Meet Our L.A. Issue Cover Star Lena Waithe; Barton F. Graf’s Funeral: Monday’s First Things First

Plus, Elizabeth Warren goes after Facebook...again

Lena Waithe is this week's cover star for our L.A. issue. Lelanie Foster for Adweek

Welcome to First Things First, Adweek’s new daily resource for marketers. We’ll be publishing the content to First Things First on Adweek.com each morning (like this post), but if you prefer that it come straight to your inbox, you can sign up for the email here.

Lena Waithe on Why LA Was the Perfect Place to Make Her Dreams Come True
Hollywood: home of the stars. It’s a place people go to fulfill their dreams on the silver screen. But in the case of a creative like Lena Waithe, most dreams are filled behind the camera. Waithe has 22 projects in active development with some of the biggest names in the business, and an Emmy win under her belt for her writing. What’s more, the prolific writer’s first feature film debuts next month. For our L.A. Brand Stars issue, we caught up with the star about her move to the city of angles.

Read more: Prolific writer, producer and actor Lena Waithe talks making her dreams come true

Adweek’s 2019 L.A. Brand Stars Never Got the Memo That Los Angeles Is Just for Chilling Out
Meet 16 execs who have been busily producing big gains and unexpected solutions for everything from dating apps (Tinder) and sports teams (the Clippers) to plant-based protein (Beyond Meat). Our L.A. brand stars lead some of the most innovative challenger brands like MeUndies, Revolve and Sweetgreen.

Read more: Learn how these execs have helped their companies achieve billions of dollars in revenue.

At a ‘Funeral’ for Barton F. Graf, Its Alumni Send Off a Creative Agency Like No Other
Barton F. Graf will go down as one of the goofiest agencies in ad industry lure, so it’s entirely fitting that alumni of the quirky shop sent it off with a funeral. Featuring a New Orleans-style marching band playing a frenetic swan song around an open coffin—containing only a dead rat, the night was filled with laughs and a few tears when the reality of the situation cut through the jokes.

Read more: See photos of the event and hear from founder and chief creative officer Gerry Graf about the agency’s legacy.

Elizabeth Warren Takes Swing at Facebook’s Political Ad Policy in Scathing Stunt
What better way to draw attention to Facebook’s political ad policy and the damage it can cause than to lie in an advertisement about its founder?

That’s what Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) planned when an ad created by her presidential campaign went live Saturday. Warren has said in the past that she wants to break up big tech companies like Facebook.

Read more: Publishing editor Sara Jerde explains Warren’s extensive issues with the social media giant.

Just Briefly: The Rest of Today’s Top Stories and Insights

Ad of the Day: Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Hurt’ Is Beautifully Reimagined, Giving Hope to Hospitalized Children

Canada’s SickKids Foundation, which supports The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, continues its years-long “SickKids Vs.” campaign of emotionally potent fundraising spots with “This Is Why.” The spot reimagines Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt” to hit home the emotional moments inside the hospital.

Adweek Executive Mentor Program

Interested in learning from some of the brightest minds in marketing like Burger King CMO Fernando Machado, Kohl’s CMO Greg Revelle and Walmart chief customer officer Janey Whiteside? Apply to be a mentee today.

Diego Scotti, CMO, Verizon, on paying it forward:

As leaders, we have a big responsibility to pay it forward. The older I get, the more I see the perspective of all those people who, in big ways and small ways, taught me [during my journey] and I’ve tried to do the same for others.”

Advice for First Time Mentors

Madalyn McLane, account director, Deutsch NY

Bridge the gap of uncertainty for your mentee. Reaching out to a mentor, or even knowing how to ask for help, can be wildly intimidating. So, initiate the first couple check-ins/conversations and let them know early-on how you can/want to support them.

Dani Balenson, design director, Stink Studios

Respect their individuality. A lot of the time, mentors tend to say things like “I see a lot of myself in you” or “so-and-so went through this once..” which devalues the specific experience that their mentee is going through. Keeping the conversation and the advice about them, while referencing past events in a broader non-person-specific way, is really important to the mentee’s personal growth and development.

Sandy Rubinstein, CEO, DXagency

The best part about being a mentor is the opportunity to help someone navigate areas that are unfamiliar and that you may have already experienced. The opportunity to guide someone on their path using the wealth of your experiences helps them move forward in ways they would have never considered.


@kimekom Kimeko McCoy is a freelance journalist and digital marketer, who focuses on social strategy, newsletters and audience development.
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