Saturday I participated in the Detroit Adcraft’s 2009 AdCon event that saw a turnout of over 200 college students who were interested in finding out more about the advertising business. I served on a panel of 6 people which consisted of an account supervisor, a media planner, a strategic planner, and 2 creative directors (including myself). First, It was our job to explain to this group of students and advertising hopefuls who we are, how we got to where we are and what we like about the business.
Then, as we do every year at AdCon, we went through a marketing brief for a particular national brand — this year being Wendy’s. The media and account people walked the students through the brief which consisted of company research, annual advertising dollars spent and facts about target audiences. It was then my job (and the other creative director) to initiate a creative brainstorming session for Wendy’s. It was fun seeing how some of the ideas just flowed out of their brains, without any regard for what something may cost or how the idea would extend into other mediums. I was impressed by some of the quick and witty thinking by these young hopefuls. It was obvious that their minds weren’t yet tarnished by years of client changes and budget concerns.
At the end of the session, the students were given the opportunity to ask questions to the panel. One question a student asked was, “What department of the ad agency is the funnest?” I, of course, spoke up and said that creative was the most fun (the other creative director said that creative people get to drink lots of beer and come up with fun ideas). Another question posed to the creative panel asked what interviewers look for in a portfolio and a person. I stated that, for an art director, ideas were number one, followed by computer skills. Another question asked whether a student should finish school and pass up a job, or go for the job and get the experience rather than finish one or two more classes. I told this student (on the side) that you can only get so much “experience” in a classroom and that real experience happens at a job (where you have deadlines and budgets – something that I believe art school still hasn’t taught much about). One student asked whether he should stay in Michigan or if he should look in other states for a career. A media panelist spoke up and said that the “D” was the place to be and that we’d love to retain the most creative people in Michigan, specifically the Detroit area.
The very end of the session we were asked by the moderator to sum up why we do what we do in one sentence. I thought about it for the 3 seconds I had to prepare my answer and summed it all up with this thought about my career at Brogan and Partners: “I get paid to draw pictures”.
Despite the 40 billion dollars poured into the diet industry, 2 out of 3 Americans are clinically obese. I, myself, have poured a big chunk of change into this industry. And while I adore my nutritionist, Gail Posner, and the progress we’ve made over the years, it is a daily battle of wills. Like “Will I put myself first and walk today?” or “Will I love myself enough to say no to that cookie calling my name?” Which is why I love some of the work the AdCouncil has done for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Obesity Prevention Campaign. While creative like “Love Handles” and “Double Chin” are very funny and attention-getting, they don’t really inspire me as much as the posters like the one below. I can relate to these people with spare tires and the copy that follows their curves to demonstrate how by taking small steps you can become smaller. These give me hope. These encourage me to keep trying. I just joined my old gym again this weekend. Here’s hoping I will use it and lose it. If you have any small steps to get healthier that have worked for you, please share them…
This blog post is #15 in the series, 21 creative social marketing examples.
Since college, I've wanted to work for Brogan & Partners. I heard great things about both their award-winning creative and warm, friendly work culture. Sadly, it seemed as though I had graduated at the worst possible time in our ad community's history. Then, the clouds opened up and finally shed a bit of light when I was presented with an opportunity for an internship here!
Over the 3 months working here I got back a lot of what I had lost. At the College for Creative Studies ad department, there aren't many boundaries to what you can do creatively. Then, the diploma is accepted and you're spit out into the real world (which does not always involve the mind-blasting creative projects you dreamed of). Things tend to get watered down, over-analyzed and put through the appropriate systems.
But, it's different at Brogan. And working here has reminded me why I enjoy advertising so much and why I wanted to go into this field in the first place. They strive to produce breakthrough, award winning advertising while still meeting the satisfaction of their clients. I've never worked at an agency that was able to find a happy medium between the two.
It's also been fun and educational getting the chance to develop creative for non-automotive accounts. There's a satisfaction that comes from working on creative healthcare accounts, because you really feel like your helping market something that helps so many people.
I've always seen advertising as smart art. It's not just a place to showcase your creative abilities, but it also needs to be smart, intuitive and effective. This is something that Brogan & Partners helped teach me. I will take many good memories and new insights away from my time here. More importantly though, the experience has gotten me excited about advertising again. And at this point in my career I couldn't ask for anything more.
Interested in an internship at Brogan? Let me know if I can give you any pointers!
“This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs.” Was there even anti-drug advertising before this memorable spot hit our TV sets in the 80’s? The mother to all PSA’s, this spot has been quoted, copied, spoofed, and lives on in our pop culture. To replay in our social consciousness without paid media, now that is effective social marketing. My favorite of the original versions was the heroine spot below from 1988. And also another classic spot is the one where the dad confronts his son in his bedroom about his weed. “Who taught you how to do this stuff?”, the dad asks. The son screams, “You alright! I learned it by watching you!” Talk about a parental guilt trip. And now a new generation is watching these psa’s on youtube. Decades ago the partnership laid the foundation for the future of social marketing and they are still going strong.
