SIXTY Creativity / Commerce / Culture / v.11
AD: Jason Rosenberg CW: Zoe Bell CLIENT: Bell Helmets
walls. The walls of Jericho, The aurelian walls of rome, The walls of Troy, The western wall, hadrian’s wall, The Great wall of China, The Berlin wall, The us Border wall. history has shown and wikipedia states “wall structures are built to prevent people from escaping or entering a new nation, to defend a nation or as important symbolic structures.” what we also know is culturally walls encourage inﬂexible defenses, give a false sense of security, and most often cause division and tension. so if throughout history we have learned that walls cause division and tension, why, then, have we continued to build floor upon floor of them? of course we do need some walls, otherwise buildings would not stand, which would then deprive us of protection from the elements. But after the building is up and we are sheltered, do we really need all the other walls? i think it’s safe to say, we all agree change is happening today at an accelerated speed forcing us all to quickly adapt, think more creatively and act more collaboratively. Therefore, in this environment, what we don’t need are workplaces that are a labyrinth of corridors ﬁlled with walls separating employees, separating departments, separating management and, most importantly, separating ideas from allowing anyone to add to them. i have found if you want to foster a truly creative culture, the need for walls are in fact counter
productive. in a walled ofﬁce environment, ideas become guarded while doors are shut to keep anyone from intruding until the idea is ”fully baked.” But in great creative organizations, the lack of walls are as noticeable as the feeling of a group infused with a collaborative spirit.
it is for this reason that when we were given the opportunity to build a new home for the Brandcenter, i wanted it to be a space without…you guessed it…walls. a space which is open and fosters collaboration. a space where you’re welcome to pass by someone and contribute a thought that might actually move their thinking in a whole new direction. a space where we did not just remove the visible walls, but also the walls traditionally erected between disciplines, walls between client and agency, between creative and media and those between academic schools. it is here, with a curriculum designed around the pursuit of ideas, in an open academic atmosphere, i believe Brandcenter students will learn to understand an idea can come from anyone, from any discipline, at any time. all they have to do is be open to receiving it. Then, once our students have learned to thrive in an open, collaborative culture, we know they will leave the Brandcenter prepared to adopt the “great communicator” ronald reagan’s phrase as they enter the business world, and exhort, “Tear down this wall.” rick Boyko, director/professor
AD: Jillian Dresser CW: Latasha Ewell CLIENT: Fanta
Table of Contents Serving Size 114 Amount Per Serving
Articles Walls Inside the Brain of Clive Wilkinson Richmond Tap Project Proﬁts of Good - Transforming the Triple Bottom Line Focused All Over the Place Nontraditional Advertising Sucks Surviving in Richmond as an Illegal Alien When Addition and Subtraction Equal Division CreateAthon on Campus I Love You, Richmond. I Hate You, Richmond. 2 Teach With Love Brand America | Turns Out the World is Important Wanted: Catalysts for Co-Creation The Importance of Design A Good Martini 30 Seconds of Fame Mobile Advertising: I’m Hanging Up Now The Church of Divine Digital Forgiveness Trick Your Brain! Everything I Know About Strategy I Learned From Project Runway Interview with Adrian Ho Technology Killed the Conversation, But Beer Can Bring It Back Compensation Model and Intellectual Property This Time Around A Richmond Apology Grid and Pixel How to Ingratiate Yourself Into the Green Marketplace: Don’t Greenwash Recruiting With the Wow Factor Break the Glass Low Brow Humor Naturally-Flavored Fruity Creativity - About the School Dear Prospective VCU Brandcenter Student Lessons Learned From the Board Internships Travel the World - Alumni VCU Brandcenter - It’s in the Game Is Powerpoint Ruling Our Lives? Class of 2008 Websites
4 12 15 17 22 24 25 29 33 39 42 43 47 53 55 59 63 64 67 68 71 72 73 75 78 79 81 83 84 88 89 91 92 95 97 99 103 113
ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: (student contributors) CANDICE ANDERSON, ANDREW AUGERI, ALEXIS BASS, DANIELLE BAUKH, FORREST BOLEYN, MARCUS BROWN, LESLIE BUKER, DAVID BYRD, LUIS CARRANZA, DANIEL CASE, CHRISTINA CHANG, CAITLIN CODY, E.B. DAVIS, GAURAV DE, SLATE DONALDSON, JILLIAN DRESSER, JESSICA GARRETT, ELIZABETH GERSHMAN, TIM GORDON, JD HUMPHREYS, NICK KAPLAN, KATIE KELLEY, SUE KIM, KIRSTEN KLIEMAN, JOSH KOBRIN, KAREN LAND, ERIC LARKIN, JILL LIN, NIEN LIU, AJ LIVSEY, JENNIFER MARAVILLAS, BRYAN MARVILLE, JOSEPH QUATTRONE, CASEY RAND, ARI RATNER, JASON ROSENBERG, DAVID SOUTHERLAND, BETH STONE, KHUSHBOO SURANA, BRIAN THIBODEAU, DAVID TRESTON, TOR WEEKS, LAURA WILSON VITAMINS AND MINERALS: (faculty and industry contributors) RICK BOYKO, PETER COUGHTER, CALEY CANTRELL, CABELL HARRIS, DON JUST, SCOTT WITTHAUS, CHARLES HALL, WAYNE GIBSON, MARK FENSKE, EARL COX, BRIAN COLLINS, ED COTTON, DAVID DROGA, HEIDE GARDNER, ADRIAN HO, JANET KESTIN, JOE LAWSON, KEITH REINHARD, TATA SATO, CLIVE WILKINSON, MARK WAITES * Layout and design by Diana Ojibway
AD: Daniel Case CW: Nick Kaplan CLIENT: Garmin
AD: Karen Land CW: Casey Rand CLIENT: Benjamin Moore
Inside the brain of Clive Wilkinson
Culture: Curiously Introspective The curiously introspective nature of an ad agency has been an anomaly in business culture. Until now. Clive Wilkinson has harnessed this introspective energy in the form of physical space. He has been a pioneer in the change of the business culture through space. For Wilkinson, the change in the workplace environment was championed by ad agencies. “People running ad agencies live and die by creativity,” says Wilkinson. But, as we know, creativity is at its best when it happens through collaboration. By creating spaces that foster collaboration, Wilkinson believes people have more room to stretch their creativity. Wilkinson believes we need variety. Variety of color. Variety in how we interact with one another. The new Brandcenter space reflects Wilkinson’s beliefs and experience in designing spaces for new business cultures. From its inception it was “not to be an academic institution, but rather a threshold of the real world,” says Wilkinson.
by Alexis Bass, Communications Strategist
SPACE Rethinking the modern workplace “The traditional desk used to be essential,” says Wilkinson, but he admits that today, that is not the case. He believes that the
change in the transmission of media has created a higher level of mobility, and people need more of a reason to come to work than “to just do work.” This notion has served as the
catalyst for many changes he has seen take place in the workplace over the past few years. Most of which have been of his doing. In an interview with Fast Company in 2007, Wilkinson said, “The workplace is ideally a mirror of the organization in the same way that the human body represents how its organs collaborate as a multifaceted machine.” At Brandcenter our body thrives on a level of ambiguity. There is “a fluidity between workspaces” within the building to encourage collaboration and social interaction among its occupants. The workplace is becoming “a place of social settings happening on 13
a much larger scale,” says Wilkinson.
Creative Thinking Should be the business of businesses “Creativity should be the business of most businesses, but ends up second to operational issues,” says Wilkinson. But he does see a light at the end of the tunnel through the use of new spaces. “New spaces have opened their [businesses’] eyes to a new way of working.” With the movement closer and closer
the idea of how space can be used is vital. A movement that we have not quite arrived at, but are to a paperless office,
on the cusp of, according to Wilkinson.
VCU Brandcenter A space and culture defined by creative thinking VCU Brandcenter is about change. Changing perceptions. Changing the rules. Even changing names. In January of 2008, we experienced a renaissance: a rebirth and revival of who we are. We
We changed the definition of what it means to be an academic institution. It is no coincidence that Clive Wilkinsonâ€™s vision for changed our name. We changed our location.
our new home has set a new standard for academia.
Clive Wilkinson and Associates was founded in 1991 in LA. In addition to the VCU Brandcenter, they have designed spaces for TBWA\Chiat\Day in LA and NYC, Google, FCB and Mother London, among many others. Clive Wilkinson, President and Design Director, is a native South African educated at the University of Cape Town and Londonâ€™s Architectural Association School of Architecture. He has won many awards and most recently was inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame.
Dr es se
d an Br e ti v Ar t rea Dire ctor, Katie Kelley - C
an ag er
le 0 ar ey oll s ab ,00 on ct, a e j d m o r a a g P 0 w 3 ay isin e Tap n1 EF n ra ped Th ly p o o l a C e p v d I e d e 5 h r a im N t In 2007, Drog cente ,U to s nitiative ore on s ree ty r f t a New York City-based i m r p ni fo o ant r u t u a d t s e e t r r v for UNICEF. By asking or ate y ser gw ormall pp stin n e i r o e k w in a for the tap water they an dr the s dr ive cle h g i o t t h i g u w nd to raise $100,000. Eno . ked mo a month r s o f h a i a s A c t d i children in Africa an as .R ss w lity a l a c e g hr andin hars nal Br a o i t a d n r e e nt rs? realiz But when Rick Boyko’s I d, they nd e n o o m h c i oR i ch m to bring the campaign t oR at t . k r t o Y w s th van r e l cally different from Ne h, e e r 16t ond come h m e b c h d r i ng n ic Ma pat gR reness a i a w n n a i c e s i i o a r t r m How could this effo nd art nd nfor 5p mo ld. A ign i 7 h r a p c o n i m tha eR he w t, a ca ore nd t t Th ple Effec u p i m R a o e r h T h e a d e t Brandcenter launch sults to th ure huge re ked e ns s c a l h o l r a i l l ﬂ o d something as little as a ss w media ucce nd local s a s r s e ’ o g t n n a 2008, students, restaur mpaig e the ca p o h e W . r part restaurants to do thei ome. years to c r o f s e u n i t n o c Tap Project
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is fo r M o th e r T e re s a and Gandh i. G o o d b e I t b e lo n g s lo n g s to s c in n u rs in g h o m e to o , b u t w h o o l te a c h s a n d o rp h h a t b u s in e e rs a n d a ft a nages. The ss does go er school s re is g o o d o d h a v e in p e c ia ls . in m a n y p la th e m a rk e tp c e s a n d in la c e ? some peop w il l a lw a y s le b e th e b o tt o m li n e in b u s in e s s , b fe e t to th e u t in c re a s in fi re a n d re tr e a t th e w g ly , c o n s u m q u ir in g th e m o rl d in w h e rs a re h o ld to b e m o re ic h th e y li v in g b ra n d s re s p o n s ib le e . T h is is li n e , w h ic h ’ w th it e a tt it u d e h th e ir a c ti is a te rm th th a t h a s b ons and ho a t p la c e s th ir w th e y th e d th e e a company e im p o rt a n m e rg e n c e ’s p ri n c ip le c e o f p la n e o f th s . T h in k in t e a tr n d p e o p le n ip le b o tt o m g w it h th e v e ry c lo u d e x t to th e tr ip le b o tt y s u b je c t to c o n s id o e m li n e in m ra ti o n o f p ta k e h o ld ro fi t in o f w h e n it in d is n o t g a th e re d to a new con c o m e s to im g e th e r a fe c e p t b u t it p le m e n ta ti w in d u s tr y is s ti ll a o n a n d ju s le a d e rs w h ti fi c a ti o n . o u n d e rs ta T h is is w h n d th e p o w y we have e r a n d p ro fi ts o f a b ra n d d o in g g ood.
s one of the founders of the Dove Real Beauty Campaign, Kestin talks about how to get a company to consider the triple bottom line. “It starts at the top,” she says. “It takes a big eﬀort to step into this space and you need the right
kind of leadership and the right brand to go there. It’s easy to say positive things, it’s another to actually do them. Doing takes ﬁnancial and behavioral change.” She continues, “Not all clients have the nerves of steel it can take to go this NOT ALL CLIENTS HAVE THE NERVES... BUT PAYOFF AWAITS FOR THOSE WHO DO route. But the payoﬀ awaits for those who do.” She continued by emphasizing the importance of relevance and “natural ﬁt for the brand.” She added the
secret, “[to] be authentic in a company’s eﬀorts–walk the walk and nothing negative will stick.” Dove’s campaign about real beauty is “talk,” but its promise to cease retouching their models is a “walk” that is both creative and an answer to a real problem in our society.
