Meet the next generation: Saatchi & Saatchi's Preethi Balakrishnan

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

What is your favorite app and why?

Right now I’m obsessed with the app Notion. It’s an incredible, aesthetic planning tool for my endless side projects.

What is your favorite social media trend right now?

There’s an elderly pug named Noodle on TikTok, and he forecasts how well the day is going to go based on whether or not his owner can get him to stand up. If he stands, it’s a “bones day.” If he refuses, it’s a “no bones” day and we should all just get back into bed.

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

I love it when brands embrace how Gen Z thinks of them. Think Ocean Spray from last year, with the viral TikTok of the guy skateboarding to a Fleetwood Mac song. Or more recently, the brands that reached out to that one ironic graphic designer on TikTok for a bad logo — they got more credit from Gen Z that way than if they had pushed a sponsored post.

What’s a trend you wish would stop?

The one where social media platforms abuse their algorithms to create increasingly polarizing spaces on the internet.

What do you do for fun?

I game, illustrate and play a lot of D&D.

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

I’m working on a comic based on one of my latest D&D campaigns.

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

I want to encourage safe, supportive spaces for younger creatives of color.

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

1) Gen Z is incredibly diverse — acknowledge that when you market to us! 

2) Find us where we’re at: TikTok and Twitch. 

3) Don’t speak at us, speak with us. 

4) Gen Z went through a global pandemic during our most formative years — and it has drastically changed the way we see the world.

Drop a meme that describes your creative style.

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