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The Work That Made Me: Maria Conti

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From The Clash's 'London Calling' to Paul McCartney's credit card commercial, ITB Worldwide's vice president Maria Conti shares some the of the work that's shaped her career

The Work That Made Me: Maria Conti

Maria Conti is vice president at ITB Worldwide, the pioneering Talent + Influencer marketing agency informed by culture, powered by data and built on human insight, where she advises agency and brand clients on influencer and celebrity talent strategy, negotiation and activation. With more than 25 years of experience in celebrity talent commercial representation, concert sponsorship negotiation, and talent contract negotiation for high profile consumer media programs, Maria has represented a vast range of A-Listers in the endorsement area for much of her career.

The ad/music video from my childhood that stays with me…

Once in a Lifetime by the Talking Heads, and most of David Byrne’s videos for that matter.

The ad/music video/game/web platform that made me want to get into the industry…

The iconic American Express B&W celebrity print ads of the 80’s/90’s. I actually did wind up working on this campaign with Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn. They were adorable together.  

The creative work that I keep revisiting…

London Calling/The Clash is my all-time favourite.

My first professional project…

As a very green agent at ICM, I negotiated Art Carney’s two-year deal with Coca Cola for its holiday campaign. Garry Marshall directed and it was just such an inspiration to see them work together. Very low key set, and yet the work was magic. This was followed by Maggie Smith for Maxwell House coffee in the UK. I couldn’t believe this was my job.

The piece of work that made me so angry that I vowed to never make anything like *that*…

Anything by Madonna

The piece of work that still makes me jealous…

Ryan Reynolds’ own ad work promoting more than one of his brands in one creative, entertaining, credible piece of content.

The creative project that changed my career…

Sir Paul McCartney’s first tour sponsorship, which was with Visa. You couldn’t buy a ticket with Amex, and he used the commercial campaign to promote his tour, thereby saving money on tour promotion and adding to tour earnings. As part of his endorsement team, we had to act quickly because he decided at the last moment to take on a sponsor. Luck, relationships and timing led me to Visa. 

The work that I’m proudest of…

IBM decided to introduce its AI service, Watson, to consumers and business clients worldwide through a series of commercials featuring conversations with Watson and talent such as Bob Dylan, Stephen King, Ridley Scott, Serena Williams, Ken Watanabe, Carrie Fisher and others. We were tasked with all of the talent procurement and there was a lot of learning in having to work with so many different personalities. 

I was involved in this and it makes me cringe…

Working on a Hot Pockets campaign and the spokesperson pulled out after a widely reported news report about some questionable ingredients used.

The recent project I was involved in that excited me the most…

Partnership for a Healthier America - not very recent, but it was such an honour to work with Mrs. Obama and her team at PHA to try find spokespeople who could truly get kids in at risk communities to try to eat healthier foods, with no talent fees involved so the program could use its funds to provide food pantries. Of course, she made our job almost easy since not many would turn her down.

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ITB Worldwide, Fri, 10 Sep 2021 11:18:10 GMT