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For the Most Exciting Summer in The Land!

Summer 2016 has quickly come to a close and the sun is setting on my summer internship at Brokaw. As sad as that may be, I have gained invaluable skills in different facets of advertising (and life) that I will never forget. This summer has been FILLED with learning and opportunities that I never even imagined. Before interning at Brokaw, I was intimidated by advertising and having a full-time, fast-paced job as a whole. Now, I can confidently say, pursing a career in advertising is my true passion!

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Whether it was calling RTA partners, interviewing employees at GLBC or creating text for UH Facebook ads, I was constantly busy, but in a good way! I learned how to manage my time between different clients and internal agency work. I also learned as an Account Service intern how valuable the relationship is between the client and agency. Staying organized and on top of tasks for clients is essential to creating great work and building genuine relationships.

What am I going to miss most? The people.

Everyone who works at Brokaw has welcomed Lindsey and I into their huge Brokawesome family. Everyday, I looked forward to working just so I could get to know each team member a little bit better. I LOVED the employee internviews! The internviews allowed Lindsey and I to get to know everyone personally, plus we always ended up laughing at everyone’s silly answers. In their defense, we had very weird questions. I mean who asks, would you rather fight 1 horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses? I made the best memories during those internviews.

I am so thankful that I had this opportunity to discover and deepen my passion of advertising at Brokaw. The internship program is truly one of a kind, as everyone cares so much about the interns! Zorina with her bubbly personality and contagious smile was the best mentor. She always was looking for new assignments so I could gain as much experience as possible in different areas of advertising. Jess Thompson was an awesome partner in crime for the GLBC account, I learned how to build a brand platform and laugh along the way during our GLBC interviews.

Interning at Brokaw has been one of my dreams since I was a freshman in college when Brokaw’s name was brought up during an advising meeting. I studied Brokaw’s work and immediately fell in love with the culture and humor. I dedicated months to creating a Brokawesome application, which was worth every second. When I got an email from Brokaw to set up an interview, I was jumping up and down with happy tears streaming down my face. Looking back, I had no idea how much I would grow personally and professionally.

Thank you, Brokaw for believing in me from the start and helping me excel way beyond my original expectations. Thank you for the most invaluable summer spent building great friendships and challenging myself along the way.

And, hey, I’m not that sad yet because we’re totally going out with a bang for our “Brokrawl” Bar Crawl later today!

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The opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics is tonight, but advertisements for the 16-day worldwide competition started many months ago. Every brand, especially the sponsors, is striving to make an impact to one of TV’s largest audiences.

The Olympics is very similar to the Super Bowl because advertisers have a huge TV audience, which drives competition for brand exposure with expensive TV spots. The games dominate primetime for 16 consecutive nights, and brands have to be in the Olympics if they want to reach their consumers in the third quarter. However, advertising to a worldwide audience comes at a very high price. For example, NBC has surpassed $1 billion in national advertising including broadcast, cable and digital sales.

The 2012 London Olympics had a reach of 3.6 billion, and the Rio Olympics are expected to draw an even larger audience with cable, live streaming and even virtual reality programming. Now, you can feel like you are at the games with 360° storytelling without buying an expensive plane ticket (or contracting the Zika virus).

Of all the advertisements that are constantly flooding our screens, the Olympics have some of the most passionate, inspiring and powerful ads that I have ever seen. Each athlete has a personal story of failure and triumph that can easily be tied to a brand to make an emotional impact. These messages, whether funny or serious, resonate with us beyond the worldwide competition.

Below are my three favorite advertisements from the 2016 Rio Olympics.

P&G “Thank You Mom”

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This ad is one of the most emotionally relatable commercials that I have ever seen simply because moms are the best. I can’t watch this ad without tearing up because it’s obvious most moms do ANYTHING to help their child achieve their dream. The tagline “It takes someone strong to make someone strong” is powerful and resonates with viewers in a relatable way because moms have been our rock all along.

United “One Journey. Two Teams”

This commercial is more amusing than anything as we all can relate to running through the airport to catch a plane. At least these Olympians make it look graceful while performing their own stunts. I loved how creative the ad was at showing the athletes’ talents to catch a flight in time. The 60-second spot promotes United as the official airline of Team USA for the 2016 Olympics.

