27 September 2013

Argh & Argh Goes to the AdBowl

It was crazy getting ready for AdBowl and things have been even crazier ever since. So I wanted to get this post up because it was an amazing time! If you don't know what AdBowl is, well you're missing out and it's pretty much what it sounds like, Ad Agencies going Bowling.

The two mandatories are a team name and amazing costumes. When the six of us (AJ, Melinda, Linda, Brent, Gerald and Myself) sat down to concept names we thought it was going to take us a half hour. . . . Nope. We had our team name in like two minutes thanks to Gerald.

We then started thinking about our costumes . . . but that lead to bigger things. . . our bowling names! We started throwing out pirates and AJ yells out, "Capt. Jack Spare-O". From there we tried to tie Captains and bowling names together but that just didn't work so we stuck to famous Captains and zeroed in on making some amazing costumes.

Ashley: Capt. Hook
Linda: Peggy Leg
Brent: Capt. Morgan
AJ: Capt. Jack Spare-O
Gerald: Capt. Crunch
Melinda: Napolean (because she is so little)

We all set out to create our own costumes with one exception that we would all wear the same tee that I made. I was going to do it myself, then I reached out to my buddy Jason. He owns Designed in Ink up in North Phoenix and he hooked me up with prints in two days. He is seriously the only printer in town I go to now.

Check out our costumes and shenanigans below.

Gerald had to cut his sleeves off a perfectly good shirt. 
Blue Media made these awesome stickers for everyone!
Everyone had a fun piratey name too!
AJ and his Lady!  
Linda was on our team for entertainment . . . not so much her bowling skills. 
This is Brent getting his groove on with Linda. 
Gerald won a camera!! Holy smokes! 
Video coming shortly.

25 September 2013

Hiring Hard Working Millenials

Photo Credit: Support Tattoos + Piercings at Work  |  cc

As many of you know I love reading the articles on Linkedin. They are very positive and professionally written. Well, most of them.

The latest article I found is about hiring hardworking millennials. Since I am a millennial and am always slightly offended when people talk about my generation in such a negative light. Not all millennials are lazy, unmotivated and entitled. There are many of us that work hard and are grateful for the opportunities we are fortunate enough to have presented in front of it.

There are some of us that look up to those who came before us and we long to be taught by them. They have experience we don't have and understand if we can learn from their mistakes we can be that much farther ahead of the game.

The article below really showcases an employer that recognizes that and while she's talking about how she finds you to employ, you as an employee should be looking for her type as an employer.

My favorite is Six: When you find the good ones, help them move up—even if that means losing them. I will never forget the first mentor I had. He took me under his wing and taught me so many things but also expected the world from me. Besides never forgetting him, I will be eternally grateful as well.

Read The Full Article Here

24 September 2013

Com Arts Typography Competition 2013

I decided to put some pieces in the Com Arts Typography Competition this year. I, of course, had to pay late fees. I've just figured that is the story of my life.

I wanted to share my entries in case they never see the light of day again.

The Next Step
I was commissioned to do some chalk letters on the wood steps of house on the coast of Big Sur, California. The steps were a message from the bride to her new groom. He never saw the steps until they finished their vows and had been announced as man and wife. He said it was one of his favorite parts of the wedding.

Eat Pie
This hand painted chalk board was made as a prop in the 2013 APS commercial series. After we wrapped, the owners of the Rock Springs Cafe asked to keep the sign. If you ever get up to Black Canyon City, you will see it still hanging by the pie case where we left it earlier this year.

23 September 2013

APS Campaign Wrap Up Celebration

Normally when you wrap a campaign the agency and client dress up and go out to a fancy dinner. Though this campaign begged for something unique. Amy, our resident party planner, put together a dinner with a twist.

The agency and client met at the Palomar Hotel in Downtown Phoenix for an Italian food cook-off dinner. We were broke up into three teams and each team had to make a salad, two flatbreads and cannoli.

My team won the salad competition and said we had the best technique when making the cannoli. I've obviously watched Carlo's Bakery on TLC too much.

