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DOOH From Tip to Toe: An Interview with Perry Kirk

Perry Kirk

“Women are no longer home on the couch watching soaps operas. They’re on the go and we found a place to find them.” – Perry Kirk.

I met Perry Kirk, President at Gloss Media, during an unseasonably warm November afternoon in Manhattan. Our discussion took place in a relaxed setting conducive to sincere pondering and honest answers – a nail salon.

As we glanced at the Gloss Media display perched prominently next to our cushioned seats, Perry spoke about her experience in the New York fashion industry following the completion of a degree in Textile Marketing and Management.

Quickly bouncing into the agency world, Perry worked on accounts such as Liz Claiborne (the first company founded by a woman to make Fortune 500) and CoverGirl at Grey Advertising. She then spent two years at Eisnor Interactive before co-founding Ambient Planet, an alternative media company using unique means of reaching consumers in the out-of-home industry. It was when Perry took the branding of emery boards and nail polish in salons to the next level by adding digital displays that Gloss Media was born.

“The essence of the business is having conversations with women in a specific and impressionable moment,” said Perry, as she discussed the benefits of smart, proximity marketing.

A long-time out-of-home player, Perry has watched the DOOH landscape mature and believes this is because of the mobility of consumers outside of the home, lower entry costs, better software, and of course, programmatic technology. There has also been a shift away from focusing on the media vehicle toward location, selected through data and measurement. “When I started in advertising, creative folks were the cool guys who got away with martini lunches. Now, it’s cool to be an analyst. Future advertising heroes just might be data scientists.”

Though Perry has watched the industry swing to data-driven influences, she acknowledges there will always be a need for creativity. “There was an article in the Huffington Post last year suggesting the majority of entrepreneurs had been left-brain thinkers (analytical, non-creative). I don’t know if that’s true or not but I’d rather build a business with a whole brain versus a half.”

And Perry’s entrepreneurial spirit and success certainly reflects whole-brain thinking. She smiled while reflecting on her company’s position in the DOOH industry: “I get to experience something new every day. I’m surrounded by smart, dedicated people that share in our pride about breaking down silos and sailing into unchartered waters.”

With that, our New York minute of a retreat came to an end, and we returned to our busy, yet rewarding, schedules.

About Perry

Perry Kirk Parkes, President for Gloss Media, a national Digital Out-of-Home advertising network inside nail salons and spas, entertains women with a mix of relevant video programming and advertising adding to the enjoyment of the nail salon experience.

Perry has worked in the advertising industry for twenty years and continues to lead her team through her passion for media, technology and service.  Previously, Perry co-founded an alternative advertising and guerrilla marketing company alongside U.K. based partners.  As President of Ambient Planet, she oversaw all sales, media and operations and was responsible for establishing the company’s expansion to the U.S. market. She led one of the country’s most creative alternative media sales houses with offices in NYC, Los Angeles and Atlanta. Perry’s contributions to alternative media gained her recognition in publications which include the NY Times, Ad Week, Ad Age, Promo Magazine and MediaPost.

She began her career in fashion and after experiences with Fashion Week “7th on Sixth” and Cotton Inc., was hired by Grey Advertising to service its Liz Claiborne and Cover Girl accounts.  Perry worked at Grey in both creative and account management roles, providing marketing, advertising and brand development.  In 1999 she moved to Boston, charged with the task of heading up a satellite office for Eisnor, an Omnicom guerrilla marketing firm. After two years of creating and establishing a successful office, she moved back to her beloved Big Apple.

Perry is married and living on the Upper East Side in New York City with two daughters.  She has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing. She and Gloss Media are active with the DPAA and MMA. Perry volunteers time at numerous Parents Association events and can often be seen frolicking around Central Park with her family and adorable pug.