Crushing on Droga5, and I’m Not Ashamed.

drogany

After listening to a Tim Ferris podcast recently and reflecting on his infamous “four-hour work week,” a particular question was brought up that stayed with me. “How do we operationalize creativity?” In other words, how do we “work out” our creative mentality to make us more imaginative, insightful, and valuable in every facet of life. While ‘operationalizing’ creativity may be inherently counterintuitive through putting what is clearly outside the box back into a box or (schedule of sorts) once again, I resonated with the concept- apparently enough to write a full agency run down that is knocking this concept out of the park: DROGA5. I believe that this could be a true asset to marketing teams everywhere, as shown by this agency rock star, and challenge them to create the latest, greatest, and most creative work. If there weren’t a choice, but instead these two perspectives, creativity and a set of operations that challenges creativity, could intersect, perhaps an opportunity for growth would result.

Droga5 and the value they deliver is the result of their creative workout of sorts. To highlight my favorite campaign that they have done, I looked into their Diet Coke brand strategy that really shows how they did something unique, but in an operationally effective manner. This brilliant group of alien creatives are the masterminds that are the lead agency behind what I believe to be the nectar of the gods (Diet Coke.)  The message that the Coca Cola brand is hoping to send to their consumers (aka addicts) is simple:

“We can offer you something unique, something that no one else can.” 

Droga 5, of course! This agency not only won AdAge and Creativity’s “Agency of the Year” this year, but they are also well known within the digital/creative agency industry as the group of people who: “explore new disciplines and evolve our existing offerings to best meet our clients’ needs.”

The entire business model upon which they operate is centered around one common strategy: EXPLORATION. They are not stuck in their ways. They are not focused on tradition. They are instead focused on quite the opposite, which earned them the stellar reputation that is so well-deserved. Many speak to the dynamic nature of marketing within today’s business environment, however Droga5 operationalizes this. In other words, they walk the walk. Through pushing themselves to evolve and therefore offer something 110% unique to the client, attention is paid and respect is deserved for these folks.

I had always said that I couldn’t ever define what my dream job would be until completely losing my cool, nerding out, and reading out this niche agency based out of Manhattan (my favorite city on the planet) that is committed to increasing the brand presence of the one drink that I don’t leave my house without one in hand and at least one in my bag. Cheers to aspartame, cheers to Droga5’s brilliance, and cheers to working out your creativity as a marketing professional!

Droga5, please hire me?  -Your #1 fan and *almost* college grad 

 

 

creative meets consulting: survival of the fittest?

With today’s digital marketing industry being incredibly fast-paced and driven by rapid technological innovation, brands are in desperate need for guidance. Social media following and the necessity of putting forth fresh content that engages audiences has become a primary component of business. Living in a digital age requires a premiere digital presence for brands. Therefore, this need is becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s markets. The possibilities for business to business guidance are seemingly endless. Businesses seeking thought leaders in the digital marketing space have previously had a plethora of options to choose from within the multitude of both small and large-scale digital marketing and advertising agencies that have been sought after by brands for years by clients to help them achieve improved performance and an advanced bottom line.

However, change is imminent. Creative agencies now face a new competitor in the B2B digital consulting arena: the big four and corporate ad agencies. Deloitte, one of the largest consultancies in the world, has been quietly acquiring agencies that each specialize in unique niches of the digital space, which has drawn quite the crowd to their service offerings. They approach the digital market as one that goes hand in hand with their traditional practices including tax, audit, advisory, strategy and operations, and now digital. Offering a “one stop shop” for all of a client’s business needs from tax filing to social media monitoring truly takes the headache out of many business issues by have a single, central team of experts specializing in every business need.

While this sounds immensely appealing, creative consultancies also have their place in the game shining as creative rockstars who offer unique, niche services that you cannot find anywhere else at the same caliber. However, these niche agencies are slowly being acquired one-by-one by umbrella corporations such as Publicis (now Publicis.Sapient) and Omnicom, which provides the potential foreshadowing of the emerging market trends…

Advertising giants such as Publicis Group have worked to build a large network of service offerings for clients to utilize. One of the largest subsidiaries of Publicis is Sapient, a recent acquisition by Publicis. SapientNitro is the digital marketing branch of Sapient and appears to be a major competitor with Deloitte Digital. Who will outperform in the digital marketing consulting field? Will it be the “sleeping giant” that is large scale consultancies who simply acquire and conquer this industry?  Or will it be the incumbent, long-time creative agencies with loyal client followings existing under large corporations such as Publicis.Sapient?

