Jayanta Jenkins is global creative director with TBWA/Chiat/Day (www.tbwachiat.com), the agency known for the iconic 1984 Apple ad, where he is responsible for managing and creating the global integrated marketing commu-nications for Gatorade.
A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) with a BFA in fashion art advertising, Jenkins began his advertising career at The Martin Agency in Richmond, Virginia, and then went on to work at Wieden+Kennedy in Portland, Amsterdam, and Tokyo, where he created and produced integrated campaigns for Nike Basketball, Nike Running, EA Sports, Powerade, Lebron James, and Amazon.com.
His work has been awarded at Cannes, One Show, and the Communication Arts Annuals, among others. His port-folio and blog live at www.freshistheword.com.
The following is an excerpt from my interview for Advertisers at Work, which can be found at Amazon.com.
Tuten: In your role now, as the global creative director, are you still generating ideas?
Jenkins: Absolutely. I mean, ideas are like oxygen! We require ideas to breathe. Ideas are definitely the thing that drives business. I work on Gatorade now, and my work, it’s all about ideas, one hundred percent.
Tuten: You’re actively involved in client work?
Jenkins: Oh yes. I’ve been involved on a daily basis. When I first got into the business, [I had] no concept of the client work. It’s a skill that can’t be taught in school. It’s just honed over time. It’s one of the things I love doing—interacting with our clients and helping sell ideas and working together collaboratively to make things come to life. It’s one of my most favorite things about being in this business—the collaboration.
Tuten: Can you share something you’re working on now? Something that you’re excited about?
Jenkins: Now that I’m doing global work, what’s really exciting is taking the platform that we started here in the United States. We’re basically transforming Gatorade from a hydration company to a sports nutrition company and creating that imprint around the world.
We’re creating a global language that will unify the brand, not just as an American brand, but as a global brand. You don’t really get too many opportunities like that in your career to lead brands like Gatorade in a really big way. It’s very exciting to me, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. It started when I was working on Nike in Portland at Wieden+Kennedy. I was working on basketball, and I had the opportunity to launch Lebron James in Asia. It was just really exciting to strip away language and again come up with ideas that could connect with people universally. Once I started seeing ways of doing it, being able to participate in the process, I recognized that I wanted to be the global guy. I didn’t just want to be the guy that worked on a brand and spoke to people within our borders. I wanted to really develop ideas and platforms that really spoke universally because we are a global community. That really excites me about being a communicator in advertising. It’s being able to talk universally to people, you know?
For more from Advertisers at Work, visit Amazon.com. To see more of Jenkins’ work, visit www.tbwachiat.com.