Our “Pita Peeps” series continues, featuring the creative thinkers, interactive experts and innovative marketers who make Pita so fresh.
This profile highlights Roxanne Drolet, who joined The Pita Group in February as vice president and creative director. From Los Angeles to New York and now Connecticut, Roxanne’s career has given her the opportunity to collaborate with industry-leading clients and work on a range of interesting projects, from developing creative campaigns to composing music for ads.
Summer intern Jonathan Gregalis caught up with Roxanne to discuss her career, her inspirations and everything in between.
1. You’ve had quite an extensive and impressive career thus far. What brings you to The Pita Group?
I spent the last seven years living in Los Angeles, and the previous nine in New York. I found plenty of career opportunities in those cities, but now that my son is 4, our priorities changed. My family really needed quality of life opportunities. My husband’s family is quite large and all in the greater Hartford area, so it was a natural move for us. I’m happy knowing that I was able to find a balance between work and family, without having to sacrifice having an interesting career. The marketing challenges are motivating, and the team here is fantastic – all incredibly bright and talented people.
2. Of all the projects you have worked on, is there one that stands out in particular?
A really interesting project was a long-form sponsored audio program for Delta Airlines’ in-flight entertainment system. It was an exploration of the music in the video game Fallout 3. It was great fun tying all the elements together: the script describing the post-apocalyptic world inside the game, the interview with the game designer, and the incredibly beautiful original recordings of fantastic jazz standards they chose as its soundtrack. And since I studied jazz at Berklee College of Music, it was satisfying to work with music so close to my heart.
One of the most fun campaigns was an original music composition for Heineken Latin America. Our agency was hired to do some of the audio executions for an agency in Miami, who did the entire campaign. For one of the spots, they wanted music similar to the musical “Stomp.” We recorded endless beer bottle clinking, flute-like bottle blowing, clapping, “cheers” and fake party and bar sounds. It started slowly with the auxiliary noise creating the percussive foundation of the piece. Then, we quickly layered in fun upbeat music and steel drums, culminating in an explosion of sound. The tagline was, “What makes a drink with friends into something extraordinary?” The campaign ran in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Barbados, Aruba, Martinique, Haiti, Honduras, Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana and Trinidad & Tobago and received Local and District Addy Gold awards. Heineken reported the spots were extremely well received and extended their media buy for an additional year.
3. What inspires you and your work?
I love finding that connector, that piece of the puzzle that can tie a great idea to a brand. I think humor done well can go a long way. One great campaign that comes to mind is Bud Light’s “Real Men of Genius.” And don’t even get me started on the brilliant hilarity of “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” From Old Spice.
4. If you were to create a marketing campaign about yourself as a brand, what would the campaign feature? How would it look? How would it sound?
At the music branding agency where I worked in Los Angeles, our email signatures had to contain “the sound of our brand,” so we had to think a lot about what kind of music would be most appropriate to represent us. It was easy to over-think it – do I select based on theme of the lyrics, or harmonically as well? What if it’s perfect harmonically but has content inappropriate for me/the brand? Do you just represent your personal philosophy or do you nod to what’s going on currently? I remember one coworker listed his as “If I Only Had a Brain” from the Wizard of Oz. I changed mine frequently, because there is always so much great new music out there, how can you be pinned down to just one thing? And I think brands need to do that as well. You need to be fresh and relevant.