Suzanne Hargrove Headshot

Los Angeles Executive Producer Suzanne Hargrove never imagined producing commercials for Nike and Adidas when she started doing sports at WOUB

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Hargrove was a telecommunications major who graduated from Ohio University in 1986

ATHENS, OH – Suzanne Hargrove, vice president/executive producer at PRETTYBIRD in Los Angeles, recently worked on a Cannes Lions-winning advertisement for Adidas called The Original Impossible featuring Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback Patrick Mahomes. In a way, the spot, among many others, brings her career full circle because when Hargrove started working at WOUB, she thought she wanted a career in sports broadcasting.

“I came to Athens from Dublin, Ohio because of the reputation of the school’s communication program and the beauty of the campus,” said Hargrove. “I also had a passion for sports. I walked on the Ohio University women’s basketball team. I thought I wanted to take my love of sports and become a sportscaster.”

Hargrove got involved at WOUB right away. She started doing sports on the radio and eventually moved to television, reporting and anchoring sports for WOUB’s nightly TV news program, NewsWatch. Hargrove also participated with Athens Video Works (AVW), which is a completely student-run multimedia production house, announcing Ohio University basketball broadcasts.

“My goal was to do special interviews like Barbara Walters.”

But, as Hargrove approached graduation, she decided to take a different path.

“I decided I needed to go to New York or California and try to break into the entertainment industry. So, I waitressed for six months, and moved to Los Angeles,” said Hargrove. “It was very difficult to get into anything. I sold sandwiches out of an ice chest in Century City and flipped burgers at a small food stand. But then I got a big break.”

And that big break was epic. Hargrove got the opportunity to work one weekend as a production assistant and craft services person on pick-up work for U2: Rattle and Hum. In filmmaking, a pick-up is a small, relatively minor shoot filmed or recorded after the fact to augment footage already shot. The documentary chronicled the Irish rock group’s Fall 1987 tour of North America.

“It was a springboard into the music video industry. It led to a position as the assistant to the producer for Madonna’s Express Yourself video and my head blew up and blew off,” said Hargrove with a laugh. “I also worked on Prince’s Batdance video and got into TV working on the first season of Twin Peaks.”

Hargrove continued to work on music videos and moved into commercial advertising.

“I ended up traveling the world producing commercials for Nike, Adidas, Honda, Mercedes and worked my way up from production assistant to coordinator to production supervisor to producer and eventually executive producer,” said Hargrove.

Now, as vice president/executive producer at PRETTYBIRD, Hargrove continues work on commercials and music videos, but also creates branded content and does work with film. She is even producing a podcast for Audible, due out later this year.

“I love WOUB and feel like it was so important and integral to my career. It was a very supportive, cohesive group of people, and I learned teamwork there. WOUB is sincerely my favorite thing from college.”

Hargrove says WOUB gave her the foundation she needed to get into the entertainment industry.

“Even though I didn’t end up in news or that genre of production and information, with the hands-on experience I got at WOUB, it gave me practical experience. If I had just gone to traditional classes, I would have been looking at a book with no hands-on experience. I felt at WOUB there was a professional community doing something I had always wanted to do. I think that being able to have that outlet for creativity and learning was crucial,” said Hargrove. “By being able to be in production at WOUB, it gave me the confidence and experience to be able to think outside of the box in a career where all I do is think outside of the box.”