She included Ogilvy’s Big Ideal process for inclusion of the triple
bottom line. “It’s the intersection of the brand’s best self, with the issue in the
world they’re naturally poised to take on. We start by asking ourselves, is this brand well
positioned to do some good? And if so, what can that look like? It’s a fantastic exercise. It’s
a thrilling moment to contemplate putting the power of a great brand behind social change.” Janet Kestin, Ogilvy & Mather + Dove Real Beauty Campaign
avid Droga is fueling the brilliance behind the UNICEF Tap Project, a national campaign that gathers restau-
rants across the country to promote a dollar donation for typically free tap
water. Droga clearly understands the role brands can play in solving social problems. We asked him about the
increasing importance of the triple
and communications. He is clear about the
importance of incorporating the triple bottom line and it being an integral factor in how decisions are made.
fun and have a sense of morality about them too.”
Droga5’s newest example of how this can manifest is seen
in the Million Project. The NY Department of Education
commissioned Droga5 to “brand achievement” for high school students. To do this, they “looked to the nature of
how teenagers communicate; what is important to
AL IS E PIT SS A CI M A L C U R E A R EN KE T T THE F U TP IAL L AC E
He began our conversation with, “It’s in-
them.” Instead of typical advertising, this led to the creation of
future marketplace. Good businesses know
powers one million students with a free phone jam packed with
evitable. Social capital is essential in the
that and are taking the opportunity, not
because it necessarily feels good, but because 19
doing something. Ultimately he thinks “brands can have some
bottom line in the culture of business
company’s need to survive, he says there is always a better way of
- that is where the money is.” Identifying a
the Million Project, a cell-phone incentive program that em-
David Droga, Droga 5 + UNICEF Tap Project
einhard is clear to say that corpo-
and caring consumers) will be based on what
are popular, but motivations to
than on product attributes or adver-
rate social responsibility programs
invest in them are varied. He ﬁnds hope in
some basic values of the free market. He sites
three market factors that will ultimately merge to reconcile the conﬂicts of the triple bottom
line: the instant transferability of technology, a
better informed consumer; and the blogosphere. “Let me try to explain,” he says. “In
most product and service categories,
a brand ‘stands for’ and how it behaves tising claims. The blogosphere will keep companies honest.” He is a strong believer in the free market stating “our job is to create consumer demand for ‘people’ and ‘planet’ friendly brands. When that happens, com-
parity is already the rule. It is almost impossible, given today’s technol-
ogy, to sustain a meaningful, intrinsic product or
panies will not only ﬁnd it easier
will be instantly copied by its competitors and
ﬁnd that triple bottom line behavior is
service diﬀerence. Any brand’s ‘secret ingredient’ parity will reign again. This means that more and more, the brand selection (by informed
to resolve the present conﬂicts, they’ll
absolutely necessary to their survival.”
Keith Reinhard, DDB + Business for Diplomatic Action
learly passionate about this topic, Ed Cotton empha-
ciﬁcally he spoke of the diﬀerence between a Prius and a
involved with the triple bottom line, the complexity of
in terms of sheer numbers produced, the waste created and
sizes three key points: the three tiers of businesses
the situation and the eﬀect of media transparency. The ﬁrst tier businesses are the stalwarts. They were founded on strong principles and values that reﬂect so-
cially responsible thinking that resonates from their business core into their extension lines. The second tier companies are retroactive. In other words, they messed up and were
Hummer. While Prius is certainly perceived as less harmful, diﬃcult disposal of the batteries may have a more harmful impact on the planet. This is not to say that Hum-
mer is better for the environment, just to illustrate there is a lot we don’t know.
He believes that ultimately adoption of
the triple bottom line is a cultural deci-
forced by outraged consumers to face the
music and change their ways. Examples of hot topics include fair trade practices and improved working conditions. The last tier is composed of a new breed of companies:
sion and the biggest hurdle to its adop-
social entrepreneurs like Zipcar and
tion are the companies that “would rather
Nau Clothing who, “from day one,”
not say anything because they are afraid
were built upon these principles.
they are going to get negative reactions.”
They were birthed out of awareness.
With today’s media transparency and the un-
folding world of the web, brands must be brave.
Cotton realizes that not every cir-
cumstance will be black & white. He
spoke to the complexities of the situation,
especially when pertaining to the environment,
Ed Cotton, Butler Shine Stern + Partners + Planning For Good
citing examples of cradle to grave. More spe-
In the end,
we ﬁnd tha
t triple bott om line thin tr king is not ansforming the consum a n e w c on c into a mov er. And it ’s e p t by a n y ement that not just ad means but is being resu ults; active are increasi it is rrected by teenagers w n g e x p on e n the wants a ho conside tiall y. W ha nd needs o r a brand ’s world is ca t does this f social and tching on th mean for th environme at the triple e marketpla n ta l bottom lin ce of the fu impact e is becomin ture? As o f now it se g less an op ems the tion and m ore a way to survive. Illustrations by Brian Thibodeau, Art Director
ALLIANCE FOR CLIMATE PROTECTION: GUERRILLA Displayed and distributed at relevant retail spaces, these products aim to challenge the complacent attitude many hold in regards to climate change and provoke consumers to ďŹ nd real solutions at www.climateprotect.org.
AD: Jillian Dresser CW: Nick Kaplan CLIENT: Alliance for Climate Protection
I have embraced my Attention Deficit Disorder by turning a weakness into a strength. By working on a wide range of projects, absorbing enormous amounts of stimuli, and constantly challenging myself to re-invent, each client and every project is rewarded. It is my belief that work gets better if you find more ways and unconventional methods to attack it.
Did I mention Iâ€™m also dyslexic?
SURVIVING IN RICHMOND AS AN ILLEGAL ALIEN by international students, Casey Rand - Copywriter and Tim Gordon - Copywriter
A BRIEF HISTORY OF RICHMOND: Richmond was declared the capital of the confederacy in 1861. Four years of brutal war ensued. Then the city got electric streetcars. But the great depression ruined everything. On the upside, PBR is still dirt-cheap.
America runs on the US dollar. All the bills look the same. Be careful not to get them confused. Should you not have said dollars, pawn shops are plentiful and buy many useful items, such as guitars, “diamonds,” and beanie babies. Should you not have anything to pawn, get acquainted with the many cash advance options the city has to offer. Check N’ Go, Cash 2 U and Check City are reliable and conveniently open 24 hours a day.
CUSTOMS AND RITUALS Following are some of the city’s most deﬁ ning characteristics: COMFORT FOOD: Mac n’ cheese, fried chicken, pulled pork, creamed spinach and black-eyed peas. It’s big, it’s fattening and it’s delicious.
MARATHONS: With excessive eating, comes necessary exercise. Chances are you’ll spend most of your time at the Brandcenter, watching people more svelte than you run the multiple races that take over the city. PERSONALIZED LICENSE PLATES: Virginia has the highest occurrence of vanity plates in America. Past favorites include: 2MRGRL, GLBL WMR and CHEESE.
TRANSPORTATION If you don’t have a car, get one. If you can’t get one, don’t come. Ok, come, but get a bike. Actually, screw the car, just get a bike. Bikers own the streets of Richmond and rightfully so, what with all the non-polluting they do. In case you still rollerblade, here’s a tip: no one does that anymore. The bus is cool. It comes sometimes. Enjoy the wait and bring Purell.
VIRGINIA STATE FAIR A must-see in Richmond, the Virginia State Fair will change your life forever. Yes, there are rides and games galore, but the real fun starts with the fryer. Fried dough, fried Oreos, fried Pepsi, fried turkey legs, fried fries deep-fried in fry. There’s something for every taste bud. Other gems include Gabbor the Gorilla Girl, Serpent Lady and the world’s smallest woman. Bring your camera and some Pepto.
FLORA AND FAUNA
Richmond is very culturally diverse. On any given day, you’re likely to cross paths with any of the following individuals:
Do you have binoculars? Awesome. On a clear day, you can spot:
HIPSTERS Forget Brooklyn, Richmond is the epicenter of the hipster world. Recognize these bohemians by their abundant ﬂ annel, overgrown beards and jeans so tight you can see the chafe marks.
PREPPIES Running in opposing circles as the hipsters, Preppies can be found wearing immaculately pressed khakis, seersucker and pastel polos.
They’re in the bottom. They shit on everything. Including you.
If you ever end up in the Fan, be sure to bring a stroller. Otherwise, everyone will know you’re FOREIGN.
NOISE BUGS! EEEEE. EEEEE. EEEEE. No one knows what they’re called, but these horrible creatures only come out at night, right before you fall asleep. They totally suck.
STATUES! So tall, so majestic, so many.
ABANDONED BUILDINGS! So tall, not so majestic, so many.
STUDENTS The most concentrated population in Richmond, occupying an eight-block radius. You’ll ﬁ nd them draped in sweatpants and smelling of Qdoba.
DANGERS AND ANNOYANCES Everything closes on Sundays. Stock up on booze and other essentials the rest of the week. At ﬁ rst you’ll think it’s nice and quaint, but you’ll get over that.
OLD MONEY You’ll probably never meet anyone with old money. Should some ﬂ uke occur, appropriate topics of conversation include their miniature schnauzer’s lactose intolerance, and/or late night hooliganism on Monument Ave.
Richmonders can’t drive. They’re slow, unaware of their surroundings and unresponsive to road rage. The temptation to match this incompetence will be strong. Don’t cave. One-way streets make getting anywhere six times longer than necessary. You will be able to see your destination, but will never actually get there. Undergrads are everywhere, but you’ll never know where they hang out until ending up in the spot yourself. Though seemingly ridiculous in a city as small as Richmond, lineups will greet you Thursday through Saturday at most bars and clubs. One way to combat this phenomenon is to go out Tuesday, or not at all.
When you’re not busy sleeping under the ping-pong table at 103 S. Jefferson Street, Richmond has an eclectic array of activities to distract you. It is in your best interest to act like a human being some of the time you spend here. Going outside is a start. To avoid being overwhelmed by fresh air, have a plan. Here are some starting suggestions:
1 Get coffee at Buzzy’s in Church Hill 1
2 Get a drink at New York Deli in Carytown 3 If you’re not claustrophobic, get sushi at Akida 4 Pretend to recognize names on graves at
Hollywood Cemetary 5 Sample every recipe at the Brunswick Stew Festival 6 If you’re short on time, hit up the 7-Eleven and strike up
a conversation with the clerk. Last time we checked, she was 14 and driving.
First Year Creative Thinking Class - Mark Fenske Assignment: Create a card with a message.
Swara Rane, Art Director
Matthew Norton, Art Director
Assignment: Create a t-shirt.
ADDITION AND SUBTRACTION E Q U A L
D I V I S I O N
Current wisdom has it that all communication divides neatly into two categories: ‘reductive, ’ that practiced by traditional ad agency dinosaurs and ‘additive, ’ that known to the more enlightened digital divas. Reductive messages, the argument goes, are subtractive, and those who seek to distill the size and the scope of brand information are guilty of manipulating unsuspecting consumers by assaulting them with one-way pro-positions born from the voodoo art of brand positioning. And, in turn, messages that are driven by positioning are summarily ignored—or should be—by the consumers suffering the assaults.
B Y C O M PA R I S O N , additive messages are presumed to be more reliable and relevant, because, well, there are more of them! So, add another page to a website and, voila, better content. Add a thousand more pages, and we’re all to get down right tingly.
