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BRADEN BUCKNER

S to r y t e llin g | C r e a t ive D ir e c t i o n | C o py w ri t in g


Index

ABOUT R E S U M E WO R K SA M PLE S E D I TO R I A L

W H Pr e s s

9

W H Pr e s s We b s i t e

10

Wa f fl e C h a t t e r

15

WH Brand

2 4

H a r d C a r d M a g a z in e

26

Counter Culture

3 0

Po n c e C i t y M a rke t L o o k B o o k

S O C I A L Blogs 3 4

I n s i d e Wa f fl e H o u s e

3 8

Pe r s o n a l Linke d I n B l o g Po s t s

Video 4 4

S u m m e r t im e & L e m o n a d e

4 8

T hi s I s t h e N i g h t

OT H E R C R E AT I V E S T U F F 5 0

D inin g + D e s i g n At l a n t a

5 2

C in e m a t i c We d d in g Film s

5 4 Po e t r y

3


About M y g oal in cr e at ing is to evoke aut h e nt ic e mot ional r e spons e s t hat conn e c t p e opl e to b rands t hrough t h e shar e d exp e ri e nc e of stor y telling . I st rive to cr e ate m e morabl e exp e ri e nc e s t hat drive r e sult s for busin e ss e s , not just g e n e rate conte nt . M y e duc at ional b ackground as an English and Cr e at ive Writ ing major t aught m e how to const ruc t a narrat ive. I ’ve cont inu e d to hon e t h e s e sk ills in my p rofe ssional c ar e e r across a vari et y of mediums, but each medium feeds back into my primary skill of writing. Po et r y te ach e s m e ef fici e ncy in langu ag e, how to abst rac t t h e mund an e and make it p owe r ful. Playing guit ar and writ ing song s h elps m e conc e ptu aliz e a wid e rang e of e mot ions whil e exploring stor y telling t hrough dynamic progr e ssions . Vid e o hon e s my abilit y to cr e ate st rong e r visu als and sc e n e s wit h words , and it e nhanc e s my script writ ing by k nowing exac t ly what a vid e ograph e r looks for in a script . Poss e ssing a well - round e d cr e at ive acum e n allows m e to t hink big but exe cute wit h pr e cision, und e rst anding how copy p ar t icip ate s in conc e r t wit h ot h e r asp e c t s of a c ampaign. And my exp e ri e nc e work ing along sid e s e nior - l evel exe cut ive s has brought und e rst anding of how t h e s e c ampaigns af fe c t bot tom lin e s . I t ’s t aught m e how s e nior busin e ss l e ad e rs t hink , what ’s impor t ant to t h e m , and how to communic ate wit h t h e m . G r e at cr e at ive work d o e sn’t just win awards . I t also ad ds valu e to t h e busin e ss it ’s cr e ate d for. I t solve s a probl e m of bridging a conn e c t ion to t h e custom e r t hat t ranslate s into m e asurabl e r e sult s . Th e p at h to t hos e r e sult s is found in a disc e rnm e nt of p e opl e and cultur e, at larg e. S tor y telling explor e s and grabs hold of t h e d e e p e st p ar t s of our humanit y. To ef fe c t ively navig ate t hos e sp ac e s , you have to study it , compr e h e nd it , and eve n exp e ri e nc e t hos e sp ac e s insid e yours elf and t hos e around you. Ult im ately, t hat ’s why I write. To explor e t h e rich b e aut y and charac te riz at ions t hat const itute t h e individu al human exp e ri e nc e and how it bl e nd s tog et h e r wit h t h e whol e. But I write copy for busin e ss e s b e c aus e I b eli eve busin e ss e s ar e n’t monolit hic st ruc tur e s — t h ey’r e p e opl e. And wh e n you bridg e t h e g ap b et we e n a busin e ss and a custom e r, ad ding valu e by sat isf ying a n e e d , you’r e r e ally just conn e c t ing p e opl e wit h e ach ot h e r. 5


Resume

Brad e n Buck n e r

w w w.b r ad e n b u c k n er.c o m b r ad e n b u c k n er@g m a i l.c o m (7 70) 8 23 - 0 9 9 8

SK I LL S Stor y telling, Co py wr iting, Vid eography, Creative D ire c tion, Proje c t M anag ement, Premiere Pro, InDesig n, Lig htroom, Squares pac e WORK H I STORY Ad C opy write r —Th e H om e D e pot A pr il 2018 - Present • • •

Wr i te a n d e d i t pr o m ot i o n a l a n d pr o d u c t c o py fo r o n l i n e b a n n er ad s, e m a i l, a n d we b Pr e s e nt to a n d c o l l a b o r ate w i t h m ar ket i n g, m er c h a nt s, d e s i g n, ag e n c y p ar t n er s, a n d c r o s s - fu n c t i o n a l te a m s to e n s ur e c o py c o n s i s te n c y ac r o s s a l l c h a n n e l s C o l l a b o r ate o n c a m p a i g n d eve l o p m e nt a n d exe c u te o n c r e at i ve br i ef s

Cr e at ive D ir e c tor & C opy write r — Fr e elanc e M ay 2011- Present • • • • •

Write, direct, shoot, and edit videos for Hometown Crew, HTC Films, and Raider Films Ed i te d a l l c o py d ur i n g we b s i te r e d e s i g n fo r Enr i c h (a n O r ac l e p ar t n er) Wr ote ad c o py fo r ~3 , 5 0 0 ar t i c l e s fr o m b e s t- s e l l i n g au t h o r s fo r a n a p p l au n c h pr o j e c t (a p p n ow s er ve s over 1 m i l l i o n u s er s) Le ad s o c i a l, m ar ket i n g, a n d ac t i vat i o n ef fo r t s fo r D i n i n g + D e s i g n At l a nt a S p e a k at c o nfer e n c e s a n d c o l l e g e s o n s to r y te l l i n g, p o etr y, a n d r e l i g i o n

