Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
My name is Jill Lin and I'm a creative at Hudson Rouge, a boutique agency that works on The Lincoln Motor Company. We're a nontraditional agency with people who come from various backgrounds, from fashion to advertising. Because of that, a lot of us wear multiple hats. I play a hybrid role as a creative, meaning I help develop strategy, write, plan events on top of art direction and concepting of ideas.
I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I serendipitously fell into advertising when I interviewed with Wieden + Kennedy. They took a chance on a 22-year old kid with a sketchbook who clearly had no idea what advertising entailed and because of that opportunity, I’ve been working in advertising since.
What do you do for inspiration?
I'm an art buff, so for inspiration I go to galleries, art openings, and museums. I love meeting new people who don't necessarily work in advertising because they bring a new perspective into the mix. Travelling, when time permits, is also another great way to get inspiration. To see how people from other cultures live and what they believe in helps put things into perspective and inspires new ideas.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
and James Victore's youtube channel.
How many hours do you work each week?
It depends on what projects I'm working on. During the "Hello, Again" launch, I was working around 60+ hours a week, but that's because I was also concurrently working on a Super Bowl and a Grammys shoot. Though I do like sleep and a work life balance, hours don't matter to me as long as those hours are spent bettering the idea or the work. But, I do like sleep.
How do you relax or unwind?
I love listening to records and drawing. It can be extremely therapeutic. I also spend time with the people I love. This seems like a no brainer, but it's underrated. Some of the best mornings I've had in New York were spent at Madison Square Park, taking my dog to the dog park watching him chase balls while my boyfriend and I share a cup of coffee.
If you weren't working on the internet what would you be doing?
I would be focusing on doing more artwork and personal projects.
What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?
My favorite part is the conception stage. That's when anything is possible, and it's really about how far you can stretch your imagination (intelligently).
The hardest part of my job is hearing "no, we can't do that". We put a man on the moon in 1969 without the technology we have today, c'mon... But in seriousness, there are many aspects of a project that needs to be considered, and finding a balance that pleases all parties involved is never easy, but it can be done. Hearing "no" without an alternative solution is one of the hardest things to deal with.
When I get stuck, I go to people who are smarter or more experienced than I am. I come from a creative background and depend heavily on engineers and developers to help me navigate through technical issues. They're the ones who make an idea reality.
What's the longest you've ever stayed up working on a project?
36 hours straight.
If there are any pivotal experiences/decisions you could point to that helped shape your career, what would they be?
When I was 22, I met and worked for John C. Jay, whom I consider a great mentor. I didn't know much about advertising besides what I learned from Wieden at the time and wasn't sure if I wanted to be a writer, an art director, digital or even in advertising at all. He told me that titles didn't matter much and the important thing is to create work you can be proud of, regardless of what "hat" you wear. That's always resonated with me. That's why if there's copy that needs to be written, I'll do it, even though I'm an "art director". If I need to take a backseat, and let someone who knows more than I do take lead, I'll do that, as long as we're working towards the same vision. That was a long winded way to say- I learned that the important thing is to never let go of the original vision. That has helped shape the type of creative I am.
What software could you not live without?
Adobe Creative Suites.
How many projects does your company juggle at any one time?
Since we're a relatively small agency- around 40 people- and we work on a huge client, Lincoln, we have a pretty good workload. On top of traditional campaigns, we also have a lot of events, social projects, dealership and sales related projects. So answer: A LOT.
Who is your target audience?
For The Lincoln Motor Company, our target are the type of people who appreciate and actively seek experiences. They're obsessively curious knolwedge seekers who have a strong sense of purpose in life. These are the type of people who wouldn't ordinarily have thought of Lincoln as a brand they would associate themselves with, which is why we've been pushing to reinvent the brand so that it not only has a bigger presence culturally, but also so that it inspires people like our target audience to reconsider what we stand for.
When dealing with major clients, how difficult is it to meet the needs of such wide target audiences?
It's not easy and there's a delicate balance in everything.
What was the last digital effort you saw (or were a part of) that used social media in a way that really made sense. Why?
We worked on an experimental social media campaign called "Steer The Script." The reason we did this was because we wanted to create a platform that gave the public the ability to share their stories and team up with us in writing a commercial together. The Lincoln Motor Company is a new type of luxury car company, one that values individuals and with this campaign, we decided to create something that proved that we meant it.
Have you been a part of a campaign that was rooted in digital and THEN reached over into other consumer touchpoints? Did this happen organically or was it a part of the plan from the beginning?
Definitely. I think that happens more than people think it does but it has to happen organically. Ideas can come in many forms and sometimes they lend themselves to being translated into another medium, but it has to be organic in order to be effective.
The web is getting out of the web. Do you find that thinking in digital solutions alone hinders you? Do you feel the urge to solve the problem using all mediums necessary?
This depends on the project and what we're trying to acheive at the end of the day. Sometimes integrated campaigns make the most sense, as it did for the launch of our "Hello, Again" project. But, that's not always the case for every project. I think it's important to value the most intelligent and logical solution for a problem versus checking off boxes because that's what everyone else is doing.
Looking 10 years in to the future, how far can websites go?
I don't know but I'm damn excited to find out.
Of all the websites you/your company have produced, which one are you most proud of?
The "Hello, Again" 360º experience is something we're all very proud of. It's one of those projects that was a true collaboration from beginning to end. My partner, Jose Funegra and I came up with the concept of being able to navigate and see the concert from different POV's using a 360º camera to simulate being there, and when we hired director, Chris Milk, he took that concept to another level by adding the 360º binaural sound and integrating it into the live event. It wasn't an easy project by any means, and we were grateful that many people helped us bring this vision to life, including STOPP, the guys at Legacy as well as 360 Hero and our production company, Radical Media. Our VP Branded Content & Partnerships, Monique Frumberg also played a large role bringing the event to life as did our head integrated producer, Sherri Levy. And we couldn't have sold through any of this work without the support of our ECD, Jon Pearce or our amazing client, Jim Peters.
What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?
I think they're helpful because they have a set structure and they connect you to likeminded people as well as professionals but everyone takes in information differently. It really depends on the individual. I know some brilliant designers who never went to school for it. I went to advertising school, but not graphic design school and I had to teach myself how to use all the programs. It worked out well in the end.
If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring FWA award submitter, what advice would you give them?
Focus on doing great work and find likeminded people who aspire to the same kind of work you do.
What does the future hold for your company, or you as a person?
There are a lot of exciting things happening at Hudson Rouge. Our "Hello, Again" campaign is year long engagement that inspires people to take a look at something familiar in a new way, a reflection of what Lincoln is doing with themselves as a new luxury car company. It's a tall order, but that's what makes it exciting. And the fact that we're exploring different categories in different mediums will make for even more inspiring experiences.
For me, personally, I want to continue to work with people who want to push boundaries and do things that haven't been done before, not for the sake of technological trends, but because they will inspire others to do so.
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
Work hard and know that details matter, don't let things go if they're not right. That's the worse thing that can happen and it doesn't benefit the work or the people who've also spent countless hours working on it.
It has been a privilege, thanks very much