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Brand Planner Best of 2009 Brandcenter Work 2011

Hello. Thanks for checking me out.


Five Questions Resume


Porsche: Keeping the Dream Alive The Royal Wedding: Who Gives a Damn Anyway? Chrysler: Giving Moms Peace of Mind Kroger: Save the Supermarket


The Planner’s World Tour The Slangtionary, 2nd Ed.



What are the top three qualities you look for in a friend? Transparency, objectivity and a broad sense of humor.



Dogs and Demons by Alex Kerr. It’s about the darker side of Japan's government: Greedy state-run organizations that inflate spending just to keep their own budgets. I enjoyed its perspective; it was very different than the stereotypical view of Japanese as perpetually happy caricatures. Not-so-Frequently Asked

Questions here to help you learn more about me.


What was the last book you read?


What’s one thing you will never do? Take credit for someone else’s work. I value working with people who forgo their egos to create something that resonates in popular culture. Stealing ideas gets in the way of that.

When's the last time you laughed so hard you spit your drink out? Two weeks ago. My roommates and I engaged in the time-honored American pastime of selecting spirit animals for each other. We mercilessly broke down each others’ personalities based on animal behaviors. It usually starts with annoyance (“What?! A Pokemon ISNT EVEN AN ANIMAL!”) and leads to outright offense ("well, I can see how you’re a sloth because you're just friggin slow"). By the end we just decided that everyone is some form of bear. I’m a Kodiak.


Who makes you want to be a better person? St. Jude. He's the reason I'm alive. My mom was in the middle of a miscarriage during my birth. The doctor told her, "It's either you or the baby." My mom - too strong willed and determined to accept either of those options - prayed to St. Jude, the patron saint of hopeless causes. Somehow we both survived. Ever since, he's been my patron saint. I believe he's always watching and guiding me. I often ask him for help. Knowing that he's there calms me and gives me confidence.

Senesi Benjamin Blake Brand Planner 313.258.3937 | |



VCU Brandcenter - M.S. Communications | GPA: 3.6 University of Michigan - B.S. Social Psychology | GPA: 3.2 VCU Brandcenter | Communications Strategy Track

Richmond, VA | 08/2009 - 05/2011

Freelance work for Venables Bell: Presentation Consulting and Primary Research Consulted on the rebranding of a Richmond Sports Agency, which included building its endorsement arm from scratch. Developed strategic briefs for a variety of brands (AAA, Amy’s Frozen Meals, City of New York, W Hotels). Received the Caley Cantrell Scholarship for Strategists (2009).

Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners | Brand Strategy Intern

New York, NY | Summer 2010

Developed strategic presentations, conducted ethnographies and produced brand experience plans on New Business for Biore and Denny’s. Created a definitive guide to the consumer’s decision-making process for brand preference, the first in a series started by the Brand Strategy Dept. dedicated to improving the agency’s overall consumer knowledge. Assisted on focus groups and discussion guides for Fruit2Day and Mohegan Sun Casino.

Digitas | Analyst

Detroit, MI | 02/2007 - 08/2009

Led social media insight generation for GM, providing expertise to the client on how to build brands in that space. Created and oversaw a social media strategy for Detroit TV personality Lee Thomas to raise awareness of his condition, Vitiligo. Collaborated with Creative on an agency-wide newsletter exposing colleagues to the newest digital trends.

Webchutney | Creative Intern / Research Fellow

Mumbai, India | Summer 2006

Research Fellow for the University of Michigan Center for South Asian Studies. Conducted qualitative research on the effects of westernization and globalization on Indian advertising. The final results were used by the University to enhance its knowledge and understanding of India’s urban culture during its economic revolution.

Things I Love

Film, editing, and cinematography (proficient at Final Cut Pro) | Sports and sports marketing | International football | Ethnography | International travel | Japanese, Brazilian, and Hindi music | Studying urban culture and its effects on advertising


Keeping the Dream Alive CS: Senesi Blake // CS: Jennifer Hunley // CS: Colin Beirne // CT: Tyler Schmidt // CT: John McClaire // CT: Stephanie Hankins

SITUATION Develop a new way for Porsche to reinforce its “Dream Car” status with young males.

What We Learned Porsche’s reputation remains that of the “overcompensating douchebag”. It now represents more of a luxury status symbol than a racing machine. But Porsche has such a deep and rich racing history that many people don’t know much about.

Porsche: Keeping the Dream Alive

Our target, young males aged 8 to 12, are starting to: 1) develop passions that will stay with them for the rest of their lives 2) find heroes that will shape and mold them

Opportunity To both change Porsche’s reputation and reinforce Porsche as a dream car for young males, we must get them interested in why Porsche started making cars in the first place - Racing.

Sources:, Psychology Today,

The Driving Truth Because members of our new generation are starting to draw inspiration from heroes, to make racing cool to them we have to make the racer cool.