M anag e r, C ommunic at ions & H e rit ag e — Waf fl e H ous e, I nc. N ovem ber 2013 -A pril 2018 Copy writing •

Concept and write shor t- and long-form stories for three internal publications b y c o n d u c t i n g 5 -10 i n t e r v i e w s p e r q u a r t e r w i t h e m p l o y e e s a c r o s s t h e c o u n t r y • Increased engagement with publications by 400 -800% by incorporating


• •

stor y telling, video, web ver sions, and direc ting a rebrand of the design; cut costs by 50% by revising distribution strategy Craf t social media posts deemed high-priorit y or sensitive • C r e a t e d s t r a t e g y a n d p o s t s f o r # W H h i s t o r y c a m p a i g n , l e a d i n g t o 1, 0 0 0 % increase in engagement • Wrote for so c ial c am paig ns with Co c a- Cola , Ri c har d Pet t y M otor s p or ts, and Smithfield Foods Wr ite ar ti c les and manag e the we bsite for the Waf fle H ouse Linke dIn blo g • I n c r e a s e d f o l l o w i n g b y 10 % i n t h e f i r s t s i x m o n t h s G h o s t w r i t e e x e c u t i v e c o m m u n i c a t i o n s (a r t i c l e s , s p e e c h e s , s c r i p t s)

Video • • •

C o n c e p t , w r i t e s c r i p t s , s h o o t , e d i t , p r o d u c e , a n d d i r e c t v i d e o s f o r i nter n a l p u b l i c at i o n s, s o c i a l m e d i a , m e et i n g s a n d eve nt s, a n d exe c u t i ve p r e s e nt at i o n s Created videos for so c ial c ampaigns with Co c a- Cola, Ric hard Pet t y Motorspor ts, and Smithfield Foods Cut costs on video production by ~80% by bringing all video content in-house under my direction

Archiving • • •

Co -lead the Culture Commit tee and create programs and campaigns to drive employee engagement C r e a t e d s t r a t e g y a n d p r o c e s s e s f o r d i g i t a l l y a n d p h y s i c a l l y a r c h i v i n g c o m p a n y ’s 62-year histor y Te a c h a m a n a g e m e n t t r a i n i n g c l a s s w i t h C h a i r m a n , t w i c e m o n t h l y, o n c o m p a n y histor y and culture

C opy write r & S al e s Re p r e s e nt at ive — L awr e nc e I nk Januar y 2012- Septem ber 2012 • • •

Wr ote a n d e d i te d s h o r t- a n d l o n g - fo r m c o nte nt Ad v i s e d c l i e nt s o n pr i nt c o nte nt s tr ate g y B u i l t a n d m a i nt a i n e d c l i e nt ac c o u nt s a n d c r e ate d q u ote s a n d pr o p o s a l s

ED UCAT I O N B. A . in English and Cr e at ive Writ ing Univer sit y of Georgia, Athens, GA M ay 2011

7


WH Press

I c r e a t e d t hi s s i t e to s t r e a m lin e in t e rn a l p u b li c a t i o n s c o n t e n t a n d c h a n n e l s , r e d u c e p rin t c o s t s , a n d a ll ow a s s o c i a t e s to vi ew c o n t e n t w i t h t h e ir f ri e n d s a n d f a m ili e s o u t s i d e Wa f fl e H o u s e . I n c o nju n c t i o n w i t h r e s t ru c t u rin g d i s t ri b u t i o n a n d r e n e g o t i a t in g p rin t c o s t s , w e w e r e a b l e to c u t p rin t c o s t s by ~2 5 - 5 0 % p e r p rin t . T h e c o m b in a t i o n o f c r e a t in g t hi s s i t e , in t r o d u c in g q u a li t y vi d e o c o n t e n t , a n d r e b r a n d in g t h e p u b li c a t i o n s r e sul t e d in a n in c r e a s e in e n g a g e m e n t by ~ 4 0 0 - 8 0 0 % fo r e a c h p u b li c a t i o n , r e s p e c t ive l y.

P R O J E C T: w w w.w h p r e s s . o r g F R E Q U E N C Y: O n g o i n g , u p d a t e d 10 x / y e a r C L I E N T: W a f f l e H o u s e T E C H N O L O G Y: S q u a r e s p a c e , V i m e o

9


Waf fle C hat te r

Wa f fl e C hat t e r i s a n in t e rn a l p u b li c a t i o n t h a t g e t s a s s o c i a t e s invo lve d by p rim a ril y s o u r c in g c o n t e n t d ir e c t l y f r o m t h e 5 0 k+ a s s o c i a t e s a t Wa f fl e H o u s e . I in t r o d u c e d e d i to ri a l a n d vi d e o s to r y t e llin g , l e d a r e b r a n d o f t h e p u b li c a t i o n , a n d c r e a t e d t h e a s s o c i a t e d w e b s i t e . T h e s e e f fo r t s r e sul t e d in r e d u c in g p rin t c o s t s by ~ 5 0 % and incr easing eng ag e m ent by ~ 8 0 0 % in th e past four years . M y r o l e fo r t hi s p u b li c a t i o n i s to w ri t e a r t i c l e s , t a ke p i c t u r e s , s h o o t a n d e d i t vi d e o s , a n d c r e a t e t h e l ayo u t fo r t h e G r a p hi c D e s i g n e r. I a l s o s o u r c e s to ri e s a n d t r ave l a c r o s s t h e c o u n t r y to in t e r vi ew p e o p l e fo r p r o fil e s to ri e s . T h e exe c u t ive t e a m n ow in c o r p o r a t e s t h e vi d e o s in to O f fi c e r ’s M e e t in g s , R o a d S h ows , a n d Tow n H a ll s , a n d t h e vi d e o s a r e p l aye d in a ll 1, 8 0 0 + l o c a t i o n s in t h e b a c k r o o m . P R O J E C T: W a f f l e C h a t t e r ( p r i n t a n d d i g i t a l ) F R E Q U E N C Y: O n g o i n g , 6 x / y e a r C L I E N T: W a f f l e H o u s e T E C H N O L O G Y: P r e m i e r e P r o , L i g h t r o o m , S q u a r e s p a c e , V i m e o


