Interview with Willie Baronet

Willie Baronet is the former owner and creative director of GroupBaronet (now MasonBaronet), and worked for ad agencies and design firms prior to starting his own company, which he sold in 2006. 

Q: Did you write a business plan when starting the company? And if so, what role did it play in launching the company?

A: No, we didn’t write a formal business plan.

Q: What are three pieces of advice you would give to an aspiring entrepreneur?

A: –     Stay Nimble

–       Hire people who are smarter than you

–        Don’t underestimate the power of design

Q: What do you think are the necessary qualities for an entrepreneur to possess?

A: –    Optimism

–       A strong work ethic

–       Ability to change hats quickly

–       Flexibility

Q: How have you seen the advertising world change since you started working in it?

A: In many ways. The decline of traditional media, the introduction of new/social media. The ability of clients to do what agencies used to have to do for them. Zillions more channels, more segmented audiences.

Q: How do you expect the advertising world to change in the future?

A: More of the same. More social media and one to one communication with customers. Location based marketing on apps and social media. More integration of advertising and branding messages into the content of movies and tvs.

Baronet’s advertising and design work has been featured inCommunication Arts, Graphis, AIGA Graphic Design Annual, New York Art Directors Annual, The One Show, Print Casebooks, Annual Report Trends, The Type Directors Club Annual andAnnual Report Design: A Historical Retrospective 1510-1990, organized by the Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design. His print and broadcast work has received numerous medals from the Dallas Advertising League’s Tops Show, the Dallas Society of Visual Communications and the Houston Art Directors Club. Baronet has taught advertising design at TCU, Brookhaven Community College in Dallas and Texas A&M at Commerce, and served as visiting faculty for the M.A. program at Syracuse University. He was also the technical editor for the premiere issue of Advertising for Dummies, though reluctant to admit it. In 2011 he earned an M.F.A. in arts and technology from UTD. His art has been featured in a number of group exhibitions including the 15th Annual No Dead Artists at the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery in New Orleans, La., INVASIONEN/INVASIONS at the Galerie Carolyn Heinz in Hamburg, Germany, and 500XPO 2012 at 500X in Dallas. He also had a solo show calledHOME? at the Hal Samples Gallery in Dallas, and has organized several interventionist art performances titled “We are all homeless.” He is currently a member of the art collectives “In Cooperation With Muscle Nation” and “CircleWerk.” At SMU he teaches classes related to creativity and portfolio development.

Interviewer: Jacob Stoner, Junior Advertising Major at SMU

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