Samsung “The Chant”

This commercial hits close to home for me, as I have friends from South Sudan because of my involvement with The Lost Boys of Sudan. They are the kindest people on the planet and they’re finally getting a well-deserved first appearance in the Olympic games. Samsung created a compelling commercial about how much joy the 19-year old runner, Margret Rumat Rumar Hassan, is bringing to the newly independent country. How inspiring is that?

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All in all, it’s an exciting time of the year for sports fans and advertising enthusiasts, like me. I am most looking forward to for the 2016 Olympics are the commercials (and Kyrie Irving, of course, representing The Land all the way in Rio). While everyone else will be fast-forwarding through commercials, I’ll be paying special attention to those that inspire and impact me like the ones above.

 

Nothing ruins the message of a well-executed advertisement more than a simple, overlooked typo. Whether it’s last minute deadlines or miscommunication between team members, errors in advertisements constantly happen. For example, Coke makes four times fewer writing mistakes on LinkedIn posts than Pepsi. Now that brands are creating original content on social media and blog channels, proofreading matters more than ever.

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Before my broternship, I never realized the extent to which ads are proofed before they are released to the public. Multiple people from both the client and agency must sign off and approve each advertisement to make sure it meets their standards. Throughout the last few weeks, I have proofed ads for misspellings, punctuation, grammar, sizing, times/dates/locations/names and overall consistency. One unnoticed mistake could have a costly impact for the agency and client. Whether it causes the brand public humiliation or mistrust between the client and agency, it is not a good situation. But good news! It’s completely avoidable by following the correct proofreading procedures that I have learned through the process:

  • Always read a printed version of the ad that you can easily edit
  • Read the text slowly out loud to hear yourself pronounce each word and letter individually
  • Read the copy backwards when looking for spelling errors
  • Double and triple check names, locations, URLs and contact information
  • Ask yourself: does it align with the brand’s standards?
  • Check for grammar, punctuation, consistent verb tense, parallelism, plural vs. singular, homonyms and pronoun/noun agreement
  • Focus your attention on something new each time you read it. First focus on layout, then headings, spelling, grammar, etc.
  • Read something between edits to help clear your head of what you expect to read versus what is actually on the page
  • Reproof every time anything is edited or reprinted
  • Ask questions and always double check yourself if you think you are right or even if you know you are right

Proofreading may seem like a simple, straightforward task, but so much more goes into the process than I ever imagined. Since advertising is the main channel of communication between brands and consumers, it’s essential to get the messages right! All in all, if you follow the tips above, brands and agencies can avoid becoming the laughing stock of the internet like the ads below.

  • First example, Mitt Romney’s attempt to be president through a digital ad for the 2012 election. I mean, doesn’t everyone know you can’t misspell the location of your dream job when applying? America would have thrown out his resume with this one.

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  • This ad luckily doesn’t specify which retailer is selling Creative Kids Software. I’m just glad they’re just selling the educational software and not actually creating it.

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  • Hey Stratford Hall, I think you missed one tiny, little ‘detal’ in this ad about your reliability!

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Come on, you had one job! I hope these ads inspired you of what NOT to do when proofing ads or else you’ll end up as a forever-running joke on the internet. Happy proofing!

By 2018, 69 percent of total Internet traffic will be video. Every minute, 48 hours of video are being uploaded to YouTube. From 2012 to 2014, mobile video views increased by 400 percent.

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These facts are hard to ignore when video is taking over the world as it holds the highest CTR of all digital advertising formats. But how can brands turn these statistics into forms of engagement with current and potential customers? How can brands constantly create content to combat the Internet’s flood of video content? How do brands master the infamous viral video?

So many questions yet so little time to create interactive, high quality videos! Videos have exploded on social media because they are so engaging, especially User Generated Content. Think about GoPro (Case Study), as the brand mission is to capture the user’s most exciting and extreme moments. Hours upon hours of GoPro footage have been uploaded to YouTube to share experiences with current and potential customers of the brand. These customers directly market the brand through UGC, which builds a huge momentum of exposure for GoPro to go beyond a restricted snowboarding or surfing brand. The views of the UGC turned branded content have directly increased with the company’s sales. Brands need to learn from companies that are using their trusted and personalized UGC and earned media for advertising purposes. If brands can accomplish that feat, they will thrive in the flood of videos taking over our social channels.