11


Race for Rewards

Fo r t h e t hir d ye a r in a r ow, Wa f fl e H o u s e p a r t n e r e d w i t h S m i t h fi e l d Fo o d s a n d R i c h a r d Pe t t y M o to r s p o r t s to b rin g t h e R a c e fo r R ewa r d s p r o g r a m to li f e . C u s to m e r s d ow nl o a d a n a p p, c o m p l e t e w i t h a vir t u a l r e a li t y e l e m e n t , a n d e a rn p o in t s fo r e a t in g a t Wa f fl e H o u s e . T h o s e p o in t s c a n b e a p p li e d to r ewa r d s f r o m R i c h a r d Pe t t y M o to r s p o r t s o r fo r Wa f fl e H o u s e fo o d — e s p e c i a ll y S m i t h fi e l d Fo o d s p r o d u c t s s e r ve d a t Wa f fl e H o u s e . E a c h ye a r, I p u t to g e t h e r c o ll a t e r a l fo r t h e c a m p a i g n , in c lu d in g t h e H a r d C a r d M a g azi n e a r t i c l e li s t e d l a t e r. T h e c a m p a i g n n e e d s e q u a l a t t e n t i o n in t e rn a ll y, t h o u g h , s in c e o u r a s s o c i a t e s a r e o u r p rim a r y fo r m o f m a rke t in g to c u s to m e r s . Fo r t hi s a r t i c l e in Wa f fl e C hat t e r, w e c e l e b r a t e d a g r e a t R a c e fo r R ewa r d s s e a s o n by hi g hli g h t in g o u r w in n e r s o f t h e c o n t e s t w h o a t t e n d e d a r a c e w i t h a n a ll access pass.


Waf fle Chat ter Photo Contest

T h e p h o to c o n t e s t e n c o u r a g e d a s s o c i a t e s to u nl e a s h t h e ir c r e a t ivi t y a n d s h a r e t h e ir s k ill s w i t h t h e r e s t o f t h e Wa f fl e H o u s e a s s o c i a t e s .

13


WH Brand

WH B ra n d i s in t e n d e d to in fo r m , e n g a g e , a n d in s p ir e t h e m a n a g e m e n t t e a m a t Wa f fl e H o u s e . I s o u r c e t h e s to ri e s a n d in t e r vi ew m a n a g e r s a c r o s s t h e c o u n t r y. Fr o m t h e r e , I w ri t e a r t i c l e s , t a ke p h o to s , a n d s h o o t a n d e d i t vi d e o s fo r t h e in t e rn a l p u b li c a t i o n’s d i s t ri b u t i o n to ~10 k m a n a g e r s a n d c o r p o r a t e o f fi c e associates. Af t e r d rivin g m o r e s to r y t e llin g , in t r o d u c in g q u a li t y vi d e o a n d p h o to c o n t e n t , a n d c r e a t in g t h e in t e rn a l p u b li c a t i o n s s i t e , w e w e r e a b l e to c u t p rin t c o s t s by ~2 5 % a n d in c r e a s e e n g a g e m e n t by ~ 4 0 0 % o n t hi s p u b li c a t i o n . Af t e r t h e r o ll o u t o f t h e n ew ve r s i o n o f WH B ra n d, I wa s p r o m o t e d to c r e a t e a ll m a j o r w ri t in g c o n t e n t . A l s o, t h e exe c u t ive t e a m n ow in c o r p o r a t e s t h e vi d e o s in to O f fi c e r ’s M e e t in g s , R o a d S h ows , a n d Tow n H a ll s .

P R O J E C T: W H B r a n d ( p r i n t a n d d i g i t a l ) F R E Q U E N C Y: O n g o i n g , 4 x / y e a r C L I E N T: W a f f l e H o u s e T E C H N O L O G Y: P r e m i e r e P r o , L i g h t r o o m , S q u a r e s p a c e , V i m e o

15


“Engineering a Career�

Wr o t e a r t i c l e , to o k p h o to s , a n d s h o t a n d e d i t e d vi d e o fo r WH B ra n d.


17


19


“From the Gridiron to the Waf fle Iron�

Wr o t e a r t i c l e , to o k p h o to s , a n d s h o t a n d e d i t e d vi d e o fo r WH B ra n d.


21


“Pro -Style Recruiting”

Wr o t e a r t i c l e , to o k p h o to s , a n d s h o t a n d e d i t e d vi d e o fo r WH B ra n d.


23


H a r d C a r d M a g a z i n e — “ W h e n T i t a n s Te a m U p ”

Wr o t e a r t i c l e hi g hli g h t in g t h e p a r t n e r s hi p b e t w e e n Wa f fl e H o u s e , S m i t h fi e l d , a n d R i c h a r d Pe t t y M o to r s p o r t s fo r S m i t h fi e l d ’s d i g i t a l m a g a z in e .

