NU alumni Lori Hall and Jessica Lane discuss creativity, diversity in their multicultural marketing agency Pop’N Creative


Photo Courtesy of Lori Hall

Pop’N Creative was co-founded by Northwestern alumnae Lori Hall (Communication ’02) and Jessica Lane (Medill ’08).

Nolan Robinson, Reporter

When entertainment marketers Lori Hall (Communication ’02) and Jessica Lane (Medill ’08) grew tired of not seeing women in leadership roles in advertising and marketing, they wanted to make a difference.

The pair wanted to take charge, working to increase the industry’s ability to showcase unique voices. In effect, they hoped to address concerns that multicultural representation is difficult to find. 

“We were just so frustrated from not getting the quality of work and the amount of agencies out there that we felt should be there,” Hall said. “Black people are superheroes in ourselves… why are there not more (women-led) multicultural agencies?” 

That’s why the two combined their decades worth of experience to create their own Black-owned, women-led marketing agency: Pop’N Creative.

Currently, the creative group serves clients such as HBO Max, WarnerMedia and Sony Pictures Television as they find ways to best serve each company in encouraging consumers to buy their products. 

The decision to embark on this new creative journey was motivated by the lack of opportunities available for people of color in the industry, Hall and Lane said. The company, employing about 15 people, is committed to amplifying the diverse voices that propel marketing forward in an increasingly diverse world.

Hall, defining what a creative agency does, said they’re the “magical genies who make you want something.” Hall and Lane focus on creatively exploring the ways a billboard or commercial, for example, can have an emotional connection to a consumer, which then drives them to buy a product.

“When you want something and you don’t know why you want it, that’s us,” she said. 

When Hall and Lane worked together at Turner Network Television, Lane suggested the idea of what would eventually become Pop’N Creative. The notion seemed outlandish to Hall at the time as they were two women of color navigating a very White industry. Nevertheless, the idea came back around during their time at the television network TV ONE. 

After doing some initial research to discover ways to fix some of the problems of the agency world, Lane said they began to believe in themselves.  

“You have to have that idea, believe in it, nurture it, grow it and then have faith to kind of jump ship and (let it) happen,” Lane said. 

Once she realized Pop’N Creative was the best move forward, Lane said life started to point them both in the right direction. With the pandemic closing doors for the pair at TV ONE, Hall and Lane decided to start the company. 

In giving opportunities to who they felt were dynamos in the industry, Lane noted that many times women and people of color don’t get the opportunity to lead. Believing it was important, they decided to create the opportunities themselves. 

Account Director Vanessa Mujica, who has been with the agency since its beginning, said she hopes her son can learn from the values of Pop’N Creative. 

“I want to show him that…women are capable of being in leadership roles as well and coming out on top,” she said. “Culture should be celebrated. You shouldn’t try to wipe down your culture (as) that’s what I did growing up.”

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