Who: Meg Asaro
Has held title for: 20 months
Previous title: Associate director of student galleries and the visual-arts museum at the School of Visual Arts
Degree: BA in art history, Florida State University
Do you have a notion about where brands are heading? New York City-based nickandpaul helps such clients as McDonald's and Motorola solve problems at the "brand genetics" level. Meg Asaro, the agency's notionologist and cultural curator, reads about 140 magazines a month, watches countless movies and TV shows, and searches the firm's "Library of Insight," all of which help her interpret brand identity through images.
Can we get some notion of what you do?
I research popular culture to help add images to the brand ideas that we're wrestling with. We try to update brands, to stretch them, and to create new ones. I look at images in fashion, movies, and art to see whether our ideas hold water.
What separates a good notion from a great one?
With a great notion, the image is obvious. With a good notion, we have to work at creating an image.
Where do you find new notions?
Artists are the radar of the future. They create a mix of everything out there.
What's your favorite recent notion?
A "kidult" — adults acting like kids. I'm very much a kidult: I have a blue cell-phone, and I just had to get an iMac.
A version of this article appeared in the September 1999 issue of Fast Company magazine.