C L I E N T: W a f f l e H o u s e , S m i t h f i e l d F o o d s , R i c h a r d P e t t y M o t o r s p o r t s


25


“In Honor of JFK�

G h o s t w r o t e a r t i c l e o n b e h a l f o f a n E xe c u t ive V i c e Pr e s i d e n t fo r C o u nt e r C u l t u r e, a n in t e rn a l p u b li c a t i o n d i s s e m in a t e d t h r o u g h e m a il to a ll ~10 k m a n a g e r s a n d c o r p o r a t e o f fi c e a s s o c i a t e s .

C L I E N T: W a f f l e H o u s e

This p ast mont h , fif t y ye ars af te r his assassinat ion, Am e ric a honor e d on e of t h e gr e ate st l e ad e rs in Am e ric an histor y. John F. Ke nn e dy was notorious for his abilit y to rally and l e ad t h e nat ion into larg e st rid e s of p rogr e ss . Wh et h e r in r e g ard s to t h e p e rsiste nt for t itud e wit h which h e fought for so cial just ic e in t h e Civil Right s M ove m e nt or his visionar y pion e e ring wit h t h e S p ac e Rac e, h e hoste d a vision for a brighte r futur e and st rove toward it valiant ly, of te n at t h e cost of his p opularit y. Eve ntu ally, his ef for t s would eve n cost him his life, but his l e g acy live s on for eve r. Th e found at ions for t his l e g acy c an b e found in t wo conc eit s t hat h e sp oke of of te n: charac te r and inte grit y. Th e s e at t ribute s ar e not innate in t h e human g e n et ic makeup. Th ey ar e grown , e st ablish e d , and p e r fe c te d e ach t im e on e make s t h e right choic e wh e n te ste d . Pe rs eve ring t hrough e ach t rial and dif ficult y, d e spite how on e fe els , st r e ng t h e ns and shap e s t h e charac te r of a p e rson . But t h e s e ar e not d e st inat ions to which we arrive or l evels into which we gradu ate — t h ey ar e to b e live d out , mom e nt by mom e nt .


Wh e n on e move s from simply t r ying to follow t h e s e principl e s into b e coming a p rincipl e d p e rson, t h e s e qu alit i e s ste p down from t h e p e d e st als of surr e al id e alism r e s e r ve d only for h e ro e s and fair y t al e charac te rs , and t h ey b e gin to b e s e e n as a t angibl e, ap proachabl e, and eve n at t ainabl e r e alit y. Wh e n a group b e gins to live t his way, a cultur e is form e d . And if you c an d evelop a cultur e, you c an t ransform eve n e nt ir e nat ions . JFK not only b eli eve d t his , but h e did it . L et ’s look at som e of his famous r e marks conc e rning t h e root s of his gr e at ef for t s . “ What r e ally count s is not t h e imm e diate ac t of courag e or of valor, but t hos e who b e ar t h e st ruggl e d ay in and d ay out — not t h e sunshin e p at riot s but t hos e who ar e willing to st and for a long p e rio d of t im e.” N o p e rson of st rong charac te r or pur e inte grit y was eve r first found out corp orately. I f on e c annot live t his way in t h e hid d e n plac e s wh e r e non e or few ar e lo ok ing , it is highly unlikely t hat t h ey c an e mb o dy t h e m und e r high visibilit y wh e n pote nt ially mor e is at risk . Th e s e vir tu e s ac t as t h e found at ion, buri e d b e n e at h and of te n uns e e n , up on which dr e ams ar e const ruc te d into r e alit i e s . H e highlight s t h e imp or t anc e of t ransforming t h e mund an e into t h e magnific e nt , s e eing t h e int rinsic valu e in consiste nt ly e mbo dying t h e s e st and ard s d aily, not just in mom e nt s wh e r e you could g et som et hing in r eturn . Living wit h inte grit y will not always g et you t h e lim elight or five minute s of fam e, but p e opl e of inte grit y would not st rive to live in t h e s e ways for a r eturn any ways . Charac te r and inte grit y, as m e nt ion e d b efor e, ar e not a m e ans to an e nd but , rat h e r, an inh e r e nt n e c e ssit y to t ru e moralit y. I f t h e r e is an e nd to which t h ey ar e a m e ans to, it is not on e t hat sat isfi e s any imm e diate, c arnal d e sir e. “A m an d o e s what h e must — in spite of p e rsonal cons e qu e nc e s , in spite of obst acl e s and d ang e rs , and pr e ssur e s — and t hat is t h e b asis of all human moralit y.” To what d e gr e e on e allows t h e ms elf to compromise will dic t ate t h e st r e ng t h of t h eir charac te r. S et t ing out on a pat h of pr e m e dit ate d vir tu e s and st ick ing to t hos e vir tu e s , d e spite circumst anc e, cr e ate s

