Facing Fear to Become FearlessMario R. Kroll
Cara was very fortunate and had built a solid reputation in her industry so that proving her competence was not a major hurdle, but clients wondered if she could deliver on her own what she had at the head of a seasoned team. Using her experience, expertise and lots of hard work, she persuaded one large video game client, Bethesda Softworks, to give her a shot with one of their leading brands. “They had faith in me, even more than I had in myself. I never forgot that, nor took it lightly. It made me want to succeed even more.” With her newest client on board, Cara went to work devising and executing some of the most creative advertising campaigns in the highly competitive video games industry.
“My 2011 integration of Bethesda’s titles into three episodes of the popular TV series Breaking Bad was one of my proudest accomplishments. Fearless Media was not on anyone’s radar and I managed to get my client’s games featured on three episodes of the show during the height of its popularity. It was an unreal experience that people in advertising and the video game industry still talk about today,” says Cara, a proud smile beaming across her face. “Working with Vince Gilligan and his team directly was fantastic and took me right back to being a young girl, reminding me why I got into advertising in the first place. If I’d had any lingering doubt about starting my own company, it vanished then.”
Cara’s team later built on that experience and partnered with SyFy’s hit reality show, Face Off, challenging contestants to create real-life versions of characters inspired by the highly anticipated Dishonored video game. Then, at the 2013 South by Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin, Texas, she gave fans a multi-sensory experience of the video game that they could literally sink their teeth into, while simultaneously hearing, seeing, smelling and touching aspects of the brand. Consumers ate food from a branded food truck, listened to a live performance of a song created about the product, took pictures in an on-site photo booth, then shared the photos and chatted through a brand-focused social media app. Each activity created an emotional experience tied to the brand and ultimately yielded a highly successful product launch.
Cara’s clients hire her because she can spot trends, predicting which way the wind blows and how the tides are turning. She ensures her company remains agile and one step ahead. “I can do this because I am living in the industry I service. I’m not removed in some office somewhere, dabbling in video game clients as one of many types of clients. I’ve taken to heart that in order to be successful, especially as sole proprietor or small business entrepreneur, you have to become a true expert at a narrowly focused set of things. Try to do too much and you end up a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. I never want to be a commodity.”