Don’t hate, appreciate. The FACTS behind Millennials.

“[…] how awful it is to be managing the extension, sort of, of the teenage babysitting pool.” This quote by Marian Salzman on a highly publicized CBS news article sent me for a tailspin; the kind of tailspin that makes you angry, but curious. Considering that the perception of my generation demands babysitting, I decided to look to the cold, hard facts from none other than the US Census Bureau as well as an official White House survey on the matter. I spent hours researching who millennials are and what the root motivators are of this generation at scale due to this simple fact that I am now 100% exhausted with my reputation being both negative and concrete before someone ever even meets me.  I set out to skim the surface of a subject matter that spans enormous lengths explaining what makes millennials, well, “millennials” and why the reputation has become so entirely skewed.

Millennials are those born from 1982 to the mid/early 2000’s and have become titled “the most diverse generation” in the US to date. There are approximately 83.2 million individuals belonging to this generation in the US, which makes up a ⅓ of the US workforce. The values that were deemed to be the highest priority to this age group include community-mindedness, work focus, equality, diversity/inclusion, focus on education, and family. After looking into WHAT is most important to this age group, one should consider the WHY. Research has shown that the contributing factors to what drives this value set can be attributed to millennials being brought up during the Great Recession, the onset of a technology-centric lifestyle, and diverse race/ethnicities within this group driving a push for equality in every sense of the word.

Coming up during the Great Recession has been proven by research to be a large factor creating an impact on our generation, which I believe most Gen X’s don’t take into consideration. Seeing unemployment skyrocket causing many to lose their homes, cars, and overall sense of normalcy has resulted in a greater investment in human capital amongst my fellow peers requiring “babysitting.” In lay terms, this means that more millennials are seeking higher education in order to make themselves more competitive in a job market that they were taught not to trust growing up. 61% of the 83.2 million millennials have attended college, which is up from the 46% of college degree earners of the baby boomer generation.

However, with more education comes more student debt. This is an arena that has a tenfold effect. At the end of 2014, students loans totaled ONE TRILLION DOLLARS in America. This, in turn, results in a higher wage for college degree earners initially entering the workforce, but also increases the wage gap between those who went to college and those who didn’t. What does more debt mean? Less ability to become homeowners and less ability to buy long-term assets such as cars. Millennials are becoming characterized by the need for flexibility. Less financial freedom post-college and graduate school, means that the housing market is becoming involved. People within this generation don’t have the means to lay down roots early on in life financially. WE’RE IN DEBT. To that end, millennials are getting married on an average of 6 years later than those surveyed in the 1950 census. Women are 26.6 years old and men are 29 years old, on average, when getting married.

More education, more debt, less financial freedom amidst higher wages, later average age of marriage, less home ownership, the list goes on. I do not in any way find these things to be a just cause for derogatory mudslinging, but simply a change of pace from the past where women stayed home and baked cookies all day. Change is not a bad thing, and Gen X and Boomers need to embrace the WHY behind what makes millennials, “millennials.” There are sound reasons that flexibility in work and a longing for education are so prevalent. Diversity is pushing a career drive like never before. Financial security is not something that most in this group know, unlike our older predecessors. Not wanting to put down roots at a young age should not be something looked down upon, but simply as something that is new and unique.
Personally, I want to travel, and travel everywhere. I want to be submersed in a career that allows me to make a difference and provide valuable results. I want to pour my able mind and body into making this positive change happen, which means no, I actually would not prefer to have children, a mortgage, or even a husband within the coming seasons of my life. I need to grow on my own and come into myself. I cannot do that with roots at 22 like the norm has been in the past. My longing to see this incredible world that God has created and my drive to use my unique abilities to advance society is not something that requires babysitting and is simply not sound reasoning to back a claim that millennials lack loyalty. Not only is this offensive, but it is ignorant as well. Don’t hate on millennials, hear them out. See where they’re coming from. Perhaps its you, Ms. Salzman, that needs babysitting. 

