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Empathy is a driving factor in my life.  Looking around the world it seems that it is not as common as it should be.  I consider myself a very lucky person.  To that end, I try to see how other people experience the world in their own way to keep myself grounded.

I am thoroughly impressed by an upcoming campaign via End Allergies Together (E.A.T.) and BBDO New York regarding food allergies.  They are seeking to raise awareness, and money for research, for people that suffer with food allergies (adding to my luck, I’m not allergic to any types of foods that I know of).

In the E.A.T. ad, celebrity chef and James Beard Award winner Ming Tsai setup a food truck called “Khil Me” in Madison Square Park, consisting solely of poisonous foods such as puffer fish and toxic yew berries.  He informed potential customers about the deadly side effects that they could expect to exhibit if they were to order particular dishes off of the menu.  Tsai was instrumental in a 2009 Massachusetts law requiring menus to inform diners about potential allergens in meals served.  This was all done to show consumers without allergies how serious one bite of food can be for those with allergies.

The spot is dedicated to 11 year old Oakley Debbs who died last year after eating a walnut, with only previously having a mild allergic diagnoses to walnuts.  Some 225 million people around the world (17 million here in the USA) are allergic to some type of food.

It’s understandably easy for us to get caught up in our own stresses and dilemmas.  We see the world through our own looking glasses.  It’s nice to see  an ad that seeks to empathetically inform and assist, especially when produced in such a creative manor.

“I’m breaking up with you.”  Those five words have crushed boys and girls, men and women alike ever since people started disagreeing over whether or not it’s OK to put pineapples on pizza (for the record, that’s my favorite topping even if Gordon Ramsay said not to).  However, public breakups are not just organic to Taylor Swift and her ex-boyfriends.

McDonald’s recently broke off their sponsorship of the Olympic Games after 41 years, not to mention with three years remaining on their contract.  Industry experts have noted rising costs and declining TV ratings.  A deeper look indicates that there is a litany of reasons for why this was the right move.

Right off the bat, it’s cheaper and wider reaching to directly sponsor athletes that compete rather than the entire Olympics Games.  Furthermore, more viewers follow the Olympics on Twitter and Facebook because of the accessibility that we now have.  Lastly, the International Olympic Committee might have backed themselves into this corner by selecting three straight Olympic locations in Asia which isolates U.S. viewership (AT&T and Citigroup already pulled away from the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea).

The “golden arches” will potentially save hundreds of millions of dollars by backing out from this deal.  There isn’t an analyst that would scold McDonald’s.  Despite the potential savings, it still must have been tough to cut ties with the Olympic Games after four decades.

Breakups aren’t easy.  They are one of the few things in life that are a bit harder to deal with than finishing a Netflix binge.  But people (and companies) need to make sure that they are looking after themselves and getting value out of relationships.  So, this weekend if your tasks are weighing you down, my advice is to just breakup with them and ignore all of your obligations.

Actually, don’t do that.  Mow your lawn, watch your kids, and walk the dog.  But cut ties (see picture below) from your negative stress and enjoy yourself!

I have such an appreciation for the people here and what they do.  Y’all are creative yet structured, professional yet silly.

I witnessed great advertising develop from start to finish. I watched as ideas were brought to life, analyzed, sculpted, revised, analyzed again, and presented.

My summer was full of changes. I moved to Cleveland. Joined an improv class. Ate my way through Lakewood. Looking back now this summer was a total success, and I have brokaw and its brilliant employees to thank. So again, thank you to everyone who made my internship special, especially Jess T and Tim L.

It’s a well-known fact that the interns clicked really well and I believe it’s because this place radiates creativity and positive vibes unlike any other agency in Cleveland. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to work in a place that produced complex, witty advertising.

People keep asking me if I liked agency life and to be completely honest, I can’t imagine working in any other setting. Thanks for making an impression on me. Y’all are truly an incredible bunch.


Unlike any other outlet, social media helps level the playing field for small companies and large corporations. In 2013 Unmetric did a study where they recorded, analyzed, and ranked the top five beer brands according to their quality of engagement. They recorded the average reply time, amount of posts per day, and even broke down which posts were proactive, replies, and original content.


Above are Unmetric’s top five brands on Twitter according to engagement, and much to my surprise, names like Coors and Busch didn’t make the list. Dogfish Head, New Belgium, Stone Brewing, Sierra Nevada and Brooklyn Brewery are all microbreweries. On Twitter Dogfish and Sierra Nevada aren’t even verified accounts! The Engagement Score allows Unmentric to focus on quality over quantity, so a page with a smaller fan base can still run with the big dogs. So for example, in the study Miller Lite scored the highest average engagement followed by Sierra Nevada, yet Budweiser sent out the most posts within the period analyze. Brands who utilized resources like Twitter and Instagram were better able to spark profound connections with consumers regardless the company size.

