The other day, my kid asked me what I did for a living. I reminded him that he was 17 years old and that he damn well better know what I do for a living by now. He clarified that he knew I was a producer at an ad agency, but wanted to know exactly what I did. That set off a rant about all the things that make my job great and/or nightmarish. As his eyes began to glaze over, I made him a deal. If he took out the trash, I’d write him a job description to a) answer his question and b) save him from his mother’s incoherent ramblings. So here you go, Ian.
Job title: Executive Producer, Advertising
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“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
Whether operating a global corporation or a 3-person startup, managers constantly seek ways to measure employee performance and productivity. Some are quantitative (billable hours), some are qualitative (“Gwen’s a good collaborator.”). All have merit, but there is one seldom-tracked metric that is arguably the core cultural value of every successful organization: Joy.
Quite simply, how joyous are we at our work? Do we bring energy, passion and optimism to the job every day? Is enthusiasm at the center of all we do?
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An awful lot of people share with each other on social media services. From Facebook to Twitter, Pinterest to Vine, people carry on all sorts of online discussions.
One thing missing from all this exchange, though, is a direct connection back to the physical world. The subject of the conversation often comes from the real world, but once you post it, all your interaction with that content is virtual. Whether it’s on your desk or in your pocket, your window into the dialog is limited to whatever can be displayed on your screen.
Enter Arduino, an open source platform for building electronics projects. Arduino is relatively inexpensive and simple enough that nearly anyone can have a go at making robots. With a little programming and a whole lot of experimentation, the online interaction of social media can be expressed in the physical world.
We wanted to build something for the Seattle Mariners, Copacino+Fujikado’s oldest client, to celebrate the release of this year’s Mariners TV commercials. And what says “baseball” more than a bobblehead figure? In this case, it’s a bobblehead that bobs whenever someone tweets about the new Mariners commercials. Here’s a quick guide to what makes our little robot tick:
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I enjoy Spotify and Pandora as much as the next guy, but I’m also a fan of buying albums and continuing to grow my iTunes library. Call me old school circa 2008. Who knows? Maybe it’ll contribute in some small way to helping music return to its former glory – those not-so-heady days when furniture was glued on hotel ceilings and ballers on epic yachts emerged from epic hot tubs and got in epic helicopters to fly off into epic sunsets. Plus, I still like to shut off the shuffle and plow through an entire record, just as the artist intended. It’s the musical version of reading a book. Problem is you can get so immersed that you don’t sense the dark little monsters hiding around the corner. One minute you’re jamming out to a particularly righteous Mogwai tune when, blamo, you’re hit with Murray Head’s One Night in Bangkok. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Murray Head. It’s just nice to get a little warning. In that spirit, I have created a list of the most jarring transitions in my iTunes library. Study it. Learn it. Build off it. It may just save your life.
Beirut to Bell Biv DeVoe
Ben Folds Five to Beyoncé
Billie Holiday to Billy Idol
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The debate rages in marketing circles: Is Twitter a true branding and marketing tool? Or is it best used as a CRM and PR instrument? What is the value of a follower? How can a company monetize its Twitter footprint?
Time and technology will determine Twitter’s role in the marketing mix. But one interesting sidebar is the increasing use of tweets in traditional forms of marketing communications. Ads, TV commercials, outdoor boards, even radio commercials are starting to deploy Tweets as graphic and verbal content. And why not? A Tweet often represents the voice of the consumer as third-party endorser, providing word-of-mouth credibility.
At Copacino+Fujikado, we’ve been working with Visit Seattle (formerly Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau) over the past year. Our goal is to attract leisure travelers to Seattle during the off-seasons—October to December and January to May. Our strategy is to engage upscale tourists for a weekend visit to enjoy indoor, urban pleasures: food, wine, art, and culture.
The campaign theme is “2 Days In Seattle. What will you do with your 2?” Part of the program relies on inviting social media influencers from cities like San Francisco, Portland and Vancouver to spend a weekend in Seattle. We encourage them to tweet about the city’s restaurants, bars, music clubs, wineries, museums, galleries and entertainment. This tactic has unleashed a torrent of social media activity, highlighting the landmarks and hidden gems of Seattle.