But don’t conversations and communities start with reductive ideas that have been crisply expressed and put “out there” to stimulate conversation and elicit response? Did you hear about those new “Computers for the Rest of Us?” What do you think? Have you seen that little Beetle bug that suggests we “Think Small?” Could we have some fun in that or what? Or, “Just Do It!” Pass it on. All are reductive, and all were global conversation starters.
In a time-starved world, what’s wrong with capturing the essence of a big idea and
they’ve been doing so since the advent of planning. A host of engagement techniques, like consumer panels, product tests, discovery groups, environmental observation, ethnographic studies, depth interviews, concept tests, exit interviews, man-on-the-street intercepts, satisfaction surveys, lifestyle analyses, shop-a-longs, and, more recently, digital conversation have provided the consumer a seat at the table for one purpose, to enable dialogue between brands and their users and prospects. Unlike the days when Henry Ford said arrogantly that “if he’d asked the consumers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse, ” marketers of recent times would have recommended that he asked the right questions, like, maybe for starters, “Would you prefer your car in a color other than black?!”
reducing the verbiage that surrounds it? In a time-starved world, what’s wrong with capturing the essence of a big idea and reducing the verbiage that surrounds it? Why won’t real people—those with real non-digital jobs, car pools and mortgages to pay—continue to respond to the simplification, i.e. reduction, of millions of messages into something they have time to actually absorb and use? Because, say the divas, those messages are born of agency planners who contrive insights that fuel one key idea of their own invention—a one-way world where planners substitute their own intellect and opinion for that of consumers. Rubbish. Good planners don’t invent insights. Rather, they understand that thoughtful brand positioning relies on capturing insights that are informed, better yet, articulated by consumers, and
There has been a long interlude since the days of Drake’s Plantation Bitters, St. Jacobs Oil and Lydia Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound and the singular focus on one-way hucksterism as the way to develop consumer loyalty. Enlightened marketers of the past 50 years have recognized the value of honest dialogue with their customers, and, while there are still plenty of hucksters in the world, to suggest that additive digital “truth” is any more honest or ethical than reductive truth is an argument that is questionable, at best. Perhaps we’re to accept that truth becomes more believable because it’s delivered on a computer screen or mobile device (I mean, how bitchin’ keen is that?!) or because it’s recited by the voices of a million lemmings. The fact is that good marketers have been providing honest
D o n
J u s t ,
P ro f e s s o r
information (oops, content) to their users for years, because they know that dishonesty will be discovered and their brands will be the losers in the long run. Seen any overpromising banner ads or received any misleading spam lately? Likewise, truly great copywriters may use few words. But in those reductive few words they can find the power to move markets, not by reducing brands to a punch line but by artfully reflecting brand values that are closely harmonized with consumer needs, lifestyles and preferences. And, there is no reason why we ordinary people can’t or shouldn’t join the conversation. In fact, for years, we have. Social networking, consumer communities and tribes of all sorts are not the evolved brainchilds of digital monkeys. For decades, consumers have been using party lines, community centers, interest groups, lobbying organizations, churches, alumni associations, political parties and a thousand other such social networks to call out brands via word of mouth. Ask Ford about the Edsel. Word travels fast, and the fact that digital technology facilitates this interaction to make it faster and more efficient neither makes it a new concept nor desirable in every life circumstance. At the same time, there are many daily decisions made by consumers that don’t benefit from a thousand voices, let alone a million, especially from people I’ve never met. When it comes to canned peas I’ll trust my grandma and the Green Giant. As for most of the rest, I’ll rely on smaller, reliable networks that include members I know and trust. Finally, in the face of the oncoming digital tide, many digital pundits advance the fashionable notion that, despite the fact that companies have billions invested, marketers should allow consumers to shape the destiny of their brands. Throw everything else aside and recognize that there is no room for smart brand managers to exercise control. And, amidst all the talk about consumer control, some marketing practitioners are rushing to pursue digital applications without close examination of their effects on brand equity. Whether afraid that they will be left behind by hipper looking competitors or bowing to the pressure of executive suite demands for newsworthy applications, brand managers may find themselves chasing digital executions as a substitute for real strategy. As one agency executive put it recently,
the question often asked by clients is not, “How can digital technology plus our brand strategy?” But rather, “what is our YouTube strategy?” Should the medium dictate the brand strategy for smart marketers? Must marketers cede control of their brands to the MySpacers and Second Lifers? Doubtful on both counts. The fact is that, while screens, interfaces, links and other TBD digital whiz-bang offer a new set of tools, the notion that all other tools must be discarded is a siren song. Advertising is dead! Agencies will cease to exist! Traditional media are all ready for the ashheap of history! Makes great headlines. But is the world to be only comprised of “1s” and “0s?” Does greatness only take place at lightspeed? Must I check with my global community before starting my day? Or become resolved to living my life in a virtual world? It is more exhilarating to climb a mountain than to have your avatar do it for you. It is equally true that too many agencies have delayed too long in adopting the new digital tools. But that should come as no surprise. That’s the way of companies in most industries when dealing with breakthrough technologies and methods. After all, pioneers do take a lot of arrows. However, smart first tier agencies have recognized and are taking advantage of the capabilities of digital for what it is, a legitimate enabling technology that makes things work better and a powerful alternative media technology that offers new opportunities to engage consumers. But, like other replacement technologies before it—magazines, radio, tv, cable tv, mobile etc.— digital need not replace all that has come before it nor will it prevent the new nano-etherlasportation technologies yet to be born. Rather, it should be considered as an important piece of an integrated approach to satisfying consumer wants and needs— one slice of a future comprised of many slices, some reductive and some additive.
Which means that there is still room for a powerful reductive headline in a beautifully compelling print ad that gives rise to a chorus of consumer conversation.
AD: Karen Land CW: Michael Flannery CLIENT: JB Weld
AD: Eric Larkin 2 CW: Kasey Foster CLIENT: USPS
CreateAthon on Campus by Alexis Bass, Communications Strategist During Spring Break of 2008, a miracle happened. Forty-three students from the VCU Brandcenter and School of Mass Communications gave up Thursday, March 13th and Friday, March 14th of Spring Break to create marketing communications for 12 non-profits in the Richmond area in a nonstop 24-hour time period. A CreateAthon on Campus. CreateAthon, an international, 24-hour, work-around-the-clock creative blitz began at RIGGS Advertising in Columbia, SC in 1998. As of 2007, CreateAthon has benefited 833 nonprofit organizations with projects valued at $7 million. CreateAthon on Campus was the first time this international program has been brought to the world of academia. As the pilot program for the academic model, VCU Brandcenter and the School of Mass Communications put their heads together for creating social goodwill.
The CreateAthon Crew: Fearless leader: Peyton Rowe, Associate Professor VCU School of Mass Communications VCU Brandcenter students: Andrew Augeri, Alexis Bass, Hanah Contreras, Jessica Garrett, Megan Hailey, Patrick Lorentz, Lydia Kim, Joe Quattrone, Rebecca Rodrigues, Beth Stone, Laura Wilson, Diana Brost, Jake Dubs, Nerissa Marbury, Chuck McQuilkin, Michael Schmidt, Anish Shah, Jeenal Shah and Chris Vandette.
33 VCU School of Mass Communications students: Erin Dabrowski, Kearsten Feggans, Maria Goller, Francis Labra, Richard Langhorne,
Carrie Lefler, Linda Poole, Danielle Sands, Chyrie Sell, Jaya Ramani, Nick Wathall, Patrick Benbow, David Canavan, Aimee Elmer, Austin Evans, Allyson Hunter, Josh McClaire, Andrew Millon, Matt Ramsey, Carly Reed ,Liz Shields and Dana Wernecke.
Asleep at the computer? No, just singing. This is before the Mac Lab turned into a dance club at 3am. This is my room. Upon arriving at 8am, we all found our groups. Then there was a mad rush to find the workroom closest to where the food was served and a projector screen. Just in case, we needed The Office on as background noise.
Our expertise in being able to sleep anywhere from late nights at VCU Brandcenter came in handy. Megan takes advantage of some down time to catch a few winks. And no, she is not sucking her thumb.
To keep up our energy and sugar levels there was a Krispy Kreme run at 10:30pm. The hats were the best part. After being in the same building since 8am, we were easily entertained.
We went outside to watch the sunrise over Richmond before breakfast and the presentations to the non-profit clients at 8am.
This is an example of a new identity package for Offender Aid and Restoration of Richmond, Inc.- one of the 12 non-profits assigned to each group. The other 11 non-profits were: Richmond Friends of the Homeless, The Faces of HOPE, Coordinators2inc, Twin Saddles Therapeutic Riding, Inc., Richmond Affiliate, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Lifelong Learning Institute, Chesterfield Virginia Council for Economic Education, Jackson-Field Homes for Girls, Connect Richmond, The James House and The United Virginia Chapter of the National Hemophilia Foundation. What happened next was the most incredible experience of our lives. We presented our work to the non-profits. And while you might think exhaustion would have kicked in, it actually seemed to fuel us. After each group presented, there were tears of joy, cheers, smiles and thank yous from both sides of the table. The amount of work we had produced in just 24 hours was fascinating and inspiring. We exceeded the expectations of the non-profits and ourselves. These 24 hours benefited not only the non-profit organizations we presented to, but the people they serve. In these 24 hours, we all realized the power of our talents and the power of using time for a purpose bigger than ourselves.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN IN 1829, A 20-YEAR-OLD
KILLED HIMSELF. LOST CONTROL AND NEARLY
WITH A GUN HE TRIED TO END HIS AGONY
BUT FRIENDS STOPPED HIM.
SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE.ORG
WHOSE LIFE WILL YOU SAVE?
AD: Leslie Buker CW: Latasha Ewell CLIENT: Suicide Prevention Lifeline.org
AD: Daniel Case CW: Tim Gordon CLIENT: Shelter.org.uk
AD: Eric Larkin 2 CW: Derek Szynal CS: Jacob Lake CBM: Daniel Riddick CLIENT: Swiss Miss
by J.D. Humphreys, Art Director
AD: Elizabeth Gershman CW: Gaurav De CLIENT: Rosetta Stone
Learn German, and fast. Ridiculously fast language learning through image.
AD: Marcus Brown CW: Diana Brost CS: Nien Lu CBM: Elizabeth Streibich CLIENT: Brand America
AD: Brian Thibodeau CW: Derek Szynal CS: Jacob Lake CBM: Joe Quattrone CLIENT: Brand America
AD: Daniel Case CW: Gaurav De CS: Harding Royster CBM: Abhineet Singh CLIENT: Boy Scouts
First Year Creative Thinking Class Assignment: Create something using four pieces of white paper.
