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Kent Milton

Toyota
Alka-Seltzer
USAA
L'Oréal
Kiehl's
Hilton
Aleve
City National Bank
LG Electronics
Bayer
Hilton Grand Vacations
Chuck E. Cheese
Post-it
Scotch-Brite
DoubleTree by Hilton
Homewood Suites by Hilton
The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection
Conrad Hotels & Resorts
The Ritz-Carlton
Hampton by Hilton
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
MFS Investment Management
Bridgestone
Humana
IHOP
Midol
Sonic
CeraVe
Skinceuticals ES
Dr Scholl's
Carol's Daughter
Naked Juice
Hilton Garden Inn
Hilton Honors
Garnier
Butterfield Group
Russell Athletic
lululemon
Beam Suntory
Urban Decay
Embassy Suites by Hilton
Marriott International
AFRIN
Estee Lauder
Fruit of the Loom
JELD-WEN
Kent Milton
Country Flag US
I have 24 years of experience working as a creative in traditional advertising, design, digital and more than 20 years working in digital media. I’ve worked in numerous verticals for both B2B and B2C leading various digital campaigns for clients such as Hilton Hotel brands, Ritz-Carlton brands, Estée Lauder, L’Oréal brands (Urban Decay, Kiehl’s, Carol’s Daughter, Garnier, Dark & Lovely, SkinCeuticals, CeraVe), Bayer brands (Bayer Aspirin, Aleve, Afrin, Alka-Seltzer Plus, Dr.Scholls), Bridgestone brands, Toyota, Kia, BCBS, Humana, LG, Lululemon, Lowe’s, Jeld-Wen, Pepsi-co brands and many more. Personal Proficiencies: Adobe Creative Suite, Sketch, Figma, Powerpoint, Keynote My portfolio password is: bewitched Would love the opportunity to speak you about myself and my work and see how I could bring my creative perspective to you and your clients.
Q

Was there something specific about Creative Direction that made you realize it was the path for you?

MY ORIGIN STORY

When I was in second grade my teacher asked us to take out a sheet of paper and draw a picture of what we wanted to be when we grew up. I had a good idea of what I wanted to be but like any little kid, I wanted to see what my peers were going to do first.

All around me boys were drawing pictures of policemen and firemen. I was intrigued by the idea of being a policeman having been raised on a steady diet of Adam-12 and Starsky and Hutch. And I didn't want to be too different from my classmates. But there was something else that I wanted to be and my inner dialogue couldn't be persuaded otherwise.

So there I was, posed with a problem needing a serious creative solution. Then suddenly it dawned on me. With great purpose, I drew a line straight down the middle of my piece of paper. On the left side, I drew myself as a policeman. On the right side, I drew myself in a suit sitting at a drafting table (making all kinds of drawings and ads). I printed the words Part-Time Policeman and Part-Time Artist across the top. I was a stickler for coloring in the lines but once I was finished, I was quite pleased with my solution and turned my paper in.

As my mother tells it, she went to the parent/teacher conference and my teacher pulled out the drawing and asked her where in the world I'd gotten the idea about being an artist. Now my mother knew I liked to draw, but she said she would go home and ask me. And when she did ask me where I came up with that idea, I told her matter-of-factly, “I want to be like Darrin.” My mother proceeded to tell me we didn't know anyone by that name and asked me who was Darrin was. I told her, “you know...Darrin on Bewitched.” I knew that I could draw and that Darrin 'drew' for a living, so it only made sense I would work for an advertising agency as an Art Director one day.

Q

What project are you most proud of being involved in? What made it so memorable?

One of my most rewarding creative projects has to be the 2019 campaign for City National Bank, a client known as the "Bank to the Stars" in Beverly Hills. The bank had a vision to expand their clientele and modernize their brand while preserving their rich Hollywood legacy. We seized this challenge head-on, and what unfolded was a transformative journey for both CNB and our team.

We kicked things off by blending tradition with innovation, reimagining CNB's image for the modern era. We rolled out an integrated strategy that spanned digital OOH, print, social media, and even live events. Our messaging was versatile, designed to capture the attention of high net worth clients across the nation.

The most memorable part of the campaign was our collaboration with CNB's new CEO, Kelly Coffey. We worked with celebrity photographer Ian Spanier to capture the essence of the bank's new direction. Timed perfectly for International Women's Day, this digital campaign made waves and set the tone for what was to come.

