5 Min With Stanley Lumax, Advertising Legend & Partner Of Teranga
1. We first met in 2002 when you were working at GlobalHue and I was still in college, in the early days of my agency. Those were the early days of multicultural marketing. How do you feel this idea has changed over the years?
Multicultural marketing has become less of a priority for most brands. The budgets are smaller and because what used to be viewed as multicultural is now leading the general market like never before, brands tend to think they don’t have to be as sensitive. I’ve heard many marketers say in this day and age the youth don’t see color, they see values. While there is some truth to that, it doesn’t mean anyone wants to feel alienated or worse disrespected.
2. You’ve spent a lot of time in your career focused on sports, and basketball in particular. What’s the draw?
In order for me to be successful, I have to live the work I do, so I’m drawn towards brands and categories I can speak as an expert in because I live it. I’ve done everything from play the game to cover the game as a photographer. I’ve always created relationships with the community which has always given me an edge versus the traditional corporate manager who does his research on google. I live it.
3. You’re also known for your iconic photographs. When did you first realize this was your passion?
I remember being a kid and going to the flea market with my parents and just being drawn to a camera. When I got my first job as a kid, the first thing I did was buy a camera with an automatic zoom lens. My stepfather, who is a photographer was an early influence as well. He gave me my first SLR which I used in college. My college professor Dr. Edward Trayes changed my life by teaching me the fundamentals. Before then, I was just shooting.
4. You recently opened a restaurant! Tell us about the restaurant and how the project came together.
I started African Chop House as an event to celebrate African culture through good food, music, and people. It grew from an event at my home to a proper quarterly event that I’ve taken to la and Johannesburg. So as I continued to build an audience, people took notice. I had worked with current partners in Teranga, Chef Pierre Thiam, Folasade Adeoso and Noah Levine in the past and they were talking about opening a restaurant. They introduced me to Scott Schroeder, who they’d been working with to make the idea a reality. We were blessed to have Dan Solomito, a good friend who at the time owned a coffee shop that he made a pillar in the Bed Stuy neighborhood he was in, also join us. When they offered me the opportunity to help create Teranga, it felt like the natural evolution of what I had been doing with African chop house.
5. The advertising industry is constantly evolving and changing. What’s your biggest trend prediction for 2019?
We at premier music group believe that music is the catalyst of culture and commerce. It’s literally the soundtrack to any aspect of culture you think about. Sports, art, etc. All of it is enhanced with the right music experience. This enhances a brands opportunity to connect which leads to commercial growth.
Music will continue to be a bigger part of advertising. Agencies and corporations will have to look at artists as brand partners not just spokespeople and syncs for their ads. A lot of the bigger artist have social followings that dwarf the bigger corporate brands, so leveraging their following becomes as important as the traditional media plan. Every brand manager and account guy/gal is going to need to put their a&r hat on and not only find relevant music but create meaningful relationships with artists in a way that helps create authentic campaigns. Everything is shared socially, so people can read through inauthentic partnerships.