Brand Strategy

Coworking with Monique Francis

She’s head of marketing at Hoorae Media.
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Monique Francis

· 3 min read

Each week, we spotlight Marketing Brew readers in our Coworking series. If you’d like to be featured, introduce yourself here.

Monique Francis is head of marketing at Hoorae Media, the media company founded and led by Issa Rae.

Favorite project you’ve worked on? A campaign called “Music Moments” that I worked on for the Alzheimer’s Association before joining Hoorae Media. It was wonderful to experience the generosity of such renowned artists like Sting, Nile Rodgers, Joan Jett, and Anthony Hamilton, who were willing to lend their voices and stories pro bono. The project was in the works for nearly two years, and we launched right at the start of lockdown in 2020. It was a scary time, and we weren’t sure if anyone would care about this little collection of beautiful music and stories. We were pleasantly surprised at the outpouring of love and gratitude to have something to lift people’s spirits in a terrifying time and help those with Alzheimer’s or impacted by the disease feel less alone.

What’s your favorite ad campaign? I’m partial to ad campaigns that make you laugh and whose themes become part of culture, but the ones that inspire you and give you goosebumps always stand out in memory. One of my favorite campaigns over the last few years is Nike’s “You Can’t Stop Us,” which aired during the pandemic. The creative editing touched on so many aspects of what we were experiencing at the time—fear, hopelessness, frustration, and uncertainty. It was not only empathetic to the moment, but also inspirational, hopeful, inclusive, and connected to Nike’s values.

One thing we can’t guess from your LinkedIn profile? My real boss is my 3-year-old fur baby and short king, Rex. We foolishly trained him to use the talking buttons, so when his whines and intense stares don’t effectively communicate his wishes, he has the buttons to deliver his orders. I work so that he can have whatever his heart desires.

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What marketing trend are you most optimistic about? Least? I’m both most optimistic and least optimistic about the use of AI. As a marketer in a small but fast-growing company, the idea of quickly scaling our capabilities with the help of AI is appealing. It’s exciting to think about how the most draining and time-consuming aspects of work could be quickly handled by AI tools, and how much more of our days could be spent doing the most exciting parts of our jobs (or more free time?). At the same time, the threat that it poses to the livelihoods of many is concerning. I hope, as an industry, we can find ways to use AI as tools that help us do our jobs better and deliver value to consumers without losing the creativity and human connection that fuels our work.

What’s one marketing-related podcast, social account, or series you’d recommend? How I Built This by Guy Raz. It gives such a human and vulnerable perspective on what it takes to build a brand. Marketing is by no means an exact science, so it’s easy to doubt yourself and fear failure when you’re tasked with taking risks and creating something new, all while facing the pressures of growing a business. It’s refreshing to be reminded how these transformational leaders have experienced the same thing.

Get marketing news you'll actually want to read

Marketing Brew informs marketing pros of the latest on brand strategy, social media, and ad tech via our weekday newsletter, virtual events, marketing conferences, and digital guides.