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Secondly, how do brands create enough content to stay current with the trends and compete with the billions of videos on the web? It’s not enough to simply be creating meaningless content, instead, brands need to be consistently creating and sharing great content. Unfortunately, there’s no quick formula to make amazing, engaging content. Brands must completely understand their own personality and how it can provide value to their potential or current customers. An audience analysis, content audit, competitive analysis and content planning are essential steps in the process to determine how the brand’s videos will positively reach the audience. All of these strategy and planning steps eventually lead to content creation that’s interactive and easily sharable. Check out these great examples of content marketing to get started!

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Lastly, brands can conquer the viral video by simply changing their approach. Again, UGC or ‘found footage’ must be utilized to humanize branded content. For example, Android’s viral “Friends Furever” was composed entirely of UGC of unusual animals interacting with each other and was the most shared ad of 2015. Brands can now find previously existing UGC that can be molded to fit a brand’s ethos. Instead of paying an agency millions to create a commercial with expensive celebrity endorsers, brands can now choose relatable, realistic videos.

A brand that does not use video marketing is like eating a PB&J sandwich without the jelly—it just doesn’t make sense and it gets you nowhere. Our digital world is expanding and there’s not much room for growth without video content marketing. Brands can easily reach and engage with their target audience if they take advantage of UGC, create a content strategy, and just possibly, conquer the viral video

As some may say, Pokémon Go motivated more American kids to get off the couch in one week than the last seven years of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign. Even though these kids are glued to their phones, they are actually going outside and walking around! American kids exercising at their own free will – what is happening to the world?  The mobile application has taken over the nation as one of the most viral applications of all time. In fact, the number of active daily users on Pokémon Go has topped Twitter and sees more engagement than Facebook!

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So what is so special about Pokémon Go and how is it surpassing powerful social media tools? Well, the app uses location-based augmented reality to engage users into capturing, training and battling virtual Pokémon that appear in real-world settings. As a player travels throughout the real world, the player’s avatar moves along the game’s map to find Pokémon near the player’s location. Pokémon show up on the player’s screen in real settings where players can capture them with Pokéballs. Sounds fun right? Yes, but warning: it’s highly addictive to “Catch them all.”

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The images above show what the game looks like from the user’s perspective. The far left represents the real-life augmented reality and middle and right screens show the virtual maps.

Since the game uses augmented reality, it is engaging users with the technology of both the real and virtual world of the game in one place. Many establishments have seen a boost in business, especially in walking-accessible cities like NYC and Chicago. Niantic, the company that created the game, wants to offer businesses an even more powerful method of bringing new customers into businesses through Pokémon Go. Soon establishments will be able to become “sponsored” spots in the game that will drive sales and traffic even further. These businesses would pay the company to become locations within the virtual game board with the promise of more foot traffic.

The high engagement level of the game has advertisers interested as a perfect place to target their audience. When locations are sponsored on the game, advertisers could pay per visit, similar to the pay per click on Google’s search ads. The potential for paid advertising that encourage players to visit a business or store is a huge opportunity! More details will be coming soon from Niantic, so keep a look out for new advertising opportunities within the interactive app. Whoever would have thought that Pokémon would become a phenomenon twenty years after the first game on Gameboy was released!

P.S. Plus they show up in funny places too!

Tips for a Great Discussion

Last week, I had the opportunity to help Jess Thompson conduct interviews with Pat Conway, the co-founder of Great Lakes Brewing Company and Bill Boor, the CEO. It was an awesome experience to see the brewery first-hand and learn how the company was founded. The brewery has picturesque red brick structures dating back to 1870 and was once located in a crime-infested area of Cleveland. After Great Lakes was founded in 1988, it became a catalyst that transformed Ohio City into the thriving area that it is today. As soon as I met Pat Conway, I could see the engaging, witty personality of the brand as he was cracking jokes throughout the entire interview.

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Along the way, I learned a few client interview tips:

  • Preparation is essential: Have background knowledge of what you will be discussing or else you’ll look as clueless as Patrick Star. In all seriousness, make sure your questions are to the point, unbiased and hit your goals.
  • Follow the flow: Follow your questions, but don’t change the subject too fast if the interviewee says something interesting. Ask unscripted questions to get answers you do not expect.
  • Be personal yet professional: The conversation is much better if the interviewer (or interviewee) is not a complete robot. Have fun, but don’t go so overboard that you come off unprofessional.
  • Make eye contact: Bring a note taker (me!) to take down the detailed answers the client says while you have an authentic conversation. Take brief notes as you go through each question, and make constant eye contact with the client.
  • Follow up: Most of the time, you wont have a chance to get through every single question and that’s okay! Follow up with the client for another interview in the near future. Chances are they want to interview again to give you all the information you need to create a great campaign.

