03 December 2011

Extreme Couponing

I partnered with my mother to start extreme couponing. Well not as crazy as the show but enough to make a dent and start saving for an XBox and Kinect. Dear XBox if you are reading this and want to send us one for free, let me know. I will test it out for you.

Anyway, we did our first shopping trip before Thanksgiving and we ended up paying $130 for a week's worth of groceries for three, plus Thanksgiving dinner for six. Not too shabby if you ask me. 

Tomorrow we are going on our next couponing adventure. It's weird how spending time with my mom cutting coupons, grocery shopping and planning weekly dinners is now fun. I must be getting old. Look out advertisers, I'm becoming your target market. 

We are taking tips from the show, though will NEVER I repeat NEVER get in a dumpster for a coupon. Though some of the tips we are incorporating are: 
  • Subscribing to the Sunday newspaper - You can get the AZ Republic for $4 a month and that includes Wednesday which is another big day for coupons.
  • Cutting out any coupon you could potentially need and file it - We started using one of the empty file drawers in my home office to keep everything labeled and organized.  
  • Create a filing system and stick to it - We have also started using the computer to catalog the coupons we clip every week but we only have about 50 coupons right now. If you are interested in the inventory document we set up, please leave a comment below. 
  • Stock up on any non-perishables when you can get the best deal - Just make sure you have the room so you don't appear to be a hoarder. 
I know you might think this is a really random blog post. But think about it, in the world of advertising you've probably at some point and time designed or dealt with FSIs but how many of you have actually used them. 

We don't really deal with retail clients anymore at our agency, though if you do, try using the coupons in the Sunday paper. It will give you a great eye opening lesson on how your clients should or should not be designing their FSIs.

Have a great rest of your weekend!


Happy to update we saved 23.9% more than we did the last trip to the grocery store. It's definitely hard  work and REALLY time consuming, but so worth it. We saved more than we spent at every store and made a profit at one of the stores. This is a really good feeling. 

18 November 2011

Sometimes You Gotta Dance

Wow. Things have been really hectic. In a previous post you see just one of the many campaigns we are working on right now. Sometimes, I can't believe how much Betsy and I do around the office. Not just campaign wise but how well we work together for time management, triage and client services.

This week the load lightened up a little to allow for a little fun. Fun to us means finding people to make fun of, and bagging on each other. If you are friends with us on Facebook, I'm sure you've seen some our antics. Below are some of the things we got to do this week.

We got our PHX10K images back. This is by far our favorite. Betsy always finishes the race and then comes back to cheer me on. The photographers caught some really fun shots of us together.

Betsy changed her twitter from Chilizabeth to RunADC, made her a badge and we re-did her twitter background.

Here is our facebook battle:

A past colleague decided he wanted in on the Facebook tomfoolery. I have to admit, it was spot on and hilarious, but you can't come at my copywriter without some type of retaliation. Here is that story . . .

This is our rebuttal.

Finally, we found this video that made us laugh.

16 November 2011

Work: POWER A Holiday Initiative

Betsy and I just finished another campaign. This time it's for POWER A Air Flo and Mini controllers. This campaign will focus around the holidays and consist of online and social media.

For the mini controllers we presented ideas with hot chick midgets and other really fun ideas and finally settled with the client on the idea "It's not about cute." While these controllers are smaller in size they aren't specifically made for kids or people with midget hands, they are smaller and provide a great grip for someone who likes to get in the zone and have a strong gaming experience.

Betsy and I developed the concept around getting rid of things that people found ridiculously cute, they didn't necessarily have to be miniature, but they had to be things that would give you that sweet, cute feeling like a bear, a frilly cake, skinny jeans (damn hipsters), a pinata, and party balloons.

We hired an explosives expert that was missing fingers (that's how we knew he was good) and found a legal place to blow things up. Then we went at it. It took about six hours to rig and blow everything up. Here is a compalation video of the explosions from our point of view. . .

Our Junior Media Buyer Amanda made a cake that so dense 3 bombs couldn't blow it up and there were some explosions that were so large and loud, I am shocked I still have my eyebrows.

Below is the work.

These are our banners:

This is our landing page:

Go to site.
The following videos are the same ones embedded into the site with the duck bonus deleted video.

