Bradley Quereau is the bridge between ambitious creative and damn good marketing, the rare breed of businessperson who sees the industry in multidimensional technicolor.
To be more succinct, he’s a Senior Client Strategist at 321 The Agency and he’s kind of having a moment right now.
As with so many of The City Beautiful’s rising stars, Bradley is an Orlando native by choice, not circumstance. He’s a UCF guy who never left, a diehard Orlando City supporter, an avant-garde creative advocate who turns sense into dollars.
For the past decade, he’s navigated Central Florida’s advertising biodome with unspoken confidence, framing fiery creative concepts within the framework of cold, hard data—which brings us to his tenure at 321, where he’s arrived in a culture of atmospheric growth.
This is my chance to make a name for myself and to succeed in this industry.
We spoke to Bradley about the mindset he’s evolved as a professional, what it means to embed yourself into a city’s identity and how freeform expression can thrive within the confines of modern business.
First of all, why Orlando? You’ve been here how long—since college?
A little more than 10 years; It just felt like home from the start, a really good mix of big city culture and a friendly community.
I felt like I was woven into the fabric of this city—like I could make a real impact, have a hand in developing this city. Already, I’ve seen it grow an unreal amount in front of my eyes.
Take Orlando City Soccer—I’m a huge fan. I was there when they first started as a minor league team, in 2010. That’s how my husband and I met and now they’re a major league soccer team with their own stadium. It’s crazy, and it’s a cool thing to be a part of.
What are some of the other changes you’ve seen in the area over that time?
The restaurant scene has grown immeasurably, especially in the neighborhoods around downtown Orlando. Orlando is known as Disney World, but Orlando’s a city with its own thriving identities.
Once you get to downtown, Winter Park, College Park, Mill 50, Thornton Park, SoDo, it’s such a vibrant culture. A lot of young professionals who want to grow this community.
How does Orlando’s advertising scene stack up to other markets, especially here in Florida?
It’s small, much more intimate.
That said, there’s a ton of good talent here and I think it deserves more recognition. People from outside of this market should embrace it and give it a chance before running off to another city—and that goes for both creatives and clients.
So then how did you get into advertising in the first place?
I was originally a finance major, but you have to take marketing classes as a pre-rec. So I took a marketing class and realized it was more up my alley. You can be creative while also being business-oriented.
After school I went into marketing and my first two jobs were more traditional marketing—which was not my thing. Luckily, I found an opening at another agency; they took a chance on me and what I wanted to do.
What was the difference? Between traditional marketing and what you wanted to do?
A lot of marketing is performance-based, not really conceptual or creative. Less ‘Big Idea’ and more ‘Get Me Results’ — so email marketing, direct to consumer things, not really working with our clients’ creative concepts. And that’s one thing that I’m really passionate about.
Did you expect to be working so closely with creatives, coming out of business school?
No, I didn’t really know what to expect coming out of school. That’s the stuff I love, because here’s the thing:
In my opinion, there can be a great business strategy behind a campaign, but really good creative is what sells it to a consumer. That’s what catches people’s eyes, that’s what people will remember and act on.
What advice would you give to a client who wants to maximize an agency’s creativity—and what advice would you give to creatives dealing with a client’s needs?
For the client: Give the agency a chance. Give the creatives a chance. We’re your partners.
Clients will sometimes think of creative teams as vendors and think that they know best—when there’s extremely talented people working on their stuff who want to see you succeed as well.
I can say that we have an outrageously talented crew of individuals at 321 who truly want what’s best for everyone. And there’s incredible creative coming out of the agency right now, in my opinion.
For creatives: Understand that the client is also trying to do their best. Instead of just shutting down and getting frustrated when a client gives negative feedback, let’s think of a way to position the content differently, where we’re conceding to the client a little bit but still winning in our own way.
When do you know to dig your heels in, and how do you avoid stale client relationships?
It’s a give and take game, 100%.
I think most of the time when you have a new or bold concept, you need to explain how valuable it is before backing down. If you give them too much of an escape route, they’ll be more inclined to take the safe road. And that’s just the client protecting themselves, which is understandable. They could also be defending their in-house departments or the way things have been done—but we’re not here to replace you, we’re here to elevate you.
I’ve had clients that just want us to do exactly what they ask, what they’ve been comfortable with for a long time. I think it’s up to us—as the client strategists and creative team—to bring them new ideas, to not let down if they say no the first time.
Once again, it’s important to emphasize the narrative of, “Hey, we’re partners in this and we think this is best for you, not the agency.”
Alright, we’re about wrapped up; can you tell us what you’re most proud of at this stage in your career?
To be honest, it’s where I am right now.
This is my chance to make a name for myself and succeed. I used to be a very shy person growing up, very much the “I’m not good at anything!” type of person, and I’m embracing my confidence now—like, “Okay, I know what I’m doing.”
I’m very proud of my time at 321.