2 Minutes With … Allyson Hummel, SCD at Fors Marsh Group

On facilitating honest conversations about mental health

Allyson has 35 years of experience across the marketing landscape. Her earlier ports of call include Porter Novelli and Ogilvy PR.

We spent two minutes with Allyson to learn more about her background, her creative inspirations and recent work she's admired.

Allyson, tell us …

Where you grew up, and where you live now. 

I grew up in Charlotte, N.C., and I now live in Reston, Va.

How you first got interested in health. 

I started working on public education campaigns, and it was meaningful to create advertising that helped people live happier, healthier lives.

One of your favorite projects you've ever worked on. 

One of my favorite projects was for Medela, called "22 Victories." Medela wanted to encourage new moms in their breastfeeding journey. However, we discovered that one in four quit in the first 21 days. It can be painful, but it is portrayed in the media as natural and easy. We followed two first-time moms and documented their journey on Medela's Instagram channel—showing everyone the real side of breastfeeding.

A recent project you're proud of. 

One was for HHS to increase blood and plasma donation. During the pandemic, donations dropped 20 percent. We created a campaign called "Dear Hero," which featured people whose lives had been transformed by receiving these treatments.

One thing about how health is evolving that you're excited about. 

I love that we can talk about mental health now. I created a campaign about around that stigma years ago called "Ok 2 Talk."

Someone else's work, in health or beyond, that you admired lately. 

I love "I Am a Work of Art," produced by my colleagues at Brunet-Garcia. It's very artful for the health category. 

Your favorite fictional character. 

Maria from The Sound of Music. She had a fabulous attitude and could fix everything with a song.

Someone worth following on social media. 

Simon Sinek.

Your main strength as a marketer/creative. 

The question an ECD taught me years ago is to always ask: "Why do they care?" Why does our audience care about our product, our service, our website? Just telling them facts won't engage them.

Your biggest weakness. 

I always want to please people—colleagues and clients. However, if you agree with everything just to make people happy, you end up with boring creative. I have to remind myself that honesty is best.

Something people would find surprising about you. 

They are usually surprised to find out that I'm a mom of four kids and have worked full-time my entire career.

What you'd be doing if you weren't in health. 

Something to do with food or fashion—I love them both.

2 Minutes With is our regular interview series where we chat with creatives about their backgrounds, creative inspirations, work they admire and more. For more about 2 Minutes With, or to be considered for the series, please get in touch.

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