Carla Vernon
Oct 07, 2013 • By

Cereal marketer inspires different thinking

The name Carla Vernon uses on her social media accounts says a lot about her – “@carlainspired.”

So it was appropriate that she sought to inspire attendees at the American Advertising Federation’s Central Region Conference, last Friday in Minneapolis.

Carla is a marketing director for some of our biggest cereal brands – she’s been at General Mills for about 15 years – and she used her keynote at the conference to focus on the vast changes sweeping through advertising, marketing and society as a whole.

In her remarks, she said there are three concepts that are critical to have in this “era of massive upheaval”: curiosity, generosity, and crazy.

“For us as marketers, advertisers, and clients we have to be curious, generous, courageous and a little bit crazy if we want to survive and win in this change of seasons,” Carla said.

Carla Vernon

She told the group that they have to experiment and try new things, because advertising is competing for attention in so many places today.

“Every year I feel I have to turn the crank a little bit harder to get the same results as we used to,” she said. “The landscape’s clogged and cluttered, people are distracted, it is harder and harder … Now is the time to take a courageous, crazy step. Some people will call you crazy, but it’s time to decide what you’re going to do differently.”

Carla cited LuckyTo.Be as a recent example from General Mills, for conference attendees to take a look at.

lucky to be

Of the Lucky To Be campaign, Carla said, “Our team felt we could do a great job of whimsically celebrating how lucky we are all are to be whatever it is we are.”

The American Advertising Federation’s Central Region Conference was titled “Ideapolis,” and featured opening remarks by Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, and sessions with leaders from numerous agencies and organizations.