Archives for category: I like Cleveland

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.

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This week, history was made in the Land. The Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Championship, ending Cleveland’s 52-year drought and bringing happiness, glory, and 1.3 million people to our city on the lake. I was lucky enough to see the excitement of game seven firsthand. When the buzzer went off in the fourth quarter, the city exploded. It was louder and more intense than anything I’ve ever witnessed: screams, tears, drinks flying, hugging, dancing, shirts waving, and high fives all around. As I walked from my viewing spot to Quicken Loans Arena, chants of “Let’s Go Cavs!” echoed across the streets. This was only the beginning.

On Wednesday, Cleveland hosted the championship parade. The scene downtown during game seven was nothing compared to the parade and rally—bringing an estimated 1.3 million people to a city with a population around 300,000. With fans swarming the streets and blocking the parade routes it took more than five hours for the team to make it through a one-mile parade route to the rally zone near the Convention Center. Confetti sprinkled the famous Cleveland skyline and people scaled buildings and sat outside windows stories high just to get a glimpse of our championship team. It was an extreme outpouring of love for them and the city of Cleveland.

You might be wondering what this has to do with advertising. Cleveland fans spend days allowing this team in their living rooms, bars and restaurants. They watched the team evolve with LeBron, without LeBron, and were there with tears and celebrations for “the return.” As a city, they got so close to the championship they could finally taste it. Their faith was tested. And this week, they rejoiced in celebration after emotionally counting down the minutes waiting for them to succeed or fail during sixteen long games. It’s a great story. It’s a Cleveland story.

And storytelling is essential to advertising. There are many forms of storytelling, but the Cleveland Cavaliers perfectly followed the narrative of The Hero’s Journey. Quickly, the Hero’s Journey begins in the ordinary world with a “call to adventure” (enter the NBA, win your hometown that championship.) What follows is the hero’s “refusal of the call” (I’m taking my talents to South Beach) and eventually a “meeting with a mentor” (The Heat) who provides the hero with training and advice to help them on their journey. Then, they “cross the threshold” (welcome home LeBron) and “find allies and enemies” (love and hate in Cleveland fans). They “prepare for the ordeal” (…twice) and finally take possession of the treasure! (2016 Champions!) The “road back” (flight home from California with Cleveland’s most prized-possession) and the “resurrection” (a moment of rebirth, once again the King of CLE.) Finally, “the return” (not that one), where the hero returns home and has the power to transform the world as we know it (1.3 million people waiting to see LeBron, his team and our trophy.)

1.3 million people arrived to celebrate with this team because they’ve been a part of their story; they’ve watched the 2016 NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers brand be built—52 years in the making. They care.

We’ve entered the era of consumer empowerment. Brands need to do more than communicate outwardly to their audience. They need to tell stories, entertain, educate, inspire and touch lives.

The Cavaliers team does an exemplary job at delivering what the audience wants. They give us a great product to watch on the court but extend the story off the court as well. By utilizing social media we have an opportunity to be a part of their lives both on the court and at home. They’ve shown us the celebrations, created inside jokes with us (Lil’ Kev), and let us see the world from their perspective. We get to experience this story through the players’ eyes.

Our involvement allows this Hero’s Journey to resonate with us deeper than most. We’ve invested ourselves in this team, and it’s become a part of us. We felt the anguish watching the buzzer slowly count down, we crowded the streets in celebration as the team flooded the court, and we cried with JR as he gave a heartfelt speech about playing for his family. The emotional rollercoaster is what connects us with this team, and motivates us for the future.

The Cavaliers team has told its story. Through them, we’re encouraged empower ourselves and write our own story. It’s our call to action – show that no matter our struggles, Cleveland is a success story. How will you respond?

 

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Big thanks to my editor, Kelly Gentile.

 

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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It’s my first week interning (ever), and my brain is so full of analytical knowledge. When I shut my eyes, it’s like the matrix code on repeat. Just kidding, but really, I’ve never crunched so many numbers. Even though my brain has processed so much information, digital analytics is still fun. I’ve learned so much about different analytics resources and how to use them. Reporting data is neat because I can tell a story with numbers. (Phrase credit to Jack.)

In addition to analytics, I’ve gotten to sit in on several meetings and learn about Brokaw’s clients and do some media research. Overall, I’ve been enjoying it, but my favorite part of working here is the people. Everyone is so nice and fun, and extremely helpful. I’m learning from everyone, and it’s great.