Check out some photos of our "wild" night.

18 September 2013

Never Wing a Meeting

Photo Credit: Sigma.DP2.Kiss.X3 cc

I can't express how incredibly important it is to never wing a meeting.

Make sure you have all your creative finished and your presentation prepared in time to do a run through with your account team.

I began to learn this lesson when I was at High Wide & Handsome. My CD there was the only CD I had ever encountered that ran through presentations the night before. I didn't really understand because I wasn't at a point in my career where I was presenting a lot.

Once I moved into a Senior role I began to present to clients a lot. I have learned you have to be prepared for every curve ball question or request. The only way to do that is to have all the materials complete and sit down with your account team and do a quick run through of the meeting. Your account team is going to know what the client will most likely ask, this way you aren't thrown off your game in front of the client. This is good for you and the agency.

So just take the time to readjust your schedule to make sure you have time to run through a presentation beforehand. It will really make a difference.

17 September 2013

White Elephant 2012

While I'm trying to decide what my white elephant gift is going to be this year, I thought I would share with you what I did last year. It's a City Slicker S'more Kit. This is a gift that is super simple and easy to make. Check out the five steps below.

The above photo shows all the things you will need to assemble the packets. In addition, you will need:

  • A basket 
  • Ziploc bags
  • A stapler
  • Double stick tape
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Tiny match boxes

Step 1: Measure and cut your patterned scrapbook paper so that it can be folded in half over the Ziplock Bag. Then, cut white paper slightly smaller so it can be folded over the patterned paper. Design a message on the white paper before folding it over.

Step 2: Break the graham crackers and chocolate into square pieces and place into the Ziploc bag with 2 marshmallows (i use the s'more marshmallows because they lay flat).

Step 3: Wrap patterned scrapbook and white paper around the tiny match box. Feel free to draw a message on the white paper.

Step 4: Assemble all of the contents into a cute Christmas basket. 

Step 5: If you use the above gift for a White Elephant remember to put it in a box with enough support it won't move around on your way to work or when that curious coworker starts shaking it. 

16 September 2013

Equality Arizona Awards Dinner 2013

Saturday night I had the privilege of receiving an invitation to the Equality Arizona Awards Dinner. One of my coworkers is on the board and my company had sponsored a table to the event.

Events like these are great, you get to support a great foundation and spend some time with your coworkers without having to be talking about work. Ten of us attended and since it was a black tie event, we all gone done up properly. I even wore a dress. I know what you are thinking . . . now pick your jaw up off the ground.

The keynote speaker was Dustin Lance Black. If you don't know him, he wrote the movie Milk and 8. He was absolutely amazing. He told us the story of him coming out and I don't think there was a dry eye in the place. If you haven't heard the story I encourage you to watch the video below of him telling it at the HRC National Dinner last year.

After we ate dinner I sat and watched a silent auction and direct donations happen. I watched people open their checkbooks to support this foundation of making it possible for people to no longer live their lives in fear of losing their job, home or life because they are gay. 

While I was proud to be apart of this night, I look forward to the day when foundations like this are no longer needed because we as a society know better. We as a society accept and love people because of their gender, skin color, sexual orientation or anything else that might make them different from someone else. 

I believe diversity is how we as a society improve and make strides to be great.

Weekend Recap: Stories from a Different World

If you've ever gone to Van Chevrolet to get your car serviced and taken the shuttle home chances are you've encountered this shuttle driver. He's a 79 year old man with white hair, a bunch of perfectly placed wrinkles and walks slightly hunched over.

If you don't pay attention you could easily just pass him over for another old person in the Valley. Though take one ride with him in the car and you will experience a world we no longer know.

Today I got to hear the story about how he became a pilot. Before he made the decision to become a pilot though, he was doing jobs to get by. He was a typewriter repair man, a bartender and something else that I can't remember. Anyway, as he was looking around at the people in the bar one night he was starting to realize that he had a lot more potential and wasn't ready to settle for what he was doing like everyone else in the bar had.