But we didn't stop there. Building on the success of the Kelly Coffey campaign, we took things to the next level with a series of photoshoots and a new message, "Where the Only Way is Up." We even managed to seamlessly integrate this with CNB's sponsorship of the 2019 Tony Awards, providing a Broadway-inspired twist that captured hearts across both digital and print channels.

Internally, our efforts were aimed at creating a cohesive and versatile brand asset library. We made sure that every asset was adaptable across different platforms while retaining the core messaging. The client trusted us to the extent that we were tasked to redesign their website and even produce a sizzle reel for their executive leadership. The sizzle reel was the cherry on top, capturing the essence of all our hard work and setting the stage for future collaborations.

Overall, the project was a creative director's dream. It wasn't just about producing beautiful visuals or catchy taglines; it was about shaping a brand's future, making a meaningful impact, and watching it all come to life. The project was challenging, no doubt, but the results? Absolutely worth it. And when it all culminated with a standing ovation from the client and their leadership team, I knew we had hit a home run.

Ah, the Senior Lifestyle video project—now that was a true test of creativity meeting constraint. We had not just sold the client on one video concept but three, which was fantastic for our growth but presented a logistical headache almost immediately. A client miscommunication with the accounts team left us with a budget that felt more like a shoestring than a safety net. The challenge? Create six videos in two days with a cast of seven, all while ensuring high production value and diversity and quality in our talent pool.

Now, New York City isn't exactly known for being budget-friendly. Yet it was vital to be in a market where we could attract a diverse set of talents of a certain "golden age," which made the Big Apple a natural choice. The concept hinged on the personality of the talent coming through the lens. I quickly realized we had to get the most bang for our buck without compromising the integrity of our original vision.

First off, I scrutinized every line item in our budget, negotiating and cutting costs where we could. We went for studio location in Brooklyn, which saved us time and money. We streamlined props, wardrobe, and even optimized our shooting schedule to make the most out of our two-day window.

I also reached out to some industry contacts to find an experienced but budget-friendly crew. For the talent, we used local casting to avoid travel and accommodation costs, but ensured we were choosing from the cream of the crop. The result? A two-day shoot in Brooklyn with seven incredibly talented individuals, complete with props, wardrobe, hair, and makeup, all for $52K. To say that we squeezed every ounce of value out of that budget would be an understatement.

What did I glean from this experience? Firstly, it reaffirmed that creativity often flourishes within constraints. Nevertheless, the paramount lesson was the indispensable role of communication. If the budget had been transparently conveyed to the client right from the outset, potentially sidestepping any ambiguity (since the initial SOW omitted agency markups), it could have spared us some undue stress. Yet, this endeavor also underscored the merits of adaptability and quick thinking. In the creative realm, hurdles like these are par for the course, but the ability to adeptly navigate them ultimately defines the triumph of the project— and in our case, it unequivocally emerged as a resounding success.

Q

Can you share your background and how you got started in your career?

I've always wanted to work in design and advertising since I was a kid. I started out in the game working in traditional print advertising and transitioned to digital and the rest you could say is history.

Q

When creating a brand identity, how important is target audience research?

Oh, understanding your target audience is absolutely critical when creating a brand identity. It's like being a tailor; you need to know who you're designing for to make sure everything fits perfectly or it's just another bad suit. It isn't just about picking the right colors or fonts, but it’s about the whole vibe—how your brand communicates, its personality, and even the way it makes people feel.

When you really get into the nitty-gritty of what your audience likes, their behaviors, and what motivates them, you can craft a brand experience that resonates deeply. It’s about making sure every touchpoint with your brand, from the website to how your products are packaged, speaks directly to what your audience cares about. This way, you're not just throwing things out there hoping something will stick; you're building a brand that connects on an emotional level and stands the test of time.

Q

Please tell us about your recent work and what kind of projects you take on.

Most recently I freelanced designing a new website for a party planning/vendor community business. It was really fun because it was creatively building it from the ground up and the client allowed me to do lots of exploration for the new brand. It should launch sometime later this year.

Q

Can you share some of your notable projects and their impact on the industry?

