Creative Studio KUAMP’s Founder Antonio McDonald on the Need to Reflect, Refresh, and Reset to Make Progress

Creative Studio KUAMP’s Founder Antonio McDonald on the Need to Reflect, Refresh, and Reset to Make Progress
Photo Courtesy: Ethan Stewart

By: Maria Williams

Spring is seen as a season of new beginnings, and this is reflected in many cultural and religious celebrations around the world. April 1 is the start of a new quarter and also the start of a new fiscal year for many organizations. These occasions remind us to pause and reflect on the past months, as well as refresh ourselves for the rest of the year ahead. Following the start of the calendar year, this provides a convenient checkpoint to assess how things are going.

Antonio “Tronic” McDonald, founder, CEO, and chief creative officer of boutique creative production studio KUAMP stresses the importance of reflecting, refreshing, and resetting at this point of the year – as a sort of ‘spring cleaning’ for the mind – which is an important part of making progress. This is part of KUAMP’s DNA, with its name standing for “Keep Up And Make Progress”. Founded in 2002 as an upstart at a global music channel’s promotion department, it is now a full-blown multimedia platform company with some of the world’s largest brands as its partners.

McDonald says that the advertising and creative industry has been under a state of upheaval in recent months, with many creative and communications agencies laying off employees, fuelled by client losses and shrinking budgets. The wider tech industry is having a spate of layoffs, beginning in 2023 and moving into 2024. While this is reasonably a cause of concern for many individuals, as it affects their livelihood and capability to provide for their families, there are also developments in the industry that herald changes in the way agencies and clients do work, which may provide opportunities for innovative and independent players in the media and communications sphere.

Following a major layoff at a global advertising agency, McDonald says three long-time employees of the agency came together to start their own agency, bringing new approaches and business models to the table. There are many other similar stories all over the world, and McDonald believes this will lead to better things to come in the future as the business cycle continues to turn. This is especially important, as many multinational brands are looking to make changes to and improve their agency model, given the changing nature of communications driven by social media and artificial intelligence.

“Amid all the confusion and chaos, there’s always a new player entering the industry, like a Phoenix rising from the ashes,” McDonald says. “This provides more opportunities to iterate and figure out ways to do things better, giving clients more choice, as well as providing employment to professionals who may have been displaced by the layoffs.”

At this point, McDonald says taking a moment to self-reflect is incredibly helpful for businesses, allowing them to see any mistakes they’ve committed that aren’t apparent the first time around, as well as figure out what things worked and what didn’t. Reflection also provides an opportunity for organizations and professionals to think about whether they’re being true to their mission and purpose in doing what they do. Having thought about these things can bring clarity, allowing them to set new goals and reinvigorate them to achieve these goals. 

“At KUAMP, we’ve been looking back at the past year, recognizing not only the challenges we’ve faced but also the achievements we’ve reached,” McDonald says. “We take time to pause and  reflect, refresh, and reset ourselves, and we consider it an integral part of our journey towards continuous progress.”


Published by: Khy Talara



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