Jay Adams, Art Director
Michael Ng, Copywriter
THE IMPORTANCE OF 53
I got into advertising because of my love for design. I have always been fascinated with the evolutionary drive that turned an ordinary toothbrush into the Reach toothbrush; and then into the Reach toothbrush with a rubber non-slip grip. Iʼve always wanted to be behind the wheel of this kind of thinking; the kind that never leaves “good enough” alone. In my first year at the VCU Brandcenter I met Brian Collins, who is a living, breathing embodiment of design thinking. I was able to talk to Brian in the first place because he sits on our schoolʼs board of directors. He was speaking to a group of us about the importance of design when he said something that really stuck with me: “If you donʼt have good design, you donʼt have anything to advertise.” BOOM. It was one of those statements that punches you square in the chest. Okay. So what does this mean for us in advertising? What defines “design?” Letʼs start with the word itself. “Design” is a sexy word, but overused. There is the TLC definition of the word, which has to do with style, fashion, interior design, or the look of Ty Penningtonʼs spiked hair. Then there is the Target “design for all” sense of the word. This gives Target something to say to make itself hip. And, well, it is. Its democratization of design has driven the company’s rise against its fiercest competitor, Wal-Mart. But when Brian Collins uses the word “design,” he is speaking to something a lot bigger than the cut of Ty Penningtonʼs hair – or even the success of Target. He is speaking to the process of making peopleʼs lives better, easier, healthier, more rewarding. I asked Collins for his thoughts on design. “A good word for design is empathy. Empathy is the ability to ‘put oneself into someone else’s shoes.’ To really understand the experience, the viewpoint and even the dreams of other people – and to know that so deeply within yourself that it creates a kind of emotional resonance with the puzzle you are working on. “Many creative people in advertising still view what they do as ‘problem SOLVING.’ So they ask problem-solving questions. Those questions often start with the word ‘HOW:’ ‘HOW should we launch this campaign?’ ʻHOW do we build a great website?ʼ ʻHOW can we make an ad that kicks some ass?’ “Sure, HOW questions are important, but they are production-driven and reinforce patterns you already know.
an interview with
BRIAN COLLINS “My team and I are much more interested in ‘problem MAKING’ questions. “Basically, ‘WHAT’ questions. Asking ‘WHAT’ forces you to explore more interesting possibilities. “WHAT questions innovate. ‘WHAT are people looking for that they canʼt find?’ ‘WHAT can we provide them to make their lives better?’ ‘WHAT more can we do to be more relevant to our customers?’ These kinds of questions shouldn’t lead you down the same old roads.” He added that good design takes one more thing other than empathy: courage. Courage is when somebody breaks the ﬂow and tries something new - uncommon in risk-averse cultures, which, Collins believes, plague too many ad agencies. When Collins began talking about courage I thought he was going to get philosophically deep. Instead, he gave me a quote from Winnie the Pooh. “ʻHere is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it.ʼ” Awkward silence. But then you get it. Somebody has to innovate to make change happen. Somebody with empathy and courage. Somebody who has the audacity to step out with a bigger question: “Can’t we make this…better?” Here is an example we are all familiar with: cleaning products. Most cleaning products only seek to solve the immediate
by Daniel Case, Art Director
problem, i.e., “how can we make cleaning less horrible?” On top of that, almost all of them are nothing more than stacks of visual pollution when displayed on the shelf. They have garish, obnoxious packaging. And they are typically brought home and shoved as far back into the cupboard as possible in the hope they wonʼt leak their ugliness into your beautiful kitchen. They are designed for what the packaging industry calls “shelfpop” – the ability to capture your eye instantly. This has always been the big brand approach. 54
Google Eric Ryan. Eric doesn’t solve the problem the way the big brands do. His little company Method enters the scene and asks, “how can cleaning products become a better part of peopleʼs lives?” His products are so beautifully packaged that people actually put them on top of the counter, instead of under it. They are so safe - and smell so good - that people actually enjoy the cleaning process. People no longer have to endure bad design when it comes to cleaning, thanks to Method. When Steve Jobs creates an ad for a new laptop, all he has to do is to place it on a table, open it up and take a picture of it. Because Jobs knows that the design itself is the idea. He doesn’t need an ad with half-naked models ﬂashing his product. He doesn’t need cheesy gradients, spheroids and screaming graphics on his packaging to make his point. Apple’s great design sells itself. As brand ambassadors it is imperative that we use design thinking, and not only advertising thinking. This means we canʼt sit on our heels when it comes to the brand and how people really interact with it. This means we may need to get behind the wheel of evolution and see if we can design something better. Because if we donʼt have good design, we donʼt have anything to advertise.
Not many people can take credit for being described as “having a sense of humor like a good dry martini,” but that’s exactly how Tata Sato, a member of VCU Brandcenter’s Board of Directors, has been described. Tata is a Managing Partner and Director of Insights at MindShare, where she utilizes her background in account planning and consumer research to develop creative approaches to better understand the changing consumer, brand, and media usage dynamics. Her mission is to provide pragmatic insights that serve to enhance the overall communications planning process. I have been intrigued with Tata since she joined the Board of Directors. She is one of the few board members who works in media, a dream that I had when I first arrived at the Brandcenter. My curiosity continued to grow when she came to speak to our Portfolio Development class.
First, it was the way she carried herself. Tata is such a petite women but has a personality that could fill twenty rooms or more. The class could feel the passion that came from her body language and presentation. The determination and success that she spoke about were motivating and inspiring. This was one woman that I could admire throughout my career. After her presentation, I asked if I could send her some questions that were churning in my head. She replied, “But of course.” When I sent them to her, I received a response within minutes: “OMG…this is enough to induce a nervous breakdown and speed up a midlife crisis but I will give it a shot.” What followed next were answers that provided a clear, descriptive inspirational response.
INGREDIENTS : 1 2/3 oz Gin 1/3 oz Dry Vermouth 1 Olive 1 Tata Sato
TA SA A GOOD
What has been your biggest achievement in life?
I have yet to run the New York marathon, so ask me again in November. What has been the toughest thing during your career? Keeping up with the rapid changes in the market, industry, and discipline. Where has been your favorite place to work? Why? My favorite job was a part-time job at the now defunct Shakespeare & Co., a bookstore on the Upper West Side. As a book lover, it was the most fun job I ever had (I even helped Philip Roth find a book). If you had one sentence to sell someone on MindShare, what would you say? MindShare is an exciting place to be with really great people in an industry that’s in the eye of the storm, morphing as we speak.
Where do you see media going in the future? Will newspaper and TV survive? While the word ‘fragmentation’ is often used to describe today’s media landscape, I prefer ‘multiplication.’ I don’t see consumers necessarily giving up any media. Instead, they keep on adding more to their repertoire as more choices and options become available. It’s a beautiful thing, and it’s only the beginning. What do you hope to accomplish by being on the VCU Brandcenter’s Board of Directors? To provide a better understanding of what a media agency does today and the role it plays in the overall communications ecosystem. More specifically, why consumer insights are critical in media. What advice would you give to those graduating this year from the Brandcenter? Be daring, try new things, and take risks. This is the time of your life to do it.
Interview by Jessica Garrett, Communications Strategist
The Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) asked VCU Brandcenter students to develop a campaign to promote their 2008 Call For Entries. The AICP Awards honor the best film work in the world, and winners are archived in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
CLIENT: AICP CONVERSATION CARDS AD: Karen Land CW: Tim Gordon
IF ITâ€™S ART CAMPAIGN AD: Kirsten Klieman, Jill Lin CW: Kasey Foster CS: Quintina Conway
MOVING PICTURES CAMPAIGN AD: Elizabeth Gershman, EB Davis CW: Diana Brost CS: AJ Livsey
1928: A CARTOON MOUSE DRIVES A STEAMBOAT
1995: AN ELEPHANT SWIMS TO A BOAT
2008 CALL FOR ENTRIES If it’s art, we’ll call you back. The AICP Show is dedicated to preserving the moving image in advertising. Honorees will be archived at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
DEADLINE DATES: Feb. 15 (for work airing February 5, 2007 – February 3, 2008) Feb. 29 (for work airing February 4, 2008 – February 24, 2008)
SFX: Female vocals.
VO: This is what a Honda feels like.
(Man gets out of bed, goes on adventure—gets chased by bear, walks on ceiling, etc.)
SFX: Choir imitates the sounds of a Honda.
Moving pictures weren’t meant for print.
To enter, go to www.aicp.com
Some things read better on film.
17th Annual AICP Show Call for Entries:
17th Annual AICP Show Call for Entries:
Get your work into the permanant archives at MoMa, where it will be shown, stored and celebrated in its intended form.
Get your work into the permanant archives at MoMa, where it will be shown, stored and celebrated in its intended form.
Enter at aicpshow.com by February 15, 2008
Enter at aicpshow.com by February 15, 2008
Luis Carranza, Creative Brand Manager
Mobile Advertising: I’m Hanging Up Now April 2, 2008 9:39 AM
Mobile advertising is one of those things that many marketers think they should be doing. Since mobile penetration is at 80% in the U.S., it’s logical to think that there’s money to be made. If you could reach a fraction of mobile phone users you’d be doing alright. The problem is that mobile devices are first fragmented by device, then by carrier and signal type and finally by use. We haven’t even gotten into demographics yet. There are hundreds of phone models available. Some don’t even have texting capability. Some have GPS, satellite radio, television, Windows and all kinds of other features. There is a very good chance that your audience is part of the 80%. But, how do they use their phones? What features do they have and what features do they use? It matters. Phones, like e-mail, are personal. You can’t use a push strategy on a pull medium. If I didn’t ask for it and I don’t need it, it is phone spam! People use their phones when they need to do something. They may need communication, entertainment or information. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is control. The “end” button exists on all phones in many forms. You can hang up, stop the music, or end a search. If I’m in control, I’ll let you know when I need you. Marketers should focus on creating wants and needs first. If I want something and the best way to get it at that moment is through my phone, I will thank you for making it available on my terms. So don’t call us, we’ll call you, maybe.
THE CHURCH OF DIVINE DIGITAL FORGIVENESS. by Scott Witthaus, Professor Today (February 25, 2008), there was an article on CNN.com about how people are switching from church to church and religion to religion more than ever before. This got me thinking… OK, I might go to hell for this, but I want to start a new church based on the digital landscape around us. First of all, there will be no holy book, per se, but the preachings and stories will be sent directly to everyone’s cell phone (of course if you are on the AT&T network, you will have to step outside to receive them). For the old timers in the digital congregation, USB ﬂash drives will be distributed. No longer will you need to show up at a certain place on a Sunday. Each sermon will be delivered by Video iChat on Sunday with archives available on YouTube in case your faith wavers and you need some digital reinforcement. Why waste time in a confessional? In this new church, confessions will be made by text messages. Nothing like pouring your soul out in Ariel Bold to cleanse the conscience. Everyone is an equal in this new church, as you will be known by your screen name…things like “BblessnownotL8tr” or “Jobsismycopilot.” Tithing will be convenient, with PayPal accounts automatically set up for new church members, and baptisms will be done “live” on the web with your own personal Avatar. Youth groups will be held on Facebook and mission services coordinated through Kiva.org. We will not speak in tongues, rather Twitter and Pownce. Organist? Choir? Nope: iTunes. This new church will preach of the miracles of Apple’s Leopard operating system and the challenges and triumphs of Vista. We will be wary of the devil-incarnate: over produced Flash web sites, and praise clean, elegant sites that give us the information we really want. Our Moses will be folks like Bob Greenberg and his commandments neatly packaged into a 45 minute PowerPoint presentation, and our exodous will be the stories of cast-out editors moving to Final Cut Pro. Our Red Sea will be Google, and the miracle is getting through this sea to ﬁnd exactly what we want the very ﬁrst time. And ﬁnally, our church will be international with translations being handled by sites like Babbleﬁsh.com. A true worldwide community of like-minded digital members. OK, maybe not, and this is all in jest. But it does say something about how our digital environment is changing everything we do and how we live our lives. I have to go now, it’s my turn to archive the church server.
AD: Brian Thibodeau CW: Michael Flannery CS: AJ Livsey CBM: Justin Kohut CLIENT: Ovaltine
EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT STRATEGY I LEARNED FROM by Andrew Augeri, Communications Strategist
It starts with a challenge. Within minutes, the problem solvers rush to their spaces, scrolling through mental consumer insights and gut instincts. And it ends with a constructed story unleashed before judges to determine a winner. Nope, it’s not a new business pitch. It’s a typical hour on Project Runway. Over the course of a Brandcenter day, I watch designers scramble to understand and pitch a creative solution. Laced behind them is a strategic puzzle of competition, alliances and authenticity. In this rollercoaster of ROI, ideas and new media, one day you’re in; the next, you’re out. Just like in fashion. And agencies are learning it the hard way. So, in no particular order, I offer the strategic lessons Project Runway has taught me:
DON’T BORE NINA. With clients and for creative teams, ﬁnd something interesting and compelling, then make it interesting and compelling. Don’t decorate a strategy and insights with the ﬂuff they’ve already seen. Use what’s been done as proof that something fresh is possible.
HAVE A POV. AND KNOW HOW TO DEFEND IT. Designers live and die by the point of view they suggest to the world. It’s their great weapon. We must do the same, not just in how we conduct our work but also in how we speak to it. It’s our greatest weapon. Because our POV colors the insights and directions we steer.
THE TOTAL LOOK IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS THE IDEA. Every part matters in the presentation – the hair, the make-up, the shoes, the accessories. The same is true when presenting to a client and to our peers. Whether it’s on the runway or in a teaming room, a great idea lost in translation is a lost opportunity.
“I DIDN’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME,” ISN’T AN EXCUSE. No one has enough time. We’ll never have enough time. Strategic planning rests in recognizing what can be done with the time you have, then maximizing skills and talents.
TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. We know when the work sucks. We know when we need to edit. We know when someone is trying to sabotage an idea. Our hunches reveal authentic truths about brands, people and ideas. Ignoring them is a sure path to going home.
I AM HERE MAPS © - GETTING LOST IS FOR SUCKAS A clothing line that transforms normal apparel like T-shirts into functional maps. This T-shirt is upside down for easy reading, including an “I AM HERE” Button to help navigate.
AD: Eric Larkin 2 CW: Tim Gordon CLIENT: I Am Here Maps
I AM HERE MAPS© 2007
AD: Slate Donaldson CW: Tim Gordon CLIENT: American Male Salon
Adrian Ho is a partner at the one-year-old startup Zeus Jones. In his past life he was a planning director at both Fallon and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. Now, he and his colleagues (all former Fallon employees) are using the concept of Marketing as a Service to change the way we market to consumers. What is Marketing as a Service (MAS) and where did it come from?
Traditional marketing wasn’t working quite as well as it used to. And there are a whole bunch of opportunities opening up because the developments in technology allow us to rethink marketing. Marketing largely has been thought of as the creation of communications. However, we see it as an opportunity to think about marketing as the creation of services - things that actually do useful things for people as well as selling products and communicating messages. We realized that it was a great way to market for a whole bunch of people and situations.
On your blog you talk about how technology is no longer a medium for delivering marketing, rather the marketing piece itself. What is the relationship between technology and MAS? The bigger context of MAS doesn’t rely upon technology. The public restrooms that Charmin put up are a great example. During the holidays, they created really nice public restrooms in Times Square. Obviously it’s a chance for people to sample their products, but they’ve put them in a place where it’s notoriously hard to find restrooms. Basically, instead of running an ad saying we’re soft, they’re actually doing things for people. You don’t have to use technology to think about MAS.
under the MAS model? In classic planning you look for a deep, unspoken human insight and turn that into something that’s useful for your brand. Not surprisingly, deep human insights are deep because no one talks about them. They don’t make for the right material for things people talk about. The things people talk about are more obvious. When you look at any situation, it’s about what people want to do. And that doesn’t take that much to figure out. A lot of people are already talking about what they would like to do. So a lot of what we do is finding creative ways to solve that problem, instead of figuring out what consumers want.
But that example was quite costly. Imagine trying to get space in Times Square, setting up bathrooms, keeping them clean and plumbing - the whole thing is a pretty big undertaking. So technology allows you to do things for people much more cheaply and efficiently. Technology is not essential, but it opens it up for lots of people to do the same sorts of things.
I also think that understanding technology is a big thing. It’s not because everything revolves around technology or has to revolve around technology - but it’s a way of thinking. Technology is all about interactions and how you can make those interactions better.
How is the approach to strategic planning different
I don’t know because I don’t think consumers see it as
marketing. For example I don’t think anyone sees Nike+ as marketing. I’m a big user and go on the boards a lot, the discussions on there aren’t about if this is a branding statement for Nike. It’s about technical problems or time runs or challenges. It’s like they’re steeped in the experience. Right, I think that’s another reason why we like MAS. You don’t want people talking about your advertising, do you really? Well you do, if you’re in an ad agency because you’ve done something and you like the idea that people are talking about it. But really, it’s not terribly useful to the companies that people are talking about their advertising because it has no relationship to whether the company succeeds or not. Your job is not to get people to talk about your advertising, your job is to get people to interact with your company and products and to use and like them.
How are consumers reacting to it? Communications Strategist
Since the beginning, humans have been pack animals. Strength in numbers, right? Years later this trend hasn’t changed much. Man still has a core group with whom he communicates and depends on regularly. However, thanks to technologies like the Internet and the cell phone, our contact set has grown rapidly beyond our core group and into ridiculous numbers. Simply stated, as the contact bubble gets larger and technology gets “better,” we speak with more people on a daily basis. Early in the tech boom this was great for obvious reasons. Now, though, there are so many communication outlets that we are regularly speaking with an almost unmanageable number of people. We forget people’s names and important dates, so our PDAs remind us. Letters have turned into error-riddled emails, phone calls are now text messages, and even texts are abbreviated to the point of slang and confusion. So if the contact sets are getting so large that it’s affecting quality, why don’t we curb it a bit? Here are some theories that I have considered: A. We feel a responsibility to communicate with people just because we can. We tell people “Happy Birthday” via Facebook that we haven’t spoken with in years. But being obligated to keep up with everyone is no doubt affecting our ability to keep up with anyone as well as we could. B. We are slowly losing the art of verbal communication. My cell phone often reads something like
“Happy hour, 6pm.” Is this an invite or a fact? Can I call the person back if I have a question or is that too personal? Want to know about my weekend? “Check my blog.” How was the party? “The pics are up on Flickr.” It’s as though it is more comfortable for my generation to deliver electronic messages than speak face-to-face. C. Maybe we get off on feeling like a celebrity when 980 people contact us each day. So now that we talk to everyone, but say nothing, what can we do? There have been other technological advancements made throughout the years that enhance communication. My personal favorite is beer, which, when opened, projects its own perfect message in the form of a “pssssh” sound. A sound that represents a small amount of pressure being released from its container. The extent of that metaphor has yet to be measured. Beer has been proven to ease the communication process time and time again, allowing even the fearful to look each other in the eye and ask, “What’s up?” So no matter which of my theories you might believe, or even if you think the whole lot of it is nonsense, I’d still be happy to discuss the topic over a couple of pints just for the practice. As long as you promise to leave your PDA at home.
A FRESH LOOK
BY DANIELLE BAUKH, CREATIVE BRAND MANAGER
SINCE WE ARE IN THE IDEA BUSINESS, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IS OUR MAIN FORM OF CURRENCY. TIME SHEETS ARE A WASTE OF PAPER, ENERGY AND EFFORT. ONE GAME CHANGING “BIG IDEA” COULD BE WORTH TEN TIMES THE NUMBER OF BILLABLE HOURS DOCUMENTED. HOW DO WE SHIFT THE FOCUS TO TANGIBLE RESULTS AND A VALUEBASED COMPENSATION MODEL? WE BEGIN TO LEARN BY LOOKING AT A FEW BRAVE PIONEERS.
they have had access to every aspect of the brand, from the kitchen to the boardroom.
There is a reason Anomaly ranked 24th in Fast Company’s March article on the world’s 50 most innovative brands. It is because Jason DeLand and four former colleagues from TBWA\Chiat\Day and Wieden+Kennedy recognized that the traditional agency compensation model was flawed. Instead of trying to improve the established model, they created their own.
“They have been amazingly open to our thinking,” said Steinhour. “From the first quarter we started working with them, they’ve had 15 consecutive quarters of positive sales. Burger King hasn’t had business results like that since the 1970’s.”
“We would rather invent the next VitaminWater than do the ads for VitaminWater,” said partner Carl Johnson. “What we’re really doing is generating profit from clients, then reinvesting in a venture fund for our intellectual properties.” Aliph hired Anomaly to help create and launch Jawbone, a new noise-canceling Bluetooth headset. Instead of traditional fees Anomaly negotiated an equity stake in Aliph and a percentage of Jawbone sales. This example illustrates the tremendous opportunities that emerge when a client hires a partner to not only do advertising, but think about all aspects of the brand and most importantly, new ways of generating revenue that can benefit both the client and agency. The fact that Anomaly was profitable in its first year of business and has subsequently doubled its annual revenue each year since 2004 is a testament to the need for this type of adjustment in our approach to agency compensation.
CP+B “Most agencies wait for their order at the end. The real bold and courageous agencies are looking to get invited to the party at the beginning,” said Jeff Steinhour, Managing Partner/Director of Content Management at Crispin Porter + Bogusky. “Compensation is the beginning of the conversation. Maybe the future is as much about product design and development as it is about traditional forms of communication.” For an agency that puts in so many hours, it is interesting to note that it hasn’t had time sheets for almost eight years. “We don’t believe we sell time,” said Partner/CEO Jeff Hicks. “We’re in the intellectual property business. Most of the hourly setups are tied to a clear set of deliverables. We do brand thinking across a range of different media.” Imagine being Russ Klein, Burger King CMO, when the CP+B partners pitched a presentation full of ideas that had the potential to significantly affect the client’s business. Translating the chain’s tagline “Have it your way” to the possibility of being able to push or pull open doors, use packaging and tray liners as advertising vehicles, rewriting the employee handbook, and eventually, pitching the idea of chicken fries. Crispin won the business in 2004, without showing a single ad because they proved they were interested in thinking about all elements of the Burger King brand from the aesthetics of the physical space to the morale of their employees. Since then,
OMELET Composed of advertising agency executives and Hollywood executive producers, Omelet refers to itself as a new branding studio. Half of its business comes from work-for-hire engagements for brands. The ideas that emerge are not bound to any particular medium of expression, and compensation from clients is subsequently unburdened by the high overhead carried by holding company agencies, a set-up which they feel appeals to their clientele. “Traditional work-for-hire engagements aren’t dead, they’re just fading away,” said Mark Vega, former intellectual property attorney and one of Omelet’s four founding partners. Omelet doesn’t formally convey underlying rights to all the ideas they present, even in a “pay to pitch” setting. Instead, according to Vega, “clients only end up owning all rights, title and interest to the ideas they choose to produce.” The other half of Omelet’s business is creating, developing, and financing intellectual property with (and in some cases without) brand partners. Projects range the spectrum from Facebook applications to a wellness company with everything from feature film, television and video game projects in between. In the future, Omelet expects revenues will attain an even split between work-for-hire and agency ventures, and thereafter, the IP side of the business will likely surpass the marketing services component, at least in terms of profitability and long-term returns. “Equity deals are best because it’s a true partnership and we are completely invested in the success of those companies,” said Strategy Director, Ryan Stoner. “Ideally, each idea we create with a collaborating partner is a stand-alone experience capable of generating revenue that surpasses the initial marketing investment.” According to partner Steven Amato, “We’re living in a time when clients and consumers are starting to embrace the fact that marketing is the entertainment.” As proof that the marketing is indeed the entertainment, according to Vega, one of the short term frontiers is the creation of brand sanctioned, original shortform content for licensing. He says Q2 and Q3 2008 will see an explosion of small Web sites willing to pay $1,000 to $5,000 to license original short form content. Why is that special? The Web sites don’t mind if that content was initially financed and created by and/or for brands. Why does that matter? Brands will literally be receiving revenue from exploitation of the messaging they create. They’re not buying the time, they’re receiving a license fee instead – a model the Omelet partners have been preaching since the company’s inception.
Three of us set out, armed with SLRs and notebooks, heading west. Our growing anticipation was matched by the shouting, honking, and hope rising in the air. By the time we reached Broad and Harrison, intoxication had set in. The welling of emotion inherent to mass human interaction had altered our state. My senses were no longer my own, being torn in all directions by “Si Se Puede” and “Students for Change” signs. Singing, chanting, gazing, the crowd was feeding off its own positive emission. We ended up in different corners, having followed our lens to subtle nuances or loudmouth supporters. The line of hundreds
wrapped around the block presenting the diverse character offering of Richmond, each of us included. Within minutes of reuniting we ran into friends from school, joining them in line and dispersing stickers. The event was a celebration of our passion and hope for the future regardless of our demographic. There we recognized our freedom and used our voice. The night continued its magical course, bearing gifts of captivating speeches and new experiences to reflect upon with old friends.
photographs taken by Jen Maravillas and Beth Stone
Many of us have become involved in the primaries, certainly more than I can remember in the past two elections. More “I Voted” stickers are paraded around before November and Super Tuesday viewing parties are formed. We can do more than vote, utilizing YouTube and social networking sites as a platform for expression and a basis for deeper understanding.
and disillusioned. There is diversity in choice, strong personal conviction and emphasis on issues that have been overlooked for too long.
Our eyes have opened wider; we have seen the importance of taking action after years of confusion and misguidance. We have new opportunities to create needed change in hopes to bring back pride and love for a country that seems to have become fragmented
We’re talking, we’re sharing, and we’re getting involved.
Beth Stone, Communications Strategist
AD: Candice Anderson CW: Elisabeth Seng, Gaurav De AD: Miracle-Gro
In this installation at the Quirk Gallery in Richmond, Virginia, Brian Thibodeau and Daniel Case, Art Directors, have collaborated, using their unique styles and perspectives to explore the pixel and the grid. One could argue that the grid is the foundation of aesthetics. The grid has traveled throughout time to inform compositions and lay structure and foundation. It now plays a role in the cyber world, constructing images with its grid-like building block: the pixel. The use of pixel in constructing image most often goes unnoticed. We are inundated with digital imagery all day, everyday. This installation takes note of these grids and pixels and uses their forms as an attempt to construct something meaningful. The installation consists of 30 clear acrylic panels that make up 15 inverted cubes. Each inverted cube is stacked in a geometric fashion to create one large-scale installation. Within each inverted cube Brian and Dan have taken the grid apart and put it back together again while using the imagery of pixels. The result is a piece that can be taken apart, stacked differently, or viewed from different angles to give the viewer new and unanticipated results.
79 grid + pixel
How to Ingratiate Yourself Into the Green Marketplace:
DON’T GREENWASH by Laura Wilson, Communications Strategist Previously, green products occupied a somewhat niche category. The companies that provided green products were small and wholly committed to the green movement. In a world of increasing concern about global warming and rising energy costs, many large companies see potential profits and are starting to jump on the green bandwagon. Many are greenwashing products with no regard to the whole picture, touting petroleum-based products as green because they also contain recycled materials or, in an extreme example, claiming a product as CFC-free when CFC’s have been outlawed since the ‘80s.
Consumers can see through these marketers’ actions. Nothing can turn people off faster than feeling like they’re being lied to, or that someone is trying to pull a fast one on them. These greenwashing marketers have the potential for ruining the market for all green products. Companies that change their business model, not just their advertising ideas, to reflect more sustainable practices are the ones that will win in the minds of the consumers. People aren’t stupid and if a company talks the talk, consumers also expect you to walk the walk. Wal-Mart is a good example of a company that is trying to incorporate sustainability into its practices. Being one of the most powerful companies in the world, it has a real opportunity to be a leader of a green movement. After years of increasingly bad PR, Wal-Mart has now decided to incorporate sustainability into its business plan. Wal-Mart had a goal of selling 100 million CFL lightbulbs by this year, which would also heavily cut into its other lightbulb sales since one long-lasting CFL sold represents the loss of 6 to 8 incandescent bulbs. One of the reasons that Wal-Mart can be an effective harbinger of the green movement is because of its unique power over its suppliers. In the past, it has demanded greatly reduced packaging from suppliers- but it was all in the interest of cutting costs. Wal-Mart can further its mantra of cutting
costs into the idea of sustainability. For example, using less electricity obviously costs less money. In a Dallas suburb, Wal-Mart has built a prototype sustainable Supercenter, which uses a highperformance exterior lighting system to reduce light pollution and has radiant floor heating and waterless urinals, among other initiatives. WalMart still needs to prove to its consumers as well as skeptics that it will be committed to its green initiatives in the long-term, but for now it seems to be walking the walk. A company somewhat less successful in the sustainable movement is Coca-Cola. There has been a huge backlash recently against bottled water and the waste created by its production. Coca-Cola sells Dasani water as well as its regular sodas. In order to combat this backlash, Coke has decided to pledge $60 million towards building recycling plants, redesigned its soda bottle to use 5% less plastic and set a goal to reuse and recycle all the plastic bottles used in the U.S. market. These are all admirable goals, but Coke has run into a few problems with its green promises. In the past, a promise to include double digits worth of recycled plastics ran aground because Coke doesn’t own ¾ of its bottlers. The market for recycled plastic also depends on many factors including oil prices. Fluctuating oil prices changed the availability of recycled plastic and eventually Coke had to revise its goal. If Coke had better control over what it was promising it may have been more successful in the proposed green initiatives. As it was, the failure to deliver on the promise caused activists to pile on criticism of Coke as a brand leader for the failure to live up to its promise. In the future, companies will need to closely examine green promises as well as realistic commitments as the green movement becomes more and more mainstream and prevalent. Overpromising or not understanding limitations of your brand are some of the worst things companies can do while navigating this new green marketplace. Because once you’ve lost consumers’ trust, it is often gone forever.
} Leveraging Nalgene and Brita’s existing partnership, we propose they introduce a new product: The BritaNalgene The BritaNalgene solves the massive problem of unrecycled bottled water waste in landﬁlls. By making Brita ﬁltration mobile, the BritaNalgene becomes a cheaper and more convenient option to bottled water.
AD: Karen Land, Khushboo Surana CW: Elisabeth Seng Cs: Hanah Contreras CBM: Danielle Baukh CLIENT: Nalgene and Brita
recruiting with the wow wow factor advertising, as an industry, is not in any danger. As long as the need to exchange goods and services, a.k.a. commerce, exists, our industry will. The challenge and thrill come in keeping up with our ever-evolving culture. We’re selling more than products and services now. We’re selling causes, ideas and beliefs. We’re not just moving products; we’re creating movements to shift behavior. Commerce also means the interchange of ideas, opinions and sentiments. So blogs, YouTube and the entire consumer co-created content we’ve been buzzing about does not really come out of “left field,” does it?
so where’s the change? I’m of the opinion that it isn’t about creating new titles, new departments and new business units to address these advancements. It is looking for ways to stimulate, refresh and evolve how we already do it. We don’t need a bunch of agencies with brand new Connection Planning departments. We simply need new ways to engage all the folks in the current departments, at the agency and the client, early on in development, long before the cement has hardened around an idea. And to do that, we need to speak a language that allows us to “cross the silos.” Before we create new jobs and new silos, we need to evolve the definition of the jobs and departments we currently work within. And more importantly, we should consider new methods of engaging and recruiting the next generation of our work force. meet your new employees. There have been scores of articles written about what type of employees this generation of 20-somethings will be. But before they start working for you, you have to recruit them. And that might take a bit more “wooing” than you’re used to. Consider this generation the “Profile Generation.” Think about MySpace, Facebook, Match.com. These folks are used to sharing a lot about themselves. There doesn’t seem to be an issue with “TMI” anymore. One group of our 2nd year communication strategists, studying the evolution of digital photography, proposed the idea that on-line communities allow us all to become celebrities of a sort. So don’t be surprised if you’re sent to a personal website or blog that includes a play list, personal photos and musings on post-grad backpacking trips.
by caley cantrell, professor
what they want to know about you. They are looking to you to offer the same type of transparency they offer the world. These potential hires want to hear stories about your company and its culture. What are the people really like? What makes them different – at work and away from it? Client lists can be impressive, but our graduates are savvy enough to know that clients come and go. They want to know as much about the folks they will learn from as the projects they will learn on. Your new business track record is “nice to know.” The track record of recent hires just like them is something they need to know. One of our students said it best, “I need to learn as much as I can from fellow employees to make the transition from ‘new hire’ to ‘contributing team member’ as short as possible.” The Brandcenter has three core “pillars,” if you will. Creativity. Culture. Commerce. And because we love alliteration, we throw in a fourth – Collaboration. From Day One our students work in teams that cross the core disciplines of brand building. They are used to having a seat at the table. And not just in their student teams, but in class as they debate with our faculty. Our folks are not afraid of hard work. They recognize it and celebrate it in each other. They know they’ll be burning the midnight oil in their new jobs. And they are looking for a meritocracy that will respect that hard work. action words for activated employees. The advertising and marketing world needs ACTION WORDS! INVIGORATING WORDS! Not job descriptions that are filled with jargon and “have done” lists. Use language that challenges and dares, but also reveals the kind of place your agency or company is and the kind of work you want to do. Words like CURIOUS or COMPULSIVE or ARDENT. AVID, THIRSTY, VORACIOUS. Descriptors like ENTREPRENEUR, PIONEER, CHEERLEADER, COLLABORATOR, VISIONARY, BRAINTEASER, RIDDLE-UNRAVELER. Ask for people that are as obsessed with popular culture as they are with a juicy brand architecture or national sample segmentation study. One thing that hasn’t changed about this industry is that it is hard. It’s a “guts-ball” game. We all hope to find folks with the stamina and the desire to accomplish great things. To wow us. Those folks are waiting to be wowed right back.
te - In
In agencies, there are some things you can
have too much of. Things that get in the way of doing
great work. Like too many rules. Like playing it too safe. Like having in
and out groups (you know, the creatives versus the suits) and hiring for “fit” which
means “same.” Like group think and only one style of leadership. Like ignoring the value
of social and cultural differences and forgetting that terrific ideas can come from anywhere. On
the other hand, diversity is one thing agencies can’t have enough of. It takes breakthrough solutions
for clients’ brands to thrive in today’s world where consumers are diverse and the marketplace is increasingly
complex. If you do the math, which our agencies (including McCann, Martin, Draftfcb, Deutsch, RG/A and Mullen)
have done, the case for diversity is clear. If you can add many different perspectives, you will come up with more idea com-
binations which equals more possibilities for creativity and innovation. But diversity of perspectives doesn’t just happen organically,
and neither do the great ideas. It takes inclusion to make diversity possible and inclusion to make diversity matter. At IPG, inclusion
is all about feeling valued, but more importantly, it’s about being valued – with real chances to participate and contribute to our busi-
ness success, with real opportunities to grow and advance. One example is IPG’s new Women’s Leadership Network (WLN). WLN is an enterprise-wide organization where women from our agencies connect across all kinds of boundaries – agency, role, level and geography – to work toward greater inclusion of women in the senior ranks and to support the growth of their agencies and IPG. With real opportunities to shatter the proverbial glass ceiling. Since the global WLN launched in March 2007, over 1000 women working for over 10 agencies in 9 U.S. cities and London have tuned in for professional development web-casts and attended local networking events where they not only support each other but also trade ideas on the business,
clients and prospects. IPG’s new Multicultural Employee Resource Group for Excellence (MERGE) is headed in the same direction. With initiatives like our CEO Diversity Council, headed by IPG’s Chairman, Michael Roth, we’re going to make sure that we are the world’s most diverse, inclusive and innovative marketing services network.
What it is: A non-profit organization specializing in the struggles of the 10% of teenagers who are gay and lesbian. Insight: PFLAG doesnâ€™t need money. It needs support for a forgotten minority. Conclusion: Give supporters something they can show off.
AD: Slate Donaldson CW: Elisabeth Seng CLIENT: PFLAG
AD: E.B. Davis CW: Gaurav De CLIENT: Battleship
The Brandcenter is the ﬁrst graduate program for advertising and branding that combines business-oriented communications strategy and brand management tracks with a creative program for art directors, writers, and creative technologists in an ad agency setting. Since its inception in 1995, it has become the most respected graduate advertising program in the world.
In 2007, BusinessWeek named VCU Brandcenter one of the top global business/desgn schools.
In 2008, Advertising Age named VCU Brandcenter the #1 Digital Media & Marketing Program.
In 2005, VCU Brandcenter was ranked the #1 Ad School by Creativity magazine.
