Los Angeles is home to surfers, filmmakers, celebrities, and street tacos. Only a few minutes from the beach sits AdColony’s LA office, a second home to a variety of teams including the Director of Brand Ad Operations, Jake Mehring. When he’s done saving those involved on AdColony’s brand side, you can find Jake playing soccer at his local rec. center! However, if you’re at the office, keep an eye out- rumor has it that Jake and his team are the king of pranks! The ball is yours Jake- let’s get AdColonized!
What exactly does a Director of Brand Ad Operations do at AdColony?
My primary responsibilities are to ensure that my team of traffickers are setting up brand campaigns accurately and efficiently. I also consult the Sales support team on whether or not we have enough inventory to deliver Brand Sales’ media plans. My job requires that I have expert knowledge of the AdColony platform, including our ad server and products.
My average day typically involves providing support to the Brand Ad Ops team and insights to the Brand Sales support team. I have the privilege of being in the middle of everything, so my day-to-day can vary quite a bit because issues might come up that require my input. The issue could range from a UI change, a challenge the publishing team is facing, to a tracking feasibility question from a brand advertiser. This has given me the opportunity to communicate with and learn more about what other teams do and how they fit into our company. I really enjoy working with a variety of teams because it presents new challenges every day.
Sounds like you really are in the middle of everything! How did your prior experiences help prepare you for AdColony?
One of my first jobs was working for an online marketing startup, which was a great experience because when I joined, they had about 15 employees, and it enabled me to learn so much in a short period of time. It was a really fun environment to work in, not just because of the startup atmosphere where you could pretty much wear what you wanted to work, but the fast growth we experienced. After being with them for 4 years, it became apparent our industry was getting saturated, so it was beneficial for me to see firsthand that a certain level of growth is difficult to sustain when a market gets more competitive, but also how you cope with that and seek to find a competitive advantage. It definitely prepared me for AdColony because I had the experience of working within a small team that had high standards and expectations, and had to constantly find ways to solve problems, and solve them quickly.
What made AdColony the right fit for you?
The ping pong table! (Just kidding) I interviewed with four different people, and it was clear to me that they all sincerely believed in the product and the company’s vision. They all had this excitement in their voices, which showed me how passionate and excited they were to be a part of AdColony. That was something that was a fundamental requirement for me in terms of what I was looking for at my next job, and up until that point, I hadn’t felt that with any of the other companies I interviewed with. I just remember leaving the interview with the feeling like it was a first date with someone I really liked and wanted to see again, so I definitely had butterflies in my stomach.
We’re glad that you decided to join our company too! How do you keep growing & learning in your position?
We have so many talented people here, so I do my best to spend more time with them to learn more about their roles and perspectives. Since I tend to be in the middle of things (i.e. the demand & supply teams), I find that the more I know about other team’s roles and perspectives, it enables me to weigh their points of view when making decisions.
We also have so many powerful technical tools available to us, so there is always room to learn more about how to use them most efficiently in order to maximize my productivity.
Do you have any activities you look forward to doing on the weekends or after work?
I grew up in West Los Angeles, so I spent most of my summers at the beach and always feel at home there. Sports have always been a big part of my life; soccer in particular. I played high school, club, and college soccer at Division 1 and 2 levels, so I was pretty serious about it. I still try to play as much as I can in local rec. leagues and really enjoy watching and following the European professional soccer leagues. Other than that, I enjoy staying active and spending time with my family in my free time.
I’m guessing that from working with various brand teams, you’ve come across a lot of different apps. Do you have a favorite that is keeping you engaged lately?
Despicable Me: Minion Rush. I think the minions themselves are hilarious, the quality of animation is really good, and it’s super fun and addicting.
What’s one thing not many people know about you?
I lived in Frankfurt, Germany for about 4 years when I was younger. I went to a German speaking school there from about 3rd to 6th grade, so I learned to speak the language fluently. I still read and speak it as much as I can, but it’s difficult to keep it up on a consistent basis.
No way! You should connect with our Hamburg office to help stay fluent! Time for the last question: What’s been your favorite moment with AdColony so far?
There have been so many great moments during my 4 years with AdColony, but I would have to say my trip to London last spring was one of my favorites. I went there to train their Ops team and meet with some of their key stakeholders, so it was awesome to get the opportunity to spend some time with them and continue building on our relationship over the last year. I also had some time to explore the city and see a soccer game, so that was a huge plus!