This blog post is #14 in the series, 21 creative social marketing examples.
Still not convinced non-traditional media is enough to solve all of your advertising woes? There may be a solution.
Non-traditional forms of advertising are great in terms of finding unique ways to show off a product or brand, but are they as effective if the same traditional mediums are being used to display it? I would think not.
Imagine the benefits of using a non-traditional advertisement and implementing it with social media. Combining the most innovative and cutting edge techniques of the media world would provide the ability to capture the audience’s interest with a unique idea while serving it in a relaxed, open environment. This also gives a viewer access to sharing capabilities which would conveniently be at the their fingertips.
The clip below provides us with a great example of a non-traditional social media advertisement.
Notice how they created an ad unlike others and placed it in blog. Like I said, innovative. How do you feel about the possibilities involved in this new advertising combo?
Aging gets under my skin. Already, at just over 40, my knees creak, my hands get stiff, and I have glimpses of how my body will betray me. Or maybe I have betrayed it. In any case, I cannot imagine how painful it would be to experience the kind of physical betrayal that comes with Parkinsons Disease. One of my best friend’s dad had it. It was painful for her to watch Parkinsons steal him bit by bit away from her. Most of us take for granted that if we want something like a pen, we reach for it and get it. We can’t understand a degenerative disease that makes simple tasks like this so extremely difficult, one that interrupts the circuits between our brains and our bodies. This awareness campaign for the Parkinsons Society of Canada does an excellent job of visualizing for us what happens when a body betrays it’s owner with this disease.
This blog post is #13 in the series, 21 creative social marketing examples.
He loves me. He loves me not. The game that many of us played as young girls repeats itself for those in abusive relationships. As nurturers, women believe we can change people. We are usually more forgiving than men, more tolerant of faults. I am lucky that I have never been in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship. But I have a good friend who was once dragged by her husband’s car down a gravel road, and now is a speaker for the women’s shelter that changed her life. When you’re living with abuse, it’s hard to get out. It’s sometimes easier to forget, to justify, to hope that things will get better, or to endure the terror because change is just as terrifying. What I love about this commercial for My Sisters’ Place New York is that it uses a business environment to demonstrate the ludicrousness of abuse. An environment that is usually professional, respectful, and politically-correct. Whether he loves you, or loves you not, abuse is wrong no matter what the situation. What do you think of this spot?
This blog post is #11 in the series, 21 creative social marketing examples.
There is a buzz about H1N1 everywhere right now, especially with the new vaccine going out. Most of us are hearing the message – wash your hands, cover your mouth, stay home if you are sick. I’m wondering if the current marketing is going to help minimize the spread of the flu. Does it break through? Does it emotionally connect? Are people listening? Changing their behaviors?
I blogged a few months ago about an innovative social media outreach campaign that the CDC developed, asking for people to develop their own H1N1 PSA. The campaign definetly got people involved and interacting (you should check out the winning video from a rapping doctor!).
Now Microsoft is taking the messaging to a new level. They launched an interactive tool that helps you determine if you should see a doctor for your symptoms. The test uses the same calculations that doctors at Emory University use to determine if someone has the flu.
It’s amazing that a few clicks from your home computer, can help to determine if you have H1N1 (of course, it can’t replace seeing an actual doctor). But, it’s a unique way to help educate and inform the public on the virus and in turn influence some to steer clear of the doctor office, minimizing the spread of the flu. While medical care is necessary for some, it’s an innovative way to filter out the less severe cases.
Take the test - let me know what you think.
There is a reason it’s called body image. The image we have in our head doesn’t always match the image in the mirror. Just today, my skinny, healthy friend, commented on how she feels fat. I am like “Hello! You are a size 4.” And then on the other side, sometimes I picture myself as “just plump” and am in denial to some of my own weight issues. Body image. All of us battle it. The Looking Glass Foundation, did a social marketing campaign comparing eating disorders to a suicide note—it is a cry for help, written if not in words then signs. The visual of the anorexic girl in the TV spot is simple but powerful. As viewers we can emotionally connect to that moment of getting on the scale—and although we can not understand what the girl is thinking, we feel for her and want to reach into the screen and help her see the truth. Another creative execution they did is a toothbrush in a baggie with this headline: “Attempting to purge, Jane B. broke her toothbrush off in her throat and choked.” There is a fine line with an eating disorder. Not every anorexic is skinny. Not every bulimic is obvious. If you wonder if someone you know has crossed that line, here are the signs. There is help. And hope. As girls and women, we all need to have better body images, and learn to love our bodies as ourselves.
While we’re on the subject, I’ve included another spot from another organization that I like as well here. It’s pretty compelling.
This blog post is #10, in my series 21 creative social marketing campaigns.