5 Questions for: John Gallegos of UNITED COLLECTIVE

What’s the biggest challenge or opportunity facing the ad industry right now?

John Gallegos, President/CEO, GallegosUNITED

The biggest challenge is helping clients achieve their objective of growth in a rapidly changing market. The emergence of technology and the shifting demographics of the American consumer have transformed when, where and how people consume media. The opportunity exists to apply a new way of looking at the market and sequencing the ideation and creative storytelling to better address growth opportunities for brands.

What is the single most significant change you need to make in your agency in the next 12 months?

Recognizing that opportunity, we’ve already started implementing changes to our structure. We established UNITED COLLECTIVE, which encompasses five specialty agencies: creative agency, GALLEGOS United; business planning consultancy, POLY United; content creation and production studio, LUNA United; digital agency, CANVAS United and public relations firm, ROX United. Over the next 12 months we’ll work to educate clients on the full value of this bespoke model, which allows them to leverage a core discipline or a wide range of capabilities, all within one culturally attuned group.

What products/services/unique skills do ad agencies offer that guarantee the industry’s survival for another 100 years?

Creative storytelling has been and will continue to be at the core of good advertising. As new technologies emerge, it will be imperative for the ad industry to tell stories in compelling ways that connect with diverse audiences across different platforms.

What attributes do you look for in your next generation of leaders/managers?

I look for a combination of capability and sensibility. Leaders must possess the skills to lead and execute projects, but also have the ability to navigate difficult situations and adapt to change. We need more people who are willing to challenge convention and who remain constantly curious—always asking “why” or “what if.”

If you weren’t working in advertising, what would you be doing as a career?

I’d probably be coaching baseball. I have a love of sports and all that it can do for people—especially kids. There are great lessons to be found in winning or losing a game and the effort you put into preparing for and achieving something.