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Aimee Anderson: “There’s no quick route to success”

Our business helps brands supercharge their marketing impact, while helping filmmakers get their films made and reach their audience, while helping charities raise awareness of their issue at hand. This all coincides with audiences watching the film and experiencing another reality for a few hours enabling them to leave with an alternative view possibly changing […]

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Our business helps brands supercharge their marketing impact, while helping filmmakers get their films made and reach their audience, while helping charities raise awareness of their issue at hand. This all coincides with audiences watching the film and experiencing another reality for a few hours enabling them to leave with an alternative view possibly changing their behavior or inspiring them into action.


As a part of our series about “Filmmakers Making A Social Impact” I had the pleasure of interviewing Aimée Anderson, founder and CEO of both Triple A — ACCESS ALL AREAS and BETTER WORLD ENTERTAINMENT. Aimée’s background is primarily marketing having advised some of the biggest consumer and entertainment brands in the world. Today Aimée and her team work with global consumer brands specifically helping them invest in Film and TV that can change the world.


Thank you so much for doing this interview with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to get to know you a bit. Can you share your “backstory” that brought you to this career?

I always wanted to work in Film and TV from a very young age, and while I studied Media and Communications at University my first job big job was at Porter Novelli, a multi-national PR agency working with consumer blue chip companies — brands such as Hewlett Packard, British Airways, Gillette and Carlsberg. It took me the best part of 10 years to break into film, thanks to my client, Hewlett Packard’s partnership with the British Film Institute, whereby I was introduced to DDA PR — one of the top Film and TV communications agencies in the world.

I joined the DDA team to set up their Corporate division, then I went on to establish their first brand division before I joined the Board and became MD. After that, I left to set up Triple A — ACCESS ALL AREAS which represents brands partnering productions. I also very recently set up BETTER WORLD ENTERTAINMENT, a production and finance company which is currently looking for investment. The goal is for the two companies to work together producing, financing and marketing inspiring films and TV that can really make a difference financially and socially.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your filmmaking career?

A funny moment was when I actually appeared as the story — obviously as a publicist this is less than ideal. I was looking after the late Verne Troyer who was only 2ft 8 tall. I’m 5 ft 8 and towered above him. When we were on the red carpet and in front of the step and repeat boards of logos for the event, I stood aside so the photographers could take his picture. However, a photographer, who I happened to know, thought it would be funny to use a wide angle lens to take a picture of us both on the carpet with the photo caption: “Somewhere in this picture is Verne Troyer”. It was funny — although slightly less funny when all the press started to run with it!

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

I’ve been lucky enough to meet some incredible people — A-list actors, directors and producers — it’s obviously a big part of my job. I’ve never been someone who has ever been star-struck. We’re all people living life — we all came into the world the same way and will leave the same way. What we do in between is what defines us, and that’s what fascinates me. The people I’ve met have all been incredibly down to earth and equally as fascinated by what I do, as I am by what they do. When you’re warm, open and treat everyone with respect regardless of who they are and what they do, you tend to get open, genuine responses, and that’s how friendships form and trust builds. Whether you’re the CEO, an actress or the cleaner we’re all the same and no-one should be treated like they’re some sort of God. Equally, no-one should be treated like they’re nothing. We’re all equally brilliant.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Sadly, I’m under NDA with most of the projects… but we’re working with incredible production companies and a host of brands and their agencies across the world. Despite COVID19 there are some really exciting things happening, and brands can really be a big part of the film and TV industry’s evolution. Traditional broadcasters who are really struggling thanks to the pioneering streamers who have overthrown the status quo, have a huge opportunity to turn things around, but they have to be prepared to make some pretty bold moves, and we can help them do just that!

Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?

I love risk-takers, pioneers and change-makers — people who had vision for a better world, stood up for what they believed in and didn’t give up when people told them no! Even when all odds were against them, they blazed a trail. People like Political Leaders Martin Luther King, Entrepreneurs like CJ Walker, Anita Rodderick, and Steve Jobs. But there are also incredible people alive today such as Reed Hastings/Marc Randolph (co-Founders of Netflix), Business Leaders like Bozoma Saint John (CMO Netflix), Shelley Zalis (CEO, The Female Quotient), Journalists like Oprah Winfrey and Arianna Huffington, as well as Athletes like Jonnie Peacock.

Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview, how are you using your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share with us the meaningful or exciting social impact causes you are working on right now?

We help consumer brands partner film and TV that can change the world — productions that have a social message and tell inspiring stories. Our clients are able to monetize their sponsorship budgets so they can make a return if the production does well. At the same time, the productions benefit from our brands marketing spend, resource and expertise. We also work closely with charities that are closely linked to the production’s social message.

Our business helps brands supercharge their marketing impact, while helping filmmakers get their films made and reach their audience, while helping charities raise awareness of their issue at hand. This all coincides with audiences watching the film and experiencing another reality for a few hours enabling them to leave with an alternative view possibly changing their behavior or inspiring them into action.

We work with brands on all sorts of productions from documentaries to animations, from feature films to TV series… and everything in between.

Many of us have ideas, dreams, and passions, but never manifest it. But you did. Was there an “Aha Moment” that made you decide that you were actually going to step up and take action for this cause? What was that final trigger?

