Posts Tagged ‘ advertising agency ’

Yearning to be Interning

Not having had any experience in advertising, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect of an internship at an agency, but I knew I needed one to prove I was a go-getter who values the opportunity. Unfortunately, the thought of filing papers and delivering coffee all day didn’t really sound too appealing. After interviewing at a few agencies, I remember walking out of my interview at evok advertising thinking what an honor it would be to have the opportunity to work there. They had me sold. But isn’t that the job of a good advertising agency?

Two weeks later, I started working as the account services intern at evok. I’ll admit I was nervous at first but that didn’t really last too long. The team is welcoming, friendly and always willing to teach me as much as I want to learn. The laid back atmosphere makes it easy to get to know them and get an insight to all their experience in the industry.

I always thought I had a strange sense of humor, well that was until I started interning at evok. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard and so often. But that’s what makes working there so enjoyable. No, I’m not making coffee; I’m doing work and a lot of it. But I’m learning more than I ever thought possible and I’m having fun while doing it.

There’s no ordinary day at evok. I’m constantly being challenged – challenged with more responsibility and creative freedom to apply what I’m learning in the classroom with first-hand experience in the industry.

My experience thus far has beyond exceeded my expectations. I’ve had the opportunity to work on a variety of accounts on everything from public relations, social and paid media to assisting with marketing plans. I get to participate in most internal meetings just as any other team member and truly understand the entire process of a successful marketing campaign.

It’s unique to have the opportunity to work with such a diverse team. They each have very different personalities with a variety of strengths. That’s what I believe makes the agency so successful. Each project is approached from a different perspective, always guaranteeing the highest quality of work. ideas. work. results. That’s our mantra, and we live by it.

I wake up every morning excited to go to work. So excited that I’ll be returning to intern in January for my second semester. I’ve never been so sure that advertising is the career path I want to follow. Once I graduate, I hope to have the opportunity to work with such knowledgeable and personable professionals.

Life of an Intern

I’ve always wanted to be a media planner and buyer so when I walked into evok advertising for an interview – I knew I had to nail it. I guess if you’ve done the interview process before, you know how nerve-racking it is – arriving really early, sweaty palms, wondering if your resume looks good enough, using manners no southern woman has witnessed since the 1950s. I imagine it’s probably the same for everyone…

It’s true – the interview process can be daunting. Just imagine the public relations manager and media buyer asking you questions – some off-the-wall and others you’ve been preparing for since you chose your major. Is your answer crazy or sane enough? Have they heard these answers a thousand times already from other candidates?

When I got home, I replayed the interview in my head like a cassette (yes I’m old enough to know what those are), rewinding and fast-forwarding to the toughest questions. I sent my follow-up letter, did my due diligence and two weeks later, the public relations manager called me with the news. I’ve never crossed my fingers so hard in my life. Then she finally said it, “We’d like to offer you our spring internship position as our PR/Media intern.”

So, cool – I’m now the newest intern at evok advertising. A fancy title follows – Public Relations/Media Coordinator – even though I know I’m going to be doing just about anything and everything asked of me. Surprisingly, that’s not the case though – one thing I learned real quick, was to throw that image of a stereotypical coffee retrieving, brown-nosing, know-it-all intern out the window. You’re with the big boys now and to learn is only the beginning.

A few broad responsibilities of my internship at evok included the following:
• Pitching stories to the media / following-up
• Collecting digital and hardcopy clips
• Putting in creative tasks / interactive tasks
• Writing trafficking instructions for radio, billboards and TV
• Uploading blogs to the company website
• Managing social media for a variety of clients
• Researching upcoming media trends
• Researching media contacts
• Developing media plans & rationales

Being an intern within a full-service advertising agency like evok will surely open your eyes. I find that before stepping into an agency, we understand things only as the television and the media portray them. In fact, we have no idea as to what happens inside a genuine “think tank.” This is no 1960s Mad Men television episode where Lucky Strike cigarette smoke fills the air and whiskey is downed like water. No real life Donald Draper seemingly spurs some sort of last minute campaign slogan that’s going to bring the agency to the brink of fame. As an intern who watches the inner workings of an agency, evok works as a team to understand each client’s needs completely, rather than rely on one person to spearhead the entire process. The skilled team at evok works in-sync and studies their client and its industry inside and out. Sometimes they even show up at the client’s business to be a customer or an employee for day. The research is immense, but because of what they put in on the front-end, they can develop groundbreaking ideas that lead to quality results, which are tracked and revised as needed to strengthen each campaign.

