Monique Nelson, Chair/CEO, UWG
In 1969 when Byron L. Lewis founded UniWorld Group Incorporated, the country was in the midst of unparalleled change and discord.
Protests to end the Vietnam War, protests for Civil Rights, the trial of the Chicago Seven for inciting riot at the Democratic National Convention, the police raid of the Stonewall Inn in New York.
There were, however, some wonderful things taking place at that time. Jimi Hendricks and Joni Mitchell performed among other future icons at Woodstock, Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon, and the predecessor of the Internet, ARPANET was connected in California.
And, while it appeared that everywhere he looked the world was coming apart at the seams, Byron Lewis had a vision of unity—unity that would emanate from our awareness and appreciation of each other’s differences, as a key, to loving our sameness, our humanity—and that awareness would come from storytelling.
Advertising is the one business practice that dares to be more than transactional. The creative storytelling of advertising makes our business art.
Our story began over four decades ago with a set of clients who dared to define their desired consumer as ALL Americans and partnered with UniWorld Group to give an authentic voice and face to their diverse messaging.
Those clients understood the necessity for cultural knowledge. They knew they needed the right guide to navigate their conversation with audiences, equipped with an understanding and appreciation of what made those audiences unique and vital.
Today, UniWorld Group (UWG) continues to serve as a guide, and we cherish our role as grio to an increasing roster of companies with similar dedication to culture.
When we say culture, we’re recognizing the difference between individual thought and celebrating entire communities —we dig deeper than self-identifying race, ethnicity and sexuality by leveraging innovation in research, consumer attitudes and behaviors, and by transforming our own culture within for greater depth of experience and creativity.
Almost five decades later, advertising has seen incredible shifts across mediums, platforms and consumption behaviors. Factor in cross-agency collaborations, advertising/digital technology — and let’s not forget our friends, industry regulators. With ever-increasing challenges, agencies worldwide recognize the shift. Process is no longer linear.
Our storyboards are no longer simple frames from radio, television, print and an occasional outdoor billboard. Today’s marketing mix also includes YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and, social influencers. These ever-evolving platforms and the instant and global awareness of today’s messaging, confront all marketers with the irrevocable danger of disenfranchising audiences and being seen as insincere.
Leading these conversations in authenticity, awareness, impact and results continues to be the mandate of UWG. While no one can predict the next fifty years nor the changes that come, we stand ready to embrace each new year and each new change, and tell its story.
Here’s to the #Next50.
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