Interviews are essential to understand the history, values and goals of any client who is working with an advertising agency. From interviews, agencies obtain a better idea of the brand’s personality and learn how to reach the brand’s specific target audience. It is important to talk to upper management, and employees from different areas of the company too. As Pat Conway said some of the brewery’s most innovative ideas come from his inside staff when he least expects it. Great Lakes puts a emphasis on its employees and loves to hear new ways the brand can make an impact in the community – especially with sustainability. I am looking forward to interviewing GLBC’s staff next week to discover their personal ideas on how to make GLBC thrive.

Throughout the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to contact RTA’s partners about donating event giveaways for the 40+ events RTA is hosting this summer. Most of my communication with these partners has been over the phone, which has been much harder than I originally expected. However, the process has gone smoother as I have gained more experience in how to make these calls personal and beneficial to them.

Below are a few pointers that I have learned along the way (with pet memes inspired by the adorable kittens that visited Brokaw today courtesy of the Cleveland APL):

  1. Write a brief script
    • Have a good idea of why you are calling and what you plan to say. Awkward silence is the WORST over the phone, especially if you have not previously met the person you are calling. Writing a script will make you confident on hitting key points in the conversation. However, do not read directly off your script like a robot. Instead, make your conversation personal just by briefly discussing your notes.

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  1. Call at the right time
    • Avoid calling on a Monday when people are slammed with work or a Friday when they are wrapping up their week. The best time to call is Tuesday through Thursday either early morning or late afternoon.

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  1. Be Confident
    • Attitude is everything when it comes to going out of your comfort zone to call someone that you’ve never met. Your positive (or negative) attitude is easily displayed in your voice and sets the tone for the conversation. Go into each call with a positive mindset by thinking “I can do this!”

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  1. Introduce yourself/explain why calling
    • You’ve got about 10 seconds to prove that you are worth talking to so be quick to introduce yourself and explain why you are calling. Prove to the person on the line that they could benefit from the conversation.

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  1. Always follow up
    • Leave the call on good terms and immediately follow up through email. After calling RTA’s partners about the summer events, I send them specific details about the dates and times so they can discuss the opportunity with their marketing team. This also keeps me fresh in their mind in a written documentation of what we discussed on the call.

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  1. But don’t abuse the relationship
    • Be patient and give each partner time to think over what you talked about on the phone. It may take many attempts for them to make a solid decision or even answer the phone at all. Do not bombard them with emails, phone calls and voicemails. Instead, give them time to consider their options with their team by spacing out your calls
  2. Keep track of your latest activities
    •  Avoid making the mistake of awkwardly calling a partner when you just talked an hour before. Keep track of the latest status of your call with each partner to stay organized on the latest updates.

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Slowly but surely, I have experienced success in not only reaching clients, but also receiving event donations for the RTA. I am no longer intimidated by calling someone I don’t know and asking for their help. I’ve definitely made the right calls by following my helpful tips.

 

 

 

As we all know, the Cleveland Cavaliers made history in our city in the thrilling NBA Finals Game 7 coming back from a 3-1 lead by the Golden State Warriors to defeat them 93-89. That night, the 52-year major league championship curse on Cleveland sports reversed as “the block” replaced “the shot,” “the drive” and “the fumble” once and for all. Excitement spread throughout the city and it has been electrifying to see the dedicated fans of Cleveland finally get what they deserve. Of course, social media erupted with videos of the team’s reactions, posts from overjoyed fans and even a congratulations tweet from President Obama.

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The wave was explosive, even if you weren’t a Cleveland sports fan; you wanted to be in that exhilarating moment. Since the unforgettable victory, brands have been trying to ride the wave of congratulating the Cleveland Cavaliers on accomplishing the nearly impossible. At this point, it’s almost overdone by brands now, as I have seen SO MANY posts about how brand X supports the Cavs.

However, one particular brand stands out as a leader in riding the victory wave, especially because they posted their content IMMEDIATELY after the intensity of Game 7 was finally over. Nike released “Worth the Wait,” a powerful new commercial in honor of Cleveland sports fans via Twitter. It’s almost like they knew the Cavs were going to win J. As LeBron and Kyrie are signed to Nike, this move was almost as clutch as Kyrie’s 3-point shot that led the Cavs to the big win.