Porsche: Keeping the Dream Alive

Strategy Create the new generation of the Porsche Racer.

Campaign Concept: The Racer Is Why Porsche Exists.

We knew that if we wanted to truly build a love for Porsche and racing in our new generation, we couldn’t just speak to them while they were young. We had to stay with them as they grew, continuously stoking their passion along the way.

Porsche: Keeping the Dream Alive

Execution Stages:

1. Tell A Story Create the Love - 8-12

2. Bring it to Life

Grow the Love - 13-17

3. Be the Racer

Manifest the Love - 18-24

Create the Love - 8-12

In order to promote the idea of The Racer, we will produce web and print comics to immerse our new generation in stories that they’ll remember forever. Many of the heroes that we remember as we grow up have compelling stories attached to them.



The Comic: The Invidia centers around two brothers, Schmidt and Hun, that have become rivals.

5)& */7 *%* "

5)& */7 *%* " Promotion

To promote the comic we will place teasers before summer blockbusters in major markets.

Porsche: Keeping the Dream Alive

1. Tell A Story

Porsche: Keeping the Dream Alive

2. Bring It to Life

Growing the Love - 13-17

After the comic has built enough recognition and interest in racing, we will begin summer racing tours at which fans can see the two Racers in real life, as a part of real races. This will not only draw members of our new generation, but their fathers as well.

The Porsche Summer Racing Tour will take place in top Porsche markets New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, and San Francisco.


In host cities, we’ll build anticipation for the Tour by projecting the two Racers battling it out on buildings.

We will also place rival banners on opposite sides of main streets that will display more Tour information.

Manifest the Love - 18-24

Over time, after The Invidia and The Summer Racing Tour have gotten enough attention, our new generation will approach the age at which driving a Porsche will be realistic. This is when we will have the opportunity to release the Cayman X.

The Cayman X will be a limited edition, stripped down version of Porsche’s popular Cayman, making our racers’ dreams accessible.

Proof of Success: Harley Davidson released the Dark Custom line, a stripped down line of its iconic bikes. They quickly created a fan base of younger riders.


To promote the Cayman X we will reach out to the most influential car blogs to obtain their seal of approval.

Porsche: Keeping the Dream Alive

3. Be the Racer

Will and  Kate’s

Royal Wedding

who gives a damn anyway? CS: Senesi Blake // CS: Lindsey Neeld // CT: Jake Mitchell // CT: Yvonne Allen

SITUATION There’s an opportunity to build an app that prepares people for Will and Kate’s Royal Wedding in April. See what you can do.

What We Learned

, Will and kate s wedding: who gives a damn anyway?

Because of the millions worldwide looking forward to this event, there’s been a huge land grab by any business with a pulse trying to get a piece of the action. But in all of this commotion, not much has been made of people who aren’t very excited about the Wedding: Londoners. Londoners, like many people in large cities, love their access to important events. Ironically, they also get really annoyed by these events. To any city dweller, the tourists that come mess up everything, especially the everyday things.

The Driving Truth Urbanites love that they live close to the action - until that action gets in their way.

Sources: NYPost,

, Will and kate s wedding: who gives a damn anyway?

The Solution Introducing LondonFail, an app that helps Londoners avoid the parts of the city that have become infested with tourists. How It Works: 1

Report a Tip “Don’t go to the High Street Tesco. It’s on the Royal Wedding Tour route.”

Don’t go to the High Street Tesco!


Display on Map

“I’m not going to that Tesco. I don’t want to have to fight a tourist.”


Find alternative destination Shopkeepers in less infested areas can submit their businesses for patronage using Ads by Google, providing a revenue stream.

Outreach We want this app to be useful for Londoners to share info with other Londoners. To keep it that way, we’ll keep its use invite only for Londoners. This gives the Londonfail community a feeling of being “in the know” and will build affinity for the app.






Posters Once information has spread about the app and the event date approaches, we’ll post a few posters in anticipation of increased traffic. We’ll put them up in the Tube, shop windows, fences anywhere they’ll be helpful.



, Will and kate s wedding: who gives a damn anyway?

Invite Only

, Will and kate s wedding: who gives a damn anyway?

Future Uses An app like this can be applied to lots of other situations and events, including:

The London Olympics The Superbowl City Marathons Hazardous Weather Spring Break Film Shoots Natural Disasters

giving moms peace of mind CS: Senesi Blake // CS: Amit Gurnani // CS: Jennifer Hunley // CS: Lindsey Neeld // CS: Carrington Faulk

SITUATION The Town and Country became a best-selling minivan in 2010. But it can’t hold that crown forever, especially considering that two new minivans entered the market in 2010. How can the Town and Country separate itself and hold onto its top spot?