Twitter 3

Unmetric ranked the breweries by taking the number of Likes, Comments, Shares, and estimated impressions and calculated their overall score. Admittedly, the U.S. craft beer movement has acquired a significant amount of momentum over the past few years, but I think the majority of the credit should go to the quality of engagement these small shops are producing. Good job social! Gold star for you! You’ve shown that sometimes quality over quantity rings true.


You asked for a day in the life of the Broterns, so a day in the life of the Broterns is what you’re gonna get. Wait, what did you say? You didn’t ask? We’ll pretend like we didn’t hear that!


Erin: Ugh, I had to park so far away.

Dan: At least it wasn’t raining when we got in… although it might’ve been raining shattered glass. I saw a few pools of that down in the pit.

Emily: Remember the day the pit was literally a pool? #poolpartyinthepit

Lindsey: I don’t know what you guys are talking about #RTAluv


Erin: Looking through the windows to see if I can wave to any Brokaw employees. I usually can’t see any, with the exception of Tim.  Hi Tim!

Dan: Those banners still make me laugh my ass off.


Erin: Favorite Brother is a great follow on Instagram, they posts cool pics/videos.

Dan: Erin you know I don’t have Instagram. Let it go.

Emily: The new doorbell is a nice addition. Who wants to play ding dong ditch?


Dan: That Loch Ness monster in the top right perfectly describes the speed of my laptop this week.

Emily: Wanna talk about laptop speed? I literally need to force quit life.

Lindsey: Look at that AAF volleyball poster! The design looks so good, it’s like it should win an award or something…

Dan: Very subtle Lindsey…


Erin: Just squishing Jack’s head. brb.

Dan: #NormCore

Emily: What’s #Normcore?? I love this though.

Dan: It’s like the boring adult-version of hardcore. I think the kids say it. Maybe not.


Erin: Joke gone bad! AH!

Dan: Joke gone great.  I’m so happy our ‘brotern breakdown’ emails now have a logo. #HumbleBrag


Erin: I’m totally the Cady Heron in this situation…Dan bullies me. bye.

Dan: C’mon now… that is so not fetch.

Lindsey: Why should Caesar get to stomp around like a giant while the rest of us try not to get smushed under his big feet? What’s so great about Caesar? Hm? Brutus is just as cute as Caesar. ‘K, Brutus is just as smart as Caesar. People totally like Brutus just as much as they like Caesar. And when did it become okay for one person to be the boss of everybody, huh? Because that’s not what Rome is about. We should totally just STAB CAESAR.

Emily: Omg. Dan was throwing some major shade today!

Dan: Keep it up girls and you won’t be getting any candygrams this year.  I’ll just send them all to Glen Coco.


Erin: ~Artsy~

Lindsey: Much art.

Dan: It’s my hour of sunshine.  I treasure it every morning.

Emily: The plants keep us sane. #brokawrainforest


Emily: This was my first time on a trolley!

Erin: That man is totally photobombing us!

Lindsey: Welcome the newest Brotern, Tommy. He never sets down his phone which is obnoxious, but other than that he’s pretty great!

Dan: #BlessHisHeart #TommyGoesBrokaw


Erin: Thx RTA for the free lift.

Dan: It’s not free if it costs a smile.

Lindsey: RTA! RTA! RTA!


Erin: Stopped in the Cleveland store!

Dan: *for “RESEARCH”

Emily: **and inspiration!


Erin: This is embarrassing, but for the longest time I referred to East 4th as “the street with the lights.”

Dan: ~The More You Know~

Emily: Also my first time on East 4th… Do I even Cleveland?


Erin: This is not my good side….no pics PLZ

Dan: Emily I CAUGHT YOU. No paparazzi. My life is too fabulous for the cameras.

Lindsey: I imagine I said something like “Now hold the phone!”

Emily: SO classic.


Erin: Hey Noodle Cat, you rock never change.

Dan: *Except your serving speed. You can change that.

Lindsey: *Insert stomach growl*

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 10.37.29 AM

Erin: I got steamed buns and I cannot lie

Dan: I should’ve ordered the Dan Dan noodles…

Emily: SO GOOD. Thanks for the like, @brokawinc!

Lindsey: Emily this pic… so adorable… I can’t even deal.

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Erin: Cracked my screen. G2G. Crying.

Lindsey: Poor bb 😦

Dan: Erin, i’m pretty sure without social media you might wither up into a tiny little mothball.

Emily: I would cry if that happened to me. #KnockOnWood


Erin: See you tomorrow Brokaw!

Dan: Bye Jason.

Emily: Such a good day!

Lindsey: Until tomorrow!


Emily: Accurate 4:00 life.

Dan: can’t…breathe…dying…

A heart carved in a tree --- Image by © Joshua Dalsimer/Corbis

Image by © Joshua Dalsimer/Corbis

Don’t carve that into a tree trunk just yet.