The top five things I learned at evok:
• No client is better or more important than the other
• Take on whatever sort of work is asked of you, no matter how far out of your comfort zone
• Stay organized, I promise it’ll help in the long run
• Be confident
• Don’t be afraid to ask questions

This is how evok separates itself from other agencies: ideas. work. results. It’s the slogan the agency lives and dies by, because an agency like evok doesn’t divert from their principles when working with clients or with their team.

I’m proud to write on my resume that I interned at evok advertising, because it has given me the chance to witness an agency in which principles guide the way business is done, where clients are treated more as friends then as just run-of-the-mill business associates. Interning at evok, you can be sure you’ll learn skills completely out of your comfort range but these only build your character. And everyone here won’t skip the chance to tell you that.

Your Augmented Reality Guide to Holiday Shopping

It’s that time of year again – time to break out your wallets and spend your hard earned cash on loved ones, and maybe even some not so loved ones. And as much as we all love this season of giving, let’s face it, holiday shopping can be a nightmare. Thankfully I’m here to help make this year’s holiday shopping not only easier, but also fun and futuristic. All you need is your iPhone!

So what is Augmented Reality? AR occurs when the line between what’s real and what’s computer generated is blurred because what we see, hear, feel and smell are being enhanced by technology. Engineers are able to pull graphics out of your TV or computer and integrate them into real-world situations. Developers of mobile applications have been using this technology for a couple of years and have exponentially advanced the levels of AR available to consumers.

Here are my favorite AR mobile apps to help get you through this year’s holiday shopping madness:

Heads Up Navigator Pro – Get the absolute most out of your location. Use your phone’s built-in camera to find a central shopping destination that allows you to get all your shopping completed in one area. Or use it to easily guide you to the store with the must-have gift of the year. Overlapping floating 3D labels are directly displayed on the environment around you. ($.99 with no advertisements or Free with some advertisements / iOS 3.1 or later)

Acrossair – Walking from store to store, carrying tons of bags and fighting over the last “it” gift of the season can be really exhausting. Need a cocktail or a bite to eat? Use this app, which is integrated with Yelp, Stella Bar Finder and Wikipedia to find the perfect spot to take a break from shopping. Set your search range with the user interface and this app will give you information about all the locations near you. You can even share with your friends via email, Flickr and Twitter! (Free / iOS 3.1 or later)

Quick Writer – Need to answer an email or send a text but you’re worried about bumping into a store display or the mob of people walking about the mall? With this AR app there’s no more worry – you’ll be able to walk and type at the same time without ever taking your eyes off the screen! This app actually lets you see the view beyond your phone while typing. Whatever your built-in camera sees, you will see. ($1.99 / iOS 3.0 or later)

Car Finder – Never lose your car after hours of shopping again! This app is a must for anyone who has ever forgotten where he or she parked, or has been issued a ticket for going over the parking time limit. With this app, your camera viewfinder can see an overlay of your car’s location, the direction and the distance you are away. It even keeps a timer that will send you meter alerts. ($.99 / iOS 4.0 or later)

SnapShop Showroom – So a woman is out shopping and sees a Lay-Z-Boy that her husband would love for his man cave. At the same time, this other guy is shopping and sees a vanity for his daughter’s new room. With this app, shoppers will never have to guess again whether or not a piece of furniture will fit and/or match the receiver’s space. You simply take your phone to the room in question, launch the app, choose a piece of furniture from a catalog and tap your screen to use the menu options. The AR technology will let you visualize the furniture in your real world environment. (Free / iOS 3.1 or later)

As this technology grows, Augmented Reality will open many new doors for marketers. Imagine being able to point your cell phone at any product at any store at any point in the world, and you’re instantly shown information such as a sales sheet, demonstrations, customer reviews, competitor pricing, alternative products, and one-click purchasing ability. To say the least, mobile AR could change the way we shop just like the Internet changed the way we communicate. Who knows, maybe it will be the game-changer of the 2012 holiday season! Is your business ready?

