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The Work That Made Me: Sara Singh



Strategist at Deutsch LA on DTC apps, bringing Mario Kart to mobiles and how working on pitches makes you nimble, quick and creative

The Work That Made Me: Sara Singh

Sara Singh is a curious and driven strategist with a passion for brand and cultural strategy. She has experience working in across diverse industry verticals including entertainment, QSR, gaming and finance. 

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

Cereal commercials. I absolutely loved them as a kid growing up. Trix, Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs, Reese’s Puffs - you name it. I knew every jingle (still do) and begged my parents to buy them. I guess that means they did their job. 

The ads that made me want to get into the industry…

Nas x AZ and Mos Def x J Dilla Sprite commercials. 

As a hip-hop fan, once I discovered these Obey Your Thirst commercials, I knew this world was for me. I was fascinated by the fact that you could use your passions, expression and interests to make a mass play. These commercials used culture in the most authentic way possible, by allowing artists to use their own voice and by giving them a big platform for all to see. It’s something I’ve always gone back to in my career: making sure the talent we use feels seen and heard and not just used. Too often, we see commercials and products with people’s faces on them, but they don’t even seem like they like what they’re selling. If you listen to those spots, you’ll find those artists not only selling a product, but also giving you a message that comes from their experiences. 

The creative work that I keep revisiting…

This one’s easy: Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange. At first, it was by accident. Channel Orange was one of few albums I actually bought off of iTunes (thanks Napster & zip files), so every time I’d be offline, it was one of the only albums I had on my iPhone and I liked it, so I’d play it. But after a while, it become a source of comfort and familiarity when I was traveling or just needed some background noise while I was working or cleaning. I know every word to that album and it’s now one of my favourites. 

My first professional project…

My very first client was Google Play and the first professional project I worked on was the launch of Nintendo’s Mario Kart to mobile. It was the first time Nintendo was launching a mobile game to both iOS and Android at the same time, and Google Play did a spot to promote the game. We ended up creating a super fun piece of work that showed the joy Mario Kart brought to all ages (just now on your phone). It showed phones zipping around cities just like Mario Kart and we hid Easter eggs of the Mario Kart universe throughout. 

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

There’s no one piece of work I can think of here - but rather, there’s a type of work. Growing up in a pop culture centered time, we saw a ton of ads featuring an “ideal” type of beauty. Usually the white, skinny, blondes that looked like Britney Spears. And while we’ve moved away from this to a more inclusive space on the surface, there’s a lot more work to be done. These stereotypes have caused harmful residual effects in generations, and it’s our responsibility as marketers/advertisers to show a true reflection of the world that we live in. 

The piece of work that still makes me jealous…

I often get the “damn, why didn’t I think of that” feeling about apps and startups. We’ve seen so many smart DTC apps and companies pop up in the last 10 years that are just so smart and intuitive. I’m talking about the Ubers and Dollar Shave Clubs of the world. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t tried to think of the next DTC craze in my mind a few times (no luck yet, stay tuned though). 

The creative project that changed my career...

I like to think every creative project I work on changes the trajectory of my career at least a little bit. Every project I have worked on has opened the door to the next project, and the next opportunity. If I had to pinpoint one type of project that changed by career the most, I’d say it was working on pitches. During my times at my last agency, I worked on about eight pitches over two years and it taught me more than I can even explain. Pitches make you nimble, quick, and creative. If you ever get the chance, work on a pitch. 

The work that I’m proudest of…

I’m super proud of the work we’re doing on Taco Bell at Deutsch LA right now. We’re not only making ads, but we’re also finding ways for Taco Bell to show up in culture at large in meaningful and surprising ways and that’s the type of work I love doing. The latest work we did for the Build Your Own $5 Cravings Box encouraged fans be themselves and featured a lineup of some really cool folks. 

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

To help celebrate the return of Potatoes to Taco Bell’s menu, we launched NFTacoBell - a first of its kind branded NFT. Admittedly, I didn’t know anything about NFTs until the week we did this project, but we knocked it out so quickly and the NFTs sold out in 30 minutes. It was a super rewarding experience, and I am excited to be working on a brand that’s willing to take the risks involved with an idea like this. 

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Deutsch LA, Thu, 25 Mar 2021 10:27:11 GMT