Posts Tagged ‘ orlando 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?

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.

Putting Pencil to Paper – Making The Case For Illustration

Henri Matisse said, “Drawing is putting a line around an idea.” we’ve always liked that quote, but step inside any ad agency, design firm or interactive shop these days and the chance of seeing drawing, illustration, hand work, etc. being used in a project is slim to none. Sure, there’s lots of it to be found on the t-shirts being worn or the posters hanging in cubicles and the skateboards in the corner, but rarely in any of the work. If the key to effective marketing is positioning your products or services so they stand apart from the competition, especially in a world dominated by bad stock photography, illustration is an excellent option.

It seems as if clients and creatives automatically default to photography. It’s familiar, what they understand and what they know. Many people only think of illustration as being humorous or childish and nothing could be further from the truth. Good illustration is conceptual, makes strong connections and often translates an idea faster and more effectively than a photograph. Even stock illustration conveys more character and personality than your average piece of stock photography. And illustration is always a good choice when you need images of something that’s impossible to photograph.

Several years ago, our copywriter worked on a big project for a quasi-governmental agency that administered financial aid programs for college students. By law they were required to produce a booklet, similar to an annual report, that summarized all kinds of financial information and was distributed to everyone who had a loan with them. It also had to be state specific for each of the three states in which they did business. Since they made loans to all types of students, they wanted the images in the booklet to reflect diversity. The booklet from the previous year had used stock photography to achieve this but they felt it was a mess. Sixty pages of copy, graphs, charts and bad mismatched photos.

Their solution was to use illustration. They hired an illustrator to do about 30 simple sketches. The images were very loose drawings but clearly indicated the gender, race, age, etc. of the people pictured. There were also images of books, pencils, coffee cups and other random elements of student life. Since the drawings were loose, they used a single line to connect each image from page to page. The line started on the cover and ran through the entire book to the back cover, implying the loan you borrowed took you through your entire college experience. To differentiate from state to state they simply changed the color of the line from blue to green to red. The end result was a huge success. The client even received positive feedback on the piece – something that had never happened before. Best of all, the cost of the illustration was less expensive than if they’d had to buy a bunch of stock photography and Photoshop the images to try and make them look consistent.

Budgets and timelines are a factor with any project. And illustration doesn’t have to be expensive. There have been times in the past where we’ve contacted local colleges and art schools and met with students to see their portfolios. In several cases, we hired students to do work for an assignment. It’s a win-win situation.

Another option to consider is maybe you don’t need to use imagery at all. Good typography is imagery in its own right, and can make for a strong visual solution. Many illustrators will do some sort of hand-lettered type which serves to not only get your message across in words, but visually, as well.

There’s an old business adage that says, “When everyone else is zigging, why not zag and stand out from the crowd?” Illustration isn’t right for everything and many times the project will dictate when it’s appropriate. If the challenge is to get your clients products and services noticed, put pencil to paper and consider illustration rather than stock photography as a great way to make an impact.

The Basics of Package Design

Creating packaging for a client isn’t always easy, especially if you are creating a package for a product that you’re not familiar with or have never used. Below are some of evok’s best practices for creating award-winning packaging, along with a few of my own personal tips for success.

Take a field trip. Start with shopping around the competition to see what is out there. Check out your client’s retail environment to see how other products are presented on the shelf. Make sure you take your handy-dandy camera with you to take pictures of the competitors’ packaging. That way, you can go back and work on how you’re going to differentiate you client’s packaging from their competitors’ packaging. To take your research a step farther, look at other packaging that’s not within your client’s realm. This approach can help you come up with and an idea that could be a little more unconventional.

Contact your printer before you design. In addition to providing you with a die line for your job, your printer is a valuable resource for advice on paper or other material options. If you’re unclear about the kind of printer or process that’s appropriate for your packaging project, contact a printer with whom you have a working relationship. Remember to involve your printer at every stage of the design process to be sure that your concept is achievable.

Know the quality and production budget. Think about the quality of the paper, inks, spot varnish, emboss, metallic or a custom die. All those things will affect you client’s overall budget. When money is the bottom line, you must be flexible with the elements of your design. Set realistic goals that stay on target with your client’s budget.

Make the purchase. As a designer, your goal is to create a design that stimulates the consumer to make the purchase. Your design should increase product recognition, in other words, it should act as a “stand-in salesman”. It needs to do this quickly and concisely.

Create mock-ups. I’m a pretty visual person and I make mock-ups all the time. Sometimes when you design something flat that is going to end up being folded, you overlook certain things. You might be experience something along the lines of, “Oooh, I didn’t see that this color bar doesn’t align with this one on the other panel,” or “Yikes, this looks odd since the package lays on its side.” Create several packages so you can see what the shelf presence will be like. Ask your printer if they will run a couple mock-ups for you so you can see how the design works on the shelf.

Bar Codes 101

  • Bar codes must be placed in a spot that is highly visible and easy to scan.
  • A bar code must be printed at a scale between 85% and 120% of its original size.
  • Bar codes must be printed in a dark color against a solid light colored background. The contrast between a bar code and its background must be high enough to allow the bar code to be scanned.
  • Make sure your client provides you with their bar code number. A program like Bar Code Pro will enable you to generate an EPS file to place in your file.

Indesign Tip: How to create a “Book”

I had a big project for a client that consisted of over 60 rack brochures. When I laid them out, I didn’t lay them out in one Indesign file – they were all separate files. Although all the files were separate, if I needed to make a change, the last thing I wanted to do was open each file individually. Indesign has an option for you to create a “Book”. A Book creates an Indesign file that will house all my separate rack brochure files and combine them into one Book file. This is how it works:

File>new>book

A new palette will appear, and once it does, click the “plus” icon in the lower right hand corner of the palette.

Next, a window will appear asking you to locate your files. Once located, click Open. Note: The way you link graphics in your traditional Indesign files, applies the same way to the Book files.

Now that you have all you files selected into your Book, it’s time to save your Book. You can open any of your linked Indesign files via the Book, just select the file from the Book palette and your ready to go. You can print an individual file if needed and you can export individual PDFs from the book, just option click the files you want. If you want to print the selected files, click the print icon in the palette. If you want to export the files as a PDF, click the carrot icon in the upper left hand corner of the palette and select “Export selected documents to PDF”.

Creating packaging for clients can be challenging, but with sound research, clear objectives, a few mock-ups and using these organizational tips, you’ll be on the path to success in no time.