Hilton, Hamptonality Moments

We produced nine documentary shorts (3-5 mins each) over eight months, accompanied by a social campaign of trailers & offers.

The campaign reached millions & achieved a retention rate above 90%.

The campaign garnered 7M YouTube views, 180% increase in Facebook fans, 90% share rate, over 150% growth in Twitter engagement, & 600M+ social impressions. Earned attention from Mashable & HLN, showcasing the power of relationship marketing for brand success.

CNB Brand Refresh: Where the Only Way Is Up

In 2019, I spearheaded a creative overhaul for City National Bank, modernizing its media, web design & branding to broaden its appeal while honoring its Hollywood heritage & attracting high net-worth clients across the nation.

The campaign attained a 937% increase in earned mentions, 121.9M impressions & debuted on Times Square's digital boards with 1.5M impressions. Overall traffic rose by 342% & earned reach skyrocketed by 2,348% YOY. Improved CPC by 70% & concluded with a 48% lift in brand consideration, significantly boosting brand visibility & engagement.

AWARDS

Bayer: Bayer Aspirin, Clio Award, Bronze, 2017, HeroSmiths (Digital Agency), Effie Award, Bronze, 2018, Making Heroes of Us All (Digital Agency). Dr. Scholl’s, Effie Award, Silver, 2018, A Brand on the Move (Digital Agency)

LG Electronics: OMMA Awards, Best Social Promotion for a Product Launch, Social Media, 2014, Digiday Sammy Award (Social)

Hilton: Hamptonality Moments, OMMA Awards: 2014 - Finalist, Winner, two HSMAI Adrian Awards, Travel Weekly Magellan Award - Silver

BCBS of Tennessee: IAC Awards for "Outstanding Website" & "Outstanding Mobile Application,” MobileWebAward: for outstanding achievement in mobile development

Q

What got you interested in Creative Direction particularly?

I'm an ad guy. Since I was a kid, I’ve loved television and even the commercials in between. I love tag lines and jingles. I would redesign billboards in my head as a game to pass the time on family road trips. Today I just bore my friends pointing out nightmarish kerning in advertisements.

I'm an idea guy. When I was younger I would get into trouble for taking things apart to see how they worked. I still like figuring out how things work and how they could work better.

I'm a perfectionist. My dad worked at a paper mill, he would bring me stacks of paper to draw on. I remember sitting on the floor, surrounded by wads of paper, reworking a drawing until it was “just right.” Nowadays, my iPad Pro and Apple pencil spare the trees, but the pursuit of perfection, with countless revisions, remains.

I'm an artist. I’ve drawn since I could hold a pencil. I made up all my own superheroes when I got bored with the ones in my comic books. Early on, I even entertained the idea of being a comic book artist but my love of advertising had it’s hooks in me. I can still draw a mean Superman though.

All these things I carry with me at all times. They are my tools, my passion, my bag of tricks and my treasures. I love taking an idea, making it reality and exactly what I envisioned it to be. Every day is a new opportunity to make something fun or beautiful. I guess that's why I keep showing up to work.

Q

As a Creative, which project of your professional career, so far, reflects you the most?

That's a really hard question with about 20 years under my belt. It's like asking me to choose a favorite child. I have to say with each project I take something with me to the next project and I always learn something that I can use another time. I had a blast doing all the Kiehl's work because they really did a full omni-channel approach to their campaigns and mostly gave us free reign when it came to brainstorming on how to bring their new campaigns to life. Recently, I worked on a project at a retirement community where I oversaw some video shoots. Everyone I met was over 70 and just so warm and engaging. They really opened my eyes to how much life there is to live at any age. It was an incredible experience!

Q

Who are your influences?

My influences are wide and varied. You have to stay curious and be open to all perspectives when trying to find that creative thread that makes something engaging, memorable and relatable. I think it’s important to look at other work, learn new techniques, pull from interesting sources, to not get so stuck in your own bubble that you can’t see how something outside of it might work for you in a different way. I think exposing yourself to lots of different kinds of creative expressions is important. I think conferences can do that. I think recommended books and articles help. Knowledge sharing. One of my favorite inspirational movies is “The September Issue” and Grace Coddington, former Creative Director at Vogue, sums it up well at the end of the film with “Always keep yours eyes open. Keep Watching. Because whatever you see can inspire you.”

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