REEL WOMEN: D&G’s Natalie Gomez

(REEL WOMEN: Natalie Gomez)

Editor’s Note: They are leaders. They are inspirational. They are mentors. They are visionaries. They are, quite frankly, badasses. They are our 2021 REEL WOMEN. During Women’s History Month, you will be able to meet these incredible personalities in Advertising, Entertainment, Media and Production. Get ready, they are making “Herstory.”

As a second-generation Mexican-American (Habla español), David&Goliath’s Associate Comms Director Natalie Gomez is a fierce advocate for diversity and believes in sharing her experience to empower others as they embark on their own personal and professional journey.

She became immersed into creative ad agency life first through social media, then broadened her skill set to include brand strategy and communications planning. Natalie says she is innately curious about humans, passionate about culture and brands, methodological in how she communicates her thought process and 100% obsessed with social platforms. 

What’s your origin story? 

I was born and raised in Pasadena, California, and proudly enjoyed the suburban lifestyle consisting of Catholic school, choir lessons, AYSO soccer, and Girl Scouts.

I’m also a daughter of entrepreneurs and a second-generation Mexican-American. Work ethic and ambition has always been part of my DNA.

How did you get into the advertising? 

I studied Business at Pepperdine University and a friend of mine referred me for a Community Manager role at a start-up conducting marketing research for big brands.

After a couple of years, a colleague who I met there was looking to backfill her role at TBWA\Chiat\Day. I interviewed and before I even made it down the block, got a call that the team loved me. After a few years at Chiat, I had a stint at a small boutique agency then found myself at David&Goliath where I’ve been now for 5 years.

Give a shout out to your mentors.

Early on, my most inspiring mentor was one of my peers at Chiat, Jonathan Carmona. We shared a similar LA background with Mexican roots and we got along so well. He took me under his wing, teaching me how to put my plans and ideas to paper.

He definitely sharpened my organizational skills and helped mold me as I aspired to command a room with a strong presence just like him. Most recently, I’ve gravitated towards mentors who are both bosses in advertising and mom-life including Anahid Shahrik, Janet Wang, and Laura Forman.

While there will be others, what do you consider your biggest achievement to date?

My biggest achievement to date was our 2020 Super Bowl campaign, “Tough Never Quits.” It exceeded all benchmarks, raising the bar from our previous Super Bowl campaign by 5,200% in viewership alone. The commercial featuring Raiders’ Josh Jacobs ranked #8 on Admeter, achieved 100 million views online and 512 million earned media. Not only that, we shed light on an important issue: youth homelessness.

Our client Kia took action and contributed one-million dollars in the fight against youth homelessness, in turn supplying 300,000 nights of housing and one-million meals for Covenant House, Positive Tomorrows, and StandUp For Kids. To further drive awareness of youth homelessness, Josh Jacobs shared his personal and emotional experience in a powerful documentary.

Clients were thrilled with the success of the campaign and impact and I’m proud to have contributed. It was also one of those moments that validated what I love: planning, working with a team, orchestrating a campaign, and rolling with the punches at every sight of an obstacle and in this case, it was the aggressive timeline, ambitious goals, and the numerous elements from print, PR, social to broadcast.  

How about your biggest disappointment? 

TBH, my biggest disappointment has been my divorce. This life change flipped my world upside down especially as a new mom. Our home was sold, I moved in with my parents and commuted to work with a 3-month infant while on a mission to heal and one day thrive. 

I went into survival mode and returned to what I knew and harnessed my strengths to control the few things I could as I embarked on a new stage of my life. I relied on my faith, my positive mindset, and my tenacity to essentially evolve my identity and life. 

In the course of a year, I bought a new home for my son and I, received a promotion at work, and was determined to rise from the chaos. I still continue to prioritize my health and wellness. 

I take away from the entire experience that we can try to plan everything to the finest detail and “play by the book,” and things not go according to plan. I’ve realized that everything does eventually fall into place and now have more trust in the chaos because I know there is a larger plan, beyond my own imagination, that will be far more fulfilling. 

 If being a woman is your superpower, how has it helped you?

Being a woman for me, especially a mother, has been a super power. It’s helped me maximize my time and assert my voice. When I was planning for my maternity leave I began to deliberate on how I would be able to pump so I could meet my nursing goal.

As a woman of action, I developed a proposal for a Mother’s Room and with the support of other soon-to-be moms, and agency leadership, I was able to surpass my goal and empower other women as well.

What’s your Kryptonite? 

Energy-draining attitude is my kryptonite. Maybe it’s because I’m bubbly and extrovert, but whenever I find myself in situations with those who are negative, complacent, or abrasive, I’m bound to shut down.  

How did a combination of pandemic, Black Lives Matter and QAnon affect you?

The last year has also pushed me to take stock of what matters and how I spend my time. With Black Lives Matter, QAnon, the Election and hate crimes against POC – it’s been turbulent and draining, mentally and emotionally but it’s awakened my inner desire to generate impact, and combat social injustices in both my personal and professional life.

As a second-generation Mexican-American woman, I feel a deep commitment to speak my truth, use my voice, and empower others as much as I can which is why I’m involved in our agency’s DE&I group, and regularly mentor and speak to ad students every chance I can.

What can the industry do better to promote true inclusion?

Don’t just talk about it. Be about it. If the industry wants to promote true inclusion, it must take action to improve processes and invite diverse viewpoints to the table to ultimately shift what we craft for the world to see. This requires participation from all levels and disciplines so that everyone is in lockstep to make positive progress.

If you’re Batwoman, who’s Robin? 

My parents have been my Robin since Day 1. In work-life, I look to Lisa Wong, Jasmine Spraglin, Sarah Masket, and Bernice Chao as allies. They are all strong, smart and savvy women who I trust and admire. 

What’s the engine that pulls you? 

The engine that pulls me is motherhood. Nothing is more motivating than knowing that there’s a little 2-year-old human watching everything I do. Whether I’m squeezing in a Peloton ride, cooking dinner, or watering the plants, he’s always a step behind, handing me my cycling shoes, adding copious amounts of cheese when given the chance. and pouring water in the living room planters and inevitably the floor.

My son is also one of my teachers. He’s taught me to pause the never-ending “to-do” list and embrace the present moment. Some days I don’t know how I muster up the energy to juggle it all, but he gives me an unmatched supply of inspiration and purpose.

Climb into a time machine and tell your 15-year-old self something. 

Nat! Don’t worry so much and slow down! I still tell myself this ironically.