***Disclaimer: I am not discouraging or encouraging purchase of the products discussed in this blog.***

If you don't like what I say--hire me so that you will!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Good Old Fashion Duel: Old Old Spice Guy vs New Old Spice Guy Fabio

I have had a hectic week (updates to come), but I HAD to write and let you all know that one of my favorite campaigns is BACCCCCKKK!!!!!

If you aren't aware that this has been happening you need to check it out.  The Old Old Spice Guy Isiah Mustafa and New Old Spice Guy Fabio are engaged in an epic battle right now.  They're challenging each other to Mad Libs, reply to questions posed by fans on Facebook and Twitter, and overall just one-upping each other with their ridiculously witty banter.   You can even vote on which guy you like better (is that even a question?!).  Head on over and check it out!!! Highly entertaining.

VOTE FOR ISIAH!!! You know I did...I hope this blog gets me a shoutout from Old Old Spice Guy. It would make my 29th year oh, so complete.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Final Finals

When I first started this blog, I was about to enter my last year of graduate school.  The last eight months have flown by so quickly. It feels surreal that I finally graduated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have so many experiences I want to memorialize about this time, but I think I'm going to break it up into two stories: my last few weeks of classes and my graduation weekend.

Because of the time-consuming nature of all my commitments last semester I have not had the opportunity to fully explain what exactly I worked on in my capstone IMC Campaign Planning (a.k.a. 480).  In the capstone, each class is an IMC consultant to a company.  The client gives you their problem, and a budget and students work in teams to create the best campaign to solve the client's marketing issue.   The winners get bragging rights, an incredible accomplishment for the resume, and usually a prize from the company.  Some even get jobs.

Fall semester's client was ESPN Chicago. I died. Working for ESPN would have been a dream.  There were rumors that Spring semester was also going to get a crack at ESPN. I was beyond excited.  During the fall semester I had an awesome teammate-Andres, who kept me sane during a stressful group project. Working with him was great, because we innately understand one another and have a complimentary work ethic. Andres and I became fast friends and decided to partner up for the 480 project. 

Walking into my first 480 class was bittersweet.  Dorothy (our professor) had taught all of us in our first class when we began our degree, and ending with her was a made the whole experience complete.  As Andres and I sat next to one another in 480, we were extremely anxious for the client announcement. Dorothy began explaining that we had the opportunity to work with a client she had never worked with/for and she was very excited for us.  Right away this was a trigger that we were not working for ESPN.  I was a slightly disappointed, until she announced our client was...UNIVISION!

Why was I so excited? Because Andres was the only native Spanish-speaker, I  was the only other person who spoke (a little) Spanish, and lastly, I was the only person with Hispanic advertising experience.  We created our team, and immediately began working fiercely on our project.  We chose our target, and the campaign went from this  largely daunting task, to a time-consuming project that was (dare I say) fun.

In my creative campaigns class I was lucky enough to have a professor who had taught the campaign planning capstone in the past.  He gave us the option to work on our client for his final.  At first this sounded GREAT!   Then Andres and I realized we had to create two campaigns for the same client, because many of our classmates were competing against us in the Univision project. Yes, we are that competitive.

After we wrapped up our creative campaign final presentation,  Andres and I met up with the rest of our team to practice, practice, practice.   During the practice we solidified our presentation,  I freaked out, because I felt our conclusion was weak.  We agreed that I needed to write the conclusion.  That night I didn't sleep well. I was nervous and worried about finishing the conclusion.  I kept dreaming about what I needed to say.  After six hours of restless sleep I gave up.  Luckily, I was able to remember snatches of the conclusion from my dreams,  and through combining  those sentences with my previous attempts I wrote something powerful. 

Fast-forward to presentation time.  Dorothy allowed us to invite our family members and I was so grateful to sit with Karla. Having her there next to me was a massive comfort.  With each group I became increasingly more nervous.  However, as each group presented my confidence in our idea grew. 

Finally! It was our turn!! Our presentation went really well- as good as we could have hoped! As we presented our material to the executives I could tell they were receptive to our campaign.   Karla told me she thought we had won.  Others agreed with her, but it was still uncertain.

Grupo Ñ after our win ( L-R Dorothy, me, Andres, Madison & Angel)
When the panel returned  the class was on was absolutely nerve wracking. The executives described the positives of each group, and finally announced that my team-Team Walgreens had won!!!!!!!  Being recognized as the best for something I had worked tirelessly is/was indescribable.   My classmates were so supportive and warm.  They hugged us and congratulated us on a job well done.

 Winning this competition meant the world to me.  It was a goal I set 3 years ago when I began school, and accomplishing it was nothing short of awesome.  Cheers to Grupo Ñ aka Team Walgreens!

