As part of the Ad Council’s ongoing series highlighting Champions for Good—those who’ve given time, talent, and support to advance social causes—we’re thrilled to speak with David Shadpour, the CEO and Co-Founder of Social Native.
The Social Native formula is a powerful tool in igniting action and inspiration among social-savvy audiences. It’s a platform that allows brands to connect with top social media content creators—you give them a brief, they make the connections, and suddenly you have beautiful optimized video or images posted natively on creators' channels and in front of their large followings.
For the Ad Council, this meant tons of parents posted photos reminding their peers about the importance of school attendance, foodies helped drive awareness around the issue of food waste, and dozens of young adults who videoed themselves “tossing a cap” to celebrate all of those who’ve gone back to finish their high school diplomas.
Ad Council: Smokey Bear or McGruff?
David Shadpour: Smokey Bear
Ad Council: What’s on your desktop home screen?
David Shadpour: Branded content created by Social Native for Fanta
Ad Council: Android or iPhone?
David Shadpour: iPhone
Ad Council: Favorite social platform?
David Shadpour: Instagram
Ad Council: Favorite social good ad campaign?
David Shadpour: A dear friend, Adam Krief, was diagnosed with Primary Myelpfibrosis & found himself in immediate need of a bone marrow match. In many respects Adam is a mirror of my life: We're the same age, he's an entrepreneur, he has three kids, he lives a few blocks away from me. His illness truly hit home. When someone dear is sick, you find yourself eager to help in anyway possible, but ultimately can offer nothing more than prayers & optimism. Fortunately the Social Native team took it upon themselves to collaborate & leverage our marketplace for social good. Adam came to visit the team & built out a compelling story to help encourage the masses to take action & register for the BeTheMatch registry. Hundreds of people participated, his message reached millions of people. Hope4Adam is my favorite social good ad campaign because of its personal connection & our company's ability to help make an impact.
Ad Council: In a nutshell, what’s your job/what do you do?
David Shadpour: My dream job, CEO @ Social Native. My primary role is to ensure everyone on our team loves his/her job. We all have good & bad days, but when I think about every job I've had in my life, this is by far the best. That blessing carries with it the responsibility to ensure my team, investors & clients all love their experience with Social Native.
Ad Council: How do you think advertising can be a force for good?
David Shadpour: Good lives within all of us. Word of mouth spreads a message/action one person at a time. Advertising on the other hand is a means to unite a large audience of people behind the message/action. How can we use advertising for good? The Hope4Adam initiative is an excellent example of aggregating the masses around one message. Together anything is achievable.
Ad Council: What’s the best professional advice you’ve ever been given?
David Shadpour: Don’t chase success. Recognize that you are already successful. Believe, more than anything else, that you will figure it out. When the times get tough – and they always do – remember you were made for this challenge and that how you handle challenge defines you. With time, endless hard work and that unbreakable commitment, the unimaginable will be accomplished and even bigger dreams will keep you up at night.
Ad Council: Who’s been your greatest influence?
David Shadpour: Abraham. Original Entrepreneur. With vision, commitment, kindness and compassion, he questioned the norm & eventually influenced the world for centuries to come.
Ad Council: What have you gotten out of working with the Ad Council?
David Shadpour: Inspiration & camaraderie. Social Native has partnered with the Ad Council to activate thousands of people to take action & speak up for a wide array of social good initiatives. To date, we've reached tens of millions of people and driven over a million social engagements to help promote social good initiatives in collaboration or inspired by our friends at the Ad Council.