Recommendation Engine: Sense NYC's Hayley James

Spotify playlists and news apps help distract this group account director from ubiquitous American pharma ads.

The Recommendation Engine is Campaign US' weekly feature in which we learn about the media that young people in the ad industry are currently consuming. This week, we get to know Hayley James, a group account director at Sense NYC.

What I’m watching
Amazon Prime’s "Transparent" has to be one of the best things I’m watching—or let’s be honest, bingeing on—right now. It’s about one family’s journey of self-discovery, peppered with a supply of mortifying experiences. This warm and poignant story is so essential in this mad time that we’re going through. A definite must-watch. 

I’m a huge fan of Brit Marling’s ethereal series, "The OA." A Netflix original, it’s distinctive and ambitious and, as Brit rightly points out, "It’s got basically nothing in common with TV other than it’s longer than two hours"—which is pretty much like most other shows I’m watching. I think that this dwindling need for the traditional TV/movie format is making stories even more creative and original than ever. "Stranger Things" and "The Handmaid’s Tale" are other great examples of that. (Oh and Game of Thrones, obviously.)

What I’m listening to
I love Spotify. So much so that I have made a playlist every month almost religiously since 2010. It’s inadvertently become a personal diary of sorts. It’s clear to see when looking back which were the great months for me—and the less so! 

I find nearly all of my music discoveries through Shazam. I’m that gawky person in a bar (or restaurant or store or cinema, etc.—you get the picture) who is often found holding their phone to the ceiling in not-so-subtle ways. Looks weird but makes for a rather eclectic list of tracks.

I find that podcasts are a good way to pass the time on the painful NYC commute and a great platform for telling emotive stories. "S-Town" and "Serial" by the guys at "This American Life" have to be some of the best out there. So touching and devastating—and addictive as a result.

What I’m reading
I’ve just started reading "Sapiens." Well, technically I’m listening to the audiobook, but that counts as reading, right? It has some interesting points about "human imagination" in relation to corporations, money and religion—pretty thought-provoking stuff.

"Women, Race and Class" by Angela Davis is next on the list. Might even start up a book club for that one so I can see what the book club fuss is all about.

I generally turn to The Economist, The Guardian, BBC and The New York Times for some well-rounded news, mostly via apps on my phone on the way to and home from work. I also get a lot of my news via Twitter—I just love the immediacy of it.

Who I’m following
Bozoma Saint John, the new chief brand officer at Uber. She has a larger-than-life persona (and some epic outfits) projecting authenticity and confidence–she’s a force to be reckoned with! Bozoma now has the rather difficult task of humanizing Uber… and if anybody can do it, she can. 

I moved to the States from London earlier this year and I’m still trying to get to grips with what’s happening over here (don’t even mention Brexit). I’m interested in what the likes of Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel have to say in their nightly shows and on Twitter. I love anything controversial, and these guys definitely tick that box.

What (or who) I’m ignoring
What is the deal with the pharmaceutical commercials here in the States?

Memory loss, anal leakage and early death…I mean, seriously? Count me out!


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