College of Business

C-Suite Speaker Shares Importance of Stories


by Karen Doss Bowman

 
Jason Harris speaker at C-Suite 2016

SUMMARY: Advertising industry leader Jason Harris, '93, returned to campus in September to headline the College of Business (CoB) C-Suite Speaker Series.


Advertising industry leader Jason Harris, ’93, returned to campus in September to headline the College of Business (CoB) C-Suite Speaker Series. The president and CEO of the award-winning advertising agency Mekanism, Harris shared his strategies for success through his presentation, “Make Stories, Not Ads,” which focused on the importance of building brand loyalty by engaging audiences through innovative storytelling. 

A graduate of the CoB with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Harris joined Mekanism in 2006. The agency created the award-winning White House ad campaign, “It’s On Us,” to end sexual assault. Other clients include Alaska Airlines, Starbucks, Pepsi, The North Face, Amazon.com, Miller Coors and many more. Harris now serves as the creative leader for The Most Important Campaign (MIC), a 15-year global communications strategy for the United Nations that strives to implement the organization’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Under Harris’ leadership, Mekanism has won numerous awards, including Effie, Addy and Webby honors, and has twice been named as “Small Agency of the Year” by Advertising Age. Mekanism also has been named to Advertising Age’s Agency A-List, and to Creativity’s Creative 50. Harris ranks 5th on PVBLIC Foundation’s Top 10 Most Influential Media and Communications Executives of 2015.

Harris also spent time with students during his visit to campus, sharing advice and giving them an opportunity to develop their interpersonal skills. Marketing major David Bruce, ‘17, was part of a small group of students representing the Madison Marketing Association (MMA) and the Madison American Advertising Federation (JMU Ad Club) who presented information about the organizations to Harris. After their presentation, Bruce and the other students had lunch with Harris, where they were able to learn more about his experience as a student at JMU and the path that led to his distinguished career.

“JMU and the College of Business have done so much to prepare me for my career, but nothing can replace the importance of learning from and networking with JMU alumni who have industry experience and knowledge,” says Bruce, president of the MMA. “They can offer valuable advice as we take the next steps in our lives.”

Published: Friday, September 30, 2016

Last Updated: Thursday, January 4, 2018

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