Since moving to Cleveland and starting my internship, these are the top lessons I’ve learned:

  1. For future ad majors: REMEMBER YOUR ACRONYMS. Seriously. Flashcard that stuff. You really use them. (CTR, CPC, CPM, etc.)
  2. Cleveland traffic is terrible. I’m used to small town traffic, so Cleveland one-way streets and the amount of people is chaos. Leave early to be on time.
  3. Ask questions. You learn so much from asking people with experience about anything. You might think you look like this:

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But you don’t.

  1. Check the weather before you pack. Cleveland may say 75 degrees, but there’s a negative 15 wind-chill even in the summer. Always carry a hoodie.
  2. Take an analytics class in college and learn different programs, even if you don’t think you want to get into social/digital analytics. It’ll help a ton.
  3. Brokaw has a pretty good volleyball team. #TeamworkMakesTheDreamWork

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!


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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


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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.


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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?


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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…


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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.


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Erin: Joke gone bad! AH!

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

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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.


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Erin: ~Artsy~

Lindsey: Much art.

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

Emily: The plants keep us sane. #brokawrainforest


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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


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Erin: Thx RTA for the free lift.

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

Lindsey: RTA! RTA! RTA!


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Erin: Stopped in the Cleveland store!

Dan: *for “RESEARCH”

Emily: **and inspiration!


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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?


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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.


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Erin: Hey Noodle Cat, you rock never change.

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

Lindsey: *Insert stomach growl*


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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


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Erin: See you tomorrow Brokaw!

Dan: Bye Jason.

Emily: Such a good day!

Lindsey: Until tomorrow!


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Emily: Accurate 4:00 life.

Dan: can’t…breathe…dying…

Things are a little different in the world of bro-land. From the moment you step foot into our office space—Heck! From the moment you read anything we have posted online, you will notice this is no ordinary advertising agency.

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One of the things that makes Brokaw so brokawesome is the bro-culture. Having a healthy work culture is very important. An organization is formed to achieve specific goals and objectives by bringing individuals together on a common platform and motivating them to deliver their best. It is essential for employees to enjoy their work environment for them to feel a sense of loyalty to it.

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Bill Brokaw founded the agency on April Fools’ Day, 1992.—That alone should tell you something…

…and so should his three business goals:

1. To do great work
2. To make money
3. To have fun

In order to achieve those goals, Brokaw has developed a culture that employees are extremely proud of. I am going to break down what I believe a healthy work culture should consist of and then explain how Brokaw displays those specific qualities.

A good work culture includes:

• Hardworking individuals
• A cohesive team
• Good managers
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• Willingness in team members to share load
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• Friendly Environment
• Team outings

The great people at Brokaw are all about walking the walk. They work hard so that they can play hard. The employees trust the people they work for and enjoy the people they work with. They have pride in the work they do and are willing to do whatever it takes to get the work done. Everyone is willing to offer a helping hand or jump into a project when they are needed, regardless of the circumstances.

Brokaw is a place where you can witness sharing, growing, achieving and improving all while laughing along the way.

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I am taking a break from telling the tale of Fazoli’s Breadstick Tour planning this week to remind everyone (and maybe myself) how cool Cleveland and Ohio are.

Harry M. Stevens invented the hot dog in Ohio in 1900.  Thanks to him we now enjoy places like Happy Dog where you are only cool if your hot dog has more toppings than you can count on your fingers.

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Cleveland went tech savvy in 1879 when it became the world’s first city to be lighted electronically…

…and then again in 1914 when we were the first city in America to put up a traffic light.  Take that California, (home of the Apple innovation genius Steve Jobs and Apple headquarters).

In Cleveland it is illegal to leave chewing gum in public places.

Ohio was the first to enact laws to protect working women.  Thanks Ohio, rock on girls.

The first day of deer hunting season and “I am in 4H and have to take my cow to the county fair” are viable reasons for kids to be absent from school.

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We are the home to:

heroes,

Charles Ramsey

celebrities,Drew

great food and childhood memories,

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one of the most respected hospitals in the nation,

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and die-hard, freaking awesome, tailgating Cleveland fans.

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Rock on Cleveland.

Courtesy of BuzzFeed and 50states.com.

Farewell my loyal viewers….you all (2 viewers) have treated me well!

Last week at Brokaw 😦

It is very disheartening to believe that 10 weeks can go this fast. Our (the best interns in the world) first day at Brokaw, a syllabus was put on our desks and the lists of responsibilities seemed to be vast. On top of that our mentors were piling work on us daily! New tasks and responsibilities was the driving force for our work. Now that everything is over we wish we had a little bit more to do and a little bit more time.

This week has been kind of slow but it started to speed up once we realized it was really ending! We have arrived at the end of the Fazoli’s food truck tour and it was a great success! We have participated in feeding people around the nation and providing support to Feed The Children. You can never beat a great idea that’s coupled with a great cause.

