Learning. Adulting. Eating Cupcakes. #UONYC12

Gratitude, that’s all that is flowing out of me after a week in New York City with 60 other advertising students from the University of Oregon. How lucky are we to visit New York during Creative Week? How lucky are we to visit agencies and get to ask real questions, learning about the industry all of us will soon be entering? How truly luck am I to eat Magnolia cupcakes several times in one week? But in all seriousness, it’s hard to look back at a week filled with so much learning, activity, traveling, insights, and overall overwhelming excitement and overlook the generosity offered to me as a student.

We visited agencies, at least two a day, soaking in all of the culture, process, and differences each agency had. The agencies ranged from the lean and flat like Big Spaceship and Code and Theory to the legacy leaders like JWT and Ogilvy. It’s rare to experience and taste so many different agencies, let alone network and meet with the crafty characters behind each agency. Instead of being intimidated of the New Yorkness of these agencies, the Ducks were welcomed and definitely showed our smarts. I know myself and others were definitely inspired by agencies to keep crating, to find a place were you can truly be yourself, which made us grow closer as a group. I spent the evenings with a different group of people each night. Exploring the city, visiting landmarks, going to comedy clubs, eating huge sandwiches from Kat’s, and absorbing all of the awesomeness that is NYC.

There were some kids I had seen from the halls of Agate, but upon returning, we have been bonded in what will always be that one crazy week known as #UONYC12. Check out the hashtag and see all of the other wonderful travel mates I had. As I was leaving New York, I was sad to leave, but knew that it wouldn’t be long before I returned. And from what I’ve heard, plenty other Ducks plan on flying back soon.

Which means really one thing: yay, more Magnolia cupcakes!

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Create a Volume of Work

Ira Glass, he can do no wrong in my eyes. I’ve been an avid listener and follower of my favorite radio host for a majority of my adult years. I discovered This American Life 3 years ago, I religious listen to the shows each week and view them as a highlight of my week. I find it is the only time in my entire week where I’m not in front of a screen. I’m relaxed and my attention is devoted fully to each story.

That is why, when I stumbled across this video, I knew it would be good. I just ask that you watch this video and listen intensely because it holds many truths.

Storytelling is important in many careers/hobbies/lifestyles, but I’ve always been taught that storytelling is the heart of advertising. Most ads that we see daily are crap, filled with worthless, unemotional plots that resemble nothing like telling a story. Because of this, I take what Ira is saying as a call to action.

To be able to create great work that matches your taste you must be constantly creating work. Create a volume of things, set deadlines to keep yourself on track and also push yourself harder.

It’s tough, but like Ira said, “you just have to fight through it.”

Ikea’s New Media Platform

Ikea. Oh that big store of creativity, desire, and the perfectly matching living room sets was rapidly expanding in Australia. Because of this expansion they needed more employees. Instead of spending oodles of money and blasting all over, they inserted “Career Instructions” into many of their flat boxed furniture. This in turn caused the very people who already love the brand to deliver the message to themselves. Not to mention, spread the word to family and friends. In the end, as you can see form the video, Ikea spent no money on media advertising and garnered enough deciaded employees for their newest store.

 

Ikea advertising, which I have been a long fan of, seems to continually turn out outstanding commercials that correctly match the tone of their brand. Who could forget the adorable cat frenzy commercial? Even in this Career Instructions example the layout of the career opportunity is set up just like instructions for Ikea’s famous assemble-it-yourself furniture. Also, I love the name, Career Instructions, keeping their tone right on target.

Yet what I think is the most amazing thing about this campaign for new employees, the message was delivered directly to the consumer of only Ikea products, by the consumers themselves. Try to imagine any other type of media, new or otherwise, and see if the delivery of such media 1) doesn’t cost the brand any media money and 2) that only targets specific consumers of that brand? Ikea gained valuable employees that were dedicated to the brand and opened up a completely new media channel.

Could other brands use this same model? I wonder if it could be used for other things besides employee recruitment? Or, what other brand could fashion such a perfectly crafted campaign that combines all of the brand’s essence, dyi assembly and tonality, that fits just right for Ikea.

To the Capital We Go

Not-so-bright and early this morning, I set out for American Advertising Federation’s Student Conference in Washington, D.C. I am part of a student duo, along with fellow Ad Team co-leader Rachelle DiGregorio, attending the conference.

Both of us are very proud to represent the UO, the SOJC, and the #UOCreativeStrat program. One of our advertising professors, Dave Koranda, also joined us on the 5:45am flight leaving Eugene headed for the conference.

While peering out at the grandiose sunrise, I contemplate what I will learn at this conference. I know it is not only a great chance to meet other advertising students form around the country, but the conference will also be a great way to discuss new developments within our industry with featured professionals. Mingling will be key, but just to be able to represent the University of Oregon advertising program and the entire Journalism School will make this early morning trek worth it.

Oh, and did I mention this will be both mine and Rachelle’s first time visiting the United State’s Capital? Thus, there will of course be many historical sightings and museum tourings in between informational lectures and discussions of the student conference.

Keep your eye on Twitter for some live tweeting from all three of the Duckies attending and an eye out for me sitting with Honest Abe.

Making Things: Talk Style

As my senior year at the University of Oregon began, I knew it would be a year full of research, meetings, those things called classes and of course making things. Now this idea of “making things” could be embodied through the #UOcreativestrat mentality of #buildshit, but more importantly what making things means to me is actually working on producing a final product.

