32 Under 32: Tennyson Wilson

By Egotist / /

Happy Monday, everyone. (If there is such a thing.) We’re back after a warm weekend for another 32 Under 32 interview. This one featuring Tennyson Wilson, Media Director at Swirl. We’ve got lots more profiles of our 32 winners coming up, so don’t forget to come back tomorrow for another one.

Congrats on being chosen as one of the top 32 advertising and marketing professionals under 32. We selected people who really go above and beyond in their work. How do you think you approach your job differently than other people?

I started my career helping launch a media team at a creative agency whose client base was primarily regional. Those brands leveraged a wide variety of tactics across traditional and digital formats. Working on them gave me a great foundation understanding integrated campaign strategies, and how to leverage platforms to achieve various business objectives. Working in a primarily creatively driven agency also really helped me step outside of my comfort zone and bring a unique approach to every opportunity.

What kind of accounts/projects are you working on these days?

Leading strategy and execution across a number of brands including Alcatel & the launch of their new Idol 4 smartphone, various campaigns for Peet’s Coffee, and helping launch a new non-profit called Cool Effect, a digital platform that enables individuals to support global projects that verifiably reduce carbon emissions.

What is it about where you currently work that really pushes you to be better?

Our location is always the first thing that comes to mind. Working in the Presidio is amazing, not your typical office setting. End of the day it’s the people that really help push me. It’s a pretty incredible collection of folks with all sorts of unique backgrounds. It makes getting through the rough days easier, and allows me to learn more every day.

In thinking over your career so far, what work had made you the proudest?

In media it’s kind of tough to identify specific campaigns that stand out. Data and metrics that lead to a successful campaign usually sound pretty dry.

I truly enjoy what I do across the board, but I think I’ve always found a lot of pride in various cause based and non-profit projects. Over the years I’ve helped organizations such as the SF Food Bank, Glide Memorial, the Goldman Environmental Prize, Walt Disney Family Museum and most recently Cool Effect.

We hear you mentor ad students at your alma mater, SF State. Tell us about what you do there.

SFState is my alma mater, but I’ve primarily been a guest lecturer and mentor for students at USF the last couple years. I cover various topics around the media ecosystem, and planning strategies for the 21st century consumer. I regularly meet with students to provide insight and guidance around the industry and how to get their feet wet.

Here’s a ridiculously clichéd interview question for you: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Retired, or on the 42 under 42 list.

This might be tough, but here’s your chance to give a shout out to one person who has helped you get to where you are today. Go.

I have to give credit to both Nicholas Wootten and Nick Fairbairn. I was fortunate enough to get my foot in the door working with two of my closest friends, and they’ve continued to counsel me throughout the rest of my career.


  1. Lesley Watson July 25, 2016

    Congrats to the best boss out
    Congrats to the best boss out there! So well deserved 🙂