THE FACTS: 

WHO ARE MILLENNIALS

  • Born 1982-2000
  • 83.2 million (census taken June 2015)
  • More diverse than preceding generations
    • 44.2% belong to a minority race or ethnic group
  • 61% have attended college
    • Only 46% of baby boomers did this
  • ⅓ of the current labor force
  • Unemployment rate of millennials WITH a college degree: 3.7% in 2013
  • Unemployment rate of millennials WITHOUT college degree: 13.5% in 2013
  • “WORKING MILLENNIALS ARE STAYING WITH THEIR EARLY CAREER EMPLOYERS LONGER.”
    • Contrary to popular belief (?)
      • Do longer tenures with initial employers also mean longer tenures within unemployment?

OVERARCHING IDEALS OF MILLENNIALS 

  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Technology
    • Change in entrepreneurial abilities at a younger age
    • Change in communication methodology
  • Education
    • Push to stay competitive via large commitment to human capital
    • Increasing low-income students joining higher education circles
    • Millennials are committed to increasingly specific studies within college level education
  • More Education, More LOANS
    • Total outstanding students loans at the end of 2014: $1 Trillion
    • Higher initial wages post college graduation
      • Increasing wage gap between college degree earners and non-college degree earners
  • Exclusive focus on studies
    • Decreasing level of students working part time jobs
    • Decrease labor force participation
  • Healthcare
    • Correlated with greater health for the overall generation, greater financial stability, higher job satisfaction, and higher educational achievement due to not relying on employer providing health care.
  • Women gaining equality.
    • Millennials are a part of the official close of the education gap dating back to World War II.
    • Within every 1 in 4 millennial households with children, the mother is the sole breadwinner.
  • Millennials get married later.
      • Women: 26.6 years
      • Men: 29.0 years
    • Millennials marry 6 years later than the average age of marriage in 1950.
  • Less likely to be homeowners
    • Potential correlation with upbringing during the Great Recession
    • Increase in millennials living at home…
      • 1. Delaying home ownership until older.
        • Stronger tie with parents
        • Later marriage age
        • More education commitments
        • Debts
      • 2. Difficulties in the job market
        • Fears from the Great Recession
        • Millennials wanting to maintain flexibility
      • 3. Today’s tight lending
  • Millennials are moving to urban areas more quickly than less educated peers.
    • Issues of geographic segregation surrounded more and less educated people
      • “High-skilled” vs “low-skilled” cities

MILLENNIAL VALUES

  • Community- mindedness
  • Family
    • Closer relationships with parents
      • Mothers spend 60% more hours parenting today than they did at the time of a 1997 Gallup survey
  • Work
    • “Very important job characteristics among high school seniors”
      • “Interesting”
      • “Advancement”
      • “Earnings”
      • “Creative”
  • Women have similar aspirations as male peers!
  • Positive social impact
    • Small and large scale

Popular Beliefs, Quotes, Perceptions of Millennials etc.

  • “[…] how awful it is to be managing the extension, sort of, of the teenage babysitting pool”
    • Marian Salzman
  • “You now have a generation coming into the workplace that has grown up with the expectation that they will automatically win, and they’ll always be rewarded, even for just showing up”
    • Mary Crane

 

SOURCES:

  1. https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/millennials_report.pdf
  2. http://www.goldmansachs.com/our-thinking/pages/millennials/

 

West Coast Best Coast?

West Coast Best Coast?

Anyone who dabbles in the marketing industry in any sort of form or fashion knows that there is something to be said for knowing your demographic. Learning to speak to a specific audience is something that I’ve learned to place a high priority on as I am continually learning more about this strange industry. I’ve officially become one of the nerds that subconsciously analyzes every brand that I come across, which I recently come to terms with as I went to LA for spring break.

2500 miles and a quick flight across the states taught me a lot about branding, especially from a social media perspective. Everyone in California (blatantly stereotyping here…) seems to be tan, fit, and very into “vegan” dieting. It clearly works for them. However, amidst all these observations, the thing I noticed most during my quick trip to the west coast is how immensely differentiated the branding was in LA within brands. The bright weather seems to result in brighter promotional design. The love of outdoors clearly attracts open air storefronts and restaurants. The bike paths on the beach were lined with signs pointing people towards different places quite intentionally. The mediums in which brands speak to consumers are different.