Media Plan Components

Media planners and buyers are known for the immense amount of research they do before planning and placing a media buy for a client. There are meetings with the account executive and the media reps, email exchanges, phone calls, Google searches, Arbitron data, Scarborough research, good ole’ fashioned hardcopy DMA maps and more. In fact, for most advertising agency account executives and coordinators, the media plan comes nicely packaged and ready for presentation. Sure, there are some questions to answer and sometimes some changes to be made, but the bulk of the work and research is complete.

So, today we wanted to take you behind the scenes to see how the media research translates to each component of a media plan. Below and are some terms and definitions that you can expect to see on your media plan, but first – what is a media plan? A media plan includes the recommendations and a detailed rationale for all media activities and spending for a given client. Information that should be included in a media plan is the objective, strategy, rationale, execution and summary.

MEDIA OBJECTIVE – This is a statement of a goal or goals and should be able to be measured and correspond to the overall strategic objectives of the marketing objectives provided by the account executive, but should not restate them. The objective does not include recommendations for specific mediums. Mediums should not be selected before the objectives and targets have been detailed.

MEDIA STRATEGY – Media strategy includes information such as budget, target audience, seasonality, region, city or market size and other considerations. This strategy will also include demographic information such as age, race and household income.

MEDIA RATIONALE – The media rationale is an explanation of why each medium makes sense for the client based on the stated media objectives. The rationale supports the media objective with marketing facts and states why the mediums are recommended, including characteristics of each and how it will be implemented into the strategy. The media rationale should also state why the media planner chose the specific time periods, sizes, commercial lengths for the client.

FLOWCHART – A media plan should always include a flowchart. This is a document that shows the execution of the plan, at a glance, and includes all of the mediums and timing that placements should run on these mediums.

SUMMARY – This is a simple summary of each of the mediums including period, budget, audience/circulation, length or size, reach or coverage, reach and frequency and total ratings points. Also included should be a chart with the budget by medium.

If you have any questions regarding media buying and planning, whether outlined within or not, please feel free to contact evo ̄k’s Media Planning and Buying Department at 407.302.4416.

Tips for Conducting a Successful Webinar

Is distance preventing you from disseminating information to a large audience? If so, I highly recommend conducting a webinar. The term webinar is short for web-based seminars or presentations, also known as web conferencing. It’s simple. Attendees can log on straight from their computers to join a one-way conference or an interactive meeting between the audience and the presenter. You and your audience will never have to leave your desks to be able to communicate valuable information. Just think about all of the time and travel costs that can be saved.

Here are a few tips to assist you in successfully creating a webinar:

CONTENT – This is the most important component to consider when preparing for a webinar. Educate and inspire – know your target audience and create a presentation with graphics and interesting content that will keep them engaged. When you begin, make sure to briefly address the material that will be covered during your presentation. Limit your webinar to an hour and make sure to leave time at the end for Q&A. If you have any content that may take more than 45 minutes to address, break it up into different webinars so your audience doesn’t get bored or run out of time. If given enough warning, most people are willing to spare an hour to learn something new.

MARKET YOUR EVENT – Social media and email marketing are an easy and effective way to get the word out. Consider including a guest speaker to help entice people to participate. Make sure to include this information in your invite along with a summary of the content that will be presented during your webinar. Providing a clear understanding of what your webinar will include will prevent hesitation. If you notice people aren’t responding to your invite, invite them again about a week later and remind them of the opportunity to participate. Let participants know there is limited availability, this allows you to gauge how many people will be attending and make sure the program can handle all of the participants.

POLL YOUR AUDIENCE, before, during and after – if you know exactly who your audience will be, find out what information they are interested in learning. At the conclusion of your webinar, provide a quick survey to receive feedback and make improvements for your next presentation. Always follow up with your audience.

PLAN – Preparation can make or break your event. Know what you are going to say ahead of time – practice makes perfect.

SERVICE PROVIDERS – Many different service providers offer webinars. Go To Meetings – http://www.gotomeeting.com/fec/webinar is one of our favorites. Some other providers that offer a free trial are:
http://www.webex.com
http://www.instantpresenter.com

Still need help with your webinar preparation? Contact evok advertising at 407-302-4416.

