Allison CERASO

Managing Director, CCO | HAVAS LIFE

Allison is the Chief Creative Officer at Havas Life, an organization dedicated to campaigns that promote healthy living.  She oversees creative promotions that influence health and fitness in an accessible and sustainable way. Allison is an adjunct professor at FIT, and commits her time to foundations including JDRF and Families of SMA.

questionnaire

What was your very first job?

My first job after college was actually at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy. It was a paid program where the museum hired recent graduates from around the world to run the museum for the summer - from cleaning the Di Suveros in the courtyard, taking the covers off the Pollack paintings, giving tours, and selling tickets.

Please describe, in your own words, what your job is and what work it entails.

Today, my job is running an Advertising Agency that specializes in Health and Wellness brands, with specific responsibilities over the creative product the agency delivers - across disciplines, brands, and teams. It requires a deep understanding of the health space, knowledge and insight of our core customers, from Physician to Patient to Consumer, and an ability to create inspiring creative campaigns to help move people to live better, and be better.

How did you discover that the creative world was right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? What was there train of events that brought you to where you are today?

Pre-Med. First two years. That was me. And during those years, I found any opportunity to draw, sketch, paint, write - anything to spark my creative mind. After two years, I realized I needed to MAKE THINGS, something science couldn't offer me at that time. So I moved back to NY, and fell into Art History and Design, and fell in love. From there, I immersed myself in the museum world, where I fell in love the idea of curating a story. I worked at MoMA, at the Guggenheim in entry level positions - but before I committed to the museum track, I thought maybe, just maybe, there was another creative world I should try first - where I can constantly create, tell stories, make an impact. Enter Advertising. After 16 years, the love affair goes on...

In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how do you find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant Keeping myself surrounded by talented, bright, young people keeps fresh and inspired. 

The students at FIT and the next generation of talent that are a part of Havas Life teach me something everyday. They aren't afraid to take risks, they show us how people are talking, thinking and acting, and they aren't afraid to speak their mind. The candor of the millennial is something some people are fearful of - I thrive on it.

If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, more for the creative work and innovation it required, rather than its recognition or industry "success," what would it be? 

Success, to me, is always about how people are inspired - which is great, since in the health and wellness space, our clients are sensitive to industry recognition they receive on their marketing campaigns - so we rarely submit our work for awards. Today, the work I love, is a campaign promoting a new type of insulin for people with Type 2 Diabetes. We rallied around an idea that captured patient's feelings about it, and how their lives have changed because of it. The idea has both honesty and excitement- which gives patients hope during their journey living with the disease, which ultimately may encourage them to help manage their own disease better. It may even make them feel good about it, and themselves. And that's the reason I'm in the health business.

jury

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