Heather Elder Represents
Reps Journal

Dear Art Producer, Alexis Coulter and an Unconventional Path to Advertising

With each episode, Dear Art Producer aims to bridge the gap between the photography and advertising communities, offering invaluable insights and fostering a sense of camaraderie among industry professionals. In this episode, I speak with Alexis Coulter, Head of Production at adam&eveDDB West. Starting her career in TV, she quickly discovered her knack for writing, producing, and directing for PBS but found she wanted broader challenges and platforms to share her inventive thinking. Transitioning to the world of advertising, Alexis honed her skills at renowned agencies like Johannes Leonardo, Droga 5, Grey and Ogilvy & Mather before going brand side at sweetgreen, a salad haven where she helped redefine the brand and guide the company through a successful IPO. After going public, she returned agency-side to serve as the head of production at Adam and Eve DDB West, leading a team that brings remarkable ideas to life.

From Working in Television to Advertising Executive
Alexis's path to the advertising world was anything but conventional. With a background in acting and a passion for photography and filmmaking, she stumbled into advertising almost by accident. However, her diverse skill set and innate storytelling abilities proved to be invaluable assets as she navigated her way through the industry.

Balancing Creativity and Management
As head of production at adam&eve DDB, Alexis wears many hats, balancing hands-on production work with managerial responsibilities. She emphasizes the importance of resourcefulness and storytelling in her role, highlighting the need for art producers to think creatively while also managing the logistical aspects of a project.

Understanding Client Objectives and Creative Solutions
One of Alexis's key responsibilities is translating client objectives into actionable production plans. She works closely with the strategy team to develop creative solutions that not only meet the client's needs but also push the boundaries of traditional advertising. A typical day in her life looks begins with a review of campaigns coming up and the overview of what is needed to make those projects successful. She always asks herself “what does success look like?” because if the work she is putting into a project isn’t serving the overall goal or solve the client problem, she isn’t doing her job. 

Effective Communication and Relationship Building
Throughout the episode, Alexis stresses the importance of effective communication and relationship building in the industry. She emphasizes the value of maintaining strong relationships with production companies and reps, as well as the importance of clear communication with clients to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Navigating Challenges and Finding Solutions
We also discuss the challenges that art producers face in their day-to-day work. From clients asking for more with less to producers lacking clarity in creative projects. However, she offers valuable advice on how to navigate these obstacles and find effective solutions.

Heather brings up how sometimes producers request a new estimate with a lower budget, and she and Alexis discuss how that can be a challenge without the context of what the producer is looking for. Alexis emphasizes that open communication makes this scenario successful and that if the rep can ask for priorities and teh producer is willing to provide that list, the process will move smoothly. They both agree it’s a challenge for both parties. 

Connecting with Artists and Talent Discovery
Reaching and connecting with artists for marketing campaigns can be a daunting task. Alexis shares her strategies for effective outreach, including personalized messaging and leveraging platforms like Instagram for talent discovery.

Thank you to Alexis for joining me on this episode. Her unique journey to advertising is a testament to the diverse paths that lead individuals to success in the creative industry. Her insights into art production and creativity offer valuable lessons for photographers, creatives, and aspiring advertising professionals alike. Tune in to the full episode of Dear Art Producer to hear more about Alexis's fascinating career and her thoughts on the future of advertising.

Link Here for Episode 105 – Alexis Coulter on iTunesStitcher, or Spotify.

This weekly series shares conversations with Art Producers in Advertising, where together we can envision the future for this industry and take steps forward as a community. If you are interested in being on the podcast, please email me at Heather@Heatherelder.com – we are still recording episodes. And if you like the podcast, please consider sharing it on social media and leaving an iTunes review. We would love help spreading the word.