What We Learned We spent time observing Kendra, a suburban homemaker and mother of two. As we spoke with her, she revealed the importance of, and pride in, storage in her home. It signified order, which signified sanity.

chrysler: giving moms piece of mind

Although we learned much about what storage meant to her in the home, the ethnography got really interesting when we asked her to show us her car. She was a bit embarrassed as she showed us the hatch of her minivan. It was messy and disorganized - nothing like her home at all. But Kendra始s situation isn始t unique.

Family cars get out of control because families are spending more time in them than ever. Forty percent of moms spend two to three hours a day driving - that始s a full month per year. With that much time in the car, it始s just as important to keep it orderly.

Source: Mamapedia

The Driving Truth

Opportunity Chrysler can differentiate itself by helping moms keep order in the car. Most minivan advertising always focuses on either: 1) how much you can fit in it or 2) keeping the family safe. And while safety is important, itʼs only a part of overall well-being. For moms, storage and organization represents sanity, and therefore fits into well-being too.

chrysler: giving moms piece of mind

The car doesn’t just get you home, it’s now a home in itself. It should be treated like one.

Solution Built-in storage spaces for the Town and Country. With dedicated storage areas in the top trim of the Town and Country, a mother can keep order and control in her minivan. Online customization on will allow her to shape and shift her storage options according to her unique needs.

chrysler: giving moms piece of mind

Customizable storage compartments

Underseat drawers for each child Kendra’s kids were more likely to keep spaces orderly if they had their own special places for their stuff.

Vertical-open drawer For easy access by passengers during the drive

Central control lock and unlock for all compartments

Storage space under the passenger seat cushion For mom to keep snacks or other things to pass back to kids

save the supermarket CS: Senesi Blake // CBM: Hollie Lansing // AD: Michael Hagos // CW: Lauren Simon // CT: Tim Hurt

SITUATION Supermarkets - Kroger included have become a commodity. Expectedly, this has had an effect on Kroger’s bottom line. If it doesn’t separate itself, its profits are projected to fall 0.5% every year. That’s death in a field that operates on 2-3% margins.

What We Learned A huge factor in consumer preference of a supermarket is convenience. But could Kroger own that?

kroger: save the supermarket

No. True, the Kroger loyalists that we interviewed shopped there most because it was close to them. But what if another store opened up even closer?


Because of commoditization, it doesn’t take much for preference to shift. All of our shoppers said that they’d abandon their Kroger if a new supermarket opened up closer to them.


We had to explore why convenience was important to really understand what goes through the supermarket shopper’s mind.


Sources: Mintel, IBISWorld

The Driving Truth

Food shopping used to be a central part of Americans’ lives - it was common to know your local butcher or baker. But now, even our loyalists stated that it’s just another task to check off their lists.

Opportunity Kroger can be the supermarket that stokes our passion for food. With our expanding palettes, we’re now developing a new love for food and cooking - as confirmed by the success of shows like Top Chef and Iron Chef. We’re all learning that food isn’t meant to be consumed,

it’s meant to be enjoyed.

Food shopping has now simply become transactional, all under the guise of “convenience”. Why is food something that we enjoy so much - so boring and mundane to shop for?

kroger: save the supermarket

The real problem that supermarkets - and Kroger - face is that grocery shopping has become a chore.

Strategy Make food shopping as enjoyable as food itself. Executions

kroger: save the supermarket

Activity Aisle Only 11% of shoppers buy products from promotional or seasonal aisles. These aisles would be used to their fullest potential by allowing shoppers to experiment, create, and enjoy food together.

Source: Mintel

Executions Contʼd. kroger: save the supermarket

Take A Recipe To allow shoppers to share the enjoyment of food with each other, deli and bakery tickets will showcase submitted recipes from other shoppers at that store. This will also reinforce the idea that each Kroger is part of a community that enjoys food, not just another place to buy it.

Employee Brand Ambassadors We want our employees to embody the idea that food shopping should be enjoyable too. Every month, they’ll be able to submit their favorite recipes into a national contest. The selected recipe will air on Kroger’s in-store network, giving shoppers ideas to make food worth loving while they wait for their number to be called.


, the planner s world tour

I’ve been studying people my whole life, so I love to get out of the country and immerse myself among new people. My interest in different cultures drives my interest in global brands. I don’t take copious notes, but I do internalize everything that I experience. Here’s what I’ve learned, and the implications for you, the current and/or future traveler.


Parisians are generally nice if you can make an attempt at some guttural French. Once youʼve done that, they tend to take a bit of pity on you, not unlike a three-yearold “playing” basketball with his father. Oh yeah – the architecture is breathtaking, I guess.

One of the hardest cities to live in. The city combines the worst parts of New York and Los Angeles - the suffocating crowdedness of the former with the shallowness of the latter. It's tough. For Africans, itʼs even tougher. Locals will assume you sell weed because “that's what Africans do here”. You canʼt walk anywhere without kids pretending youʼre a monster. Glorious.