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Newly-hired Managing Director Brandy O’Briant answered a few questions (some from the Proust Questionnaire—her idea) to help us get to know her better. Here’s what she had to say.
Tell us about your time at Microsoft, where you worked prior to joining C+F.
I spent the past five years at Microsoft working in Xbox marketing. I moved there to work as a global media manager because of the opportunity to develop media skills outside the US. My favorite part of the job was often being the only woman in meetings where guys said things like ‘It needs more blood and bigger boobs’.
What other jobs have been formative for your career?
My love affair with advertising began with my first job at Leo Burnett. Hired out of university into the media department, I walked in the door my first day having no idea what media was. I spent six weeks in the Burnett media training program called ‘The PIT’; within those first few days, I knew I was in the right place.
What is your first impression of C+F?
A group of incredibly talented people who are passionate about delivering the absolute best to their clients, who dig deeply into the clients’ business needs and provide insights that lead to real impact. And they’re funny. Really funny. I have laughed out loud every day since I started here.
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Ask people if they like advertising and 8 out of 10 will tell you they absolutely hate it.
The other 2 likely work in advertising.
Now ask people if they like the Old Spice Man, the Allstate Mayhem campaign, Nike commercials, Nike Fit (that’s advertising too), the PEMCO campaign, the Washington Lottery flightless birds spot, Skittles advertising weirdness, Larry Bernandez or Leonard the Goldfish (to plug a few of our own) and you’ll likely get a much different response.
Here’s the thing. People hate most advertising. And that means the industry as a whole is failing. It means for every hit there are hundreds of misses.
What are we doing wrong? Better yet, what should advertising look like, sound like, ultimately be?
That’s exactly what we want to know. And so do our friends at Portent here in Seattle. Working together, we’re opening up the conversation to include the very people we’re trying to reach everyday. People like you.
So please tell us what you think. Just use the hashtag #AdvertisingShould on Twitter and help us get better at creating the kind of advertising you won’t hate.
We’ll listen. We promise.
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On a recent project we needed to create some static comps using the Pinterest UI. So I did what I usually do in these cases and hit Google to see if anyone had already built a Photoshop template. I was hoping to find something along the lines of the exquisitely detailed iOS and Android PSDs generated by Toronto’s Teehan+Lax. No such luck. That left me with the choice of either hacking together a bunch of screen captures (how things are usually done on deadline) or building my own layered file from scratch. I figured the PSDs would be useful later—to paraphrase fashion mogul Jacobim Mugatu, Pinterest is so hot right now—so I went ahead and redrew a profile and pinboard page from the ground up.
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We all know that fully integrated creative campaigns are the most satisfying form of intelligent marketing. When components seamlessly fit together, making an impression is not only possible but probable. But all too often, due to various reasons, agencies are backed into marrying elements together. While trying valiantly to maintain concise visual and written messaging, the result is often less than ideal. Yet every once and a while a project comes along where true integration starts from creative development and extends all the way through production. Simply put, a producer’s dream! As was the case most recently with Premera Blue Cross, where two television commercials inspired a series of companion illustrations that were re-purposed for print, transit, billboards, online display and microsite.
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Ha. To think they used to refer to television as the small screen. PCs. Tablets. Mini-tablets. Smartphones. Big-Screen TVs. Video displays in malls, stores and on billboards. And of course, the original big screen at your movie theater. All those screens are accompanied by a very important behavior: we’re watching more than ever before.
As of the latest Nielsen Cross-Platform Report, we’re watching 155 hours of live television a month, plus another 12 hours or so of time-shifted/DVR TV. Some 86 million households now have broadband access; as a result over 150 million people now consume video on phones, tablets and PCs each month.
One thing is for certain: if video is an important part of your communication plan, there is no shortage of ways to use it. The real question is, how can you use video most effectively?
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