I have mulled over the various areas I want to focus on within the world of advertising, but I think the biggest eye opener was during my weeklong shadow program at Duncan/Channon in San Francisco. I was fortunate enough to follow a person from each department and the last day I was with the production department. As a student, you have every opportunity to research, plan, talkwith a client, design and place work within the media. You can do everything, basically, that an agency does except the actual production work. Because of this, I learned the most during that day in the production department. From that one day, I have been curious on how to gain production experience and the best way to do so is to make things. Find other student work and help create them in real life, outside of the computer and on a wall or a coaster. Making things can be appropriate even on a student scale, but the best way to really make things is through a group.

Talk is a project within Allen Hall Advertising, the student-run advertising agency, that I have been a part of for the past two years. In a sentence, craftily written this year by our team, Talk is an archival project that interviews student, staff, and faculty of the University of Oregon that aims to gain an essence of the campus community. This year, our team’s number one goal is to gain awareness around campus. One way that we are planning on doing that is promoting the project during the university’s recruitment of new students.

After talking with our connections within the School of Journalism and Communication, we were offered the opportunity to present a video during the SOJC’s section. Granted, we were present with this opportunity 8 days before one of the largest perspective students programs titled Duck Preview was scheduled to happen. With a quick deadline in mind, our team set to action filming and voice recording. Our focus was to make perspective students realizes that many different types of people make up the UO, and each person is an individual but as a whole, they are the campus community. My fellow co-director Kelsey Wilkins was an editing wizard and we were able to make our deadline.

The video is something our team, Allen Hall Advertising, the SOJC, and the UO can be proud of. Oh, and Talk is pretty happy with the video too.

Long time no BLOG

Wow, sorry for taking that term off. Luckily, even though I have been neglecting my lovely readers here, I’ve been tweeting my arse off! If you didn’t catch my witty commentary there, quick, follow me @JulesBasque like @Top_Cars_ and @Queezy28 since these are obviously two things I’m really related to…like sarcasm.

Anywho, here’s an update on the last 3 months and the coolest things I’ve found/done since then:

Talk UO was accepted to present at the NACADA Region 8 Conference in Calgary, AB, Canada. We presented this lovely student-run video archival project in the beginning of March, when Calgary was a blazing 5 degrees fahrenheit. Luckily, the cold didn’t wear myself or fellow presenter, Nicole Perkins, down and we got rave reviews and were even rewarded “Honorable Mention” for 3rd place for best presentation. The trip was woot and I can’t thank the SOJC, Sally Garner, Deb Morrison, Tim Gleason, and everyone on the Talk team and who has done a Talk interview. It was a great learning experience and great exposure to see where Talk can go.

I read Sally Hogshead‘s “Fascinate” and was truly intrigued about using her 7 triggers of fascination not only in advertising my also just in my daily life. No connection yet, but maybe more practice is due to make “lust” really work.

Discovered my love for Yann Tiersen and have attempted more practice on my baby accordion Jezebel. All I have to say is that I can definitely make a sound.

I was lucky enough to present Talk to two very big industry: Edward Boches of Mullen and Ed Cotton of Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners. Both had great insights from different agency backgrounds. Boches focused more the creative side and collaboration through innovation, while Cotton sparked the discussion on how to make the creative brief better with education reform and planner creativity.

Jeopardy baffled me with their IBM supercomputermachine, Watson and his Final Jeopardy mistake.

Podcasts became a new obsession, especially My Favorite Stranger by Ahm and Craig. These podcasts brighten each day I have the chance to listen to them, and these two hosts’ tweets are even more often funny blurbs.

Throughout the term, I also worked my ass off for UO’s Ad Team. We are creating a new campaign for the AAF’s National Competition and the nights of collaboration in Ballmer Lab have been some of the best, most memorable things about college. Media MonSTARS for life!

So, that’s basically it. My term via important tweets and other musings I found on my Twitter to remind me of what I have actually done. Enjoy and hopefully the next post won’t be 3 months from now.

Actually, I can promise that.

I’ve Got a Dot Com, I’m Somebody

—–> OPEN MY WEBSITE HERE! <——

It’s official, my names on the internet. More than, just on the internet I should say…I have a website! Granted, depending on the my domain changing skills and depending on my ability to trouble shoot computer problems if you go to juliebasque.com right now you will get a little something I like to call a portfolio website.

Not that I don’t doubt myself (even though in the technological arena is probably the biggest area of doubts) try just going here to find my lovely webpage. You may read in the url that it says juliebasque.moonfruit.com/, which isn’t fully my domain name but hey, until I can figure out how to make GoDaddy.com like me or make their domain placer easier, this is what I have to settle for.

I aimed to make my website crisp, clean, and clear. If you haven’t noticed here is a fun face, I enjoy using alliteration too much. I wanted to include little pieces of my personality in my site and have my manifesto present a little window into my background. I felt that my up-bringing directly contributes to the way I think and how I view strategy. I am teetering on the colors of my webpage, some say it is “too dull” for my personality, but I actually like the little hint of green here and there, surprising the viewer.

One of the biggest things I worked on for my site was updating and designing my resume. After going through so many valid experiences in the past 6 months, I felt that my resume needed to represent my new focus. Designing was another hurdle since it too isn’t my forte, but using Adobe programs for my advantage definitely helped.

I realize that this page will be constantly evolving, improving, and adding being that will never be done, but with Creative Strategist coming to an end I can safely say I am off to an explosive start.