A specific instance that I was wildly fascinated by was Uber in LA. I get it. LA naturally results in a larger market for this taxi-concept due to the immense geographic spread of the city. People are more liberal towards many concepts, especially the idea of Uber. Why, you may ask. I attribute it to people seeing it as more eco-friendly than the traditional options, a quick and cheap alternative to driving, and provides an opportunity for a more glamorous experience for many. When calling an Uber in LA, you have what seem to be endless options. UberX for the regular people like myself. UberXL for large groups. Uber Select for premium cars. Uber SUV. Uber black. Uber WAV designed for handicapped individuals making the service more accessible. Uber Espanol, for those who want to be guaranteed a spanish speaking driver. And lastly, UberLUX which guarantees a high end Tesla, Mercedez, or Maserati (?). If this branding that is so differentiated from the Uber available in Atlanta doesn’t tell you the importance of demographics, then I don’t know what will. Atlanta uber: Prius. LA Uber: BMW. This is a vivid example of how different a brand can be across the 2500 miles.
Same company. Same service/product. Different brand.

“Google-pocolypse”

I’m somewhat certain that Google may be taking over the world, for many reasons, several of which are listed below.

  1. 100 BILLION searches are recorded MONTHLY.
    1. We no longer have questions that go unanswered. We have Google.
  2. More than half of all Google searches originate from mobile devices.
    1. The world is literally in our hands with this search engine.
  3. 50 billion+ websites are indexed on Google currently.
  4. GOOGLE IS WORTH $527 BILLION.
  5. I could go on, but I feel a bit nauseous. I think I’ll stop at $527B.

 

Taking that .5 trillion dollar scale down a bit, my little corner of the world revolves around Google.  As I’ve sat down to write down a few thoughts on the subject, I’ve realized that my life is on Google Drive, Spreadsheets, G-Cal, most importantly GMAIL, etc. I am 100% dependent on this strange, corporate entity housed in a shiny, beautiful campus in Mountain View, CA, which I’m sure is filled with smiling, brilliant, ant-like, employees scurrying around to ensure the world keeps spinning. Thanks again, Google-people. This got me thinking: Google may be arguably the most important resource I have in my day to day life. Just as I am writing this, there is an add-on that my pals at the Googleplex campus created, or perhaps purchased, to help me sound a bit less moronic with regard to my grammar skills (ILY GRAMMARLY!). Each draft of this blog post is saved every time a new sentence is typed, if not sooner. Google Calendar emailed me this morning reminding me to write this draft for my MARK 4450 blog. WHAT?! They literally know everything about me and my procrastination habits (even though I set reminders… they never let a girl down). They know everything about my peers currently organizing their G-Cals in class right now.  They know quite a lot about the rest of the world’s Type-A, Google-fiends. (“Google-fiend”- I should perhaps get this copyrighted.)

Paid search: Google decides who is relevant online. If you make Google mad, they make your life hell by placing your beautiful and presumably expensive website on page 34 of the search results upon your company’s keyword searches. They rule e-commerce, which is outpacing brick and mortar by growing 300% since 2004 (Jones, Stacy: The NJ). They rule reviews and subsequentially stir the pot that is consumerist America.

They rule the future of business: ANALYTICS, ADWORDS, TAG MANAGER, Oh my! (http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/020515/business-google.asp)

(Also, I feel as if though google is taking over the world simply due to the fact that until yesterday, I didn’t know how to boil an egg, which Google quickly caught me up to speed on.)

Google-pacolypse is upon us, my friends. Amidst my overarching concerns regarding the subject, I’m not that mad about it.  Go google go.

 

 

 

 

How My Dance Team Growing Up Taught Me the Value of Content Marketing

A bit of background:
I have been fortunate enough to grow up dancing competitively since I was six years old. I have had the most incredible opportunities to travel, build insanely strong friendships and mentorships, and been able to learn what it means to be truly dedicated to something. I started competing in regional competitions with the goal of qualifying for nationals when I was a nugget.

Fast forward eight years of competing, traveling, and rehearsing/training, and I found myself completely burned out by the competition circuit. I remember thinking: “why does this matter?” and “what impact am I making?”. I knew that I wanted to get more out of all of the years of hard work that I had put in. It was then when I realized I wanted to dance professionally but in a commercial dance capacity instead of going on to dance in a college dance program/ballet or modern concert company. I was able to intern with a national dance competition, (counterproductive to my attempting to step back from competitions I know…), but I knew that this internship would provide the opportunity to network with the rockstar faculty and that it did. I made connections and gained mentors that still guide me to this day and have offered immense opportunities that positively changed the way I think. I spent a summer in LA training with Muse Dance Company at Millenium, Edge, and other renowned studios in the center of the commercial dance scene. I spent time in New York City with Project 7 Dance Company as well. Even though I stepped back from dance currently, I’ve learned ALOT about how dance fits into media when my friends have started booking roles and I’ve gotten to hear about their experiences. I noticed how product placement, content marketing strategy, and even viral campaigns are central to commercial dance. To that end, only the very elite dancers make it to this level on commercial spots that marketers are fighting to be involved in. This exemplifies how critical the intersection of dance and marketing has become.

Personally, I’ve clearly chosen another route with college, for now at least. Amidst my changing course, I am still fascinated by the dance industry, especially at its intersection with the marketing industry since I’m focusing on this here in undergrad at UGA. Bottom line? Marketers understand that people love watching dance, love to dance themselves, and love when a scene is made through dancers. It’s fun, exudes positive energy, and is very intentional. Perhaps more importantly, dance in marketing spots on TV, social, etc. simply makes for content that grabs people’s attention. Some of the most brilliant marketing campaigns have been centered around dance, and I’ve highlighted a few that I find particularly interesting. These provide relevant, exciting content that really matters and stirs the emotional response of target audiences.

1. Heineken “Dance More, Drink Slow” Campaign
– Heineken has a previously sports based marketing portfolio.
-This represents the transition to a more social, club scene target audience.

2. Coca-Cola “Just Dance Now” Campaign
-Les Twins dance off: how could content get more exciting? Les Twins are the commercial dance kings. Beyonce decided she loved them because of their insane talent, and she hired them to dance with her and her only on stage. Instant fame. Now their marketing tools to the team at Coca-Cola because they have such a following.
-This marked launch of movement through happiness
-push towards healthier living.

3. T-Mobile Liverpool Flash Mob
-Overall, a push to create a stronger brand presence in front of a train station. Getting regular people involved and inviting them for a mid-day dance break? Winner winner.

4. Pepsi’s “The Joy of Dance” Superbowl Spot
-Featuring Janelle Monae, this ad shows Monae walking through several scene rooms through time while holding a Pepsi until she steps into the present. The Superbowl halftime sponsor clearly utilizes the excitement that dance brings to an atmosphere to push their product.

5. Music Videos!
-Ciara “Dance like We’re Making Love” –> Beats Headphones heavily emphasized.
-Nicki Minaj “Anaconda” video–> Nicki and her dancers all wear Air Jordan shoes.
-iPhones… they’re in every music video it seems. Better luck next time, Android.
-Mayonaisse? Lady Gaga wins most unique product placement.

bloggaga.png

6. Lexus: “A Stronger Body for Greater Control” 

-The commercial spot features the poised and (ridiculously) strong Tamara Rojo, director of the English National Ballet.

What in the world are you talking about?

Today as I sat in class, I thought about how a majority of the internet’s content is aimless. Most people don’t have a purpose for writing online content, but instead simply want to say something (assumption #1). Going on a tangent (after class, of course), I wanted to see what the MVP’s of the blogging game were talking about, how they gained their reputation, and whether or not their content was centered around a goal. In summary:

(source: http://www.therichest.com/rich-list/world/worlds-10-top-earning-bloggers/)

 

  • Gina Trapani, Lifehacker

 

      1. $110,000 per month
      2. “Tips, hacks, and downloads for getting things done”

 

  • Perez Hilton (aka Mario Lavandeira)

 

      1. $200,000 – $400,000 per month
      2. PerezHilton.com — originally named PageSixSixSix.com– has become one of the leading go-to sites for celebrity news garnering over 300 million hits a month

 

  • Pete Cashmore, Mashable

 

      1. $560,000-$600,000 per month
      2. Mashable is a leading global media company that informs,inspires and entertains the digital generation. Mashable is redefining storytelling by documenting and shaping the digital revolution in a new voice, new formats and cutting-edge technologies to a uniquely dedicated audience of 45 million monthly unique visitors and 26 million social followers.

 

  • Michael Arrington, TechCrunch

 

    1. $500,000-$800,000 per month
    2. TechCrunch is a leading technology media property, dedicated to obsessively profiling startups, reviewing new Internet products, and breaking tech news.

So there they are: the big dawgs of blogging. The guys (and gals) who make upwards of half a million dollars PER MONTH sitting in their Tesla jotting down a few thoughts about a new, innovative app (assumption #2). I think it’s remarkable. Being a believer that the best way to get somewhere is to look toward who is there already, I have a lot more stalking to do on these figures. I should admit that I am not wholeheartedly committed to the famous blog lifestyle whatsoever. However, if I am going to write this blog, then I am going to publish my thoughts respectably.

      So my first step was to mind map. Mind mapping is my new favorite thing. For all of those mildly ADD, ambitious souls out there who only see the big picture but fail to plan for the logistics in their entirety, this method may be for you. Try LucidChart ($5/month) or mindmapmaker.org (FREE… but not as pretty…) This was my approach to defining my blog. My audience includes peer students, potential employers (blog link via portfolio on every application submitted), family and friends (they don’t matter as much and will love me no matter my contents consistency, I think, but still a valid audience group… assumption #3), and my professor who grades this weekly blog post.  My blog purpose is: “Providing an eternally optimistic, lighthearted perspective on how millennials should best navigate the transition from college to the “real world” through sharing personal experiences and what I wish I had known, my thoughts on trends in the “real world,” and a few occasional rants that will hopefully make your day a bit brighter. By writing this blog, I want to be perceived as a driven and motivated student, an outlet for humor, and someone who brings the room up and the tension down.  In the mindmap below, you will find my blog’s purpose, audience, and what I hope to accomplish through writing each week. Hopefully my thoughts in clarifying my blogging goals helped to provide clarity as to“what in the world you’re talking about” as well! Blog Content Mind Map  - New Page.jpeg

 

Battle of the Brands

I’m new to the job search, and there was a point last week when I decided that I hated it enough to succumb to rejection. I haven’t hated and given up on many things throughout my 21 years thus far until this conversation I had with myself on my way to a huge career fair last week. (Sidenote: hopefully you aren’t judging me for conversing with myself in my head at public events. I can’t be the only one doing it, right? Id and superego, anyone? The id was winning big time on this particular occasion, however.) Walking into the career fair and seeing the immensity of well dressed, wildly involved students who all hoped to leave with a golden ticket to the most innovative firms in the workforce, turned me into a human grumpy cat.

This particular career fair was a monster in comparison to my previous experience in job seeking. I pictured recruiters huddled in a stuffy conference room with job seeking college students gripping their padfolios with sweaty palms. With 280+ employers present, a large event center was essentially consumed with business professional attire and awkwardness. (Disclaimer: I am indeed thankful for the immense resources UGA provides to their students… However, I also hate forced situations. I am convinced that nothing is more forced than a memorized ‘elevator pitch’.) The week prior to this fair, I chose to embrace the awkwardness that I was sure to face. I challenged myself to knock this career fair out of the park. What I didn’t realize, however, is how different I would perceive the fair after taking MARK 4450, a social media marketing strategy class.

Instead of the stuffy conference room vibe, I found 280+ booths with 280 different messages. Most importantly, they exuded different branding and heavily pushed social to their top candidates. Walking by the elite real estate brokerages and investment firms, you could almost smell the money. Their recruiters were dressed to the nines in crisp black suits, and were all very attractive yet inviting. Well done, Worthings. Their social media message sent the same energy after further investigating. Ten feet to the left, there was a plethora of “red” everything. Red tablecloths, red clothed recruiters, red promotional materials, red balloons; what brand would you guess would make their booth a red eyesore that you can’t help but love? Target, of course. (Disclaimer #2: I am partial to Target. I am also mildly convinced that Heaven will be similar to this retail chain. I love that place.) Target pushes the bright red energy on their social platforms as well, which was absolutely consistent at this event. You could tell where the “Big Four” consultancies were as well when you stumbled across the corner where accounting majors were clawing each other’s’ eyes out for their chance to hop onboard with KPMG and shower in money after selling their soul to financial advisory. Again, these firms are respected and admired as the big leagues, and their social doesn’t fall short of this reputation. Then there were the uniquely bright, innovative consultancies with well-designed booths exuding youth and “bring your dog to the office” vibes as well. (Please hire me… one of you life-loving digital firms, you.) I digress. However, my point in explaining all of this is simple. I actually ended up having a blast looking at each brand’s message and stayed at the fair for three hours analyzing the competitive spirit of each brand and talking with people from every industry and corner of the workforce.

