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