The Air Flo work doesn't have as many great memories or stories attached to it since we used stock imagery and it was a normal design project. Though the idea behind it is something that stayed true to the strategy and research.

We found as gross as gamers get, the one social cue that is not acceptable is having a sweaty controller. This goes for when you are in competition or when you are by yourself. Sweaty palms is not hot, ever. So, we focused on the Air Flo and the one word that everyone seems to dislike or have some problem with. Moist.

We developed an opportunity for gamers to win an Air Flo controller while finding out more about what these controllers have to offer.

Below is the work.

These are our banners:

This is our landing page:

Go to site.
It was a lot of work in a ridiculously short timeframe. Though, we got it done as we normally do. Thank you to everyone that was involved in the creation. 

29 October 2011

Creative Rockstars

I am watching a Buckcherry live concert (one of my favorite bands) and listening to them talk about the process of making a record or getting ready for a tour, I have realized how much being a creative in advertising is like being a rock star.

The first thing they talk about is their process. Buckcherry takes their personal experiences, things they read and things they encounter to come up with ideas for new songs. Then they go through production and finally share it with the world. They probably don't focus too much on the target market, they are more like fine artists in that way but Buckcherry isn't going to do a remake of Hanson's MmmBop if you know what I'm saying.

This shows how much as creatives we can not and should not sit at a desk all day. We need to have time to go out, explore and experience things. One thing that really helps me get something in the simmer mode is working out at lunch every day. It allows me to clear my head and get to the answers faster.

They also talk about humble beginnings and how they spend so much time working together and building a relationship so they could do what they needed to do and write good music. The chemistry was just there.

Betsy is an amazing copywriter and I feel blessed to have her as my ACD/writer. We definitely had chemistry in my first interview, though we also spend 8-16 hours together five days a week. We have gotten to a place where we trust each other completely, we look out for each other and are a solid unit. If you don't have that with your partner, your work will suck. period.

The next thing they talk about is song writing, how they function and how they concept the song. They get to take their time and really revisit the songs to make them the best they can be. When they write songs they are focusing on writing an entire record, though don't hold themselves to a specific number of songs for one record.

This really rings true when we are working on concepts for clients. I despise trying to fill a quota of concepts to present. Present the strong ones, the ones you wouldn't be ashamed to produce and go from there. Also, while concepting, no matter what, if the concept can't fulfill a 360 approach, is it good enough? A great idea should be able to live in any media without feeling forced.

One last thing. The other day we were talking about how some agencies take out all the walls and all the desks and make community work spaces. The thing I love about Moses Anshell is that we have our own office, though there are so many places to go and work if you don't feel like sitting at your desk. I just got a work laptop and it is great, Betsy and I now spend even more time together. . .

23 October 2011

Work: Pinnacle Online High School

We just wrapped up some work with Pinnacle Online High School. We presented three concepts and recommended one. Although they didn't choose the idea we recommended, I am happy with the end result of the concept they decided to run with. 

The concept is called "True Story" not incredibly original I know, though it works well for them because it makes online high school approachable. Have any of you seen the commercial where the girl comes out in her PJs and says, "You may think I'm going to bed, but I am actually going to class."? Or the use of all the overly stock looking images? This is something Betsy and I strived to stay away from. 

We partnered with photographer Blair Bunting, and cast six real Pinnacle students. I felt privileged to meet every student that day. They aren't just thinking about getting through high school to get to college, these kids are thinking about ten years down the road and their dreams are huge. They really inspired our headline "For Students of Life," it not only hit the strategy on the head but spoke true to what these kids are trying to do. The media is up now around Phoenix including billboards, in mall, radio, online, cinema and some others. 

Kendra is our horse riding cowgirl and her horse, Girl, are an amazing pair. When we walked into the backyard where she keeps her horse, we were greeted by three goats, some turkeys and some other animals. 

Sometimes the magic of a photo shoot won't happen until you are on set and that is so true with these two. Blair captured the love that Kendra and Girl share for each other. This is definitely the strongest shot of the group with the placement of the sun, the nice pops of color from Girl's bit piece and the overall connection Blair was able to capture on film. 

Our next shoot was with Gino. He is our resident skater and he definitely has a great look to him. I seriously think we wore him out making him skate around a bowl, or maybe we just made him dizzy.  I would have been. 

