Stokman, MSc in Marketing & Creativity Class of
2011, describes how she has moved from traditional advertising to
creative marketing since finishing the programme.
Where are you now?
I'm actually in a bit of a transition! I'm about to leave 180LA, a marketing
and advertising agency, for Greenlight Media and
Marketing. I'm excited for this move because it will bring me
closer to my passion: working with musicians and really getting to
put my creativity out there.
Tell us a bit about your path since studying the MSc
in Marketing & Creativity?
Since graduating, I've been at a couple of advertising agencies,
always in the same type of role but with increasing responsibility.
The first agency I worked at is TBWA\Chiat\Day, where I stayed
for about three years. There, I worked on brands like Southwest Airlines, P&G brands, and PepsiCo. Working on 360
campaigns that included TV, digital, social, print, etc. I then
moved to 180LA, where I stayed for about 18 months. I've absolutely
loved working here; the environment and my colleagues are great.
I've also worked on a campaign with HP that I'm particularly proud
of, helping launch their newest product, Sprout, an immersive computer
designed for the creative type.
Both these agencies fall more in the traditional advertising
bracket. While, of course, these days every single advertising
campaign goes beyond just TV, I have been focusing primarily on
film-based campaigns. I'm excited for my next career move which
will require me to think a bit more out of the box, bringing me
closer to what I learned at ESCP Europe.
Tell us a bit more about your role at these
I've been working as an account manager or brand manager (same
role, different names). As an account manager, my main role has
been to ensure that all the different pieces of the campaign puzzle
are coming together and reporting back to the client. While I'm not
the primary strategist (that's the role of the planners), I do work
closely with them, so I have a hand in strategy as well. I also
help to guide the creative to make sure it stays on brief and
champion the work - always fighting to keep the best ideas
Have you enjoyed been client-facing?
Yes. Although it was a challenge at first, I do like it now. It
has taught me how to work with people, difficult people a lot of
the time, and how to give them what they want while still
delivering work I am proud of. It can be a struggle, but it is
rewarding, too, when you are successful.
Talk to me about a campaign you've worked on that you are
particularly proud of and that got you thinking
I worked on HP's Sprout, the world's first immersive computer.
Everything is in one desktop, with a touchscreen, 10-point touch
mat, scanning/3D scanning, and 3D printing software. The campaign
was all about promoting how this product helps people rediscover
their creative spark. We were bringing to light how Sprout helps
bring their physical creative ideas into the digital world, while
also helping to streamline the creative process. We worked on a 360
campaign involving many elements. My favourite was the TV spot titled 'Jane', which
follows the story of a creative little girl as she moves through
life and ends up in a corporate job. There, she lacks the creative
stimulation she so desperately needs and becomes distanced from the
creative soul she once was. Sprout helps her reconnect with her
creativity in the end. The ad was a success - it got many small
wins in the advertising industry, ad of the day, ad of the week
Despite you working for a "traditional" agency, in today's
world, we always need to think about linking advertising activity
digitally. How have you seen this throughout your
As previously mentioned, most of the stuff that we do is
film-based and falls under the traditional advertising bracket.
That said, we incorporate digital elements into our campaigns
depending on the client and their target market. For instance, if
we are targeting millennials, we will probably work with digital
influencers to get the content out there. We might consider working
with them to create mini ads that will reach our audiences on their
own channels versus the TV. On top of that, we typically create
digital films for each of our clients, which are used in digital
paid media or as rich media banners. For most campaigns, we also
devise a social calendar to follow the campaign launch and support
it with more digital content.
What drives you at work?
Working with creative people is really what keeps bringing me back
to the office. Advertising is not an easy industry. You work long
hours, you must push hard for your ideas, you work through new
creative and production challenges all the time and you really
don't get to turn off that often. But even with all that there is
something about the hard work and the creative that comes out of it
that keeps you going. I honestly don't think I could ever work in a
slower-paced industry - I would be bored! And I would miss being
able to come into work everyday and being a part of a team that
create; the process is fun.
What's the best advice you ever been given?
I really believe it's so important to find something you really
love to do. This may sound cheesy, but it's true. You spend a lot
of time in the office and some weeks can get pretty hectic (I work
up to 12-14 hour days sometimes). If I didn't care about what I was
doing or didn't get excited about the outcome, than I'd probably be
So tell us a bit more about this next step in your
I've always been passionate about the music world and always
thought I wanted to get into music marketing. This next step is a
way to bring me back to that passion. I'm going to be working with
musicians to create content for brands at an agency called
Greenlight Media and Marketing, an independant agency. We'll be
organising concerts and other experiential campaigns with these
artists to promote brands. It's a more creative approach not
relying strictly on traditional media outlets. I wanted to move
into a direction where I was creating content that would have
long-lasting effects on audiences. Traditional advertising can get
a bit mundane. Some commercials are memorable, but more people are
likely to remember a concert than a commercial!
Is there a key lesson you've learned in the past five
years that you'd like to share? Is there something you would have
Honestly, I don't think I would do anything differently. I am a
firm believer that you learn something from every experience, even
if it's a not such a great one. I would say just be true to
yourself and what you want. Don't stay in a job you know you won't
want to be doing in five years. Keep learning and always try and
stay positive: people notice.
How did the content of the MSc
in Marketing & Creativity influence your various
The programme taught me how to use creativity to make decisions. I
like to joke that my job now is basically finding solutions to
anything that might come up.
But beyond that the MMK was crucial in introducing me to the world
of marketing in general. Before the programme, I didn't realise all
that was out there. There are so many roles and cool companies out
there that I had no idea about. It opened up the various sectors
that exist for creative marketers (advertising, branding, strategy,
digital, etc), and also what brands these days are at the forefront
when it comes to creativity marketing.
Curious about how ESCP Europe and its Marketing and
Creativity programmes helped Nicole apply her life experience to
her job successfully? Find out more: