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And walk on, she did.


The first time Katie was ever called by her last name was third grade. The bell had just saved the day and as backpacked children streamed out of the school, she heard a voice call out to her. “Yo Fitzgerald, you takin’ the bus?” At that moment, something in her changed. With the ego of a character robbing a bank for the right reasons or cheating death in a James Bond film, she turned cooly and said “no, I’m walkin’.”

KATIE FITZ(GERALD) BRAND STRATEGIST Objective Seeking a junior-level role at an advertising agency in brand strategy or account planning.

Education VCU Brandcenter M.S. in Mass Communications concentration in Communications Strategy Graduation: May 2009 GPA: 3.5

University of South Carolina B.A. in Advertising Minor: French Graduation: August 2007 GPA: 3.67 Université de Pau et Des Payes D’Adour Study Abroad Fall 2005

Work Experience JWT Trendspotting/Strategy Intern Global Office, New York, NY July 2009 - Present Research and writing about how brands and consumers are responding to the economic recession. Manage

Freelance AgencyNil Freelance Strategist August 2009 Creating strategic idea and communications plan for a new business pitch.

Naked Communications

O’Keefe Brands (Brand Consultancy)

Communications Strategy Intern New York, NY May - September 2008 Conducted consumer research, competitive analysis, contributed ideas and helped build communications plans for new business pitches to J&J and Unilever. Distilled the ideas of 6 different agencies to create an over-arching strategic idea, which resulted in the “Let’s Fix Dinner” campaign for Stouffer’s.

Freelance Richmond, VA December - May 2009 Repositioned the commercial side of a local bank to appeal to small-medium business owners and better align with the retail side of its business.

Freetimes Newspaper Advertising Sales Intern Columbia, SC Spring 2007 Acquired new advertising clients, designed ad for current client, wrote segments for the paper and did research for writers.

Time Warner Cable Corporate Marketing Intern Herndon, VA Summer 2006 Suggested the idea and design for an online game for Time Warner film “The Ant Bully,” which was accepted and developed by the ad agency. Helped coordinate and develop marketing efforts for all TWC service areas. Edited copy on direct mail pieces.

Other Experience National Student Advertising Competition

Integrated Marketing Communications Director, Client: Coca-Cola University of South Carolina, Spring 2007 Led multiple focus groups with teenagers, created nontraditional event idea for campaign and participated in creative concepting with creative team.

The Martin Agency

Student Workshop participant June 2005 Chosen as one of 15 students nationwide for the student workshop. Created fully integrated campaign for Hanes ‘Barely There’ brand.

Contact 803.413.6708 New York, NY

The following campaigns were completed while at the VCU Brandcenter. This work was not done in conjunction with the client. Skype Makin’ the bling by rebranding their $10 plan. Scope We are all looking for “the one.” Scope gives you the confidence you need to strike up the conversation when you meet that person. Brand Behavior: A few of my opinions on how brands should behave. Fitz who?

Objective Skype makes money through having paid subscribers. They have done very little marketing and that which they have done has spoken solely to Skype’s video chat capabilities. But that’s not making Skype money. Our objective therefore, was to increase the number of paid subscribers. Our target audience: “Digital Globe Trotters.” Digitally savvy Millennials who are early adopters of technology and have friends and family around the world.

The stages of our communications:

Change in communications: From talking about itself as a “video chat” module to talking about itself as being a contender in the ‘telecommunications industry.’ Other telecommunications companies will charge you an arm and a leg to call another country. When prices are compared, Skype already provides the best deal with the $9.95/mo. unlimited world calling plan.


Summary of campaign Forget the days of limited minutes, roll-over minutes, or free minutes (to only a couple people). Welcome to the world of Skype, the world of phone calls without limits. By changing the way that Skype talked about itself, from “we do video chat,” to “we do telecommunications,” we moved it into a new category. We were no longer competing with GChat, but now with Vonage and Comcast. Why? Because our $10/mo. unlimited call anywhere plan kicked all their butts. Welcome to the “Bajillion Minute Plan.” Taking the strategy of “phone call without limits,” we rebranded that $10 plan into the “Bajillion minute plan” and explored what the world would be like as a “Bajillionaire.”


Positioning Statement “For those who value long calls, Skype is the telecommunications company that lets them call without limits” Strategy “Phone call without limits” Creative To reflect the unlimited nature of the $10/mo. calling plan, we rebranded it to “The Bajillion Minute Plan.” Tagline “Welcome to the Bajillion Minute Plan”


Category Communications Insight Communications from the telecommunications industry revolve around a language of minutes. This language is all about the limitations on your phone plan. It says “you can call for an unlimited number of minutes! But, only to five people.” Or, “your minutes can rollover! If you don’t talk too much this month.” You can hear the discussion about the value of phone minutes by watching the AT&T Rollover Minutes campaign “Milky Minutes” commercial. So what do we say? Well, we don’t have those crazy limits. Skype alleviates the worries of typical phone calls while being the cheapest way to call anywhere in the world at anytime.

Current users will receive a new gold faceplate for their Skype and an icon next to their Skype name . Since we know that a lot of these folks travel, we will be placing gold-painted phone booths in major airports around the world. In the phone booth, users can make calls in private while they wait for their flights. Microsite We showed our Bajillionaires some love by providing them with a “Bajillion Minute Club” online. The site provided tools and entertainment for our Bajillionaires, like a prank call tool.

Current free users of Skype Since current free users are still buying calling cards, we will do a placement there. We created a calling card that talks them through signing up for the plan.

When free users go to the Skype website. They will see the Bajillionaire Challenge. The challenge is to have the longest un- ending Skype phone call. The top Bajillioanaires (those who do the most talking) will be featured.

Their friends and family We will send emails telling them “for every Skyper you call and love, there’s a non-Skyper waiting for some love.” This email will send them to the Bajillionaire microsite where they can find fun ways to tell their friends about the Bajillion Minute Plan.


Communications Plan

Current users of the $10 plan

General “Digital Globe Trotter” audience


Media rich banner ads that asks “what you would do with a Bajillion minutes?”

An overview of how we would spend the $30 million budget.



Ultimately, The Bajillion Minute Plan will become a cultural meme, connecting people in ways that extend far beyond their calls. It will be a brand that people align themselves with. Our creative work for the general audience aims at doing just that.

Measurement Some of the ways we could measure the success of this work: Unique site visits Click through rates Phone calls from our booth Opt-in Challenge Subscription rates Calls to your mom Media rich banner ads

AdWords Spending competitively through buying competitor’s names: Vonage Verizon Comcast Time Warner CableAdwords Source: Yahoo Adwords Teammates Katrin Babb, Kelly Diaz, Terrance Foster, Joseph Merkley


The Situation Unlike what Axe may tell you, most of us don’t go out in search of the next man/woman of the moment, but rather the one who will make our hearts stop and change our lives for good. Scope had become the grandfather’s mouthwash and was in bad need of a fresh new look in order to attract a new generation of young adults. The competition was telling consumers “your teeth will fall out if you don’t use this product” or “using this will help you attract all the boys to the yard.” We decided to take a more realistic approach. Objective Update Scopeʼs image and gain new users

Category insight Communications by our main competitor, Listerine, injected fear and worry into consumers with information about medical and scientific reasons to use their product. In general, the fresh breath category sends the message that “if you use our product, you will be awesome.”

Target We are speaking to a crowd of young, urban professionals ages 21 - 34.

Target insight We are all looking for “the one,” but when you first meet that person, it can be nerve wracking. Communications strategy “Scope is the confidence builder you need to get the conversation started”

Tagline “Prepare for the unexpected”

The microsite,, provided a platform for people to share the story of how they met their significant other.

The storyteller Smart Phone widget enabled interaction with the map on the go. And if you needed some Scope, it could point you to the nearest store.


The Microsite

Tag the spot on the interactive map where you met. Scrolling over the map, see where others had met their “special person� and read their story.


Special Note This work has been chosen by the Director of the Brandcenter, Rick Boyko, as an example of student work to show to planning and creative directors at several agencies throughout the U.S., as well as to the Brandcenter Board of Directors. This work is also featured in SIXTY Magazine as well as on the walls of the Brandcenter. Teammates Jessica Colbert, Jay Adams, James Wood

Bottle redesign The new bottle design would provide two benefits: 1. It would differentiate Scope on the shelf where it currently blends into all the knock-offs that use the Scope bottle shape. 2. This design has a hand-grip on the side and a pour cap which would make for easy use. Justification for new packaging Due to the fact that 70% of purchase decisions are made at the point of sale, the packaging is the last chance to speak to the consumer. Proctor and Gamble, the parent company of Scope, recently changed the packaging of another one of their brands, Head and Shoulders, and saw a 30% increase in sales. If Scope saw a 10% increase in sales as a result of the new bottle design they would take back their position as the #2 mouth wash.

Objective Develop a creative strategy for the student videos and to help save lives. The Ugly Truth Between 1993 and 2003, more than $400 million dollars was spent on advertising messages aimed making teens safer drivers. Yet the number of fatal car crashes did not change per 100,000 teens. In 2006, 5,480 teens were killed in car crashes.

Project Yellow Light

How it all began Hunter Garner, a rising senior at Riverbend High School in Fredericksburg, VA died in a tragic car crash in the summer of 2007. A scholarship was created in his name that asks high school students to create a video that motivates, educates and encourages their peers to drive safely.

Why Teens Are Tuning Out? Teens think they are good drivers Teens walk out of driver’s education and believe that the facts they have memorized make them good drivers. We cannot however, change this perception. Teens need that level of confidence on the road. We have to remind them that accidents happen to good drivers too.

Project Yellow Light

Behaviors In driver’s education, teens are told “your car is a deadly weapon!” This however, is a lie. The car is not deadly, it is the behaviors inside the car that are deadly! Seventy-four percent of all fatal car crashes are caused by distractions; we have to get teens to put their phones down and get their eyes on the road. They HAVE to stay in the loop Seventy-eight percent of teens admit to using their phones while driving. Why? They fear being disconnected from their social circle. Their fear of missing out on something in the short run, puts them in danger in the long run. We have to remind them of everything they have to look forward to.

We analyzed what everyone from insurance companies to the National Transportation Safety Board have been telling teens and why it isn’t working. Then, we figured out how to get teens to stop just hearing the facts and start feeling the emotions. It boiled down to three ways the message can best be heard.


Focusing on the positives of staying alive, this strategy reminds teen drivers of all the good things in life they don’t want to miss. It is a sincere plea for life from one friend to another. It embraces the dark reality of mortality while reminding us what a blessing our lives really are.

Why it works The message that comes out of this strategy comes not from an authority figure or a corporation, but from the trusted source of a true friend. Teens place a value on the sentiments and actions of their peers that cannot be recreated or substituted by any other group.“Not Today” works by highlighting the feelings of their friends and loved ones.

Special Note I was chosen as one of the presenters for this campaign. We presented this to people at The Martin Agency as well as the corporate marketing team at Gieco. Teammates Katherine Wintsch’s Research class

Project Yellow Light

Not Today

Brand Behavior

Every agency has guiding principles for how it believes a brand should behave. Here are a few of my opinions, some influenced by the beliefs of those I admire, on how brands should communicate and behave.

Have a point of view Gareth Key, head of digital strategy at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, talks about how a brand needs to stand for something or have a point of view. A brand that just talks about what makes it different within it’s category is not nearly as interesting. Especially because people don’t see categories.

It isn’t viral unless consumers say it is You cannot make a viral video. You cannot make a viral video. You cannot make a viral video. If your communications are relevant and interesting enough to people, they will do the spreading for you.

Don’t sue your fans If a brand is what people say it is, let them say it. As Faris Yakob puts it in his blog Talent Imitates, Genius Steals: “Owners of brands and intellectual property have for a good long while acted somewhat [two-faced]. On the one hand (or face) they crave attention and love of the most hardcore fans - those people who obsessively love and advocate their product or story.

Open Source Brands say that they want to “engage” with their fans, but continue force-feeding them messages that don’t allow for dialogue. A conversation where one person does all the talking sounds like a bad first date. Open the doors and make your communications start a dialogue.

On the other, because they insist on being loved within specific parameters, on controlling the relationship entirely, on defending the abstract notion they have of what the product or story is and should be and should be for, they tend to sue people who love them the most.” Learn from your fans, after all, they are the ones who put money in your pockets.

Measurement “Measure expression, not impressions.” - Bud Caddell, digital strategist at Undercurrent One way to measure success is to look at the number of people who are exposed to the brand. However, that doesn’t mean that any of them actually cared. Those that truly care will take what the brand has made, be it a logo or a commercial, and make something of their own. For example, look on YouTube for the many user generated commercial remixes. A new form of measurement needs to be considered, one where measuring how the people use a brand’s communications to express themselves is considered.

Start Riots As Todd Lamb, copywriter formerly of Mother, puts it: “be a trouble maker.” Find the conversation-starter that revolves around your brand. Pull a Crispin and set the brand on fire, find the Whopper Virgin, make the chicken subservient. Figure out what will get people talking about and interacting with the brand.

Was a camp counselor for 3 summers, made many hemp bracelets

itz who

Cooks and eats good food

A good night in is spent with paint supplies and red wine Tends to wander through nature Will swing dance with anyone Was in an a cappella jazz choir in college Netflix queue full of German and French films Will one day run a marathon

Tore a muscle doing a Tony Hawk off a water fountain Has slept in more than a dozen hostels Tries to take a picture a day Believes in fairies and sarcasm.

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hanks for our time

My life in 140 characters: katiefitz

Portfolio_Katie Fitzgerald  

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