Interview Messups, Case Study #2
Another tip from my vault of embarrassing interviews:
Tip #2 - Research the agency thoroughly. No, more thoroughly than that...
JWT Interview, Spring '09, New York, NY
HR: So, Rebecca, your resume looks good and you are qualified. Where do you see yourself fitting into this agency? Me: Well, as part of the TexasMedia program, I'm really interested in Media Planning HR: JWT doesn't have a Media department. We outsource everything to Group M. Me: Ah, I see (foot in mouth).
JWT is very prestigious, so naturally I researched them a lot before the big day. Not enough, apparently... Unbeknownce to me, a lot of the major holding companies (WPP, Omnicom, IPG, Publicis) have a strong Media-Only arm, and the rest of their agencies handle the creative/interactive/planning/etc.
Truth is, even navigating an agencies' website isn't enough to tell you whether or not they have a media department. It's important to also peruse the trade pubs to make sure you know what you're up against. Especially helfpul is the Ad Age Agency Family Tree. It's currently hanging on my wall.
Boss: So, Rebecca, what do you do in your spare time? Me: Well, I really like to cook. I've especially gotten good at "dorm cooking" - frozen vegetables and canned tomatoes. It's delicious! Boss: Oh. I'm a cook, and I don't exactly consider that cooking...
I completely forgot that although to college kids, frozen and canned food is considered cuisine, the "adult world" doesn't share the sentiment. Whoops. Luckily, I made up for this blunder with my experience and positive attitude, and ended up getting the Media Buying Internship. I have since developed a love of traveling, which HR Generalists see as a much more legitimate pastime.
Flash Mobs - A Different Kind of OOH
"Flash mobs," originally from a New York based group called Improv Everywhere, have become an emerging media tool. They are useful because they are unexpected, grab attention, are generally funny, and if they are good enough, become internet sensations and memes. Check out some brands who have recently capitalized on Flash Mob energy:
Their Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Their PartsOMD, Pepsi and CBS will pioneer the convergence of Video and Print on Sept. 18th, as they team team up to place a video in Entertainment Weekly magazine.
"As part of a unique marketing partnership, PepsiCo will join with CBS to promote its Pepsi Max diet cola for men in the print ads and sponsor the fall debut of CBS's Monday-night comedies on Sept. 21.
The intriguing promotion serves to illustrate how TV networks and advertisers are experimenting with new technologies to get their messages out to consumers." - AdAge
As an attempt to save print from an untimely death while correspondingly creating something new and buzzworthy, this is very impressive. Kind of reminds me of Esquire's E-Ink Cover (9/08).
Recenlty, PleaseFeedTheAnimals, a blog for the recenlty unemployed advertising professional, released a trailor for a new movie they are producing, called Lemonade. It's an inspiring documentar of what laid off professionals have done with their time now that they are no longer in the biz:
This, of course, is another way to go about unemployment (note his hat):
Boarding Pass AdvertisementsAdvertising pays for everything. FM/AM Radio? Advertising. Network TV? Advertising. The Daily Texan? Advertising (and some tuition money). "Selling out" and letting advertisers put their message on your medium is a great way to make money, stay afloat, and ensure your business's future.
So, no surprise that British Airways became the first major European scheduled airline to seek advertisers for its boarding passes, as it seeks new revenue to help reverse losses.
At my High School prom, there was a girl in a Duct Tape dress. Apparently, Duck Tape holds a contest each year called "Stuck at Prom" to see what male/female pair can create the best enemble completely out of Duct Tape. Why do it? The winners receive $6K scholarship.
Illegal Ad Placement
I've always wondered about large posters plastered on the side of buildings... in particular, how does an agency go about buying this media placement?
Well, turns out they are "illegal."
Companies like National Public Advertising Outdoor that put up advertisements in public places typically do not have a proper permit. The city is not getting paid - instead, they pay the landlords of the buildings they use. Citizens are forced to look at advertising all over because these companies have illegally plastered their ads all over town. For whatever reason, the city looks the other way and rarely cracks down on them.
When organizations like The Public Ad Campaign organized a massive grassroots retaliation against the illegal billboards, NPA Outdoor added a new notice to all of their billboard sites. “Coming soon to this location: a chance to win these posters and other prizes inside” is posted because although it’s illegal for a landlord to put an advertisement on the side of his building, but it’s not illegal to put up a sign advertising products that are for sale inside. Doesn't stop the haters, though...