If you haven’t seen the video, do yourself a huge favor and watch it now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWGgMbcTbFk. In one minute, the video captures the heart and soul of why Cleveland fans are so dedicated to their sports teams and how great it feels to finally be champions. I still get chills seeing the faces of the emotional young and old fans that have waited years upon years to be champions.

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Riding the wave is essential for any brand to make an impact on social media engagement. Here are three ways to do it successfully (just like Nike did with “Worth the Wait”):

  1. Timing: Nike had the best timing by releasing their previously filmed content immediately after the Cavaliers’ title was announced. The result of the NBA Finals was fresh in everyone’s mind and they could easily relate to the commercial.
  2. Relevant Angle: Nike knew their audience perfectly when creating this advertisement. It was relevant, interesting and engaging to watch as a NBA and/or a Cleveland Cavaliers fan.
  3. Social is about people not logos: Nike does not expose its logo until the end of the commercial. The ad focuses on Cleveland sports fans with real human emotion wearing Cavaliers gear and reacting as the Cavaliers make history.

Nike followed these criteria and stood out against other brands that were late to the party (or parade) of congratulating the hardest working team in the NBA. Since the videos release, it has been liked 70 thousand times on Twitter and viewed 2.4 million times on Facebook. Nike successfully rode the victory wave by allowing every viewer to understand how meaningful this championship is to The Land.

 

And I’ll just leave this one here:

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During the past two weeks, I have heard many acronyms used in different contexts. Each time I hear a new one, I write it down in my notebook to look up later. I never realized how many acronyms are used in the day-to-day agency life!

Below are the eight advertising acronyms I learned at Brokaw during my first two weeks:

  1. CTA
    • Call to Action: the backbone of advertising. A CTA includes words that give the audience instruction to provoke an immediate response or action. Without a CTA, advertising leaves the audience with no direct way to respond and is ineffective.

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  1. RFP
    • Request for Proposal: a document created by a business to request bids from advertising agencies when extra funding is available for a project. Brokaw often receives requests from clients to join a bid for a new project opportunity. A lot more work than I thought goes into these!

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  1. KPI
    • Key Performance Indicator: measures how well companies, business units, projects or individuals are performing compared to their strategic goals and objectives over time.

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  1. DMA
    • Designated Market Area: geographic area in which the radio and television stations in that city account for a greater proportion of listening or viewing public than those in neighboring cites. DMAs are defined by Nielsen Media Research to identify the best markets to target.

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  1. EOD
    • End of Day: often used to designate the time something must be completed. EOD is traditionally around 5 p.m. but many vary depending on the company or client needs.

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  1. CTR
    • Click through rate: a ratio showing how often people who see the ad end up clicking on it, used to gauge how well keywords and ads are performing online. A high CTR indicates that users find the ads helpful and relevant.

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  1. SEO
    • Search engine optimization: the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website that ensures the website appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.

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  1. ONEWS
    • Oh no! Not another newsletter: the weekly newsletter Brokaw sends out to their clients and employees about current industry trends that relate back to advertising.

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Acronyms are essential to understanding and staying up to date with the fast-paced environment of an advertising agency. As an intern, I am trying to learn as much as possible about the different aspects of advertising shown in these acronyms above. It is important to know these terms, ask questions if something is unfamiliar or use good old Google for a quick refresher.

My first week as an Account Service intern at Brokaw is coming to a close and I can confidently say that I have learned more in four days than I have in 21 years. Waking up early for a full-time summer internship is not always easy, but it has been at Brokaw. I am actually really excited to come to work in the morning and that’s really saying something because I am NOT a morning person whatsoever.3724d1a3a1f4cbdbd2ca91e5da217d08

Each day is a new surprise, whether it’s sitting in on face-to-face client meetings or discovering new lunch spots around Cleveland like Constantino’s Market or Cleveland Chop. Everyone has been so welcoming and friendly, which makes the days go by much faster than they normally would. I look forward to getting to know everyone in the office better, especially during the intern-views. I have been carrying around my notebook with me everywhere I go to stay organized on the many different projects that I will be helping out on this summer. Of course, it has the clichéd quote on the front of “Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself.” However, I think there is no better quote to define this summer as an intern at the agency I wanted to intern at since my freshman year at Ohio University. After only four days, I have realized that I love the fast-paced yet welcoming culture of the advertising world, especially at Brokaw. I mean, sometimes I have to remind myself that I am actually working and not just having fun! I cannot wait to see how much I grow this summer as a brotern!