On the Road to Brandweek: Kevin Hart Discusses Social Media and Generosity

The actor, comedian and entrepreneur will keynote on the new marketing summit's first day

Kevin Hart is just one of the speakers to be seen at Brandweek this year. Getty Images
Headshot of James Cooper

Having successfully launched meteoric careers as a stand-up comedian, leading man in blockbuster theatricals and as an entrepreneur, it’s safe to say that Kevin Hart knows a thing or two about how a brand works.

It’s precisely why Adweek is thrilled to have him as our kickoff keynoter at the inaugural Brandweek Summit in Palm Springs, Calif., September 23 to 25. Kristina Monllos, Adweek’s senior editor, brand marketing, caught up with Hart for a broad-ranging interview about his career, business philosophy and stewarding his personal brand.

We share three questions from their time together here in the first of a series of On the Road to Brandweek interviews that feature some of the absolutely stellar marketing executives set to speak during this conference that we’ve worked hard to make like no other, in terms of tackling the biggest challenges—as well as highlighting the brightest opportunities—facing brand leaders today. We’re excited to be on the Road to Brandweek, and we hope you’ll join us.

Follow this link to learn more and register.

"You can’t grow a business without great relationships. Don’t be afraid to make relationships and don’t be afraid to just share how those relationships are made."

Currently on tour (called the Irresponsible tour), Hart just launched the second season of his show Cold as Balls (sponsored by Old Spice) on the Laugh Out Loud network that he created in partnership with Lionsgate. He has brand deals in place with Tommy John (he’s an investor and ambassador), Mountain Dew, Nike and Rally Health.

Adweek: So what do you think the future of advertising is? 

Kevin Hart: The future of advertising, you see where it’s going—social media has done so much because it allows you to see that people love to watch things in their palm now. Everything’s on demand. So, the advertisers are all embracing these social media platforms. They’re all jumping on the Snapchats, the Instagrams, the Facebooks, the Twitters. These things that act as quick devices, or I guess you’d say places that grab your attention, that we know where people are. When you look at the numbers that these social media platforms are getting, you’re realizing that this is where your eyeballs [are].

Content is now going to continue to be created to live in this world of our palm, which we’re all so in love with because nobody likes to watch TV when you tell them to. We want what we want when we want it because that’s what we’ve been spoiled to get. How do we adapt to the world of digital, [mobile], social? How do we fit in? Well, we’ve got to now find unique ways to promote and grab our consumer. That’s where our consumer lives. That’s where you’re going to start to see ads continue to drive to in my opinion.

Are you excited to speak at Brandweek?

I am. I’m excited. I think it’s going to be amazing. A dope opportunity. To be blunt, I’m honored to have my name thrown in that hat, and hopefully I can go there and share the information … and some people will take it and walk away from it and put it to use. I’m not selfish with it, and I think that’s how people should start looking at it. You don’t need to be selfish with ideas and information. Ultimately the more you share, the more people can have and gain from it. We want everyone to be successful. It’s not a pot that should just have a little. It can have a lot. There’s enough out there for everybody.

Is that what you want to share with the marketing community?

In today’s time, information is key. Stop being selfish with it; share it. Business is business, and I understand that, but you can’t grow a business without great relationships. Don’t be afraid to make relationships and don’t be afraid to just share how those relationships are made. Ultimately, we’ve got a generation coming up behind us, and they should be taking success to new levels so we can continue to grow as people and continue to grow as a world. We can’t do that with hate, anger and jealousy, you know. Ultimately, you’ve got to reach for one another. And when you do that you’ll see that a lot more success can be achieved.

@jcoopernyc james.cooper@adweek.com James Cooper is editorial director of Adweek.