Exec Talk with Jennifer Whitlow of Lockheed Martin
McCanners were treated to a QA session with Jennifer Whitlow, SVP of Communications at client Lockheed Martin at our offices last week. Jenn led the charge for Lockheed Martin on The Field Trip to Mars, one of the most awarded campaigns in the world this past year. Jenn shared her perspective on the partnership with our agency that brought that work to life, as well as her role in telling stories for a portfolio that spans space crafts, renewable energy, autonomous technology, advanced fighter jets and much more.
Our Chief Strategy Officer Steve Zaroff asked Jenn for insights into Lockheed Martin’s internal workings and culture, her experience developing the Generation Beyond and Field Trip to Mars campaign and more broadly, her strategy around storytelling.
Jenn spoke warmly about the partnership between Lockheed Martin and McCann, saying that out-of-the-box ideas are what persuaded her team to select McCann as its creative agency three years ago. To build a strong partnership, Jenn said, “It starts with listening. If you’re talking more than you’re listening, you’re probably not a very effective partner.”
Jenn offered the client perspective on how the Field Trip to Mars came about. At the time, the space conversation was hot, and the idea for the bus really tapped into people’s imaginations -- not only the technology aspect, but the way it conveyed Lockheed Martin’s story. It was gratifying to hear that Generation Beyond has struck a chord within Lockheed Martin’s internal culture.
Steve then turned it over to the audience for some spirited QA. When asked about competition from companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin, Jenn said it’s a good thing, as it ignites the conversation around space and gives Lockheed Martin an opening to tell its story and show what it’s capable of. Jenn was also asked about her role as a woman in her industry and her experience rising through the ranks to her leadership position. Her advice to professional women was to be willing to push boundaries and to never limit yourself.
Coming off of an amazing year in which The Field Trip to Mars was the single most awarded campaign at Cannes 2016, the session concluded fittingly with our Executive Account Director Lisa Nocella presenting Jenn with an Innovation Grand Prix Cannes Lion.