Adapting to Industry Shifts with David Bates


September 28, 2020

david bates on brand podcast

“We can shake our fist at it or we can ride the wave. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a scenario where someone’s shaken their fist at what’s developing and won. It doesn’t solve anything.” David Bates has built a career doing creative work for dynamic clients and adapting to significant shifts in the industry along the way. We discussed all of this and more this week on the On Brand podcast.

Enjoy This Episode Now

About David Bates

David Bates is the Managing Director of ATK PLN, a design-driven creative studio. He combines a background in brand strategy, design, and marketing for top brands including FOSSIL, Shinola, and Filson with the artistic vision of Executive Creative Director Jose Gomez to create engaging campaigns for clients such as Frito-Lay, Paramount Pictures, Mercedes, AT&T, Cinemark, and Warner Bros.

Episode Highlights

What does it mean to be design-driven? “Our business has evolved dramatically. In some cases, our clients became competitors.”

How can agencies adapt to challenges like clients taking work in-house and shifts in technology? “We can shake our fist at it or we can ride the wave. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a scenario where someone’s shaken their fist at what’s developing and won. It doesn’t solve anything.”

How do you market the movie business in the midst of COVID-19? “We work directly with movie studios—we become their hands and feet!” David says of ATK PLN. “There was an audible gasp” at the beginning of COVID. Now, David and his team work on all sorts of dynamic media for studios from social media to lower thirds on TV. He shared several stories during the podcast including a TikTok campaign they did for the movie Scoob.

A note of caution. David warned brands not to get caught in the “reactive mode” that social media and even COVID constraints can bring. Know who you are as a brand and work to communicate that as effectively as you can, everywhere that you can.

What brand has made David smile recently? David is a big fan of Howler Brothers for the way “they’ve blended their love of the outdoors with style.”

To learn more, go to the ATK PLN website.

As We Wrap …

Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.

On Brand is sponsored by my book Brand NowDiscover the seven dynamics to help your brand stand out in our crowded, distracted world. Order now and get special digital extras. Learn more.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!

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Nick Westergaard
Email Brand Driven Digital

is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World and Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, an educator at the University of Iowa, and host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.




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