I’ve always believed in the power of film and TV to create behavioral change… and I’ve seen it happen. The 1994 movie Philadelphia changed the way society viewed AIDS, and more recently Sir David Attenborough’s multiple productions have changed the way society sees climate change and were pivotal in starting the campaign to stop using plastics back in 2019.

I knew brands were moving more towards ‘purpose’ driven communications and I knew they weren’t getting any recognition or encouragement for what they were trying to do. Equally, I knew they could be much better partners for producers and vice-versa, they both needed each other. But the two industries just didn’t know how to communicate with one another — it was like they spoke two different languages and I just happened to speak them both!

When I had a conversation with a very good friend of mine in the film industry, I had this Eureka! moment of realizing brands could invest in productions and be treated as any other investor. And better yet, they could donate their share to charity, while getting all the marketing collateral to champion not just the film, but a social message they were passionate about, while getting a high profile 18 month marketing campaign. It was a win-win-win-win situation!

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

Our movie MANTO with Hewlett Packard, which can now be seen on Netflix, came out at the same time as the ‘Me Too’ movement was hitting its peak. The movie, written and directed by Nandita Das, tells the true story of Indian writer Saadat Hasan Manto who was a fierce feminist and risked his freedom in the 1940s to give his voice to the voiceless, particularly sex-workers. Nandita, who herself is an activist, used her platform as a filmmaker and the press interest around MANTO as an opportunity to support the movement. The film premiered as part of the Cannes Film Festival’s official line up in 2018. Hewlett Packard co-produced the movie and were the marketing partner for the film. The hashtag #Manto had 20 million tweets in 24 hours in India, when the film was announced back in 2017 from there it garnered more and more interest and global press. Nandita spoke passionately about the MeToo movement in all her press interviews helping the cause gain more global press and traction.

Are there three things that individuals, society or the government can do to support you in this effort?

  1. We are looking to speak with Marketing agencies and/or Marketing Execs. If you know anyone who works in marketing, please do tell them about us and what we’re doing. Ask them to each out to us to ask how they can get their ‘Purpose’ messaging out impactfully through film partnerships
  2. We are also looking for a high net worth individual or fund to partner our Finance and Production company BETTER WORLD ENTERTAINMENT
  3. We are looking to work with NGOs and Government agencies who are trying to raise awareness around a social message — so please do tell them about us and ask them to get in touch.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

If I’m honest, I’m so pleased I started my business without knowing what I know now! If I’d been told the harsh realities of the entrepreneur’s journey, and been shown what my journey would look like, I’m not sure I would have even started! I’m someone who likes to see results fast and it’s so true what they say — Rome wasn’t built in a day!

Also, everyone’s journey is so different. When I started, I bought every Business book out there — and thankfully, one very successful entrepreneur I knew told me not to read any of them! So I didn’t. He told me — “No-one’s journey is the same — you have to live your own.” That was such great advice.

The 5 things I’ve learnt are:

  • There’s no quick route to success. As a trailblazer you’re forging a new path and writing the map, so dead-ends and potholes are inevitable. Embrace it.
  • Accept and reflect on rejection — all the no’s make you and your business grow and evolve.
  • What you begin with often evolves so much that it’s almost unrecognizable from where you started. That is a great thing!
  • Just because you’re passionate, keep your focus — there are a million great projects out there, you can’t do them all. Don’t spread yourself too thin.
  • Be prepared to walk away and know when to do so. The second-best thing after a ‘Yes’ is a quick ‘No’.

If you could tell young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

I think most young people are massively aware of conscious captialism and are already doing so much more than earlier generations. There are so many more young entrepreneurs looking to make a difference and I would encourage them to pursue those passions. Young people always see the world through very different eyes. They have more compassion, less prejudice and are not bound by the fear that older generations were. Each generation pushes the envelope that little bit more and makes it easier for the next to push forward even further. It’s young people that are driving change and rather than me preach to them, I welcome to hear their ideas, I listen to them and I want to work with them.

Of course, this is exactly why we are doing what we are doing with our business. Brands know that they need to be and do better too, but one of the biggest reasons this is the case is because they know the next generation of customer demands it!

We are very blessed that many other Social Impact Heroes read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would like to collaborate with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

Bozoma Saint John, CMO of Netflix — she’s definitely on my list of people I want to meet in the next 12 months. I’ve actually just completed her ‘Badass Workshop’ where she shares her biggest learnings. She’s incredibly inspiring — I love her energy, her passion, her honesty, what she stands for and what she’s achieved and conquered. I also know she will totally get what we are doing, and I’m sure she would be super excited by it too.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Yes! I have two that I live by…

Everything is helping us” AND “We don’t know the whole story yet”… sometimes we go through situations that challenge us to the core, but later when we look back we realize they were defining moments, launch pads or catalysts to the most amazing experiences and played enormous roles in how we got to where we are now… We will still have those hard-hitting moments, but the secret is knowing that when they do happen, that we don’t know how it’s all going to play out yet… but we know from experience that one day we will look back and be so thankful… So take a deep breath and roll with it!

How can our readers follow you online?

Twitter — @aimsanderson

LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/aimeeandersonpublicity/

www.triple-a.agency

This was great, thank you so much for sharing your story and doing this with us. We wish you continued success!

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