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Why Big Brands Need To Plan Strategically With Joi Childs

How can brands stay relevant and relatable?

Joi Childs is an Editorial & Publishing Manager for Netflix Film, amplifying and generating social conversations for films such asThe Harder They FallandThe Power Of The Dog. Previously, she was a Social Marketing Manager at Amazon Studios, leading the US social campaigns for films such asOne Night in Miami... andComing 2 America.

Before working in entertainment marketing, she began her career in the consumer packaging goodsindustry while moonlighting as a freelance film critic. Her writing has been featured in The Hollywood Reporter, Teen Vogue, The AV Club, and more.

Goldie Chan:What has your career path been?

Childs:I’ll start out being candid and admitting that my career path has notbeen linear. In college I majored in marketing with hopes of a career in that field. However, I joined the workforce in sales with a 3 year stint at the Colgate-Palmolive Company followed by 4 years in brand marketing at PepsiCo.

While working at Colgate in sales, I knew I wanted to transition my career back to marketing. I took advantage of an opportunity to become a social media marketing fellow at Blavity while simultaneously working my day job. The experience with Blavity allowed me to not only transition into marketing at PepsiCo, but also start freelance writing which developed into freelance film and TV criticism. I was moonlighting as a film/TV critic the entire time I worked at PepsiCo (see a pattern here?).

The consistent side-hustling caused me to burn out FAST. So I committed to consolidating and making a career switch. After much research, I decided that entertainment marketing was the perfect marriage of my skills as a critic and brand marketer. I joined Amazon Studios on their movies team and after 8.5 months, I was fortunate enough to move from NY to LA and join the Netflix film team.


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Chan:What has been your favorite campaign or project that you’ve worked on?

Why Big Brands Need To Plan Strategically With Joi Childs

Childs:Probably working on the US social campaign forComing 2 America, because it was a masterclass on working on a film with such large scale. Being the social lead was a great learning lesson on cross-functional communication, global teamwork and quick strategy building. I didn’t sleep much during that campaign but hey, my work got mentioned in Forbes.

Chan: How do you like to structure or plan a campaign with a major brand?

Childs:Since I work in film marketing, my step 1 is always to watch the film a few times. An old habit of mine in my critic days is to have a notebook and pen at all times so I’m constantly writing notes when I watch one of my titles. I write notes on the themes, specific shots, and moments that I think will work well on social. From there, it’s working with our writer’s room, creative marketing team and creative development & production team to bring these notes to life via assets, copy and content day videos. Team collaboration is my favorite part of my job and I’m lucky to work with such brilliant people.

Chan:Who are cultural tastemakers to follow?

Childs:This is a long list so you’ve been warned. But any chance I can highlight Black women and Black non-binary folks who’ve made me a better person and marketer, I’m going to take it!

I collaborate with @essenceofcin, @Tiffany_sheri and @AriJBlige at Netflix often. Those 3 are the best in the business, full stop.

A big shout out to my tribe: @MariaGiesela, @CherraMPH, @jane_anon, @iamlaurenp, @constar24, @kynthepen, @TheLadyKayB, @ShannonL_Miller, @Steph_I_Will, and @JoelleMonique. We all met freelancing at a nerd publication and we’ve been thick as thieves ever since. They’re also rockstars in their respective industries.

I’ve been friends with the co-host of The Table is Ours podcast and fantastic A&E publicist @Kirb_UrAppetite for over a decade and she’s the real deal. She also introduced me to my friend @jasmynbeknowing, who obviously needs no introduction. Fun fact: Jasmyn was the one who texted me the open role at Amazon Studios and encouraged me to apply.

@bookblerd was my editor when I was a reviewer for @themtrnetwork. She became the big sister I didn’t have. She’s also a stellar freelance writer so please read her work!

And then there’s those who I don’t know personally, but I’m a big fan of their work. @AngelaIRL’s digital game is serious. I really love following @MissBeeBright because her Influencer Marketing tweets are always insightful. And also @chasityscooper’s work is a great blend of wine and social content - I enjoy it!

Chan:What is an interesting brand trend for 2022?

Childs:The talk on social media is all about the intangible as fungible. Crypto, ETH, NFT and I’m sure more in that realm is going to work it’s way into the mainstream. I currently do not have a personal opinion of this new digital frontier. But it’s fascinating to see what sticks.

Chan:Any last branding advice for this year?

Childs:You are enough. The platforms we use digitally are constantly evolving and sometimes it feels like you can’t keep up. But it’s your authenticity that keeps you relevant. Your ideas and passion are enough to overcome whatever branding hurdles you may face. As long as you continue to do the work.

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