Leif started his career when he joined Natalie's team as a Strategy Intern at Firstborn. A few years later, he's moved up and over to the brand side in the explosive world of gaming and Esports. Hear about the perception of advertising and what we actually make for clients, realizing there's no perfect answers in strategy, and how to leave an agency the right way.
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- How dabbling in PR and leveraging relationships helped him get his start in strategy (and how Natalie found and hired him!).
- Realizing that there are no perfect answers in strategy, and why that gives you permission to be confident.
- The perception of what advertising is vs. what we actually create for clients these days, and rethinking our idea of impact.
- How to leave an agency the right way, and why your quitting should never be a surprise.
- Moving from the agency side to the brand side (specifically in gaming), and what the heck esports is.
- What he’s learned about working with clients now that he is one.
“If you feel yourself start to get that itch to leave, think about why and try to address that why before you get too far down the path of just, ‘I want to get out of here’.”
“Being the client, you understand why decisions are made and why some of the things that seem just like small nagging problems that could just be magically solved on the agency side, you understand why they exist. […] You learn to look outside of the microcosm of that specific relationship, and you see that there are all these other factors that are being taken into consideration on the client side.”
“There’s no right answer. It’s easy to get caught up thinking that there’s something specific that you’re looking for. Some magic thing that’s going to unlock the door of the problem you’re trying to solve. There’s usually 5-10 ways different ways to address any given problem, many of them correct, many of them with their own merits. The way you see is the best way to attack it...that’s the best way for you and your specific situation.”
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I've been in brand strategy for the better part of four years, creating in-game web experiences for Supercell at Firstborn and now working on publishing around international esports events at Riot Games. I found my niche in the industry quickly, driven by an interest in solving tough problems through straightforward, audience-focused thinking. I'm intimately familiar with both sides of the client-vendor relationship, which has given me the perspective to better understand and overcome issues that can arise for both. In my spare time, I play lots and lots of video games.