Cherri Ellis: National Creative Strategy Director for Kernel
Cherri Ellis’ workday might be here at home in Birmingham, or it might be out in one of dozens of other cities her job takes her to. But one thing remains constant: the focus is always on creative ways to make her customers successful.
Ellis is national creative strategy director for Kernel, the internal creative agency for Spectrum Reach. Spectrum Reach, the advertising sales and production services offered by Charter Communications, provides custom solutions for the modern media landscape. Operating in 30+ M households, nearly 100 markets, and 41 states, Spectrum Reach provides scalable advertising and marketing services utilizing national cable networks, internet advertising, and promotional events backed by marketing, research, and award-winning creative services.
Given that platform, Ellis’ work encompasses a lot of touchpoints, but mostly her focus is on utilizing research and strategy to help businesses tell their story through the right creative, and then extend that creative message to every screen possible.
“I get to work with immensely skilled people who care, and my clients range from small business owners to global companies. Even with all of the research, data and metrics that take the guessing game out of advertising, there is still a discernible magic that comes with producing the creative elements of a campaign. Video that connects emotionally, whether it makes you laugh cry or think, never gets old,” Ellis says.
Putting together campaigns and messaging also never gets old for Ellis, or loses its intrinsic importance to her customers. “To first-time advertisers, I always say congratulations—you deserve this! You worked hard to build your business, and not advertising it is like throwing a party but forgetting to send the invitations. All the hot crab dip in the word cannot entice someone who doesn’t know about it,” Ellis says.
Ellis’ work takes her to a large portion of Spectrum’s footprint, which means some significant air travel. “I love the clarity that comes at 30,000 feet. It is so insane that to sit in the sky things seem clearer. It is a great time to make decisions, so I work, write, read or make plans. Every now and again my seatmate will need to talk, and I try to always be present for that. Sometimes talking to a complete stranger on a plane allows for a level of candor that people don’t have on the ground. Respect that,” Ellis says.
How I fly
A few tips from Ellis for fellow corporate travelers:
When I travel for business, I tend to over pack my schedule in the efforts of efficiency, and so I do a lot of skidding in sideways at the gate. When I travel for pleasure, I am super crazy chill. No matter why I’m on a flight, here is my advice:
1. The parent of a crying baby is having a worse day than you. Offer the parent the seat next to you and buy them a drink.
2. A pack of peanuts has 70 calories, and a pack of Biscoff cookies has 120. You can have both and the world will not end. Don’t fly hungry.
3. Women: Own Tieks. They are flats that fold and fit in your briefcase and if you find yourself needing to make a gate at a different concourse—whip on your Tieks and run.
4. Unless you are flying to a location that’s wintry, don’t check a bag. If you can avoid checking a bag, pack six black things and a colored pashmina and go.
5. Come out of your own little world sometimes. Get off your phone, make eye contact, smile at someone, and share your gum at takeoff and landing.