Spec & Crowdsourcing Work Hurts Us All

Mention the word ‘spec’ in a room of design professionals, and you will hear resonating boos and witness faces cringe in discontent. Why you may ask? Well it’s a slap in the face to say the least to the design and advertising community.

What is it?
Spec work is any type of work done by a creative individual (designer, copywriter, illustrator, etc.) for a potential client or future employer with no guarantee of compensation. On rare occasions, if the client likes the work provided, he/she may pay you, but probably not what the work is actually valued at. Crowdsourcing is just as unethical as spec. Basically, a company or a person announces a design job that’s available to everyone. Once they’ve received and reviewed all the free work that was submitted, they pick a winner. The winner would be the only one that gets compensated. Everyone else – suck it up buttercup. This may stump many people outside of the design industry. After all, what person in their right mind would work for free and have it actually be the norm? Exactly my point here. It’s ridiculous, and it should stop.

Where does it happen?
Better question – where DOESN’T it happen? When the US Department of Interior is crowdsourcing , you know the US is in trouble design-wise. Recently, the department announced they were in need of a new logo for their 65,000 plus employee agency. This would be a big job for a design firm or a professional freelancer to add to their portfolio. Instead, they went the cheap route and offered a mere $1,000 to the victor. Due to the fact that this is a government agency, it has stirred quite a bit of outrage within the design and advertising community. The actual value of a logo, which represents a company and is an integral part of their branding is NOT $1,000. According to The Graphic Artists Guild’s (Handbook of Pricing & Ethical Guidelines), the cost for a logo ranges from $20,000 – $50,000 which usually includes buyout of copyright.

Another well-known company that is doing the deed is…Huffington Post. They’re having a HuffPost Politics Icon Competition encouraging anyone to enter and posted this:

“Do you know your way around Photoshop or other design programs?”

So do they get paid? Not monetarily. The winner’s compensation is that they will use the winning logo and credit will go to the designer.

Does it really benefit client?
They seem to think so. They figure what a great deal to have a plethora of diverse logos/artwork to choose from and for cheap or even free in some instances. Here is a small list of reasons it actually hurts the client:
• Unoriginal and poor quality of ideas and designs
• You could be sued for trademark infringement
• “Designer” doesn’t have the time to ask questions about your company or service. They are not    intimate, so chances of them creating a design that reflects you accurately is dim.
• Poor to no communication between the client and designer
• No time for research
• Chances of seeing a version of your design somewhere is VERY likely

How it hurts the designer
The way I see it, any designer who knows the value of their talent, experience, and skill will not and should not participate in these practices. It could possibly leave a scar on your design career because you are devaluing yourself. In today’s economic climate where design is not considered a commodity, it’s even more important to boldly claim your worth. For those young designers who are eager to get their work out there – THIS IS NOT THE WAY TO DO IT. Here are some reasons why:
• One by one, it devalues the entire design and advertising community
• Endless hours of design with no guarantee of compensation
• You as the designer are not protected when it comes to copyright
• Client chooses the design he/she simply likes, with no chance of the designer presenting his work and the rationale for his design
• Little time and usually no opportunity to revise designs

One way to do pro-bono work that is ethical is to check out some non-profit agencies and community groups who are in need of a logo or branding collateral. Another route could be to ask a friend or family member if they have any design needs and in return can offer a trade. This way you make it known that your work has value.

Is there ever a good opportunity to do it?
Spec work has been around for a long time, especially in advertising. Different firms may be offered an opportunity to present some initial concepts to a potential client in the hopes they will win the account. Previously, agencies made their money from media sales, and so creative work was given away as a way to profit from the media. Now this is not always the case, and each agency employs a different structure. An agency that’s starting out may be more inclined to include spec work in their proposals, whereas, a stable one wouldn’t dare. They figure they have paid their dues to be the strong agency they are – and they would be right.

Bottom line
No one is going to push you to do what you don’t want to do. The choice is yours. It’s based on your ethics and principles. I just caution you to be very careful and answer this question:

“When is the last time you went to the doctor, mechanic, attorney or grocery store and told them after services were rendered you will gladly pay for their service/product if and only you were satisfied?”

…Yeah I thought so

Links and Resources
http://www.no-spec.com/