By MaryGrace Petrie
Hill Holliday is the eighteenth largest agency in the U.S. with 650 employees out of Boston and New York and a revenue of about $182 million in 2012. The booming agency does digital, media and brand-building work for its many clients, including Bank of America, John Hancock, Chili’s, LG, Johnson & Johnson and more.
One of the most crucial and telling aspects of a company and its character lies in its boss. Hill Holliday’s CEO, Karen Kaplan, is a wife and mother who graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a French degree. Kaplan had no intention of going into advertising and actually wanted to make money to save for law school when she applied for a competitive position at Hill Holliday. She went from the receptionist to CEO of the company in 31 years. Kaplan accepted any position that opened along the way, totalling up to twelve different jobs within the company. Her spunky personality, determination and competitive drive is what landed her the most wanted position in the advertising world.
Karen Kaplan, CEO (Image Source)
The energy and vibe of Hill Holliday that Kaplan felt when walking in at age 22 for her first interview is what I want to feel every day when going to work. Hill Holliday advertises its “cool” summer internship that requires an immense amount of eagerness and hard work, emphasizing asking questions, getting out what you put in and not being a “kiss up.” Although you have to be a junior or senior in college, it allows underclassmen, like myself, to build up my resume in hopes of snagging the internship of a lifetime.
Dunkin’ Donuts, founded in Quincy, Massachusetts, has a famous slogan “America Runs on Dunkin’” Hill Holliday wanted to help Dunkin’ Donuts elaborate on that slogan by constructing the idea for the “Always Running” film series campaign. The film series follows real people’s lives, insinuating that each individual is fueled with Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. The filming was outsourced; however, Hill Holliday’s account and creative team is responsible for the idea.
As the 50th year anniversary of Hill Holliday’s founding approaches, I cannot wait to see what such an inspiring and successful company l has in store for the next 50 years!
MaryGrace Petrie, Account Executive