What this means to you: If youʼre a leather-skinned attention whore, youʼll love it.


the planner s world tour

What this means to you: At restaurants, donʼt ask if they have “an American version” of the menu.




What this means to you: Take everything with a grain of salt. Your food too, if you eat any. The one thing you need to know in Freetown is they know youʼre a Westerner. This means: Keep your hands in the car, keep your camera attached to your wrist, and donʼt keep your money in your back pocket (for the love of God). Youʼre in their territory now and theyʼll let you know it. Youʼre probably going to get heckled unless you know someone, in which case youʼll just get heckled less.

What this means to you: Dull and slow = robbed and homesick


the planner s world tour

Londoners are very straightforward about their feelings. Especially when it comes to football. This, however, doesn’t mean that they’re objective about it. Never, ever listen to football fans speaking about football. They have no objectivity whatsoever. Loyalties to players and coaches can change with the wind. Brits are also, as you might know, very sarcastic. should just not listen to anything said to you.

Berliners are a really nice people, but only if you interact with them. You're not going to get many smiles on the streets. As you might guess, winter is brutal over there. Itʼs very bleak and almost everyone wears dark colors or earth-tones. Itʼs certainly rough if you donʼt know anyone that can expose you to the cool stuff.

What this means to you: Prepare for the trip by spending a week in a windowless room. Door closed.

One of the best places I’ve ever been is Rio de Janiero. Everyone is so nice and they all want to be your friend (if you’re an American). It’s SO great that I suffered a bit of mild depression when I got back to the States. The sun shines everyday. Even in the winter. And the sights – Sugar Loaf Mountain, Christ the Redeemer, Copacabana – are so amazing. It’s a city built by happiness.

the planner s world tour

What this means to you: Leaving Rio is a welldocumented cause of depression. Be careful.


Rio de Janiero Berlin

the slangtionary, 2nd ed.

In 2006, I wrote The Slangtionary, a guide to using slang correctly. At the time, young people would constantly take new slang and use it incorrectly This would result in a) public humiliation, b) stonings, or c) both*. With new terms comes a new slangtionary, once again helping people avoid ridicule and stonings. *probably.

Goin in:

Goin in.

Going with gusto. NOT ...simply doing something (“I was goin in on that nap!”) ...playing Scrabble with grandma (“I went in on granny!”)

Getting went in on.

Swag: Derived from the abbreviation of swagger, confidence derived from adoration by others. NOT ...just any personality. (“He’s got that car salesman swag”). ...achieved through ridiculous dances. “Swag Surfers” - this includes you.


the slangtionary pt. 2

A person, usually a female, of dubious morals or home training. NOT ...a girl that simply spurned your sexual advances. That’s your fault, you dweeb. Flavor of Love’s New York, widely accepted as Queen of Ratchets.

Hipster: Stolen from Urban Dictionary:

“The hipster is a composite of individuals with a certain bohemian life situation and lifestyle. He or she rejects ‘mainstream’ culture and embraces and contributes to independent culture.” NOT ...just a person wearing skinny jeans. ...adding thick, black-rimmed glasses to an outfit. ...Kanye West, despite seemingly obvious evidence to the contrary.

Going HAM:

Godzilla, one of the first examples of going HAM.

Godzilla not going HAM.

NOT ...going Hot Ass Mess. ...going Pork Products.

Free __________: Meant to proclaim the innocence of someone unjustly incarcerated.

He admitted to his crimes. Your poster didn’t help. At all.

NOT ...used in the instance that the subject actually committed the crime. ...for people with no option of parole. It’s not happening, guys.

Retarded: Used to describe a mentally retarded person. THAT’S IT. NOT be used without confirmation by a mental health professional. ...a descriptor of something unliked. ...a descriptor of a mistake.

“You fancy, huh?” Inspired by Drake and T.I.’s song of the same name, “You fancy, huh?” is a response to a woman that exudes both inner and outer confidence, especially through her fashion sense. NOT ...used in reference to Whitney during the “Bobby” era. ...intended to describe men. At least, not usually. Not fancy, huh.

the slangtionary pt. 2

Going Hard As a M***** F*****; Exhibiting belligerently spastic or violent behavior.

References Matt Weiss - Chief of Staff - Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal and Partners

Ted Manger - Strategy Director - Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal and Partners

Sue Davidson - Executive Vice President, Managing Director - Marketing Evolution

Irma Clark - Marketing Manager - Crain始s Detroit Business

Goodbye. Check my website for even more good stuff: Please keep in touch: 313.258.3937 @senblake

Senesi Blake's Brandcenter Portfolio  

A "Best Of" Collection of my work at the VCU Brandcenter.

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