‘Converse Up! You Have a Seat on the Desk As a result of You Earned It’: Bacardi’s Laila Mignoni


The model builder, digital native knowledgeable and Bacardi’s Director of Inventive Excellence has delivered award-winning campaigns for a few of the world’s most iconic manufacturers.


10 min learn


This story initially appeared on Authority Magazine

Laila Mignoni, the Director of Inventive Excellence at BACARDI, is predicated in Bermuda and New York Metropolis. All through her profession, she has delivered award-winning campaigns for a few of the most iconic world manufacturers throughout Retail, Automotive and Luxurious. She graduated with Honors from La Sorbonne College in Paris with a Masters in Arts — she’s a model builder and digital native knowledgeable. Laila moved from company aspect to BACARDI International Manufacturers in 2014 the place she ran MARTINI world communications from London. Just lately she has shifted to handle BACARDI rums, launching the model’s new platform ‘Do What Strikes You’ throughout channels.

Thanks a lot for doing this with us! Are you able to inform us a narrative about what introduced you to this particular profession path?

I’ve labored within the trade for greater than 15 years, main inventive for a few of the world’s most iconic manufacturers together with Martini, Volkswagen, adidas and Stella McCartney. I didn’t instantly suppose that I wished to be on the advertising aspect, I bought a Masters in Arts from La Sorbonne in Paris and moved to London to work for an NGO after which began in promoting at DDB London.

It wasn’t till later in my profession that I noticed the affect — the true enterprise affect — good inventive might have for an organization. I all the time knew it was about constructing model connections, however it wasn’t till I noticed it translate into recall after which to gross sales, that I actually might see my affect on the enterprise world. From there, I discovered an organization that will permit me to spend money on myself — BACARDI — the place I used to be capable of full the Govt Management Program at Harvard Enterprise Faculty.

Inventive storytelling via advertising has modified drastically all through my profession. Within the final 5 years alone, the depth and breadth of what we will do has elevated exponentially. I like that my function because the International Director of Inventive Excellence at BACARDI has allowed me to stretch the model to new heights.

Are you able to share a narrative in regards to the funniest mistake you made if you have been first beginning?

Whereas not humorous, I did be taught from this expertise! I as soon as made the error about airing my frustration and grievances to a crew member out on electronic mail, when it actually must be talked out in particular person. I discover that in powerful conditions, it’s all the time finest to take a second away from the state of affairs (or the particular person) after which come again for a face-to-face dialogue.

Whereas it is very important put suggestions down in writing, more often than not, I discover {that a} private connection helps each events really feel like they’ve an opportunity to be heard and discover a answer collectively to maneuver ahead.

What do you suppose makes your organization stand out?

The spirits world is an especially male-dominated trade, particularly on the management degree. It’s all the time been simply that far more difficult to compete in opposition to my friends, so final 12 months, after we introduced the Bacardi Ladies in Management Initiative, I used to be thrilled.

The initiative and annual summit dive deep into matters corresponding to illustration, accountability and innovation in all aspects of the hospitality world. I’ve been fortunate in my profession that I’ve all the time had mentors and managers that construct me up — and I’m excited to offer again to my friends and proceed to champion different girls within the trade.

Are you engaged on any thrilling new tasks now?

Simply this month, BACARDI launched our newest summer season marketing campaign, known as “Cross the Beat,” in partnership with world music superstars, Main Lazer and Anitta. We realized the artists’ newest summer season smash hit, “Make It Scorching,” and it’s the primary time in our model’s historical past that we labored with artists on a inventive piece that served each as our TV spot and the inspiration of their official music video. As BACARDI’s Director of Inventive Excellence, I’ve all the time strived to brainstorm collaborations that can ladder again as much as our “Do What Strikes You” inventive platform. As the worldwide chief in rum, we need to make individuals transfer. Our “Cross the Beat” marketing campaign is an homage to that — it’s all in regards to the course of via which artists encourage different artists, passing on and transferring their vitality and creativity from one to a different. I hope that if you hear the music or see the industrial, you’re instantly impressed to maneuver — each bodily and emotionally — and be the perfect, truest model of your self.

What recommendation would you give to different feminine leaders to assist their crew to thrive?

Converse up! You could have a seat on the desk since you earned it and other people need to hear your opinion. Whether or not it’s cosigning one other colleague’s viewpoint, or elevating a drastically completely different perspective, I all the time encourage individuals on my crew to search out their voice. Know that your crew is constructed of many alternative individuals for a motive, use that to your benefit. No profitable marketing campaign or model ever bought anyplace by solely listening to at least one particular person within the room.

