Advertising Week: The Island of Misfit Toys

The VCU Brandcenter is a bit like the Island of Misfit Toys – but then, so is advertising, right?

This summer, I had the good fortune to work in the same office as now-full-time artist, Mike Shine, who whether he knew it or not, offered me a new perspective on what makes an ‘ad man’ – and no, it’s not Don Draper.

So who are these misfits? Find out after the jump to Advertising Week!

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Advertising Week: The Evolution of Storytelling, One Tweet at a Time

Texting is killing language. Twitter is killing journalism. Technology is killing the way we socialize (OK, maybe this one’s a little true). Too often, people lament these changes rather than recognizing the opportunities that come with them.

For Ted-talker John McWhorter, such changes don’t represent death, but rather, new life. Texting, specifically, with its baggy structure and lack of concern with rules, shouldn’t be thought of as a ‘decline’, but rather, as a kind of emerging complexity through which we are constantly creating new linguistic markers (like the transitional word “slash” or “lol” as a mere marker of empathy).

We’re creating entire new constructions, but still, we think something is “wrong.” And this is nothing new.

What does this have to do with Twitter? And what does it mean for brands?
Read more after the jump to Advertising Week!


Advertising Week: Perspective is Everything

I love a good Ted Talk. And I love a good British accent. So when I found my first Rory Sutherland talk, I was instantly hooked.

That first talk, “Life Lessons from An Ad Man,” is well worth the watch (and of a similar nature); but for the purposes of this post, I direct you to a longer talk from TedxAthens: “Perspective is Everything.”

Read more after the jump to Advertising Week!


Advertising Week: This is Your Brand on Stories

The other day, I did an interview for a big girl job. Mostly for practice and experience because I’ve already committed to a summer in San Francisco and two years in Richmond; but nonetheless, a real, intense day of interviews. As the day went on, the questions moved from behavioral, experience-driven “tell me a time when” questions to more high-level thinking questions about industry knowledge, etc.

It was in the last interview of the day that I was most caught off guard.

Find out why after the jump to Advertising Week!


Advertising Week: Look At Your Fish!

One of the most interesting pieces I’ve read as of late has been The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens in Scientific American. The whole idea has been top of mind as of late, as I’ve noticed myself fighting – with myself, mind you – over just how to read.

Does it make a difference? Am I going to go blind at age 53 if I don’t split my time between my laptop or my iPad or my Nook Simple Touch or just plain…old…paper?

Read more after the jump to Advertising Week!


Happy Summer! Plus: Technology + Creativity FTW

It’s been a while, so let me update you. Since you last heard from me, I’ve finished up a lot of exciting things and started prepping for the next steps in my life’s journey. I finished up my independent study, which ended up being way more interesting and engaging than I imagined going in. It’s called “Brand Personification in the Digital Age: How has the evolution of social media impacted consumer-brand relationships?” and if you’re interested, you can check it out here. Exactly one week ago, I graduated from the University of Michigan. Which is absolutely insane — I miss Ann Arbor and all my friends already, but I’m excited for my next steps.  A couple days ago, I signed a lease for my first year in Richmond at VCU Brandcenter with a couple of GREAT girls! AND I found out I’ll be living on a BOAT in Sausalito, California for the summer as part of my internship at Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners!

I plan to use this blog a great deal throughout the summer to keep everyone up to date on my experience in San Francisco, so keep an eye out. And my latest AWSC post should be all the way live real soon — I’m SO excited about this one. It’s all about digital vs. traditional publishing and how we love on the interwebz. If you haven’t already, take a look at Robin Sloan’s revolutionary tap essay, “Fish” — promise it’s worth your time.

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Moving on, I’ve had this link on my desktop for a while now and finally found the time to share. There’s been a lot of great work circulating as it relates to cause marketing lately; but the most powerful example I’ve seen is Grey Spain’s work for Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk Foundation (ANAR for short).

The outdoor ad made use of “lenticular printing” in order to create an ad that changed based on the perspective you viewed it from. Adults (well, those over 4’5″) see an image of a sad child with the copy, “Sometimes, child abuse is only visible to the child suffering it.” Children, on the other hand, see bruises on the child’s face and the copy, “If somebody hurts you, phone us and we’ll help you.” Brilliantly executed, the secret message allows a child to see the message even when accompanied by his or her abuser.

Grey Spain uses lenticular printing to create dual-images.

Digiday put it best — “It’s a powerful message that’s enabled by technology, rather than overwhelmed by it,” an issue that often comes into play when technology is put into play for technology’s sake only. Sure, it can be cool, but does it add anything? It most certainly does here.

This gets me so excited to work alongside the talented art directors and creative technologists at VCU Brandcenter in the fall. With such amazing technology at our fingertips, I can’t wait to see what we’re able to produce together.


Advertising Week: Keeping It Real (Time)

Find your voice.

Reach your audience.

Increase your relevance.

These are the three commandment’s offered by Twitter’s resident UK Brand Strategist, William Scougal, in his Advertising Week Europe talk, Keeping It Real-Time: How To Talk To People That Talk To You.

Read more after the jump to Advertising Week!