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Interview for Campaign

  • January 1, 2018
  • Abroad Agency Experiences

Miss Aslı Yiğit, the customer relations director with “I Mean It Creative” founded by Mr. Emrah Yücel, the famous designer in the city of Los Angeles, shares her abroad experiences with us.

Our monthly pages, where we publish the experiences of advertisement and communication experts and designers working abroad, welcomes this month Miss Aslı Yiğit who currently works abroad as the customer relations director with “I Mean It Creative”. Yiğit becomes aware of her disappointment in studying at the Department of Economics with the Koç University, and soon diverts her way of life to an extreme lane through the advertising courses she attended in New York. You will read in this interview how she formed her career, and her story extending to Los Angeles.

Indeed, I never targeted the advertising as an industry for employment. I recognized my lack of happiness, and interrupted my studies at the Department of Economics with the Koç University, and flied to New York. I was getting lectures from my professor who was a former advertiser in my school, i.e. the Business School in Manhattan. He used to talk about the advertising agency business, and his realized projects. At that time when I tried to discover my own real expectations, his narratives made me interested in advertising, and then I kept my eyes onto this industry.

When I returned to Turkey, I shared this interest with my family, but it made my father apparently disappointed. He was perturbed by my decision to cease my studies in economics, and go on with the communications.  His rather radical point of view led him to consider it as an industry with no guarantee for employment. As I understood the impossibility to conceive him, I first applied to my favorite schools in London, and did not renew my enrollment with the Koç University upon receipt of the acceptance in response to my applications. Frankly speaking, it was just a fait accompli for my father. He had no choice, but going along with my decision. Hence, my adventure of studying the “Marketing Communications” with the London Metropolitan University.

Upon return to Turkey, I worked with a number of leading industry agencies, mainly Grey Istanbul and Happy People Project. I had good opportunities to work with enjoyable brands, e.g. Burger King, Arby’s, Digitürk, Goodyear, Komşu Fırın, Unilever and Procter&Gamble.

The six months of living in New York were enough for me to fall in love with the city. And I was decided to live in the United States, even though not in New York.

When I was newcomer as a probationer in this industry, I read an interview held by a newspaper with Mr. Emrah Yücel from Los Angeles, and promised myself to be employed in his company in the future. My friends were right to say “you don’t want him to come from LA to recruit you, do you?”

And it was just a milestone in my career to get acquainted with Mr. Emrah Yücel when I was responsible for the CEEMEA region in the Fairy brand project of Procter&Gamble in Grey. He sought for a teammate for customer relations in his company.

Campaign Magazine Cover

Just three months later than our meeting, I was flying to Los Angeles where I would permanently reside, while I had never been there before in my life. The company offered opportunities to many promising people from Turkey, and it was just a new start even for me.

And, for four and a half years, I have been holding the positon of customers relations director at “I Mean It Creative” in Los Angeles, and co-working with Mr. Emrah Yücel.  

By the way, we have well established ties even with Turkey where we have a liaison office.

We have customers from Turkey, America, Europe, and even from Africa. We are not a so-called company, but a real global agency. We have to call Colombia or Kenya or New York as a routine of our daily business. We could manage to make the 11-hour time difference with Turkey just an opportunity. We work through a transparent communication platform. As any incoming briefs, created designs or updates are entered in the said platform, LA could work on the same work when Istanbul sleeps, and vice versa. This advantage makes it possible for us to concurrently work with all the Fox Turkey, Fox International and FX Studios.

The best advantage for me to work abroad as an advertiser from Turkey is just good for this reason. While we working with a client from San Francisco, we are also working with other brands from Kenya, South Africa and Turkey. In this way, one could adopt a more universal coverage of the industry and related service delivery.

Nowadays, we are rather engaged in delivering the consultancy services of branding and creating sales for the companies in Turkey targeting the international markets. By the way, the US market has become a very attractive scene for the businessmen from Turkey. Being a global agency, the “I Mean It” comes with a great advantage thanks to the Turkish speaking team members as well.

Istanbul and Los Angeles are two cities of remarkably different dynamics and energies. These differences even extremely affect how to work. In Turkey is used to make everything “urgently” and “very fast. It could sometimes affect the outcomes. Many projects run with no strategy and planning. While the agencies in Turkey are focused on producing commercials and campaigns in a rush, here we see an approach of extraordinary thinking and most productive satisfaction of any needs. It has a higher priority to determine the strategy and targets.

Campaign Magazine interview pages

On the other hand, there is nothing here as “choosing an assignment”. The people try to do their best, minor or major, for achievement. One always feels a cut throat competition. Everybody is fast to improve and learn more all the times. There are many successful people and agencies, which urges you to be better, do it better, and refresh and improve yourselves continuously. They provide any necessary space and time for you to do it. For instance, I have decided to attend the MBA program after I came here. I talked about my decision with the Agency, and they did not only support me, not also allowed me to have the necessary time and facilities. They have a flexible structure to remove handicaps on your way.

Looking from abroad, as I pointed out before, the people in Turkey have a customer approach “to immediately create a commercial idea, and make production”.

And the designers are used to organize a prize winning project rather than satisfying the customer needs. Here, there are no such professional values.

I am of the opinion that the people wishing to work abroad must first decide in which city they want to live. I thought for many times to return home in my first year in Los Angeles. It took just 1 year for me to comprehend, know and like the city. Nonetheless, I saw many people who could not adapt here, and return. The city to live is important as much as the agency to work. In this context, the newcomers must not abstain from taking risks. Every experience carries us to somewhere else. It is important to be decisive and perceptive. They should try to comprehend and be adapted with their city and agency. And it would then be enough to do and go on doing your favorite job.

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