Expertise, expertise, expertise: I’ve labored each on the agency-side and in-house and lived in many alternative elements of the world. I might encourage feminine leaders to have their crew embrace and expertise as many alternative elements of the trade as they’ll. You possibly can’t simply “be taught” easy methods to be inventive — you take up it from working with completely different individuals, completely different manufacturers and in numerous elements of the world.

Lastly, we don’t must mix, nor conform we could be who’re 100% of the time.

Picture Credit score: by way of Authority Journal

What recommendation would you give to different feminine leaders about the easiest way to handle a big crew?

Pause the expertise: with giant groups and in large conferences and, it’s simple to get distracted by your cellphone and laptop computer. I all the time ask the group to place away their expertise and deal with the duty at hand. This tactic all the time encourages greater engagement and extra centered discussions. Until it’s pressing, that textual content can wait!

Construct sub-committees, then combine it up, however all the time come again collectively: typically it’s simpler to divide and conquer! In large conferences, I like encouraging mini breakout periods the place every group will deal with a problem, then we’ll mix-up the teams and deal with a brand new problem. On the finish, we all the time come again collectively. This all the time encourages camaraderie and higher considering.

Motion objects: I by no means go away an enormous assembly with out outlining subsequent steps for every crew member. After a protracted assembly, crew members can really feel overwhelmed, so it’s all the time good to stroll away with concrete, actionable objects.

None of us are capable of obtain success with out some assist alongside the way in which. Is there a specific one that you might be grateful in direction of who helped get you to the place you might be? Are you able to share a narrative about that?

Talking of Ladies in Management, somebody who has been instrumental in my profession progress is Bacardi’s head of Human Sources, Scott Northcutt. He has all the time been a fantastic supporter and mentor and has pushed me once I actually wanted it essentially the most. Discovering somebody who champions steady schooling and offers staff a discussion board/house to shine is essential — Scott hs actually unlocked a whole lot of potential for feminine leaders at Bacardi!

How have you ever used your success to convey goodness to the world?

BACARDI’s inventive platform is “Do What Strikes You” — the notion that all the pieces we do as a model ought to transfer the buyer, whether or not that’s bodily (dancing!) or emotionally (encourage you!). Because the International Director of Inventive Excellence, it’s my job to make sure that each marketing campaign, accomplice, collaboration and occasion we partake in evokes this message.

One of the rewarding campaigns I’ve labored on since “Do What Strikes You” was initiated was known as Music Liberates Music. Once we launched Music Liberates Music, our aim was to offer rising artists time within the studio to report and work on their music. To have the ability to raise-up musicians and provides them a platform to share their work with the world was past rewarding. To at the present time, we nonetheless invite these artists to come back again and carry out at BACARDI occasions and certainly one of our winners labored with us on ‘Cross the Beat’ marketing campaign.

What are your “5 Issues I Want Somebody Informed Me Earlier than I Began” and why?

1. Be fearless: this was a name to motion from our CEO a pair years in the past and since then, it has been engrained in my day-after-day work ethic. As a world inventive, I need to give you concepts that could be scary at first — in any case, the larger the chance, the larger the return. And if you happen to fail, repair it and check out once more.

2. Energy in relationships: whether or not it’s inside networking or networking with others outdoors of what you are promoting, connections are key. Much more so, construct long-term relationships. The payoff is all the time larger.

3. Put money into your self: discover a firm that means that you can spend money on your self. Due to Bacardi, I used to be capable of full the Govt Management Program at Harvard Enterprise Faculty and transfer my household to each Bermuda and the U.S. Take any and all alternatives to higher your self.

4. Pay it ahead: mentorship has been key all through my profession and I owe a few of my very own successes to different sturdy ladies and men within the trade.

5. Benefit from the experience: be your self and produce a degree of lightness when moments are tense. This elevates the entire dynamic and builds reference to everybody in your crew. I’m so grateful for what I do, the individuals I work with and the locations I’m going, that discovering time to really benefit from the second is highly effective.

You’re a particular person of nice affect. In case you might encourage a motion that will convey essentially the most quantity of excellent to essentially the most quantity of individuals, what would that be?

Somebody informed me as soon as that extra electronic mail you ship, the extra you get, so I might provoke a motion to scale back all electronic mail inboxes by 80%! I need to see individuals speaking extra, collaborating in particular person and connecting via true face time. Discovering human connections with the individuals you’re employed with is so vital, and I consider this would cut back a whole lot of stress degree and permit individuals to benefit from the experience a lot extra.

Author: Maxwell C.

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