Brandcenter Facts Serving Size 20 per track Servings Per Container about 100 Amount Per Serving
Earn a Master of Science degree in Mass Communications
Two-year, full-time program Full-time faculty
All of whom have run agencies, owned agencies or been CDs or planning directors in agencies. They have a lot of wisdom and scars to share.
% Daily Value
11 5 20 20 20 20 20
Full-time Faculty Tracks Creative Brand Managment Communications Strategy Creative Technology Art Direction Copywriting * Each year approximately 100 students are accepted, about 20 in each track. The acceptance rate is approximately 35%.
Program Duration Years Weeks Days Hours Ideas
2 60 420 1080 Gazillion % Daily Value
Student Body Minority International Female Out-of-State
38% 12% 53% 74%
* We have a mix of students who come straight from college as well as those who have worked for a number of years. The average age is 25. * They’re incredibly diverse in terms of their academic backgrounds.Our students have majored in everything from psychology to religious studies to business to anthropology. * You will meet 200 people with the same passion, eccentricity, and curiosity that drew you to the Brandcenter. Some of them will be taller and better looking than you are. % Daily Value
Financial Part-Time Jobs
Financial Aid Scholarships
(15-20 hours each week)
(Ranging from $500 to $10,000)
* Students ﬁll out a scholarship application at orientation.
VITAMINS AND MINERALS: VCU BRANDCENTER ADVISORY BOARD LEE CLOW, CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER, TBWA\WORLDWIDE, NEIL FRENCH, FORMER CREATIVE DIRECTOR, WPP GROUP WORLDWIDE, JEFF GOODBY, CO-CHAIRMAN AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR, GOODBY, SILVERSTEIN & PARTNERS, JOHN HEGARTY, CHAIRMAN, BBH, SIR KEN ROBINSON, INDEPENDENT WRITER, SPEAKER, MICHAEL ROTH, CHAIRMAN & CEO, INTERPUBLIC GROUP, DAN WIEDEN, GLOBAL CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER/CEO, WIEDEN + KENNEDY For more information, contact Ashley Sommardahl, Assistant Director.
All students work closely with those in other tracks under the guidance of FACULTY CREATIVE DIRECTORS, PLANNING DIRECTORS AND ACCOUNT/MARKETING MANAGERS.
DIST. BY VCU Brandcenter PO BOX 843077, RICHMOND, VA 23284 1.800.311.3341 www.Brandcenter.vcu.edu www.rm116.com
Track Highlights Art Direction
If you see ideas where everybody else sees the ordinary, you may already be an art director. You are a visual problem solver. If you are intrigued by colors, typography, and technology, this should be your track. Good eyesight, a photographic memory and a strong stomach will be assets.
Creative Brand Management
No matter what track you choose, we are looking for individuals who can ﬁnd simple, smart and unexpected solutions to complex problems.
You understand the inﬂuence of words and the power of silence. You use words like artists use pictures. You think big and have the ability to take the big thought and make it simple. You can quote Tarantino and Hemingway from memory. It You have the natural ability to connect with others. also helps if you can think visually and You’re deeply curious and wonder how things tick. You’re work well in teams. a pop culture junkie and amaze your friends with your knowledge of things like new music, reality TV, and celebrity gossip. A good strategist requires a passion for the creative product, for it is a strategist’s insights that serve as a blueprint for creating breakthrough creative work. In addition, understanding how to best reach consumers with the brand message is paramount. Often that may mean employing (or even inventing) non-traditional media.
If you want to build brands on the client side and be the agency’s partner in producing smart, breakthrough creative work, then this is the track for you. Effective brand managers know how to evaluate and recognize great creative ideas. They’re champions of the work and they’re not afraid to take risks. While the brand manager and creatives may work for different companies, they’re most deﬁnitely on the same team. If you want to manage accounts/brands on the agency side, you’ll need a graduate degree in efﬁciency. Account management requires a deep knowledge of every discipline within the agency, a keen business sense, terriﬁc interpersonal skills, vision and sometimes the kitchen sink. Since account managers often manage multiple accounts at the same time, they must be ambidextrous.
Creative Technology This is the Brandcenter’s newest track (started in 2008) and a reﬂection of the industry’s future. If you are a web programmer or a designer who understands the digital space, and want to work in the advertising/branding ﬁeld, this is the track for you. You’ll work in a team with traditional advertising professionals (art directors, copywriters, and communications strategists) and a client-side professional (creative brand manager) to create and craft brand communications. More often, contact with consumers begins with or includes the digital space. You will be the teammate who can take strategic insights and creative ideas and develop a deeper interactive brand experience for consumers.
Brandcenter Creativity/Commerce/Culture Friday Forum Servings Per Container: About Once a Week Nick Law R/GA, Chief Creative Ofﬁcer Marc Lucas SS+K New York, Creative Director Andy Azula The Martin Agency, Sr. VP and Creative Director Sydney Norton The Martin Agency, Sr. VP and Group Management Supervisor Laura Petrecca USA Today, Reporter Erik Rogstad AKQA, Director of Client Services Suellen Schlievert AKQA, Dir of Content Development Brett Reese AKQA, Senior Copywriter David Oakley & John Boone Boone|Oakley, Co-founders, Creative Directors Stephen Greene RockCorps, CEO Jared Scott Stick & Move, Director of Account Services Steve O’Connell Stick & Move, ECD Kerri Martin Former Director of Brand Innovation, VW & Former VP of Marketing, MINI Cooper And Several Others
* Students work in as close to a “real life” agency as possible, collaborating on projects with students from other disciplines. * Brandcenter students are trained to be thinkers. They are groomed to become leaders. It would be fair to say that there is no other program that has the depth and range offered by the Brandcenter.
Agency Recruiter Session Agencies don’t hire portfolios. They aren’t much fun at the company Christmas party. Agency recruiters from around the country attend the Brandcenter Recruiter Session, an event that introduces our students to people in the industry looking to hire Brandcenter graduates. The Brandcenter’s placement rate is 95% within six months of graduation.
The Class of 2008 represents twenty-three states and six countries.
California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Washington, D.C. and Wisconsin. Canada, India, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore and United States.
TRAVEL THE WORLD WITH A MASTER’S FROM VCU BRANDCENTER! Our alumni have spanned the globe at agencies and companies near and far.
London, UK Washington
Michigan Illinois Pennsylvania Missouri Ohio Indiana Tennesee Alabama
New Mexico Texas
New York Massachusetts New Jersey Washington, D.C., Maryland Virginia North Carolina South Carolina Georgia Florida
ALABAMA Intermark Group, Inc.
ArIZONA Saatchi & Saatchi
CALIFOrNIA Agency.com BBDO Bluewolf Bulldog Drummond Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners Cutwater Dailey & Associates DDB Deutsch DGWB, Inc. 97 Draft FCB Eleven Inc. FCB G&M Plumming Goodby, Silverstein & Partners Ground Zero McCann-Erickson Media Arts Lab / TBWA\Chiat Mothership T-shirts NYCA Ogilvy & Mather Omelet O’Rorke, Inc. 72 and Sunny TBWA\Chiat\Day Team One Advertising Tribal DDB Venables Bell & Partners vitrorobertson Young & Rubicam
COLOrADO Crispin Porter + Bogusky Juice Communications Morey Evans Advertising Weise Communications
FLOrIDA Accent Marketing WestWayne
gEOrgIA Anthropologie Avenue A | Razorfish BBDO Comgroup Turner Broadcasting WestWayne
IOWA Iowa State University Strategic America
ILLINOIs Bamboo Worldwide BBDO Burrell Communications Commonground Cramer-Krasselt DDB Downtown Partners Draft FCB Element 79 Energy BBDO Euro RSCG Leo Burnett Motivequest Ogilvy & Mather Organic Starcom MediaVest Group Teen Research Unlimited Young & Rubicam Zig
INDIANA Young and Laramore
MAssAChUsETTEs Arnold Boathouse Group, Inc. Connelly & Partners Fort Franklin Hill Holliday Modernista! Mullen
MArYLAND Arnold Crosby Marketing Communications Exit 10 GKV Advertising Patuxent Publishing
MIChIgAN Alternatives for Girls BBDO Campbell-Ewald Cramer-Krasselt Pace and Partners WB Doner and Company
Carmichael Lynch Despatch Industries Fallon Martin|Williams Olson + Company Advertising Periscope Worrell Design
MIssOUrI Rodgers Townsend
NOrTh CArOLINA Clean Designs Inc. McKinney Mullen Ogilvy & Mather The Republik Wildfire
NEW JErsEY Cline, Davis & Mann Merkley + Partners Quest Diagnostics Ziccardi Parners Frierson Mee
NEW MEXICO Bernard Hodes Group McKee Wallwork Cleveland
NEvADA R&R Partners
NEW YOrk Amalgamated Atmosphere BBDO BBDO BBH Berlin Cameron/Red Cell DDB Deutsch Euro RSCG Grandparents.com Hanft Raboy Hill Holliday IMG Jack Morton Worldwide JWT Kaplan Thaler Group Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners Lowe Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia McCann-Erickson Mediaedge: CIA Merkley + Partners Mindshare Naked Communications Northeastern Academy Ogilvy & Mather Pie Publicis REDSCOUT R/GA SS+K Saatchi & Saatchi Trader Joe’s Toy Vigilante Advertising Wieden + Kennedy Young & Rubicam
30 GREAT DESTINATIONS IN NORTH AMERICA! Plus 10 additional international destinations to choose from...so far. Finland Sweden
United Arab Emirates
OhIO Ten United
OrEgON BCF DVA Advertising The Buntin Group Wieden + Kennedy
PENNsYLvANIA Red Tettemer Stick and Move
sOUTh CArOLINA Chernoff Newman Clemson University Collins + Company Erwin-Penland RIGGS
TEXAs Blue Escapes GSD&M McGarrah/Jessee McCord Printing Sanders, Wingo, Galvin and Morton The Richards Group TM Advertising Tracy Locke Partnership United American Insurance
3 North Architects Alchemy Arnold Barber Martin Advertising Capital One Cingular Digitas Don Schaaf & Friends General Cigar Company MeadWestvaco Media General, Inc. Meridian Group Music Today New City Media Pulsar Salem Communications Sallie Mae, Inc. TBA The Martin Agency VCU Virginia Eye Institute
AKQA Blattner Brunner, Inc National Education Association Share Our Strength
Night of Mystery
WAshINgTON Bozell and Jacobs Cole & Weber/Red Cell DNA Brand Mechanics Publicis Sedgwick Road
INTERNATIONAL DESTINATIONS ArgENTINA Ogilvy & Mather
CYPrUs Young & Rubicam
ONTArIO GWP Brand Engineering
Uk Kastner & Partners Leo Burnett Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R TBWA\Chiat\Day Wieden + Kennedy
UNITED ArAB EMIrATEs TBWA\RAAD
*Offer subject to Terms and Conditions. Offer good while supplies last.
a na ger e Bra nd M v ti a re C r, e by Ari R atn I headed down to Orlando, Florida to intern with EA SPORTS last summer with some pretty high expectations. Considering I had played EA’s video games growing up, had experienced the ‘real world’ in a few different capacities after college and ﬁnished my ﬁrst year in graduate school, I felt that the internship would add the necessary conﬁdence to compete after I graduate from the Brandcenter. Going into the summer I ﬁgured I would conduct research, play video games, and develop marketing ideas…play some more video games, create potential new products…and play even more video games. While I didn’t create any new products, my experience certainly exceeded my expectations. And I did play a lot of video games. My internship was balanced between the usual everyday tasks expected with any summer experience and some unique opportunities that allowed me to utilize what Brandcenter teaches. Throughout the summer, my responsibilities ranged from studying where EA SPORTS stood as a socially responsible company to reviewing its ESPN partnership in-depth. In between, I was able to demonstrate my creativity when tasked with extending the EA SPORTS brand and my strategic thinking ability when asked to position EA SPORTS as a global brand. 99
Considering how important it is to be socially aware in today’s world, it is imperative that EA SPORTS become a leader among socially responsible companies. The Senior Director of Marketing asked that I develop recommendations for a stronger social responsibility program by reviewing what other companies similar in size and market share do. I realized that in order to develop smart recommendations, smarter research would be necessary. My recommendations included developing a Wii game to ﬁght obesity and sponsoring a television show based on Extreme Home Makeover, allowing EA SPORTS to help revitalize schools’ athletic departments. I was pleased to learn that some of my recommendations became part of a larger presentation that was presented to the new President of EA SPORTS. It was reassuring to see a brand like EA SPORTS concerned about social awareness.
