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Self Esteem Brands CMO on how not to fail like the Fyre Fest


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“I heard Kelly Clarkson say this and I think it’s great advice: Don’t take advice from anyone you wouldn’t trade places with.” — Amy Halford, Global CMO, Self Esteem Brands

Who would play you in the biopic about your life?

I think, and this is so aspirational, it’d be awesome if Gal Gadot played me. She’s so kick-ass, she’s strong, she’s beautiful … and I’d love to be 5-10, which I’m not.

What’s your favorite franchise brand that’s not your own?

One I’m watching is Code Ninjas; I really like their value prop. What they’re doing with gamifying coding is really interesting, the martial arts idea of earning belts as the kids advance. It’s got a lot of legs.

In your opinion what’s been an impactful marketing campaign in the last five years?

I’m trying to think of one that I’ve really admired. After awhile you start to get cynical. You know, I was dumbstruck and my jaw dropped when I watched the Fyre Festival documentary on Netflix [Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened]. They so nailed the marketing part of it, their use of influencers, but totally failed on the operations. It’s a great lesson for brands—it’s not just about the marketing, you have to deliver on operations. It was a complete fail on the back end.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

You know those books in grade school where it’s your picture and then you write next to it? What I wrote in first grade was, president of the United States and a model (laughs).

Clearly I want to be the boss and I had a natural leadership tendency poking out.

Who or what did you have posters of on your bedroom wall as a teenager?

Joey McIntyre, Kirk Cameron and River Phoenix were on my wall. Tiger Beat was my jam.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Probably Netflix binging. It feels like a luxury to actually sit down and watch a show for hours. ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,’ I’ll probably watch that again, and ‘Dead to Me.’

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Last year we were traveling for our annual conference for Anytime Fitness and our finance director pulled out an energy bar made of crickets and I ate it. It wasn’t what you’d think; you couldn’t see any little legs sticking out. And he was talking about crickets actually being a way to solve the hunger crisis. There’s so many of them if they can turn it into protein it could feed so many people. It didn’t taste bad.

Laura Michaels

Editor Laura Michaels asks the tough questions—What superhero power would you most like to have? What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?—to show a side of franchising execs you don’t normally see. To suggest an industry professional, email lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.

With whom would you most like to spend a day?

It’s between Jesus and [stand-up comedian] John Mulaney. If I had to pick one? If I had to pick one it’d be Jesus, come on, you have to go with Jesus.

If you could dis-invent one thing, what would it be?

Cool Ranch Doritos, because I love them so much and I can’t control myself around them. It’d probably be better for my health if they didn’t exist.

If you could be a member of any TV sitcom/show family, which would it be?

The Seavers from ‘Growing Pains.’ Kirk Cameron was the older brother, so that goes back to my Tiger Beat days.

What superhero power would you most like to have?

Bilocating. So I can be in multiple places at once and get things done.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

I heard Kelly Clarkson say this and I think it’s great advice: Don’t take advice from anyone you wouldn’t trade places with. There’s a million people out there that’ll tell you what to do. The only people you should listen are the people you aspire to be.

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