, who is currently the chief scientist at Artsy. His philosophical approach to computational sociology and tastemaking has been one of the most influential components of my pursuits. I could go on for hours about his work and research, so I’ll stop there.

What is your favorite social media trend right now?

It’s an even split between the dreamcore aesthetic and jam skating videos, especially the couples or group skating ones. They are just so smooth! I think the most perplexing trend right now is the devious licks challenge, kids are so … silly sometimes.

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

I thought Adidas’ rollout of gender-neutral apparel was pretty great. It’s appropriately responsive to the Gen Z perspective on binaries and gender identification. I am also a fond believer in sizable pockets for all.

What’s a trend you wish would stop?

There is a rampant trend of using blaccents or African American Vernacular English (AAVE), but a general discreditation and appropriation of Black culture that is being capitalized on in social media and pop culture that is obscenely offensive. I’d do quite frankly anything for that to cease. 

What do you do for fun?

In my down time, I like to curate, kayak, watch movies or fuel my shameless addition to the Real Housewives franchise.

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

At work, I am currently supporting one of our teams by curating a playful playlist for a client's virtual experience. Virtual experiences can have a tendency to make attendees feel siloed, but having auxiliary components that add life to virtual experiences makes all the difference. Personally, I’ve been working on exhibition concepts centered around mycorrhizal networks (symbiotic relationships between green plants and fungi), the western world’s relationship to the unknown and how the unknown becomes our adversary. I’m looking forward to the end result, but I am most excited about the process; the research and technical training I’m going to be doing.

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

I want to facilitate spaces where inclusivity is a priority, with hopes that it will create a new standard across the industry. A large part of that is keeping up with forecasting and predictive planning to be a part of internal conversation in the industry.

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

Olamide Olowe said it perfectly. “Gen Z is not a demographic, it’s a psychographic.” Connecting with a psychographic requires empathic listening. Empathic approaches give brands the insight to make more precise decisions when choosing the right content, imagery or channel for their audience. 

Gen Z is supporting decentralized markets and challenging large institutions. Meaning marketers need to really dive into decentralizing their operational structures and supporting their clients in doing that. Gen Zers are individualists, so they’re looking for authenticity and personality so they can personally connect with a brand. 

They are also an inclusive generation, and they want to see that the brands they invest in are actively inclusive as well. Plus, it’s 2021, there is no way to fake inclusivity, and a likely consequence for brands that try to put on an inclusive facade is getting dragged on social — no one wants that. 

Lastly, it’s crucial for us as marketers to recognize that before we are marketers, we are people, and on principle, we should make sure all our approaches are humane. It may seem like semantics, but we don’t want to “connect TO” or “market AT” Gen Z. We need to take a relational approach, so we are connecting with and marketing with Gen Z and allow them to be the content creators they are.

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