One aspect of building a brand is international growth, covered in a class I took at the Brandcenter called Building Brands in International Cultures. EA SPORTS is already selling its products in many countries around the world but has not yet developed a strategy for its logo. For example, Coca-Cola changes its logo to be analogous to each country’s language. I was tasked with creating EA SPORTS’ international logo strategy. This project allowed me to demonstrate my strategic thinking. While it would have been easy to follow in Coke’s footsteps, it didn’t make sense for EA SPORTS. Based off my research though, I did recommend that EA SPORTS change its logo in Spanish speaking countries to EA DEPORTES. One of the better qualities that EA SPORTS has is its ability to inspire creativity. My colleagues came from diverse backgrounds, encouraging the sharing of ideas. One of my more exciting responsibilities over the summer was to conceptualize and develop ways that EA SPORTS could extend its brand while increasing its revenue. One of my ideas was validated when I was informed that it is something they are already developing. The idea is quite simple but can have a lasting effect for athletic teams worldwide: use EA SPORTS games as a training tool for professional and amateur sports teams. My internship ended with a pretty signiﬁcant project. The Vice President of Marketing asked that I analyze the relationship between EA SPORTS and ESPN from EA SPORTS’ perspective. During this project, I was able to exhibit my research skills, my interviewing abilities and my ability to draw insights from the research I conducted. My ﬁnal presentation was delivered to the VP and Senior Director of Marketing. In it, I proposed hiring an Account Manager solely responsible for the management between the two brands. I told them it is important that this person be in New York and be able to meet with ESPN when needed. I also reminded them that I would be graduating in May…it doesn’t hurt to try, right? Whether or not I get the opportunity to work with EA SPORTS again, my summer was an amazing experience. I met very talented people and worked on incredible projects. As a complement to my Brandcenter experience, this summer internship has given me the conﬁdence needed to grow as a marketing professional. And, oh yeah, my video game skills aren’t bad either.
AD: Kirsten Klieman/Tim Gordon CW: Nick Kaplan/Tim Gordon CLIENT: Roommates.com
AD: Jason Rosenberg CW: Casey Rand CLIENT: JDATE
AD/CW: Karen Land CLIENT: Taco Cabana
AD: Dan Case CW: Tor Weeks CS: Pat Lorentz CBM: Danielle Baukh CLIENT: Haribo
AD: E.B. Davis CW: Michael Flannery CLIENT: Oxford English Dictionary
AD: Kirsten Klieman CW: Derek Szynal : CLIENT Viking Cooking School
Grandmothers Die Every Day
PrOBLEM The average American litters two pounds of trash a day (and there are over 300 million “average Americans”). 98% of litter is made of recyclable materials. That’s the bad news. The good news is if the average American picked up and recycled two pounds of trash a day, we’d not only reverse the negative affects, we’d have the highest recycling rate in the world. Oh yeah, and we’d be a lot prettier.
sOLUTION Salvage is a dual-purpose carrying bag that promotes proper recycling and gives the wearer an active role in keeping their community clean. Its design takes away the gross factor of picking up and holding onto litter until you can find the proper deposit. It’s also a fashion statement that encourages others to do their part.
sALvAgE rUNNINg BAgs When it comes to extending Nike’s green initiative into its running brand, Nike has a chance to provide another tool that makes being actively green a little easier. Nike Salvage will be a new line of running bags that lets runners clean up their community. Whereas others might simply pass by a wayward plastic bottle, runners are acutely aware of their surroundings. The bag’s lid design holds the trash in and a digital scale lets you track the weight of your collected trash. Now runners have a chance to clean their world without disturbing their run.
sALvAgE UrBAN BAgs We’ll partner with Target, using their designers to create fashionable backpacks and messenger bags that happen to save the world. College students play a pivotal role in environmental activism. The bags would separate personal items and litter with leak-free compartments, and biodegradable liners would make drop-offs quick and easy.
sALvAgE TrAIL BAgs We’ll partner with Patagonia to create hiking backpack attachments that let you leave nature cleaner than you found it. Outdoor enthusiasts are constantly interacting with nature and seeking to improve it. They also need a better way to take their own trash back to civilization. The scent-free bags lower risk of animal attraction and give you piece of mind on the trail. AD: David Byrd Jr. CW: Alex Grinton CLIENT: Salvage Bags
EXECUTION Nike+ already lets you record and view personal running paths within the community. Weâ€™ll create an add-on that turns your path green to denote to others that you are ecorunning. Without too much organization, you can keep your entire community clean by continuing your running routine.
comes embroidery ile Ch om Fr . en ev s, all w No No sweatshop laborers. er from the th ge to ed ist tw s er fib st ju whose warp and weft aren't from the soil. ts en gm pi d an es ic sp th wi estampanio plant, dyed under the breath, rs pe his w d an rs ge fin ble nim It's woven from into the cloth in ra r fo s er ay pr y il da e th g carryin nds. taking shape beneath their ha of a grandmother re ca g in lov e th th wi d re de oi Embr g. for her granddaughter's weddin The wind from the valley through dry grasses and Their perfume still clings Beats the factory odor
sweeps over the desert, ananucas flowers. to the fibers. of plastic and lacquer.
HANDS IN Y GES B A E L D L I MA V USAND
AD: Jillian Dresser CW: Elisabeth Seng CLIENT: Ten Thousand Villages
CLASS OF 2008 WEBSITES
Candice Anderson, AD www.cleeanderson.com
Andrew Augeri, CS fireonmainstreet.blogspot.com
Alexis Bass, CS alexisjbass.blogspot.com
Zoe Bell, CW www.Zoe-bell.com
Geoffrey Blair, CBM www.geoffreysblair.com
Forrest Boleyn, CW www.treeplethora.com
Diana Brost, CW dianabrost.blogspot.com
Marcus Brown, AD www.brownmarcus.com
Leslie Buker, AD www.AdventuresInArtDirection.com
Ted Burdett, CBM tedandfriends.blogspot.com
David Byrd Jr., AD www.davidbyrdjr.com
Luis Carranza, CBM www.FeelGoodDigital.com
Daniel Case, AD www.danielrcase.com
Christina Chang, AD www.christinachang.com
Caitlin Cody, CS caitlinscreativeclutter.blogspot.com
Michael Collier, CW www.MichaelPCollier.com
Julia Coon, CW www.juliacoon.com
E.B. Davis, AD www.ebdavisiii.com
Gaurav De, CW www.gauravde.com
Rodrigo De Lima, CW www.rodrigodelima.com
Slate Donaldson, AD www.SL8works.com
Jillian Dresser, AD www.jilliandresser.com
Latasha Ewell, CW www.latashaewell.com
Michael Flannery, CW www.michaelflannery.net
Kasey Foster, CW www.nowwithmoreeverything.com
Jessica Garrett, CS jessicangarrett.blogspot.com
Elizabeth Gershman, AD www.elizabethegershman.com
Tim Gordon, CW www.tim-gordon.com
Alex Grinton, CW www.alexgrinton.com
Laura Holmes, CW www.laura-holmes.com
Nick Kaplan, CW www.nickkaplan.com
Sue Kim, AD www.suekyungkim.com
Kirsten Klieman, AD www.kirstenklieman.com
Josh Kobrin, AD www.joshkobrin.com
Karen Land, AD www.karenland.com
Eric Larkin, AD www.iamericlarkin.com
Jill Lin, AD www.jill-lin.com
Nien Liu, CS nienliu.wordpress.com
Patrick Lorentz, CS feefighforty.blogspot.com
Katie MacDougall, CBM katiemacdougall.wordpress.com
Jennifer Maravillas, AD www.jenmaravillas.com
Bryan Marville, CS marvillebr.wordpress.com
Sergio Navarro, CS sergio525.blogspot.com
Joseph Quattrone, CBM www.superquattrone.com
Casey Rand, CW www.caseyrand.com
Ari Ratner, CBM adgrad.blogspot.com
Daniel Riddick, CBM www.danielriddick.com
Kate Rogers, CBM tewksbury21.blogspot.com
Jason Rosenberg, AD www.redhairball.com
Jason Searcy, CW www.JasonSearcy.com
Elisabeth Seng, CW adsareculture.blogspot.com
Natalie Shaw, CW www.nataliewshaw.com
David Southerland, AD www.dsoutherland.com
Beth Stone, CS www.bethmstone.com
In the next issue: Elizabeth Streibich, CBM www.definebliss.com
Khushboo Surana, AD www.khushboosurana.com
Derek Szynal, CW www.DerekHasFeelings.com
Brian Thibodeau, AD www.thibb.com
David Treston, CS davetreston.wordpress.com
Tor Weeks, AD www.torweeks.com
Laura Wilson, CS wilsonlaura.blogspot.com
Another perfect match by match.com.
“If I were a young student aspiring to break into advertising, I would go out of my way to become part of the VCU alumni. There are many good creative schools out there, but only one that cocoons this creativity in the necessary strategic and business sensibilities.” David Droga / Creative Chairman, Droga5 “VCU Brandcenter is miles ahead of the other options, and has been since the day it opened. We hired grads from the beginning and have had a 100% hit rate. They’re big thinkers. They get that this business is about problem solving and can look way beyond traditional media solutions. Their exposure to different disciplines, world-class teachers, and a sophisticated, constantly evolving program that addresses our constantly evolving industry makes these grads trump most juniors. And they make the seniors very, very nervous.” Nancy Vonk / Co-Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy Toronto “The VCU program graduates students with books that reflect VCU’s unique structure: creative students working with students studying strategy and brand management in a close-to-real-world setting. And the portfolios show it. VCU rocks.” Luke Sullivan / Group Creative Head, GSD&M “I have hundreds of books in my office, yet the books I find most appealing are from VCU. They go beyond ‘make believe’ ads and reflect work that has been put through the same paces, criticisms and constraints that we deal with in the real world. The true art in this business is done by those who take client restraints like budgets, agendas, legal issues, etc. and turn them on their head.” Casey Mooney / Recruiter, TBWA\Chiat\Day “VCU churns out some of the freshest thinking of all the schools as far as I have seen. The thing that really impresses us is that the program is structured to replicate real world agency experience, and those kids come out knowing the realities of working in the ad business and can hit the ground running.” John Butler / Creative Director, Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners “The VCU Brandcenter manages to continually produce the planning talent that is desperately needed today - that rare mix of fresh thinking about what brands and communication need in order to thrive today, combined with the practical understanding of how business and agencies work. As a result, they hit the ground running faster and contribute far more than you could hope for.” Gareth Kay / Head of Planning, Modernista! “Brandcenter is a favorite resource of ours because the grads always arrive talented, hungry, and thoughtful. Especially thoughtful. They’d much rather solve big problems than simply make ads.” Amanda Vendal / Recruiter, The Richards Group “After looking at one of your recent graduates’ book, I can see why your program is so highly regarded. It’s refreshing to see a portfolio that is so integrated. It’s exactly what we look for in all portfolios.” Anne Hubben / Creative Recruiter “The students who come from the VCU Brandcenter are well prepared and comfortable working with planning and account management from day one. It’s a darn good school and it’s obvious that it strives to strengthen and reinvent itself constantly.” Linda Harless / Recruiter, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners “I’m never surprised by the quality of talent that grows from the VCU ad program because I’ve learned to expect it. I am, however, constantly in awe of it. The VCU program seems to not only have embraced the future, but it’s creating the people who will undoubtedly lead it.” Kevin Roddy / Executive Creative Director, BBH NY 1.800.311.3341 | www.brandcenter.vcu.edu