Nina DiSesa: Who is Nina DiSesa?
Nina DiSesa has worked in the quintessential boys clubs of advertising for almost thirty years. In 1994, she became the first woman EVP, Executive Creative Director for McCann Erickson New York, the flagship office of the largest advertising agency in the world. Under her creative leadership, the New York office enjoyed an unprecedented 5-year growth period adding almost $2.5 billion in billings. In 1998, she was made Chairman as well as Chief Creative Officer of McCann New York. She was the first woman and first creative director to be named chairman in the McCann global network.
In 1999, Nina was chosen by Fortune magazine as one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in American Business.” In 2005, she received the Matrix Award, given each year to a select group of women in communication. In 2007, she was inducted into the Hall of Fame for CEBA (Creative Excellence in Business Advertising).
Question: Who are you?
Nina DiSesa: My name is Nina DiSesa and I am the chairman of McCann Erickson’s New York office. And the New York office is what we like to say the flagship office of McCann Erickson’s global network.
Well, I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and I left Brooklyn when I was 21, 22, lived in the South many several times. Lived in the Midwest twice and now I am living in Manhattan, I think that when you go overseas and people ask you where are you from, if you say the United States, you get one response. If you say Brooklyn you get a totally different response in this kind of cool, it’s a cool place to be from.
Question: Did you know what you wanted to be growing up?
Nina DiSesa: Oh god, no anybody who knew me before I was 30 would be shocked to see where I have evolved to is a business person...
Well on the first half of my life, until I was about 25 or 28 I really didn’t have a focus of what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be and who I wanted to be, and I was married.
I thought I was going to have children and the when the marriage dissolved, I thought “oh my, I better have some plan, for the rest of my life,” and that’s when I decided to take whatever writing skills I had and channeled it into advertising and it was probably the best decisions I ever made.
Question: What did you do before advertising?
Nina DiSesa: I was in college. I worked in advertising in my 20s, but not in an advertising agency, I just did whatever I needed to do to make money, waiting from my husband who was an actor, to hit it and maybe decide to have a family. I mean I was coasting I don’t any 20 something year old now who coasts.
I don’t why I thought I could do it then, but I think that was the time, it didn’t really - you where not really expected to have a career when I was growing up and a career make, becoming a teachers is great, so that you would have the summer is off, I mean I was like held up to me is the idea that wasn’t appealing to me.
Nina DiSesa, the Chairman of McCann Erickson New York talks about the art of effective advertising, reaching an audience, and the case study of Mastercard.