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Judges Spotlight October 13, 2022

Zeena Koda – Head of Global Influencer, Social + Community Engagement, 2K

Zeena Koda, who is 2K’s Head of Digital Community Marketing, is an experienced content creator and storyteller. She is one of the latest to join The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS), bringing years of experience in digital media content creation, management, and marketing. She gave us a snapshot of what got her into media and digital work in the first place–singing in a band being the catalyst. We recently spoke with her to delve into what led her to join 2K as they pursue the space where digital storytelling and gaming intersect. She talked about the expertise she’s bringing to IADAS from her extensive experience in creating stories for the digital sphere and what she’s most looking forward to judge during the 27th Annual Webby Awards

 

For those who don’t know, tell us a little about your background.

My career has always been rooted in a deep appreciation for storytelling. I started out singing in a band, which led to my time at record labels in a variety of capacities such as media relations, music journalist, head of digital at major labels and a video host + DJ on SiriusXM. I also cut my teeth in the agency world and spent 7 formative years at Cornerstone Agency / The Fader as an account director on a myriad of music + entertainment integration campaigns, working with top-tier brands, sport leagues, music labels, film companies and tech companies. I went on to head up brand digital marketing for The North Face, which led me to my role at 2K, as Head of Digital Community Marketing at 2K. 

My career has always been rooted in building and amplifying stories and the acceleration of the digital and gaming space is the clear pathway for consumers to share stories both now and in the future. In my personal life, I’ve kept a fervor for creating media through podcasting, improv comedy and making music + content, all of which make me a more connected digital marketer and creator.

What particular expertise are you bringing to the Academy?

As a video journalist, host and content creator, I spend a lot of my time seeking out creative avenues and in the trenches. I not only know the strategy to make large-scale campaigns a success, but understand the practical nuances and pathways to make it a successful reality. Being close to the ground and obsessed with innovation and creativity, especially in the digital world, gives me a unique perspective. 

I also co-founded an AAPI non-profit organization (Asian American Collective) for Asian American creatives almost 3 years ago that has grown rapidly. My experience mentoring through this group, building true community and allyship, as well as being a voice and advocate has changed my outlook on creativity. It’s that true connectivity to representation which grounds my DE&I lens, looking at not only ethnographic representation but all communities whose stories have been marginalized or muted.   

What are you most looking forward to about reviewing this year’s Webby Awards entries? 

Seeing the incredible campaigns, that I wished that I did! Kidding, kind of. Really excited to see the innovative ways that people have leaned into vertical, short-form consumption and tailored their message to a post-ish Covid audience. Also looking forward to seeing the ways companies are embracing gaming and Web3.

What emerging technology or trend do you think will have the greatest impact on the creative industry?

Short-form video, in vertical juxtaposition, has exploded over the past 4 years as a dominant consumption medium. TikTok eclipsing YouTube in video views, globally, within the important core youth demographic, tells you we’re not going backwards. I’m always intrigued to see ways people are pushing the envelope in that space because if you can win with critical mass, you become an innovator.

I’m also excited to see how people are using the Roblox model to create more UGC and content generation opportunities for consumers.

What does it take for a digital or immersive experience to be considered best in class?

Innovative thinking that breaks the mold of what consumers already know but is accessible to a mass audience. It needs to both be easy to understand, but different from anything they have seen before. Bonus points for solving an issue or answering a question. 

What’s a product or service that you’d love to see reimagined?

Snapchat. The AR quality and capability are legendary.

 

One of the benefits of entering the Webby Awards is getting to have your work seen by industry experts like Zeena. To give your work the exposure it deserves, enter the 27th Annual Webby Awards by our Early Entry Deadline on October 28th! 
Click here to learn more about our categories and how to enter!
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