EPISODE #10 || Elle Bass, Senior Strategist at Giant Spoon

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Elle found advertising after studying religion and working in fashion, and her passion for Strategy is clear in the way she talks about her role as Senior Strategist at Giant Spoon (Advertising Age's 2017 Small Agency Awards Gold Winner). Hear about the one question that made her realize Strategy was for her, working with luxury and premium clients, and showing up for your teammates as a strategist.

Heads up: To celebrate Episode #10 of the podcast, we've launched the We Are Next YouTube channel! It's filled with video clips from the first 10 episodes, so you can binge all the best nuggets of advice in one place. Also, check out the updated Podcast page where you can see guests scheduled to record and submit your questions and topics to influence the conversation. 

Topics Discussed

  • How a background studying religion and working in fashion translated into a career in advertising.
  • The one question that made her realize that Strategy was the role for her.
  • The partnership between brand strategists and data scientists.
  • The scrappiness needed while working with luxury clients, the difference between luxury vs. premium brands, and the new definition of luxury.
  • Showing up for your teammates as a strategist.
  • The differences between Giant Spoon’s LA and NY offices.

Mic Drops

“It’s very much one of those situations where you’re going through life, and you’re making the most out of the opportunities that are in front of you. And you don’t necessarily know how what you’re doing or what you’re learning is going to impact you in the long run. But when I take a step back and look at the past 5 of 6 years, all these pieces fit together to get me to where I am.”

“I always strive to play the role of a champion. Really being their partner as a strategist, not just doing research, and in the instance where you’re providing a brief, providing a brief and then walking away and feeling like your work is done. The real work is done on the cutting floor. It’s when creatives are sitting there brainstorming, and they have questions that pop up that could potentially lead to them getting lost in their own thoughts. But if you can be there to be a sounding board, and to be supportive, to basically be Google. You already have all this research and you have this vast repository of knowledge. Sit with them through the process if they’re willing to invite you in on that."

“Showing up. Just being there when they need you, whether it’s 12pm before a client presentation and the art director is going at working on the deck, and the copywriter is there providing copy. You might not have anything to contribute at that point, but just your presence and support means the world. And I don’t see enough strategists doing that.”

“It’s a lot about just seeing—that is our job. To a degree we’re paid to see and to pay attention, and then to translate that into action items. [What inspires me are] the places where I feel like I can see the most and where I’m the most immersed in the everyday life of other people. So go-to places are train stations, airports. I’m that person that could just sit there at a cafe and watch people go by for hours, and collect that information like a sponge and then turn it into ideas and thoughts on what’s happening.”

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About Elle

A born and bred Virginian, Elle Bass now finds herself navigating the world of advertising and the streets of NYC with her dogs by her side. Since age two she's been expert at asking "why?" and finding ways to improve things that aren't broken. She currently works at the bi-coastal advertising agency Giant Spoon as a Senior Strategist on Spotify, Ally Bank and HP. When she's not busy creatively solving problems she's either people watching, reading, or practicing Roller Derby with the Gotham Girls.