Here are the two television commercials we shot.  Enjoy.

This one is written by and stars yours truly:

Another concept:

Next post: Graduation!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Junior's Fresh Kicks!

As an avid lover of hip hop, sports, and sneakers, when I saw this video land in my inbox the other day I was immediately intrigued.  The headline contained the words "Cool Kids" I was like "there is no way these media people are about to use some of my favorite Chicago rappers to sell their sneakers?!"  Honestly, this commercial is  genius.  The use of the exclusive track in conjunction with appearances from NBA players Amar’e Stoudemire and Chris Bosh, NFL receiver DeSean Jackson and MLB legend Ken Griffey Jr. reinforces the cool/fly factor of both brands.   Nike toes the line between athlete and fashion rebel with an understated finesse.

Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to see the Cool Kids perform, but I have seen/interacted with them  at many events and shows.  To say you can pick them out of a crowd is an understatement.  These dudes have some innovative style, and I love to see what they're wearing.  They stand out in a crowd where everyone  has designed outfits to stand out.  This ad encompasses their individual style (personal and lyrical) perfectly.  Including the song keeps the commercial more authentic to a subset of the target, because the duo are a bit more underground.

One can only assume that during the creative process Nike & Footlocker made a calculated decision to design a commercial that reaches beyond the underground hip hop community,  and elusive sneakerheads.  The brands wisely chose to combine the star power of popular athletes with the rappers.  The choice to include Stoudemire, Bosh, Jackson and Griffery resonates with an even larger audience target,  giving the commercial a more mainstream reach than the underground hip hop sneakerhead.

As a result of all this analysis I am going to rock my Nike hi-tops this afternoon.

Well played Nike.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wo_ds _ _th F_ _en_ds

Morning Folks! Here's another post that has been sitting in the reserves for over a month waiting to be published:

Last October my good friend Martin came to visit, and he unleashed a hidden monster: The Words With Friends Beast.  For those unfamiliar with the game it is basically a Scrabble application that you play on your device against friends and strangers. The game is addicting.  At first only the elite a.k.a. Apple  users had access to The Precious Words.  However,  the Droid owner can now play  You better believe that my Droid friends jumped on the bandwagon as soon as they had the opportunity. I think my opponents doubled when the game became available to them. Over the last few months I have witnessed a growing number of people playing the game in public: on the bus, El, standing in line, even during a conversation with yours truly.  It is everywhere.

This is not a game played by me.
Let me explain why I believe Words With Friends (WWF) is one of the best apps out there: you play your friends (or strangers that become your friends over time), there's trash talking, you need a strong grasp of the English language- which means it makes you smarter, it brings out your competitive side,   it's portable, and you can play 24 hours a day.  If you want to play a friend in person you can use the  pass and play option.  Did I mention it's free?  YES!!! There are also paid versions without ads.

The popularity of Words is growing by the day as I see more and more Facebook statuses reading, "My words with friends name is ________"  followed by replies with their friend's user name.  Other users are updating their status  with a high playing word.  Don't think I didn't share with the world about my 90-point "enslaved." It needed and deserved recognition!! 

In my opinion, Words is one of the best games out there, because it stimulates your mind and grows your vocabulary.  They should make a kiddie and/or classroom version for children who don't like spelling or reading.  I bet it would yield positive results.  Call  me Words With Friends--I am full of ideas!!

Lastly, people, please don't cheat.  Recently I found one of my real-life friend opponents (who shall not be named) cheating.  They had pulled up a list of words that were high-scoring 2,3,4-5, 6, 7-letter words.  When my sister and I told them they were cheating they replied they were merely "studying."  In their eyes they weren't cheating because they weren't using it in the actual game. I think it's cheating, because their intent was to learn a word (and not it's meaning I might add!) just to score points in the game!!  What do you think????

And, now for the information you have been waiting for: my user name is Gloface Killah. 

Game On.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Charlie Sheen Isn't read that right IS NOT

Last night, like many Americans I tuned into 20/20 to watch Charlie Sheen discuss the current situation of his life.   I would like to state that I did not see the interview in its entirety, but what I saw was enough.  The media whirlwind around him needs to stop. NOW.

We live in a society where we love watching people rise from the poorest of the poor and turn themselves into a superstar (Michael Jackson).  Likewise, a celebrity's fall from the top is perhaps even more entertaining (Michael again).  It is quite obvious that Charlie Sheen is in the midst of a very public fall from grace.