27


t h e b asis for m e asuring t h e d e gr e e s of t h e s e vir tu e s in a p e rson’s life. Re maining ste ad fast , solid , and consiste nt prove s t hat a p e rson p oss e ss e s t h e s e s qu alit i e s , r e nd e ring t h e m n eit h e r us el e ss nor unfruit ful. “ I f we ar e st rong , our st r e ng t h will sp e ak for it s elf. I f we ar e we ak , word s will b e of no h elp.” O f te n , p e opl e t r y to p rove wit h words what t h ey fail to p e r form in t h eir ac t ions . We ar e not inte r e ste d in a cultur e built around m e r e sp e e ch . I f you ar e a p e rson of inte grit y and charac te r, t h e s e qu alit i e s n e e d no adve r t is e m e nt and you wouldn’t boast arrog ant ly of yours elf any way. Th e p e rson owning t h e s e vir tu e s is on e t hat sp e nds too much t im e e mb o dying t h e m to sp e ak vainly about t h e mselve s or to g o a b out t r ying to d efe nd all of t h eir ac t ions . Tru e charac te r n e e ds no d efe ns e and sp e aks for it s elf, t h e r efor e r e quiring no explanat ion . It accepts responsibilit y when wrong and steps up to correct any error. “ Vic tor y has a t housand fat h e rs , but d efe at is an orphan.” D e spite s e e ming like lof t y, int angibl e id e als , charac te r and inte grit y ar e p rac t ic abl e t rait s . Th ey ac tu ally look like som et hing . Ac t ion r elate d , mot ive - asso ciate d . This do e s not m e an t hat on e do e s not m e ss up. I t d o e s , howeve r, op e n a door into t hat p e rson’s life for hon e st y, humilit y, and coachabilit y wh e n b eing corr e c te d or disciplin e d . I n t his sp ac e, eve n mist ake s and chall e ng e s c an turn into an op p or tunit y to l e arn and matur e. H e r e at Waf fl e H ous e, we provid e a safe spac e for e ach ot h e r in which we’r e allowe d to t r y and fail. We have e st ablish e d a cultur e of honor t hat d o e s not s e ek to punish, but , rat h e r, to corr e c t and s et b ack on cours e if som e on e do e s ste p out of lin e. To b e a bl e to p ar t icip ate and ma ximiz e t h e pote nt ial of t his syste m , charac te r, inte grit y, and humilit y all must b e pr e s e nt in t h e p e rson b eing corr e c te d . O n e of my m e ntors onc e told m e, “ I c an work wit h you… as long as you’r e hon e st .” I t ’s a lot e asi e r to forgive som e on e, corr e c t t h e m , and work wit h t h e m to g et t h e m back on t h e right p at h if t h ey ar e hon e st and op e n about t h eir shor tcoming s . This turns we ak n e ss e s into st r e ng t hs .


O n e of t h e most incr e dibl e asp e c t s about t his forgiving cultur e and , r e ally, t his st yl e of disciplinar y ac t ion in g e n e ral, is t hat it r e quir e s humilit y yet avoid s humiliat ion. Humiliat ion is only conc e rn e d wit h p oint ing out t h e e rror of a p e rson’s ways and l e ave s t h e focus t h e r e. A situ at ion t hat d o e s not r e quir e you to b e humiliate d but st ill r e quir e s you to r e c eive wit h humilit y r e cogniz e s t h e we ak n e ss but fo cus e s on t h e solut ion. This turns we ak n e ss e s into st r e ng t hs . And we’r e all ab out e mp owe ring our p e opl e. I am t ruly grateful to work for a company t hat e mbo di e s such st rong et hic s . M ay it b e a s afe sp ac e for you all, and may we all st rive to live t h e l e g acy laid b efor e us , impac t ing t hos e around us , and p r e p aring b et te r d ays ah e ad of us .

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Ponce City Market Look Book

T h e Po n c e C i t y M a rke t L o o k B o o k s e r ve d a s a s i t e p r o p o s a l d o c u m e n t fo r w hi c h I c u r a t e d a n d w r o t e a ll t h e c o n t e n t . Po n c e C i t y M a rke t i s a n i c o n o f At l a n t a a n d i s a b e a c o n o f At l a n t a hi s to r y a n d c ul t u r e . T h ey ’r e a m ixe d - u s e e n t i t y ow n e d by J a m e s tow n (t h e s a m e d eve l o p m e n t o r g a ni z a t i o n w h o ru n s C h e l s e a M a rke t) . Po n c e C i t y M a rke t a p p r o a c h e d Wa f fl e H o u s e a b o u t o p e nin g a r e s t au r a n t o n t h e p r o p e r t y, a n d I wa s invi t e d in to t h e p r o c e s s d u e to my ex p e ri e n c e wo rk in g w i t h t h e m in t h e p a s t a n d my f a m ili a ri t y w i t h t h e a r c hi t e c t u r a l a n d c o n c e p t u a l d e s i g n s o f m a ny o f t h e ir s p a c e s . W i t h t hi s awa r e n e s s , I c o n c e p t e d a u ni q u e Wa f fl e H o u s e d e s i g n a n d c r e a t e d t h e p r o p o s a l t h a t hi g hli g h t e d t h e ri c h hi s to ri e s , p o p c ul t u r e r e l eva n c e , a n d s h a r e d c ul t u r a l g o a l s o f t h e t wo b u s in e s s e s . C L I E N T: W a f f l e H o u s e , J a m e s t o w n , P o n c e C i t y M a r k e t


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I ns ide Waf fle H ous e

Wr o t e a ll c o n t e n t fo r t hi s c a r e e r s b l o g . I a l s o c r e a t e d t h e w e b s i t e o n S q u a r e s p a c e . S o u r c in g t hi s w e b s i t e’s c o n t e n t fo r Linke d I n p o s t s r e sul t e d in a 10 % in c r e a s e in Linke d I n fo ll ow in g in t h e fir s t s ix m o n t h s o f b e in g l au n c h e d .

P R O J E C T: w w w. i n s i d e w a f f l e h o u s e . c o m F R E Q U E N C Y: O n g o i n g , ~ m o n t h l y C L I E N T: W a f f l e H o u s e T E C H N O L O G Y: S q u a r e s p a c e


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“ H o n o ri n g O u r Ve t e r a n s”

Wrote ar ticle and led creative direction; published on w w w.insidewaf flehouse.com.

