Words, images, experiences and persistence.

Jay Abdo is a Syrian actor.
He stars in Werner Herzog’s upcoming movie “Queen of the Desert.”
Alongside Nicole Kidman and James Franco.
Prior to this gig, Jay struggled to survive in L.A.
Delivering flowers and pizza.
Jay used to be a celebrity.
One of the most famous and privileged actors in the Arab world.
But in 2011, he spoke out against Assad’s brutal Syrian regime.
And that ended his career.
His accounts were frozen and property confiscated.
So Jay fled with his wife to the U.S.
To escape a campaign of intimidation and threats.
And to start anew at age 50.
But Jay was a nobody in Los Angeles.
An unknown brand with no credibility.
Despite his know-how and previous accomplishments.
So he went to work communicating his value.
Through words, images and experiences.
He changed his name to Jay.
From his beloved given name, Jihad.
An ancient Christian name that means “a struggle for something noble.”
He got unpaid parts in low-budget movies.
Just so he could create a demo reel.
He went to over one hundred auditions.
And failed at each and every one.
And then, by chance, he met Nick Raslan.
A Syrian born producer who was working on “Queen of the Desert.”
Jay showed the producer his demo reel.
And met him again for coffee.
Eventually Jay met Werner Herzog, and landed the role.
Branding involves hard work and difficult choices.
Strategic decisions around words, images and experiences.
Jay’s branding produced his reward.
But it was a struggle.
It required persistence.
Because despite your best laid plans and efforts.
Success arrives when it decides.