As he began to contemplate his future, he saw a girl with a mini skirt on (this is where I thought the story was going to take a turn for the worse) and it flashed him back to a flight he was on a few weeks earlier. He started thinking about what it would be like to be a pilot, the uniform, the pretty stewardesses and the good pay.

He began to train and get his credentials. Within 138 days he had them all complete. He said he was amazed at how all the obstacles just fell away and it felt like it was God that cleared the way for him to be a pilot. Things that shouldn't have happened were happening in a good sense.

See when he was younger some idiot fired a gun next to his head and pretty much destroyed his hearing out of one of his ears. To be a pilot, you need to be able to hear perfectly. He was understandably nervous when he went into do his hearing test for the Mighty Tigers.

He went into this tiny sound proof room with a tiny window. He sat down and put the headphones over his ears and waited patiently for the nurse outside the room to start twisting and turning the knobs to send faint sounds into his headphones.

She instructed him to raise his hand every time he heard a sound no matter how faint. To his luck the nurse started with his good ear and it passed at 100%. As he finished the first test, he felt this giant sneeze come on. AAAHHHH-CHOOOO, the sneeze was so big and loud his head went down between his knees.

After he sneezed, the nurse continued with his bad ear. Amazingly, it passed with 100%. He got the job with the Tigers. It was the beginning of a 30 year career. Every time he went into the doctor for his hearing check-up he passed easily because they just yelled at him from across the room.

As I'm listening to this, I'm thinking did the sneeze pop something? Did some animal take residence in his head for all those years? What made him be able to hear so miraculously? So I asked.

Nope, no Jesus miracle . . . when he sneezed and put his head between his legs . . . he switched the headphones so the nurse tested his good ear twice. At this point in the story I start laughing so hard, I had tears. I don't know what it is about hearing a story from an old person, you never think they were ornery. . . but most of them were more ornery than we could ever imagine.

He always just turned up volume 100% and never missed a call or conversation. He flew some of the most amazing planes of the time. Through his travels he met his, what he says, amazing wife and had more adventures that anyone ought to be allowed in one lifetime.

I was like holy fuck you need to share these stories of yours. Come to find out he has written a book. It's called The Mighty Tiger: Adventures Of An Unlikely Pilot. I've attached a link below so you can check it out on Amazon if you are interested on hearing more of this man's amazing stories.

Joe Brenner

New Employee Orientation

A year after I joined my agency, I finally got to go to my new employee orientation. This is not because the company was slacking . . . it was because I've been so incredibly busy.

Any way I got to go to Vegas and see the office. It's seriously an Art Directors Disneyland. There is stuff everywhere and it's all awesome. The orientation was really helpful too. Yes, it would have been really helpful when I started but it was really nice to put faces to people I had been working so closely with for a while. There was more of a purpose for me being there and it felt incredibly productive. I also left feeling re-excited to work for my agency.

We all got our photos taken for lovely RFPs, so we all got our hair and make up did! We all had a blast. Check out our 15 minutes of fame below!

13 September 2013


Check out this crazy group of coworkers this week. We are on the 8th floor roof where we have some fake grass happening. Jake (on the left), was trying to teach the ladies how to stand, then all of a sudden he started running drills. Focus Jake, focus.

10 September 2013

2nd Annual Tomboy Road Trip

Many of you who read my blog know that I am in the process of writing a book. Though for those of you reading this that don't know, I am writing a book.

The book is called The Tomboy Project and is an exploration of what tomboys are like in today's society. I am in the second year of the book and am incredibly honored to meet some of the people I have met over the last year and a half.

I took last week off work to complete the second long road trip leg of the project. I drove around the midwest talking with women and experiencing their lives. In the morning of one day I was on a farm and that afternoon I was in the middle of Downtown Chicago. It's quite an adventure to see what I get into.

If you are interested click on the link above and visit the Facebook page. Like the page to stay updated with all the adventures and behind the scene photos.