180LA was my dream agency. It took my SIX MONTHS of interviews to get the job. SIX MONTHS. OF. INTERVIEWS. At the time, it was a small shop above Ye Olde Kings Head in Santa Monica, a block from the water. It was super start up, and people were always there well into the night (and early in the morning). It had a spirit all it’s own. It had a fire. An energy. I can still feel the way it felt walking in those doors in the early hours of the morning after a (literal) skip down Ocean Ave.

When I got the job, they were hush hush about my client. They had just won the account and I was pretty sure it was in the spirits/liquor category but only because of some leading interview questions. The weekend before my first day I got an email outlining my travel for that week— I’d be heading to Miami to kick off our Bombay Sapphire work. I had never had gin. That changed quickly. We worked with the global team in London as well as the US team in Miami to create some of the first work they had done in years. They were hesitant, they were a bit nervous, they were traditional but had come to us because we weren’t. Sometimes they needed a few cocktails to really get into the hard conversations.

We pitched a concept around being more inclusive while also staying high-end. The relationship with the bartended, almost inviting you in to the print ad for a drink and highlighting some of the world’s most incredible bars as well as a specific Sapphire cocktail (and bar call) at each. I got to do all of the (online and in a library) research to location scout the bars (I did not get to actually go to ANY of them. cry.) and pitch them to the client. We then decided to do a partnership with GQ, since Sapphire was a large client, they were part of our media buy and a total brand fit from a demographics standpoint. So, while we developed editorial content, recipes and the ad, we also decided to do a Golden Ticket— we would create an insert attached to our ad in GQ and one lucky winner would get a real “golden ticket” (copping Willy Wonka’s style, I know) to travel to the bar in Bangkok that we were going to shoot at, with the lead Sapphire Mixologist. I reached out to Cathay Pacific as another luxury brand partner and worked with them to be part of the promotion and provide the airfare.

The creative team had an incredible time shooting in Bangkok and Cabo and the post-production on the ads made for amazing looking print ads— you could almost frame them.