On July 4th, our nation celebrated its 241st Independence Day. People from across the country honored our men and women in uniform who have sacrificed much to ensure our continued freedom. At Waffle House, we hold great honor and respect for those sacrifices, and we thank each and every veteran and active member of our Armed Forces for their time in service to our country. This tradition of honoring our nation’s heroes began with the founders of Waffle House. Joe Rogers Sr. and Tom Forkner served in World War II long before they opened a restaurant business. Rogers trained B -24 pilots, and Forkner was in military intelligence, eventually working on the Manhattan Project.


Much of the culture Rogers and Forkner drove at Waffle House was a direct reflection of the values instilled in them during their time of service. We are proud to continue that legacy and to employ many veterans at Waffle House today. Division Manager Allen Newcomb of Jacksonville, FL , for example, served in the U.S. Army as an E- 4 Specialist. After four years in the Army, he began a 22-year career with Waffle House. “I attribute a lot of my success to my experience in the military,” Newcomb says. “When you’re working in a division [for Waffle House] or a platoon [in the military], you’re like a family. We all work so close together, hand-in-hand. I think that’s what it’s all about—the people.” Rogers had similar views when he would often repeat, “We aren’t in the food business; we’re in the people business.” Division Manager Matt Lott of Lawrenceville, GA was a sergeant in the Marine Corps before joining Waffle House six years ago. He too echoes the feeling of “camaraderie like you see in military groups.” Lott says the Marine Corps taught him about leadership and how to “adapt and overcome, whatever the obstacles are.” “In an ever- changing economic and cultural scenario, at the end of the day, you’ve got to adapt to the problems you’re facing, overcome them, and still be successful,” Lott adds. Lott employs these traits every day as a Waffle House Division Manager, leading from the front lines of a restaurant where anything can change at any moment. Newcomb and Lott are just two examples of the many veterans who have built inspiring careers at Waffle House. In Lott’s Division alone, there are two Marine Corps veterans whom he says “are going to be great leaders for our organization.” “Whether as a veteran or anyone else, the stability of our company and the enduring culture provide excellent career options and opportunities,” Lott says. Waffle House thanks every veteran and active member of our Armed Forces for their time in service. We especially honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice of laying down their lives for our freedom. Waffle House proudly supports our troops and all men and women in uniform. We couldn’t do what we do without you. 37


“Hacking the Process of Innovation Par t I”

P R O J E C T: L i n k e d I n B l o g P o s t s — “ H a c k i n g t h e P r o c e s s o f I n n o v a t i o n ” P a r t s I & I I D AT E : F a l l 2 0 14 , S p r i n g 2 0 15 C L I E N T: W r o t e p e r s o n a l b l o g p o s t s p u b l i s h e d o n L i n k e d I n

PART I PERSONALLY DISRUPTED In ninth grade, my brother gave me a book about Leonardo da Vinci, and so it goes —the death of my willingness to adhere to the status quo. I began constant consumption of any content related to the concept of innovation. At unive rsit y, t h e s am e conc eit manife ste d t hrough S tein, Pic asso, H opk ins , and so on . Th e busin e ss world op e n e d my eye s to disruptors like Pag e, Jobs , and Zucke rb e rg as well as e ncourag e d m e to lo ok r et rosp e c t ively at gr e at s such as Aristot l e, Te sla , Frank lin , and Einstein .


I’m intrigued by their innovations, but perhaps more so, I’m captivated by how innovators think. A TOOL FOR INNOVATION In the wake of taking a new job a year ago, I found that I needed to learn, very quickly, a vast set of new skills and software. I also sought to develop marketing and communications initiatives that could add maximum value to the company. The challenges I began to take on seemed too much for my mindspace —they were simply too complex to keep track of all the variables long enough to find a solution. I felt overwhelmed. I realized I needed a tool that could be applied across all of the disciplines in which I was employed — a way to compress the information without diluting it. I needed a more efficient way to think. With a renewed vigor for researching the most innovative giants of history and today, one specific model resonated the most. ELON MUSK Founder of SpaceX, Tesla, and Paypal and the latest in my serial of content gluttony, billionaire Elon Musk embodies the spirit of innovation in a number of profound ways. When discussing his process for innovating, he often suggests using a paradigm called reasoning by first principles. Whereas most people tend to reason by analogy, Musk suggests boiling a problem down to its most fundamental components and building a solution up from there. Analogous reasoning attempts to tailor the principles of what’s been done before, applying them relatively to the challenge at hand. Analogous thinking is necessary and helpful in its own right, especially in a day-to - day sense due to the required energy and mindspace needed to think in first principles. When tackling challenges of greater magnitude, though, Musk describes how it is very helpful to take a perspective involving only the most simple and necessary components. REASONING BY FIRST PRINCIPLES The term, first principles, actually comes from physics, though it is used in a variety of disciplines such as philosophy and mathematics.

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Applying first principles means you are building on the foundations of what is known to be sure, not applying any previous knowledge or t h e or y up on which t h e solut ion would b e com e t h e or et ic al or b as e d in assumption. Ironically enough, an analogy may help: Imagine a sk yscraper that someone is trying to increase in height. Massive structural limitations would exist if they simply tried adding to the original. This is true unless they return to the foundations and build up from there, working in conjunction with the original building. It is obviously much easier to design from the foundation up, though. There is much more potential for growth when one begins at the foundations. One is no longer limited by the previous structure’s limitations, only by the foundation the building sits upon. WORK WORTH TAKING HOME With constant technological advancement, foundational principles of many issues are constantly reshaped —this leaves infinite room for improvement. It’s direly important for us to employ strategies like reasoning by first principles if we are to solve the many and great challenges that face humanity. For today, though, I challenge you to start small — practice and refine your ability to reason on a first principles level. Take on a challenge or problem in your office, home, or community. Boil the issue down to its most fundamental components, the unchangeable constants, and construct a solution from there. My experience in employing this method has lead to various break throughs at work and my ar tist endeavors as well as produced an acceleration in my overall abilit y to think critically. Constant practice with smaller challenges makes the bigger ones seem that much less daunting. What challenges might you approach today with your new tool of reasoning by first principles?


