Meet the next generation: McKinney's Mackenzie Thomas

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

What is your favorite app and why?

Sudoku! Seems silly but I am on this all the time. Doing small puzzles is the perfect break and way for me to take a moment to relax throughout the day.

What is your favorite social media trend right now?

I’m loving all the Squid Game memes right now. Probably because I love the show, but also because they’re just so hilariously accurate.

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

My mind immediately goes to Travis Scott’s Fortnite concert. It was brilliant, visually stunning and connected to Gen Z where they were, right when they needed that connection most.

What’s a trend you wish would stop?

Unboxing videos.

What do you do for fun?

I love to read, go on walks with my dog, travel and scroll through Twitter in between.

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

I’ve been working on a lot of work for Little Caesars lately and am excited to have the chance to work on such fun, silly work and bring things to life that make me laugh.

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

I want to see the industry make a lot more effort toward diversification and protecting employees’ work/life/mental health balance, as well as lowering the barrier to entry for those who might be interested in making their way into this field.

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

Be authentic (I know that sounds generic, but Gen Z sees right through brands that try too hard to be something they’re not). Make your values clear and stand up for them. Make real effort to give back to your community and commit to sustainable practices. Give your younger consumers ways they can easily and frequently interact with your brand. Focus as much on the platform you are trying to reach Gen Z through as you do the content.

Drop a meme that describes your creative style.

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