Posts Tagged ‘Advertising’

It’s come to my attention that I’ve been a naughty blogger and have completely ignored by blog for the last few months. Well, in my defense, I’ve been a little busy. Graduating from college became my priority, much to the chagrin of my social life and this blog. So, here’s the low down on what I’m up to these days:

1) I’m a college graduate – That’s right, no longer a “Senior advertising student at the University of St. Thomas”, I’m now (gasp) an alumni. It’s weird but it feels unbelievably good. A weight has been lifted. No more papers or ridiculous assignments. Don’t worry, plenty of people have told me I’ll miss college more than I think. In a way I already do. I miss the fun of freshman year but don’t think I’ll every miss nightmare group projects or not capstone senior papers.

2) I’m working at Periscope – Today was my first full-time day. I’m helping to craft social media strategy for some fantastic consumer brands. Most of my past experience has been more B2B and was not nearly as exciting as the projects I’m working on now.

3) I’m living at home – Back in Forest Lake. It’s not St. Paul or Minneapolis but there’s AC, a washer/dryer and a fully stocked fridge (luxuries I haven’t had for 3 years).  Driving my mom’s minivan to work when my car breaks down is a nice perk too.

4) I’m starting my own #healthrevolution – I no longer have going to the library as an excuse not to go to the gym.  I’m trying to get back in the swing of working out everyday and eating a lot healthier as well. Since I’m back home, I’m getting the whole family involved. They’re on board but turned off by wheat pasta and the words “reduced fat”. It’s not going to be easy but if health isn’t a worthy cause, what is?

5) I need to start training and fundraising for the 3-day –  I’ve raised a whopping $25 out of the  $2,300 I need to raise and it’s only 2 months until I’ll be walking 60 miles in 3-days. If you’d like to help my cause by donating to breast cancer research, I’d greatly appreciate it. http://www.the3day.org/goto/TaraOlson

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This is just plain funny. Thanks to Sandy Willats, account planner extroardinaire at Martin Williams for sharing!

Sandy used this ad as an example of how advertisers should “challenge assumptions”, the first step of creating Martin William’s signature 20 Ton Ideas. This ad re-frames what gum is all about and captures a human connection, not just how chewy or minty the gum is.

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Fast forward through the boring introduction. The rest is crazy cool.

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I love this commercial. Matt Burgress, a copywriter at OLSON, showed this at last week’s UST Ad Fed meeting. I like that my Dad wears Old Spice (i.e. it’s for old people) but Old Spice has been able to successfully reinvent their brand and give Axe some stiff competition. A million+ views in ten days and now it’s on tv.

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The Student Ad Summit was fantastic.  My only qualm is I never attended before!  A major hands down to the volunteers who devoted so much time to the event, you all did an excellent job.  In case you couldn’t make the event or are curious about my experience, here’s a blow-by-blow recap of the day.

Breakout session 1 – Lisa McEllistrem, VP/Management Supervisor, Periscope

“The Changing Roles of Marketers: The Super AE”

Key Points:

  • Periscope – 240 employees, tagline = “We wrap more talent, more tightly, around our clients’ brands.”
  • Account executives need to be an advocate for both their client and their agency
  • Be inquisitive, have an insatiable curiosity and stay on top of the curve
  • Don’t be afraid to bring big ideas to the table, you are valuable
  • Don’t write a creative brief in 30 minutes, they take time
  • Come at problems at a different angle, advertising is about building relationships, not just putting ads on tv
  • Favorite tweeters: @TEDnews, @gapingvoid, @jtwinsor, @cliffbot

Breakout session 2 – John Jarvis, Managing Partner/Chief Creative Officer, The Lacek Group

Great Power, Great Responsibility: Becoming an Agency CEO

Key Points:

  • John’s had 10 jobs in 27 years – don’t worry about your first job being perfect, you will move
  • Read Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company – learn to love the world of business
  • The Lacek Group specializes in Loyalty Marketing, owned by Ogilivy
  • Don’t be a motormouth, develop your listening skills
  • Be able to think like a client, interact with them as must as possible
  • Remember, at the end of the day it’s just advertising

Breakout session 3 – Jodi Grundyson, Director of Brand & Retail Strategy, Sara Nelson, Design Director, KNOCK, inc.

