Kim Walters of Allied Moxy Talks Career and The Business of Niche Marketing In Hollywood
Kim Walters has spent most of her career marketing to the both general market and niche audiences. Most recently, she worked as the Marketing Director who launched Kevin Hart’s Laugh At My Pain (#1 independent theatrical release of 2011), a campaign which garnered tremendous transmedia success (generating over 1 billion impressions) and helped to position Kevin Hart as a bonafide international star.
Just one month ago, Walters joined Allied Integrated Advertising as director of a new African American-targeted division called Allied Moxy. “The team at Allied were getting demands from their clients (regarding reaching the AA market) long before I came to the company,” says Walters. Having worked with motion pictures studios like Sony Pictures and A&E Networks, she’s been responsible for multi-million dollar budgets to market celluloid images for over ten years.
MN: After success with TD Jakes and Kevin Hart, why join Allied Integrated Advertising?
KW: It was the right time for me. I had worked indirectly with Allied Integrated Marketing in the past while at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and had known of the Allied’s work for a long time when they approached me. As the Marketing Director at Codeblack Entertainment on successful projects like Kevin Hart’s 2011 Laugh At My Pain and 2012’s T.D. Jakes’ “Women Thou Art Loosed! On the 7th Day” theatrical releases, I was able to bring a diverse set of experiences from various aspects of my career, wearing multiple hats.
MN: What has your experiences taught you about brands spending on the black market?
KW: They simply don’t know how to speak to our audiences. African Americans have invaluable power and brands are challenged with reaching them. I believe some brands would be more successful if they figured it out. If they just included African Americans in the conversation more, they’d be more successful.
MN: How important are statistics when deciding how to reach black people?
KW: Analytic research is very important in what we do. We want to do our homework to make a promotions campaign effective. There are studies and reports that show us who has the power and leadership in that market. And there are a lot of relevant case studies that help me to make decisions on a daily basis.
MN: Why did Allied start the division?
KW: Allied is primarily an agency that handles entertainment companies. They are open to expanding to more lifestyle brands but not stepping away from their partnership with entertainment brands. They needed support in reaching the multicultural market. There were a lot of cases studies and support that it was a smart move. And their clients were asking for it.
MN:Where did you go to school? What were your networks?
KW. I graduated from UCLA and pledged Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated as an undergraduate. While working at David & Goliath Advertising, I was also selected to take the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) Advanced Advertising Studies course at Loyola Marymount in Westchester during which time my team became the recipient of the Monty McKinney Award of Excellence.