Immediately following Gino, we hit the stage to shoot Ashley. She is an aspiring singer following in the footsteps of her Gospel singing mother. I love the lighting colors Blair decided to use. After retouching the photos the lights look great and really make Ashley stand out beautifully on a black background. 

The next  and final day of shooting we started with Chance. It was a great start to the day, the weather was nice, we were shooting at a local park and Chance was playing his guitar the whole time. He is a great musician. 

Following Chance we shot Robert the basketball court. For this shoot we were missing one very important prop . . . the basketball. After our stylist went and got one for us we were back on track. Robert's shots came out tight and they had an intensity the other photographs did not. 

Our final student was Emma, a single mother with a high spirited and camera loving two year old. We know with kids you get a 10-20 minute window to get in, get your shot and get out before the child's impatience sets in, so we were moving as fast as we could. As we are finishing this shot, Emma gets up and her daughter is on the bed . . . and of course now the baby wants to pose. I take one shot of her alone on the bed . . . and she wants another . . . and another. I was like why couldn't you be like this 15 minutes ago?! She was really good though and super cute. 

Below are our in mall and billboards. Enjoy! 

04 October 2011

Jr Creative Advice: Get Excited & Stay Relevant

The best thing about bringing in a junior creative team is the amount of creative excitement they bring to the table. Honestly when you come in you are going to suck. We all did, but once you learn the ropes you will be fine.

When you get your first job in advertising, which is the hardest part of the industry, stay positive and stay current. You just came out of school and should know Facebook, myspace, twitter, foursquare, LinkedIn, Spotify, and all the other fun social media outlets. If I have to explain any of these to you, you will not get the job. Just sayin' . . .

Also, you aren't going to work on the good stuff. You are going to get the clients/work either A) no one wants or B) you can handle without fucking up. While this might seem sad and depressing, get over that fast and figure out a way to own your client and make it the next Old Spice or what ever great client is out there when you are reading this. When I was a junior, Carlo gave me a great piece of advice. He said, "Anyone can make surfing or pizza or sports cars sexy, because they already are. But when you are able to make oil and computers sexy, that's when you know you've done something great."

So go do something great with a client and have fun while you are doing this because in the words of my amazing boss, "I would rather be doing this than working in a bank. Bankers are assholes."

03 October 2011

AZ Foothills Best of 2012

It's that time again. Voting for the Arizona Best of 2012 has commenced. The agency that won last year no one has ever even heard of, so we have stepped up to take our rightful place as the Best Advertising Agency in Arizona.

You can vote once a day, every day. Please click this link to vote. We would be grateful if you could click to vote and then share this with your friends as well.

Do you have ideas in how to get others to vote? Let us hear them! Over the next few weeks we will be sharing pictures of how we get people to vote.

02 October 2011

Work: PHX10K

So after a working all summer and the beginning of fall, we have finished all the pieces for the 2011 PHX10K. This project was worked on by my amazing interns and I filled in on the projects they couldn't work on. I have a strict policy that the interns can not work on work we get paid for, since our internship is unpaid.

Items involved in this project:
- Poster
- Brochure
- Info Guide
- Start/Finish Banners
- Bridge Banners
- Guerrilla (which you will only see if you run the race)
- Website Redesign (live PHX10K.com)
- Delivery Truck Backs
- Cinema (you will see them if you visit Harkins)
- Diet Pepsi/Sierra Mist Can Designs (available in stores now)
- and tying up a few other loose ends.

The interns designed and presented their work straight to the client. Since they are interns there were room for improvements when it came to presenting, but overall they did great. Marisa (AD) was used to my expectation for perfection and grew tremendously as a potential junior candidate after graduation. Madison made sure that every sentence of copy in the website made sense, though sometimes she ended up confusing herself which was quite amusing. In the end they got it done and the client is excited about the event.

Check out the website at PHX10K.com

11 September 2011

A Memory . . .

It was exactly 10 years ago to this minute that I heard the first plane had hit the World Trade Center. I had gotten up for another day of my senior year in high school at 6:38AM, I never got up this early for school.

I turned the radio on before I got in the shower and that's when I heard. I went in to tell my mom about what I had heard. She kind of brushed it off like it must had been an freak accident.