“Hacking the Process of Innovation Par t II”

PART II REVIEW In Part I of this series, I briefly discussed reasoning by first principles — a method of problem solving that seeks to break a problem down to its most fundamental components and reconstruct a solution from there. In the process of coming up with new or “innovative” ideas, this methodology can be extremely helpful. It stands counter to analogous reasoning and seeks to feign ignorance to all traditional solutions, solely examining the facts and core issues of the immediate problem at hand. In essence, it’s finding the dumbest solution possible. JOSHUA PRINCE RAMUS Joshua Prince Ramus, internationally renowned architect and Principal of REX, describes his firm’s process as hinging on just such an approach. 41


Ramus received a degree in Philosophy from Har vard before his permutation into the field of architecture and design. His architectural process probably would not exist without this background in philosophy. REX In every step of design, his firm seeks to resist conventional solutions at all costs, maintaining a critical naiveté. The resulting products are some of the most highly lauded buildings in the world. Even the firm’s name suggests their adherence to first principles reasoning as their design process. According to their website, REX “signifies a re -appraisal (RE) of architecture (X).” Not looking back into what has been done, around to what is being done, or even future speculations, they focus on the core issues and constraints of each project and design everything based on those foundations. At a TED Talk in 2006, Ramus described it as a “hyper-rational process” that “often concludes in something that you wouldn’t expect as being the result of rationality.” These unexpected consequences produce some of the most innovative solutions, as well as designs, in the field. GET DUMB When I heard him lecture this past fall at the Georgia Institute of Technology, one statement about his process resonated the most. He said, “If it ain’t dumb, don’t do it.” The “architectural manifestations”— as he calls them —that come as a consequence of this process cannot be traced to a single person. They result from hours upon hours of Socratic argumentation in which his team intentionally tries to destroy any suggestion that gets brought up. The surviving points are the simplest, dumbest, ones. These dumb points are not negative in connotation, but, rather, the goal of everything they try to achieve. SOLVE A PROBLEM Innovation for innovation’s sake is an immutably ignorant premise in relation to the common good. It is completely masturbatory in nature within that context. Innovation should help solve a problem and create something better than what was. We should seek positive mutations that spur beneficial


evolutions. Not mutations that take up benign space — or worse, malignant ones. Making things dumb by breaking issues down to first principles allows for obvious solutions to arise that solve the real, deeper problem and not just treat minor symptoms. These solutions examine the genetics of an issue rather than simply apply a Band-Aid. CHALLENGE The next time you have a major issue arise, I encourage you to approach it with first principles reasoning. Maintain critical naiveté while you drill down, and find a true solution that is tailored to that specific instance, rather than relying on what has been done, previously. In the words of Ramus: “If it ain’t dumb, don’t do it.”

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“Summertime & Lemonade”

I was t aske d wit h w rit ing a “ fun so ng of sum m e r ” a n d c r e a t ing a c o rr e s p on ding mu si c vi d e o fo r a so c i al m e di a p r o m ot io n fo r t h e n ew M inu t e M ai d L e m on a d e r e c ip e c o ming to Wa f fl e H ou s e . I w r ote t h e lyri c s , sc rip t , shot lis t , a n d t r e a t m e nt; p r o d u c e d by c o nt r a c t ing a te a m of 14; dir e c t e d; e dite d t h e fo ot ag e; a n d eve n s t a rr e d . I was a b l e to cu t c o s t s by 5 0 % of p r eviou s ou t sour c e d vi d e o s p rio r to m e t ak ing ove r vi d e o p r o du c t ion . T his r e sul te d in a sig ni fi c a nt in c r e a s e fo r in - hou s e vi d e o bu d g e t s , in clu ding t h e p ur c h a s e of n ew e q uip m e nt . Fo r a lit t l e m o r e info rm a t ion o n how t h e nig ht we nt fr o m t h e c r ew ’s p e r s p e c t ive , c h e ck ou t t h e ir r e c a p: ht t p: // w w w. ho m e tow n c r ew.c o m / s t r e a m / 2 016 / 9 / 17/ wa f fl e - hou s e .

P R O J E C T: S u m m e r t i m e & L e m o n a d e — w w w.w a f f l e h o u s e . c o m / l e m o n a d e C L I E N T: W a f f l e H o u s e , C o c a - C o l a / M i n u t e M a i d T E C H N O L O G Y: P r e m i e r e P r o


Video Stills

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Te a s e r o n I n s t a g r a m


On Set

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“This Is the Night”

