Ari Black’s Bio
Old School Ad Man Transformed for the Digital Age
You might not have noticed from the pic above (thanks Photoshop!) but Ari brings “maturity” to this crew. He’s led a diverse and colourful career including old-world print & TV ad experience; as well as teaching, photography, politics and more.
Somehow Ended Up in Ottawa
Adamantly “not from Ottawa” (see below), Ari ended up here after having lived in exotic locales such as LA, New York, Tokyo… even San Diego (yes, he moved to Ottawa from San Diego!!). Married to a Canadian, Ari is currently in exile in Ottawa, making the best of it by enjoying our…. what exactly is it that we offer here? Harsh winters and high taxes? And poutine, of course.
The Travelling Comedian
When Ari isn’t in the office, out shooting photos or exploring a new destination somewhere on this blue planet of ours, you can find Ari performing live stand-up comedy in one of Ottawa’s comedy rooms.
Q & A with Ari
What do you find most different between 'Traditional' advertising and Digital Marketing?
“The old days were fun, almost Mad Men style. But honestly, we didn’t spend our money very well – check that, we didn’t spend the client’s money very well. Nowadays, thanks to analytics and real-time data & feedback, we have a much better idea of what works, what doesn’t, and what to do more of. The competition is stronger, the landscape is constantly changing, and you really have to stay on your game and stay out ahead of marketing trends. But it’s just as fun AND you get to see in real-time how you’re helping your clients succeed. Can’t beat that!”
What's been your favourite travel destination thus far?
Wow, so many choices (#blessed). Pretty much anywhere in Europe, E/SE Asia or Latin America I’m going to have a good time. Big chunk of the world, I know, right… way to answer the question, Ari! London & Paris are #1 and #1A in my book. But I like underrated destinations, too. Drop me at a crowded taco stand in Mexico City and I’ll be at my happiest.
How did you get into stand-up comedy? What's that like?
The Mrs. wanted me out of the house more. I was already involved in public speaking, and then I found myself doing shtick in front of audiences just to get them warmed up, like at conferences and whatnot. So I started producing comedy shows in Ottawa, appearing at clubs and other venues, weddings, cruises… retirement parties (not my own, unfortunately for you). It’s fun, most nights – unless you bomb, then it’s hours or days of dread and self-doubt until you get up there and do it again to redeem yourself. But it’s a lifelong challenge that keeps me fueled to strive for constant improvement.”
What's your favourite thing about working at WebMarketers?
“The variety. And the camaraderie. That’s two things, sorry I couldn’t choose just one. I thrive on variety, both at work and at play, so being able to work with a number of clients each day – of all different fields, sizes, goals, etc. – is right in my wheelhouse. Also, we’ve got a great team here, so that makes going to work everyday pretty easy; it’s a fun atmosphere and we tackle the challenges together quite well.”
Where do you see yourself in five years?
“Hey, this isn’t an interview! I’m going to choose to answer the question as if you’d asked, ‘If you could get a do-over on one thing in your career/business journey, what would it be?’ And yeah. I’d want to say, “I wouldn’t change a thing.” But that’s cliché. You should always be learning and growing. Every morning is a clean slate, a chance to make a difference for your clients, your team and yourself.”