I continued to get ready like it was a normal day. Though as I got to my first period H.E.R.O. class, we all started to realize that this wasn't an accident. Every class I went to that day had the television on, we watched the second plane hit. We watched the first and then second tower collapse. The pentagon and then flight 93 crash.

Our country changed forever that day. I don't think there is enough gratitude we could exude to everyone who was involved in helping to save this country and the people hurt in the hateful act initiated that morning.

My hope for this 10th Anniversary, is that everyone spends time to reflect and remember how we came together as a country. We were a community that day, we were a unit. We were thankful for the survivors. We were doing whatever we could to find other survivors. We never gave up hope.

I really think this mentality is necessary to have today. The problems with this country, the economy, the unemployment etc. are fixable. But we need to come together as a community again. We need to stop this me vs you mentality.

We need to come together. We need to start supporting our neighbors and become the strong nation the rest of the world looks to us to be. We are a place where anything you dream and work for can happen.

God Bless America.

28 August 2011

Jr. Creative Advice: Don't Leave

As a junior you should be one if not THE last one to leave. This is the time to prove yourself to your colleagues and your boss. If your hours are supposed to end at 5:30pm stay at least until 6:15pm. Spend the extra 45 minutes looking up cool new trends or learning some new way to utilize social media.

If you leave on time and the rest of the creative department is working on a presentation ASK if there is anything you can help with. You leaving before everyone looks poorly on you.

You are a junior, we know you will be slower and need help. That's why you are a junior. What we are looking for is that fire. That desire to be there and change society with a great idea. If you don't have that . . . you need to find a different job.

09 August 2011

Work: Local Motors Website

I know that I haven't written in a while though I am trying to get on a regular writing schedule. Once a week seems to be good, though I'm not sure what day it is. Thursday is the day I am thinking most about.

Ok anyway back on track. As you know from some of my previous posts, I've been really excited about Local Motors Rally Fighter. Well we have finally gotten all of the contracts signed and the first phase of the website finished. We did the entire site in 2.5 weeks. That includes design and coding. The reason for the ridiculous turn around time was because the Rally Fighter was premiered on Top Gear August 7th on the History Channel. (Watch the episode here.)

There will be a second phase adding some fun things and also fixing some things. Though I am so proud of my team to keep up and stay positive through a fun though sometimes hectic process.

(Visit Rally Fighter Site)

31 July 2011

Congrats to Kristie Fujiyama Kosmides!

One of my clients just received some well deserved news! She will be painting a 300+ foot long wall in the Honolulu International Airport. I am so excited for her and can not wait to see the finalized piece.

We just finished a polished website for Kristie showcasing some of her latest and best work. Check out her website! Also, like her on facebook!

22 June 2011

Work: Do it up right.

Yesterday I spent most of the day working on record album covers for one of our client presentations. I normally don't work on these kinds of projects but it was really fun (Peter Pan Syndrome = ME). There were 16 album covers total and after about 9 of them in a row my brain started to turn to mush. But it was really great to showcase a wide variety of designs and genres.

I truly believe that going that extra mile and putting in the extra work pays off. I know I know most of you are probably saying no shit sherlock . . . but even though it's common sense most people do not do it. People settle and that just. won't. cut. it.

You should be proud of everything that you do and if it takes longer than you had hoped, finish it anyway. You don't see marathoners just decide that 24 miles is good enough. They go the entire 26 miles.

One of my bosses told me that you should look back at things you have done last year and think they are horrible and you are doing better things today. I agree with only the latter half of that. There are ads made 20-50 years ago that people still appreciate and honor. If you are good at what you do and really love this industry, what you put out should be timeless. Honor what you have done and make the things you do tomorrow better. Just keep moving forward.

. . . and that's my daily rant. Happy Hump Day.

07 June 2011

Work: Have you seen Bret Michaels naked?

Neither have I. Though you might be seeing him in the mail this month if you are an AD creative. One of my close friends/photographer, Blair Bunting and I created a mailer to promote Blair's company utilizing one of (my opinion) his greatest photo shoots.