My hometown is halfway between Columbus and Cleveland so quite a few Clevelanders stop by for a bite to eat. When I reveal that I recently moved to Lakewood, their eyes light up and out pours a flood of advice and support. There are always so. many. questions. Where are you living? How do you like it? Have you been to West Side Market yet? What about an Indians game?

At first I didn’t understand why they were so interested. Why were they pulling out their phones and pointing fingers at different places I should visit? Why were they so invested in my future?

I think it’s because Clevelanders enjoy rooting for an underdog.

They want you to succeed. They want you to explore and grow and prosper and taste every damn sandwich this city has to offer, because they’re all exceptionally good. All I had to do was a little digging and I found gems like Lakewood Park, Happy Dog and Edgewater Live.

I’ve always enjoyed being perceived as an underdog — stealthily scoping out the situation before subtly revealing my strengths. I actually prefer it. But Cleveland takes it to another level.

To top off my growing excitement, I’ve been going through Step Up Downtown’s Vision and Tactical Plan for Cleveland. Their goal is to better connect the pockets of entertainment downtown in order to increase tourism within the next few years.

Now I’m not saying that Cleveland is the best city in the world. It’s probably not. Apparently these are the best cities in the world. I’m just saying there’s an unexpected loveliness to Cleveland that I can’t quite yet put my finger on.


When my brother, Mikey, was eight he sat our mom down and asked her pointblank if Santa Claus was real. Shocked by the truth, he continued to probe: what about the Easter Bunny? The Tooth Fairy? GOD?!

Lying is easy.

That’s why at Brokaw, I like how we produce exceptionally honest work. We have full faith in every idea we present to clients because we’ve done our homework. I’ve noticed that the hardest part of strategy isn’t finding good answers and backing them up with research; it’s finding the truth in a brand and allowing the research to speak for itself. Whether that is a campaign idea or a recommendation, every angle matters. The only cringe-worthy ideas are the ones filled with clichés and falsities.

As I continue to grow at Brokaw and in Cleveland, I’m reminded that the most authentic, outstanding concepts are the ones we scrutinize, debate and challenge until they are indubitably genuine.



Talk show host: Jimmy Fallon.

Day of the year: November 14th.

Netflix show: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Animal: Camel.

Food Network personality: Guy Fieri.

Food Network show (there is a difference!!): Unwrapped with Marc Summers.

City: Barcelona.

Actor/Actress: Diane Keaton.

Scent: Chocolate chip cookies.

Onomatopoeia: Pop!


During my time here at Brokaw, people have asked me… “So is the internship what you expected?” And honestly I didn’t know what to expect, all I did know was that I couldn’t wait to start. I was thrilled to hear I had landed the internship and even more excited that it was in brand planning. Ever since I took a course on creative strategy at Kent, I have had a strong interest in pursuing this side of the industry. Having the opportunity to work closely with Tim, Director of Brand Planning, has only reassured me that planning is the direction I want to take after I graduate next May. It is the perfect fit for my never ending curiosity about the world and the people that live in it. Tim has showed me how to think creatively while also thinking strategically based on research and information about a specific category. I cannot thank him and the rest of the Brokaw employees enough for letting me learn from them. I soaked up as much information as I could and I can’t wait to start applying it in some of my classes this upcoming semester.

During my informational interviews, I asked everyone what their favorite part about working at Brokaw was and 9 times out 10 the answer was “the people.” I couldn’t agree more. The people who work here are what make Brokaw such a special place. These people are insanely talented, hard-working, and have a work-hard play-hard mentality. I am so lucky to have had this opportunity because I am so grateful to have met everyone. Other than learning about the industry while I was here, I also gained countless memories. Brokaw knows how to have fun and that’s what I loved most about them!

Over the past ten weeks I have learned, observed and grown so much as a young professional and this experience has been one I will never forget.

I cannot believe this is my last day here at Brokaw, but before I go I just want to say how thankful I am to have had this experience. Although I wish college did not have to end… this internship has made me so excited to enter this crazy industry in a year!

So I guess this internship wasn’t what I expected… it was so much more!


As the broternship comes to a close I find myself reflecting and remembering something a professor taught me. Make good things–that’s what she would tell us after every critique as she dismissed class. When your work was bad, she told us to make more. When it was good, she told us the same, not only because practice makes perfect but also because repetition is the key to conditioning. I’ve prided myself on this conditioning and have sought to take on every opportunity available and diversifying my skill set as much as possible.
This summer I turned down several opportunities in order to experience the world of advertising. I am glad I made that choice, because I have been able to observe the award winning culture of Brokaw first hand. Every inquiry I made was answered with such candor that I could barely believe that a company could be so transparent. I will leave Brokaw with a ton of memories (mostly semantic, and a few episodic) and bright aspirations for the future.

some stuff I made