"Now, in just a few simple steps, you can begin displaying ads that are relevant to the topics you’re discussing — in an unobtrusive screen above your head.
Anyone taking part in the conversation can hit the ad with their hand to immediately take advantage of the product or service being offered. With our new Teleportation Technology(TM), you’ll be transported directly to the site where the service is available, or have the product appear instantaneously in your hands.
How do I add Google ads to my conversations? Once you sign up, we’ll send you an adjustable screen and special AdSense headgear to attach it."
Truth is, though, a concept like this may not be that far off. Advertisers have already found a way to sponsor graudation speeches. Advertising in conversations doesn't seem so foreign, huh?
1) Finish all assigned projects 2) Get a performance assessment or a recommendation letter 3) Update your resume 4) Express gratitude by writing them a thank-you letter 5) Stay in touch. This is where business cards, and looking through trade pubs for information relevant to their accounts comes in handy.
CollegeHumor - The Little Site that Could
I normally opt for Metro over AMNY, but I walked up a different side of the subway stairs this morning, and happened to be closer to the AMNY.
One of the main articles was about the changing face of New York media, and people who have gotten it right:
"Officials pointed to CollegeHumor.com as a success sotry others could emulate.
"When we started... CollegeHumor was primarily a site featuring all fo the best user-generated content from around the Web," said Josh Abramson, company co-founder. "Since YouTube became popular, it is incredibly difficult to sustain a business around user-generated content."
Credit Fraud? There's an App For That
iPhone Credit Card Reader:
"A new iPhone accessory called Square allows users to swipe credit cards through a mini magstripe reader attached to the phone’s headphone jack.
The simple application and reader allows users to enter the amount of the purchase and immediately email the receipt to the customer, complete with geo-tagged information and the signature they managed to scrawl with their finger. While the application and iPhone accessory are wonderfully simple, there is worry about the possibilities for fraud and abuse." - PSFK
I feel like this would almost be more relevant to blackberry owners? (Hello, stereotypes.)
"U.S. consumers last year for the first time spent more time with media that they paid for than with advertising-supported media, according to the annual Communications Industry Forecast." - AdWeek
Hmmm, so what does that mean for us? In my opinion, either: 1) Since branded digital efforts are difficult to trace, their media may have been free, but not free of ads. 2) "Room for growth" 3) Consumers are willing to pay more for something as long as we don't get in the way.
Social Media and Relationships
Communication builds relationships.
Relationships build trust.
As creatures of habit and consistency, we as consumers generally lean towards what we have already experienced - what we trust.
When it comes down to it, that's why social media is so important and influential. It allows the brand to communicate with its fanbase, and ultimately build more trust through communication. It's not about trying to reach more people, it's about trying to form a long, beautiful relationship.
What are they talking about? I freaking love interning. Being able to absorb company culture, business life lessons, and network like it's your job for a predetermined period of time? I wish I could intern full time...
My big goal, as previously stated, is to reconcile the differences I have with big business and my morals by changing it from the inside. That being said, there are two major paths I see my advertising career taking.
1) Working endlessly in the big media firm world until I climb the corporate ladder and earn a position of importance and and impact.
2) Create my own advertising agency
I recently dabbled in trying number two. Long story short, it was a bit of a failed experiment. I've lost a bit of hope, but after speaking with Ricky Van Veen, and seeing this video, I know it's within my reach.
Ricky Van Veen is somewhat of a personal role model. He started CollegeHumor as a college student, and in the past 10 years, has come to build it into a famous brand penetrating different media such as literature, theater, and tv. I met him about a month ago, and have unsuccessfully been trying to sit down and talk with him about entrepreneurship, New York, and life since. That is, until last Sunday.
Weiser and Van Veen at CollegeHumor Live on Thursday, July 30
Long story short, to help him clear his schedule and squeeze in a meeting, I had to go pick up his business cards in Brooklyn, and drop them off at his West Village apartment around 10pm. Even though he was frenzied from packing for his LA trip the next day, he was very personable, genuine and generally good humored. He gave me some great insight and advice, which I have taken to heart.
If everything works out, Texas Ventures will be bringing him to UT to speak in November. Stay tuned!