People Do Judge  Book by its Cover: Branding & Packaging – *My favorite presentation! I have major appreciation for great design.

Key Points:

  • KNOCK is a branding and design firm, they’ve created awesome packaging for a variety of consumer goods and have worked extensively with Target
  • Create brand stories
  • Subtlety is nice
  • Let your clients be the experts they are

Keynote Speakers: Bob Ballard, VP/Management Supervisor & Charlie Callahan, VP/Executive Creative Director, Periscope

Key Points:

  • Be a simplifier not a complicator
  • We (advertisers) solve business problems, if you want art get a loft
  • Manage the jobs that aren’t hot so you can manage the ones that are
  • Don’t shove things around (when making changes), make them better
  • Focus on the important, don’t get distracted by things that aren’t

Cool people I met during lunch and networking roundtables:

Periscope Agency Tour

The Summit wrapped up with agency tours and a portfolio review session.  I was lucky enough to score an agency tour at Periscope. The thing that sets them apart from all the other agencies I’ve visited is the ability to do almost all their work in-house. They have a full photo studio and printing center. On our tour the photo team was doing a shoot involving grilled fish so the whole place smelt like salmon.  Periscope also has lots of cute dogs, definitely a fun atmosphere to work in.

Final Thoughts

Despite the reality of seeing hundreds of other cutthroat students trying to land a job, just like I am, overall the Ad Summit was uplifting.  Sometimes I question if advertising is for me but when I attend events like this and get excited by great creative and friendly professionals I know advertising is where I want to be.  Despite the bad job market nearly every professional I’ve met has been friendly and willing to help. That says a lot about the Twin Cities ad community.

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Still have not posted pictures.  I’m working on it.  It has been a crazy hectic week but I have some thoughts to share:

1) I’m extremely greatful for the thriving Ad/PR/Marketing/Interactive community in the Twin Cities. I cannot express enough gratitude for the kind people I have met through AdFed, Ad2 and MIMA.

2) I’m extremely excited for tomorrow’s Student Ad Summit. Wish it were here at St. Thomas instead of the U (my bias of course) but it’s going to be a huge day. Major problem will be deciding which breakout sessions to attend.

3) I have secured a free  copy of Seth Godin’s Linchpin and cannot wait to read it.  My Aunt donated to the charity Acumen and received a free copy of the book. As a thank you from Seth she just received a second copy, for free, and was kind enough to pass it along to me. He is a marketing genius! I love good causes.

4) I officially signed up for the Susan G. Komen 3-day. I’ll be walking 60 miles and raising $2,300+ for breast cancer research. Looking forward to the experience and will be posting my fundraising site soon.

5) Time to go to bed. I’m getting up at 5:30 to get ready for the Ad Summit tomorrow and pack for my V-day trip to Mankato.

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I’ve been wanting to attend the British Ad Awards at the Walker for several years and it has never worked out, until last night. I was fortunate to go with a great party of people through Magnet  360 and was delighted to meet the fabulous Betsey Kershaw. Turns out we live in the same St. Paul neighborhood and her husband and I attended the same high school . Further proof of what a small world it is!

Moving onto the event, it was terrific. If you haven’t been I would highly recommend getting tickets. Overall, the ads were more graphic than what we are used to seeing in the US but at the same time they packed more of a punch. More importantly, the packed Walker theater proved that despite negative perceptions, not only does advertising provide significant cultural perspective but is in fact art.

Some personal favorites

A fun way of portraying an important concept:

While hard to watch, this video stunningly captures the cycle of violence which leads many kids to the streets:

Sex sells. Virgin is an awesomely bold brand:

Yes puppets have been overdone but I have a feeling this is the ad that started the trend:

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1. I have a unique point of view which requires more room than twitter can provide.

2. I’m passionate about connecting with the world and blogging provides a great platform for this.

3. I’m constantly learning and what better way to learn than by doing.

4. On a daily basis I am inspired by others’ blogs and want to join in on the fun.

What to expect from this blog:

While my professional ambitions are the primary focus of my life right now, there is more to being a future ad exec than just advertising. I’m going to write about what being Tara Olson is all about. I have many passions including: travel, volunteering, psychology and fashion.

In addition, I’m going to Greece for a month this January and am looking forward to dabbling in travel writing and blogging about my trip.

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