Blair and I always have a lot of fun and he's incredible at what he does. If you haven't checked him out yet go to blairbunting.com

03 June 2011

The M|A Bullpen

L to R: Madison, Marisa, Christine

I've talked about it before. I truly believe the way internships are run need to evolve with the changes in advertising. When I got to Moses Anshell, I put together a presentation with the things I would like to see happen through this evolution I saw in my head.

Louie went with it and supported the process the entire way. We put fliers up at multiple universities around the state and all over Facebook. We looked at a lot of videos and three ladies rose to the top.

The ladies started this past Wednesday and I could not be happier. As you will see throughout the summer I want to take their input and the experiences we have every week to make any tweaks necessary.

If you are interested in following them you can at:

The "bulls" have the opportunity to work with Local Motors, a new car company, based out of Phoenix, AZ. Along with that they are tasked with daily creative activities that you will see posted on the blog, weekly assignments and monthly assignments.

There will also be field trips, the first one is to the Phoenix Zoo. More information about this later.

As the first week draws to a close. I know we couldn't have picked a better group of people for the first year of the Bullpen. They have the tenacity to do great things and I can't wait to share more of their journey this summer.

31 May 2011

Memorial Day Weekend.

Seriously one of the best weekends I've had in a long time. Taking the Rally Fighter to California was an experience I do not believe any briefing could ever give me!

We went to Running Springs and got ready for Tough Mudder So Cal. From there we made our way over to Malibu and down the coast.

On our way to Cali, I hopped the ditch on the 10 Freeway in front of a cop (whoops!). It seriously felt like I was a stunt driver in a movie. I kind of like to think I'm a badass sometimes.

This car makes you feel so special. It turns heads every where you go no matter what. I love having them as a client.

19 May 2011

POKE: America wins again!

So POKE is a digital agency in London and apparently their copywriter was stolen by Obama. When will the silly English learn that America wins, that's what we do. Charlie Sheen knows it . . .

Anyway, they are putting out a challenge for copywriters and I think it's badass.

Check out: obamastoleourwriter.com

If I were a writer (but I'm not) these would be my answers:

Challenge 1:
Dear Poke - I killed Osama and stole your copywriter I'm the king of the world bitch. No hard feelings though. Next time can you please plan a wardrobe malfunction or something interesting into Harry's wedding.
Challenge 2: 
Kicking Ass and Taking Names: How to Steal Copywriters and Feel Good About It
Challenge 3: 
Flying High Airlines
Roundtrip  |  One Way
Depart From  |  Arrive In
Thank you for trying to schedule a trip to London, though all flights have been cancelled. Grow some cajones and be proud that you stole their copywriter.
Can we help you plan a trip to Hawaii to pick up your birth certificate?
Challenge 4: 
Challenge 5:
I like my copywriters funny. A mixture of slapstick dry humor and a touch of inappropriate remarks. They flatter me by writing just enough copy to fit my layouts and always stand by my side in the fight to make the logo smaller!  
Good luck POKE. Hope you find an excellent writer! 

16 May 2011

Whiskey Row 10K

This past weekend was incredible. My copywriter and I have really flipped the traditional advertising events of sitting around drinking to a more healthy and exciting environment. We have joined Gold's Gym along with a few other co-workers and we have started running 5 and 10Ks. This past weekend we ran in the Whiskey Row Marathon 10K.

We drove up to Prescott on Friday afternoon and stayed at the Hassayampa Inn. This place is almost exactly the same as it was when it was built in 1927. Supposedly, it is also haunted. We didn't encounter any of the three ghosts though. Kind of a bummer.

The beds in this place are amazing. I had a hard time getting up in time for the race Saturday morning. Good thing Betsy gets up early. We headed down the hill to the start line. The marathoners and half marathoners started an hour and a half before the 10Kers so it was nice to not have such a crowded start line.

Ready. Set. Go. We set off on a nice flat surface. . . hahaha . . . then we turn the corner to our first hill. Not too bad. Must. Keep. Going. Keep it at a nice jog, then I see it, it's like a tsunami of concrete. This hill is seriously reminding me of California Street in San Francisco. By the time I got to the top I had to look down and make sure my legs were still attached to my body.

The best part of the race was when the 10K crossed the marathoners. We were going opposite directions but there was this great sense of community. Everyone was cheering each other on, high fives and words of encouragement were exchanged. It was a really motivating part of the race.

