Our Q&A with Telly Jury Council Member Folayo Lasaki

VP, Head of Marketing at SoulPancake

Not only is Folayo Lasaki a Telly Jury Council member, and master of building IKEA furniture, she is a marketing executive, creative, and brand strategist who specializes in creating innovative campaigns for digital and traditional media. Currently, she is VP and Head of Marketing at SoulPancake, an award-winning content studio founded by actor Rainn Wilson, now a division of Participant Media. There, she oversees brand, content, and social media marketing, as well as communications, distribution, and strategic partnerships.

Read our Q&A below to get to know Folayo!

What video/television piece inspired you recently?

I’m inspired by everything I watch, and I watch a lot of content across a lot of platforms and screens. I caught Tidying Up on Netflix over the holidays, and after getting over the shame of at least three “multi-functional” drawers in my house, I was not only inspired to go through my things with a new level of intention but to also consider the motivating driver behind the whole experience for me.  I found myself thinking about the human need to simplify as well as the human need to hoard. I started asking questions about the key takeaways when you strip away the vehicle of the series and drawing inspiration on how to best utilize those from both a personal and professional standpoint.

In terms of video, I recently re-watched Viacom’s “Culture of Proximity.” Although it’s a year-and-a-half old, it still got the wheels turning in me. I tend to re-watch a lot of things because I always get something new on the next view. Honestly, I think if you’re paying attention you can find inspiration in everything—even if that inspiration is about things not to do or things that wouldn’t work for you.

What is most exciting for you at the moment within your industry?

I’m really excited by the gigantic question mark that’s shrouding the industry. We’re at a time right now when tech and ideas are actually moving at the same (or similar) speeds, and that presents such crazy opportunities for innovation. Simultaneously, people are slowing down to try to bring that human-to-human connection back to the experience, which I love. Right now, there are so many things you can do from a content perspective, which is exciting to me as both a creator and a consumer.

I’m also thrilled by conversations about representation and inclusion being brought more and more to the forefront. That’s actually what I’m most excited about.

What is one thing the telly awards community should know about you?

As a kid I loved to take things apart so I could see how they worked. I would do it with old electronics or simple furnishings (I am a master of the Ikea build). I just always really loved seeing how the pieces created the whole. I still love that, it’s just manifested in more meta ways as an adult: “What’s the science of a good story? What are the elements that make for a successful campaign?” That urge to explore or look deeper is always there.

What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on?

I worked with the very brilliant choreographer Christopher Scott to develop a dance video as a companion piece to SoulPancake’s series on youth incarceration and education (Gateways). The idea behind it was to approach the conversation from a different angle and get people thinking and feeling differently. The result was a really beautiful and haunting video that we were all really proud of.