Interview by Uriah Young
QFTD: Tell us a little about yourself. Who is Brooke Ellis?
Brooke: I consider myself a person of purpose. I see myself as very persistent individual, who knows the importance of perseverance when it comes to character. I don’t let negativity deter me from my goals. An optimistic point of view on things has always worked for me in life. I am also the kind of person who likes to surround myself with positive people.
QFTD: You are the National Advertising Manager for Chevrolet. I can only imagine how busy your days can get. What is the average day like from your seat?
Brooke: Well, I usually start my day catching up on current events by reading online news from CNN and CNBC. I read up on business trades and automotive news, mostly. Then, I go through all of my emails to keep on top of my communication lines. Frequently, I create timelines and monitor progress to keep the ship going smoothly. A lot of my daily routine consists of meetings with my ad managers for product lines like the Chevy Cruze and Equinox. It is important to meet with my team regularly so that the agency has a clear understanding of our goals. The effectiveness of our meetings helps ensure that media partners keep a healthy partnership with our company.
QFTD: I am sure those networks consider the target audience a high priority.
Brooke: Absolutely. That’s why my routine also includes going through creative briefs, documents that the marketing and advertising team produces, so that we can later share with the director of Chevrolet. Keeping everyone on track is critical during the production process.
QFTD: (Smiling) Ever have time to eat lunch?
Brooke: (Laughing) Yes, I do. I have to make time to keep my energy level going. Even if I have to eat in the office, I make sure to have lunch.
QFTD: With General Motors, you started out as the Diversity Media Operations Manager. As your journey expanded, and your career advanced, what thoughts were going through your mind during this transition?
Brooke: I didn’t get too excited until I started a program and began executing something that had never been done before, working with one of the largest advertisers in the world. To be honest, I am so happy to be in a position to help reach people who are part of a diverse field. The reality is that companies care about multicultural consumers. For me to be able to come up with my own program gave me such gratification.
QFTD: Much of what you do requires innovative thinking and leadership ability. How do you develop and nourish such attributes?
Brooke: That’s a good question. I have to say that reading frequently helps me develop and nourish those attributes. I also travel often, exposing me to different people and cultures and allowing me to gain understanding. I people watch and observe a lot. This enables me to connect to people in so many ways with what I do in advertising. One more thing that helps those attributes to develop is my love for dance.
QFTD: That’s interesting. What do you mean?
Brooke: When I think of dance, innovation comes to mind. After seeing a performance from a dance company like Alvin Ailey’s, I get so inspired. From modern dance to ballet, the graceful movements spark ideas, and even the format of how the dances are delivered generates innovative thoughts in my mind.
QFTD: When you collaborate with other people on large-scale events, like Black Girls Rock and The Cadillac Lifetime Achievement Awards, what is your approach toward achieving success?
Brooke: It all starts with committing to authenticity. As advertisers and marketers, we have to keep our message as genuine as possible because making that connection with an audience is the key. Also, I go into the process of coordinating events with the goal of understanding how people think and what they want. One other key thing is establishing Chevrolet’s status at the event so we can reach our focus markets.
QFTD: You have been a part of a variety of civic and multicultural organizations, unselfishly lending your time and efforts to worthy causes. Why is it important for you to give back to the community?
Brooke: Well, it was a part of my life growing up. I am a living example of how people giving back can benefit younger generations. Mentors played a huge role in my life, and I always knew I was going to give back in some capacity. Even when I wasn’t established, I still found it significant to volunteer and help out others in need. You know, things seem to come full circle. It wasn’t too long ago that I went back to my college to speak to a 5-year MBA class.
QFTD: What was your message?
Brooke: My message was about the world out there for them to grasp in the automotive industry and marketing industry. It felt great to give back and share the opportunities that await them.
QFTD: Any advice for someone interested in launching a marketing or advertising career?
Brooke: I would recommend thinking about what you really want to do. Then, I’d advise that person to write down a plan. The next key step would be to identify a few people in that field and build a rapport with them to gain understanding. Gain guidance by seeking out people who have experience!