Bets and I both finished the race. Betsy finished 2nd in her age group and 5th overall. She's pretty badass. Me on the other hand finished 611th. But at least I finished right? And I still got a finisher medal.

27 April 2011

Arizona Office of Tourism Unity Dinner

Last night I had the privilege to join a group of people that devote their lives to the betterment of this state. I also got to eat really expensive food with sauce in artistic designs on the plate.

It's amazing to see how much people love this state as much as I do. We live in a place that is sunny 363 days out of the year. There are amazing lightning shows during the last parts of summer. Hiking, boating, paddle boarding, camping, snowboarding and just about anything else you can think to do outside, you can do in Arizona year round.

Driving into the office everyday, I go down the 51 and drive through the mountains. It's probably one of my favorite times of the day. Maybe because I'm an art director, but I have to give it to Mother Earth, she knows how to match colors perfectly.

So I don't have any images of the Unity Dinner but I will share a video of this woman from Wisconsin that judged Arizona when she didn't even know where it was located . . . it makes me laugh every time. Also, our senator sent this woman a letter with an enclosed map. Arizona was highlighted with an arrow, again, pointing out Arizona and where the bottom of the state borders Mexico. Sarcasm at it's finest.

21 April 2011

Portfolio Review

Last night I was a reviewer at a portfolio review for the Phoenix area. It was really nice to meet some of the other advertising professionals since I've only been back in Phoenix for 6 weeks.

The review was at the Duce in downtown Phoenix which made it super easy for me. Bonus.

As with most downtowns there was a problem with parking (not enough of it) and the show that was supposed to start at 6:30 didn't really start until 7:30pm.

There were about the same number of students as there were reviewers, which really surprised me. I know that NY has way more people which is why you have to wait in line to speak to a reviewer, sometimes 30 minutes each time. Though, I really hope as these continue more and more students take advantage of having professionals come out to help them get a job.

15 minutes is too long for a portfolio review to go on, especially when there isn't a bell telling people to slide down. I would probably shorten it to 10 minutes and have a bell. When the bell sounds you slide down. period. I met with a few people though showing their work lasted 30 minutes. . . I don't have that big of an attention span :)

There was a panel after the review which was a great idea, once the kids started getting comfortable they started asking questions. The ones that every graduating student wants to know, but at the same time, I am really happy they are thinking about those things.

All in all Jason from TunnelBravo did a great job organizing the event and I know it will only get better with time!

A great quote from Tim Washburn's father was said during the panel, "Spend your 20s learning to surf and your 30s looking for the perfect wave." Great words of advice.

Below are some pictures of the event (Courtesy of M.Fehler)

18 April 2011

7th Annual Pat's Run 2011

So this weekend was amazing and inspiring. The entire race you would see military personnel with their families and their fully loaded packs or carrying a flag. It was definitely more emotion that I thought I would experience. 

The most inspiring thing I saw was a man on the side of the road who had lost both of his legs and he was readjusting one of his prosthesis to get back up and continue running. I don't think words can describe the feeling of seeing something so moving. 

28,000 people showed up to race and show their support, that's a big deal. 

Below are some pics from the race. I can't wait until next year.

In our corrals.
Running up a hill.
Coming down Rural.
Entering Sun Devil Stadium.
Coming out the tunnel.
Mile 4.
Some of the runners. 
The finish line.
ASU Sun Devil Stadium.

10 April 2011

A long time in the making.

I have wanted to put on an internship program for a very, very long time. I just presented a proposal and got the green light. Everyone in the agency has pitched in and we have been working so hard on it, I can't wait to work with 6 creative thinkers this summer.

I want the internship to be like no other. I'm sure in some ways it might be like others, but as a whole, I want to rock out and create something bigger than me and bigger than Arizona.

The program is 20 hours a week M-F and the 'terns work on real life projects along with a lot of creative exploration projects to get them thinking about the idea first. The internship starts June 1 and you can follow them on twitter, facebook and their blog.

Below are some of the shots from our recruiting efforts:

Underpass at UofA
Scanning the QR Code
Orange Groves
On the way up to NAU
UofA kids have class on Saturday, WTF?!
NAU Union, where we got run off by the Union Nazi and his psycho GF