I am really happy that I did not publish this before the end of the day because THIS LAST DAY TURNED OUT TO BE THE BEST!

Why do you ask….even if you did not ask, I will tell you anyway!

The Brokaw Bros. offered me a job and they want me to think about it over the weekend…(don’t tell anyone but I am going to say yes)….I thought this moment over a few times in my head already…lol.

There is some type of cubical or desk with my name on it and I am stoked to be a part of a great and creative team. You haven’t heard the last of me yet!

Keep it sexy and saucy…lol!

When you see an aging building or a rusted bridge, you are seeing nature and man working together.  If you paint over a building, there is no more magic to that building.  But if it is allowed to age, then man has built it and nature has added to it—it’s so organic.

–David Lynch,
Catching the Big Fish

In 2005 I lived in the Statler Arms building on East 12th Street and Euclid Avenue in Downtown Cleveland.  The Statler Arms was formerly the Statler Hotel, which also used to have a radio station on its top floor.  My great-grandfather worked as an engineer at that radio station, in the same building where I lived decades later.

Downtown Cleveland in 2005 didn’t look nearly like it does today.  East 4th Street was under construction.  The House of Blues had just moved in but few people knew it yet.  There was no casino.  LeBron was just breaking in with the Cavs.  Heck, Constantino’s market wasn’t open yet, so if you wanted groceries you’d have to drive out to the suburbs.  After 6pm downtown became ghost town, and there was very little to do.

Of course today the story is much different.  Cleveland looks to be entering another possible renaissance and downtown is booming.  Or starting to boom.  But the path to renaissance isn’t as clear-cut as we’d like it to be.

Another great-grandfather of mine had to flee rural Mississippi to try his luck at finding fortune up north, and ended up in Cleveland for one last roll of the dice.  Over time, his hard work paid off and he ended up dying a millionaire in the dining room of the Cleveland Yacht Club: a far greater success than even he could have ever imagined.

When I used to live downtown, I’d occasionally ride my bike over to my great grandfather’s old factory in the Flats.  The plant was closed but the building still remained.  In the parking lot you could see a faded, barely-legible sign for “Scottish Tool & Die Parking Only”, and it brought me comfort to see this link with the past still standing.  One day, I pledged, I’d buy that building for whatever company I ended up running.

Then last year, in a bout of curiosity, I figured I’d check in on the old building.  I went on Google Maps and was shocked to see that it had been torn down.  Further investigation told me that not only had my great grandfather’s building been demolished, but it was razed in favor of the construction of a “Larry Flint’s Hustler Club”.

I was floored.

Of course things change and life goes on.  Of course cities grow and shrink and people move in and people move out and people move on.  Time moves in one direction, but our actions can lead us down any number of paths, for better or worse.

Granted, Cleveland today is in a better place than it was seven years ago—but not everywhere.  It’s up to us to figure out which direction we want to see our fine city go and fight like hell to keep it on the right track.  Places like Brokaw are doing it.  Places like Greenhouse Tavern are doing it.  Places like Dredgers Union were doing it, but sadly didn’t make it.

So whether we want a Cleveland full of rehabbed historical buildings and independent businesses or vacant storefronts and Larry Flint’s Hustler Clubs is up to the people of Cleveland.  Let’s choose wisely.

I love you, CLE.  See you again soon.

Here’s hoping for nothing but the best of times.

Furry belly. Chin strap. Floppy ears. Sweating profusely. What am I talking about you ask??? The “Biscuit” dog suit (One of Bob Evans mascots) that I wore when I helped with a promo for Bob Evans. On Thursday morning I rose before the sun peered through my bedside window; I felt like I could take on the world. I hopped out of bed even happier because I knew that I could go to work in my pajamas and not get the side eye from the Brokaw Bros when they passed my desk. I jumped in my car and drove 86 mph on the freeway until I reached Fox 8. The work began! We passed out bread and coffee for 5 STRAIGHT HOURS (this is a great place for a war cry). We gave away free breakfast and made people happy…that’s the life in an ad agency!

Monday I had a meeting with a few Bob Evans managers, where they stuffed me with hotcakes for breakfast, lunch and an evening snack. BEST DAY EVER! I don’t know about you but I felt like this! Without complaint, my week finished up with Fazoli’s calls and the planning of a three-week long street team event. Someone told me that you work to have fun in advertising; this week has proven that statement to be true. I am having a blast at Brokaw.

Question of the week: Who would play you in a movie?:

I picked Lance Gross. I think he is a cool guy, that can play funny and serious roles when needed.