Cool Jobs: Sony Pictures Marketing Vet Mark Walker
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

Mark Walker, SVP, Print Advertising, Sony Pictures (Image: Walker)

We have good news for you. You can have a cool career and make a good living. No need to choose between loving your job and paying your mortgage. The following profile, part of the Cool Jobs series, offers a peek into the nuts and bolts, perks and salaries behind enjoyable careers.

The It Factor: As the senior vice president of print advertising for Sony Pictures Worldwide Marketing & Distribution, Mark Walker is a key player in the management and production of the all-important advertising campaigns tied to the studio’s theatrical releases. Well-known throughout the industry, Walker is a 23-year veteran at the studio giant, whose business and creative acumen has earned the respect of his peers. “My standards are high, which has earned me a reputation for delivering solid results,” Walker says. “My unwillingness to settle for the average has earned me the respect and confidence for the people that I work for at Sony Pictures.”

The Marketing Mojo: Walker handles all print materials for theatrical marketing worldwide at Sony Pictures, which includes all of the U.S. and more than 63 international territories. “The scope of my job is somewhat broad and includes everything from working with the creative teams to come up with ad materials that are consistent with a campaign that we feel will sustain and retain consumers towards our end product,” he says. “I also manage and  produce the overall concept for completing the print artwork concepts so that they are print production ready. The end result is what you see in the theatre, newspapers, magazines, outdoor print billboards and banners.” Walker adds that though every is so digital, print is very viable — even more efficient than digital formats. “For outdoor boards especially, print is more cost effective than digital and it offers the best way to create a brand imprint, as well as capture the best consumer impressions,” he says.

Blockbuster Career Moment: Walker counts working on the film smash franchiseSpiderman as a high point. “We got in to the Spiderman brand at a time when Marvel Comics was truly launching its comic books into motion pictures. They had obviously already done it with Batman, but Spiderman is arguably their most recognizable brand and they trusted us with the property and allowed us the creative license to do something special with this brand, which has set in motion a new standard of excellence in the business.”

Winning Advice: Walker urges newbies to have patience, perseverance and security in themselves. “It’s important to adopt the mindset that you create the possibilities for yourself as oppose to allowing others to create them for you,” he says. “When people tell you no, you show them why. When I first came to Sony Pictures as someone’s assistant, I knew what I was capable of and waited for the opportunity to show my worth. It’s very important to develop high standards for yourself because it allows everyone to breath with a sense of confidence.”

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Gil Robertson

Gil Robertson IV is a noted A&E and African American lifestyle journalist. During his 20 year career he has written for the Los Angeles Times and Atlanta Journal Constitution, over 50 national magazine cover and for some of the leading sites on the web. He is also the editor of the nationally syndicated lifestyle column, Robertson Treatment that appears in 30 markets nationwide. A co-founder and President of the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA), Robertson is the producer of the AAFCA Awards, which has grown into a premiere event on the Hollywood Awards calendar. As an author, Robertson is the editor of the best -selling 2009 anthologies Family Affair: What it Means to be African American Today, (selected as “Pick of the Week” by Publisher’s Weekly), and the 2006 release, Not in My Family: AIDS in the African American Community, both nominated for NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Nonfiction. He is also the author of Writing as a Tool of Empowerment, a resource book for aspiring journalists, and is a regular contributor to The African American Almanac (Gale Press). He recently completed his first Children’s book, 21st Century Great African American Political Leaders (Just Us Books), and a new anthology, Where Did Our Love Go: Personal Essays on Love & Relationships in the African American Community. Robertson earned a B.A. degree in Political Science from Cal State Los Angeles