I believe Sheen is mentally ill.  As someone who has friends and family with various mental illnesses I see the danger of the media circus surrounding him.
With mental illness, people tend to have very distorted perceptions of the world.  The mentally ill believe that their perceptions are the absolute truth that only they have been blessed with the ability to  recognize.  They are extremely stubborn in this belief, and it takes a lot of time, love,  patience, and (usually) medication to get them back to a  healthy mental and emotional mindset.  In creating platforms for Charlie Sheen to share his ramblings to the world we (the fascinated viewers) are actually reinforcing his illness. 

The public is, in essence,  feeding the thoughts and strengthening his maniac resolve.  Even worse, we are showing those that may be considering treatment that their behavior is not only acceptable, but it's fascinating.  Glamorizing this choice. "But MMM, we are clearly NOT showing him that!! We want him to get help!"  That's the thing with mental illness.  It allows you to shade your eyes to the entire reality and focus on the reality in which you exist and create.  All of this coverage is lengthening Charlie's road to beginning  a recovery process.

Part of me wonders why an executive would give him the network attention (beyond competing with your competitors of course).  Would you want to see your daughter, son, even wife on TV during the height of their mania or depression?  Want them to become the laughing stock of the country? Consider his family, not the "goddesses"-but his parents and children. In this consideration I am going to request that the next time you think twice about supporting his madness.  The less public interest in his antics might be the first step to seeking a healthy mindset that Sheen needs.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Better late than never?

Ugh. I feel like I have been trying to update the blog forever.  This draft has been sitting in the edits since the day after the Super Bowl.  I figure it has some good stuff in it so why not post it for the world....better late than never right? (It's in blue.)

I survived the Snowtorious B.I.G. aka Snopocalypse-Windy City edition aka Snowmaggedon 2011.  It was quite an interesting week filled with snow, wind, idiots stranded on LSD (that's Lake Shore Drive to all you non-Chicagoians) and of course the wonder that is THUNDER SNOW.  I was one of the lucky that did not lose power, heat, or even sleep over the blizzard. I attended a snow bunny party in my building and watched the flakes fly.  Of course Rex decided that he would not use his wee wee pad, and I took him out at 9:30 pm during the peak of the 70mph winds.  We were only out there for approximately 90 seconds.

Anyway, Super Bowl Sunday just passed.  I am so sad that my Steelers did not defeat my arch enemy the Green Bay Wackers....oh I "meant" Packers.  Anyway, as a participant in the most watched television show ever I will give my obligatory Super Bowl winner and losers wrap up.

Winner: Clearly Chrysler.  I loved the "We are Detroit" theme. I thought it was intense, and the Eminem voice over coupled with his song "The Moment" was a nice touch.  The ad fought back against the criticism that Detroit is wasting away into a ghetto; that it is a scab and scar America would be better without.  Instead this ad showed what Detroit people are proud of, they will not give up, and they will rise again.  In my classes we question are the ads clear, motivating, and distinct? If yes, you have a great ad.  This ad was all three.  I am quite sure I wasn't the only soul who felt compelled to buy American again. 

Losers:  I have two choices.
The American public as we were also forced to endure limitless sub-par commercials. WHAT HAPPENED TO BEING CREATIVE?! It's the Super Bowl for goodness sake. Do not pound out your usual work!!!!!!!!!!!!  I also felt there were too many movie previews.  Boo.

Coke.  What happened to making sense? They were all over the board, with the soldiers on opposite sides of battle putting their differences aside to share a Coke and then re-drawing lines in the sand.  What about the fantasy world that just left me scratching my head and thinking yet ANOTHER horrible Coke ad.  I say this from a place of love.  I love the products. Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Cherry Coke, Coke Zero=Mad Media Maven YUM. One of my favorite commercials of all time is a Coke commercial "Cake Mix, Wheat Bread, Coca Cola, Shaving Cream."  I REMEMBER the list years later!!!!!! I beg you Coke. Fire your creatives and hire me. This showing was for the second year in a row abysmal.  It was unclear, unmotivated, and indistinct. FAIL.

We all know that Groupon did a bad job.
Anyway-this semester is way busier than I thought it would be.  The weeks seem to fly by.  I am learning a ton at my internship.  The job hunt is......going.   Hoping to land the job soon.  Still pursuing lots of leads. 

Tonight is Chicago's much hyped mayoral election. Should be interesting to watch.  Ciao!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

He's Baaaaaccckkk!!!

The Old Spice Guy is returning!!!  As his biggest fan you know I couldn't be happier.  The creative did not disappoint as he retained his ridiculously comedic banter: calling earth a blue marble, discussing his physique, and the opportunity to preview the commercials by staring into his beautiful brown eyes. 

The commercials will hit the air in February. (That's next week!!!)  I can only wonder what else Old Spice is going to attempt this time around with Old Spice Guy. Another level of viral infused social media campaigns? Whatever happens I am relieved, because February is starting to look a lot hotter and more tolerable.