A lm o s t im m e d i a t e l y a f t e r I s t a r t e d a t Wa f fl e H o u s e I wa s t a s ke d w i t h w ri t in g a s o n g a n d c r e a t in g a m u s i c vi d e o fo r a C h ri s t m a s c o n t e s t s o c i a l m e d i a c a m p a i g n . T h e vi d e o wa s to b e t h e c e n t e r p i e c e o f t h e c a m p a i g n , a n d t h e r e w e r e ju s t t e n d ays to p r o d u c e t h e fin a l p r o d u c t . I w r o t e t h e s o n g , s to r y b o a r d e d , p r o d u c e d , c o d ir e c t e d , a n d s t a r r e d . T h e vi d e o s e t a Wa f fl e H o u s e s o c i a l m e d i a r e c o r d a n d c o s t o nl y ~2 5 % o f p r evi o u s vi d e o s . T hi s p r oj e c t in c i t e d in m e a p a s s i o n to l e a rn m o r e a b o u t vi d e o. I d ove h e a d fir s t in to t e a c hin g mys e l f t h e c r a f t a n d wo rke d w i t h t h e s a m e c r ew w e u s e d to film “ T hi s I s t h e N i g h t ” w h e n eve r t h ey n e e d e d a n ex t r a h a n d . Pe r s o n a ll y, I wa n t e d to fu r t h e r im p r ove my w ri t in g a b ili t i e s t h r o u g h l e a rnin g a n o t h e r a r t i s t i c m e d iu m a n d a ll ow mys e l f a n o t h e r m e a n s o f ex p r e s s i o n . I a l s o wa n t e d to d ive r s i f y my s k ill s e t . Fo r Wa f fl e H o u s e , I s aw a n o p p o r t u ni t y to s ave t e n s o f t h o u s a n d s o f d o ll a r s a ye a r w hil e in c r e a s in g t h e q u a li t y a n d a m o u n t o f c o n t e n t w e p r o d u c e a c r o s s a w i d e r a n g e o f d e p a r t m e n t s . Af t e r s eve r a l m o n t h s s p e n t l e a rnin g eve r y t hin g I c o ul d , I s p e a rh e a d e d a m ove to b rin g a ll vi d e o c o n t e n t in - h o u s e a n d u n d e r my d ir e c t i o n .

P R O J E C T: T h i s I s t h e N i g h t — w w w.v i m e o . c o m / w a f f l e h o u s e i n c / t h i s i s t h e n i g h t C L I E N T: W a f f l e H o u s e


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Dining + Design Atlanta

T h e At l a n t a A D C (A r c hi t e c t u r e a n d D e s i g n C e n t e r), in c o nju n c t i o n w i t h A I A At l a n t a (t h e A m e ri c a n I n s t i t u t e o f A r c hi t e c t s At l a n t a) a n d S q u a r e Fe e t S t u d i o, fo u n d e d D inin g + D e s i g n At l a n t a . B y h o s t in g eve n t s , w e c e l e b r a t e a n d ex p l o r e t h e ve r y b e s t o f At l a n t a’s t h rivin g r e s t au r a n t s c e n e t h r o u g h t h e l e n s o f t h o s e w h o m a ke i t a ll p o s s i b l e . At t e n d e e s r e c e ive b i t e s , b o o z e , a n d m e e t t h e p e o p l e w h o m a ke t h e m . T h ey h e a r f r o m exc e p t i o n a l d e s i g n e r s o n h ow t h e ir c r a f t im p a c t s a n d s h a p e s t h e way w e ex p e ri e n c e t h e s e c ul t u r a l s p a c e s . M y r o l e w i t h D inin g + D e s i g n At l a n t a i s to c o o r d in a t e t h e eve n t s w i t h ve n d o r s , s p e a ke r s , a n d t h e D + D t e a m; l e a d c r e a t ive d ir e c t i o n fo r p r o m o t i o n a l c o n t e n t; a n d a s s i s t w i t h p r o m o t i o n o n s o c i a l c h a n n e l s a n d t i c ke t in g . We’ve wo rke d w i t h s o m e o f t h e S o u t h’s to p c h e f s , m ixo l o g i s t s , a r c hi t e c t s , a n d d e s i g n e r s . Eve n t s h ave b e e n c ove r e d by Z a g a t At l a n t a , C r e a t ive L o a fin g At l a n t a , a n d C u r b e d At l a n t a .

P R O J E C T: D i n i n g + D e s i g n C L I E N T: A t l a n t a A D C , A I A , S q u a r e F e e t S t u d i o


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Cinematic Wedding Films

C o n t r a c t in g w i t h H o m e tow n C r ew, I ’ve s h o t , e d i t e d , p r o d u c e d , a n d d ir e c t e d s eve r a l c in e m a t i c w e d d in g film s . T h e s e a r e n o t yo u r ave r a g e w e d d in g vi d e o s .

P R O J E C T: C i n e m a t i c W e d d i n g F i l m s C L I E N T: H o m e t o w n C r e w ( w w w. h o m e t o w n c r e w. c o m) T E C H N O L O G Y: P r e m i e r e P r o


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Poetry


“Squalor” Dark eyes wander Escalating soundscapes of Middle -intentioned mounds of Earth. Calm rose repose The ascetic mind, Myriad loathing, a blouse breaks Through the underbrush, Tangling amid broken branches, Protruding. I found you once — Felt your once Trembling hand grasp Mine. Violence needs Religious conviction, so They scream; sing louder now; Breathe still Quieter now; make me lodies with tongues on fire now. Bring low my knees to weep, More frightened now. Peace Is not softer but harder now, With you buried beneath.

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“Prophétés” The phosphorescent fruits obscured the pale mindlight and naked city-scape with waltz-like cadence, and, lungs seething crisp air, our bare feet churned blemishes on the Asherah and tiny, fractured skulls that splintered through minced morsels of earth. In compost-retention of terraced orchards, we picked pomegranates from streetlamp branches and juggled — a baker’s dozen at a time, joining in hymns with fine fractals that sang out from leaves floating by in the sewer-stream, instigating jazz, and they told us, “Now you know everything, too,” and how we could float, too, if we’d hold our breaths long enough.


“The Bystanders” They saw us, heard us say impossible things.

“Breathe” In secret places we whispered quasar thoughts as I tore stars from second heaven’s gates watched them burst in my hands drops pooling into puddles we finger-painted with nebulae streaking the eggshell white in viridian and gold and light splashing in something other something holy and became so

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Braden Buckner  

Storytelling | Creative Direction | Copywriting

Braden Buckner  

Storytelling | Creative Direction | Copywriting

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