What were these brands trying to sell? What energy were they exuding? Was there Beyonce hits in the background with dancing recruiters? Were their people wearing suits or Converse? Did they have extremely amazing business cards made out of heavy papers with the most beautiful graphic design I’ve seen? (Sidenote: nerdy about graphic design…) I stopped and smelled the roses after realizing each brand was competing for the best students. Students and firms alike were throwing brand lingo back and forth. The elevator pitch is dead, in my opinion. You introduce yourself and show your personality, and they tell you about theirs. It’s as simple as that.

From their perspective, when else will your brand be five feet from an industry rival? How will they sell their brand over the next company? Why would I want to work for a stuffy digital marketing consultancy when I could wake up and change the world while dancing like a fool in the office? I presume this is my ‘millennial mindset’ surfacing, and I openly accept any and all criticism. Maybe it’s just me, but the power of good branding was something to behold from my perspective.

I got excited about the differentiation of all the various brands and went home to compare their digital and social media presence because I’m fascinated by this aspect of marketing. It was unique to see which brands maintained consistency digitally with what they presented earlier that afternoon. Many of the brands who had the best digital presence in my opinion promoted their social at the booth while you spoke with them. Many companies followed me on Twitter after my having left their booth, which made me feel extremely special until I realized the magic of marketing automation. Small victories just don’t exist anymore…

All in all, career fairs are a social media, branding battleground. It was pretty neat-o. Until next time, let me know what you think. Best of luck to my fellow job seekers.

 

How Kanye West Redefined Social Media Marketing Expectations Last Week

Let’s face it. Humans take advantage of other humans. They always have, and they always will. Historically, the fittest win out. I can only imagine the slyest caveman getting the premier cave real estate of sorts back in the day of hunter-gatherers in a more nomadic, non-tweeting/Facebook obsessed society.  The same concept is applicable to individual brand’s presence on social platforms. Everyday brands take advantage of other brands in the funniest, most attention grabbing ways, so much that I am laughing out loud in a totally silent library as I write about Kanye’s Twitter feud inciting several brands to creatively spin the pop culture mishap in their products’ favor. These are the occasions in which I just have to dwell on the hilarity that ensues when social media is the medium chosen to take advantage of other humans (brands) and make them look more absurd than they already appear in order to advance their causes.
This week, Twitter took a huge blow in the form of stock prices. However, this in no way meant the social platform was creating decreased buzz.  It is a universal fact that some individuals simply cannot grasp the concept of maintaining a level of appropriate privacy on social. This describes the high tempered, “less fit tweeters” of the world. By less-fit tweeters, I mean Kanye West. However, we all accept that no societal norm would ever apply to Kanye, right? He went on a #RANT when he thought Wiz Khalifa was insulting his ‘flow,’ as well as criticizing his wife, Kim K. Wiz denied these accusations, but it was too late. Kanye officially lost his twitter cool and went on to numerically list all grievances against Wiz. 160 characters just wasn’t enough for him to talk out his feelings. To his defense, if I were going to publicly denounce a lesser “rap god” as the longstanding “OG of the industry,” I would need a bit more space to tweet too.
While Kanye got talked it out publicly on social media (before most likely taking to crafting a highly inappropriate new hit single targeted at Wiz Khalifa’s shortcomings), the “fittest” (and most riotous) brands took the nonsense and ran with it. Brilliant, am I right? “Beef” was going down between two main music industry front-runners; therefore Hamburger Helper creatively twisted the exchange into a pun highlighting their product’s delicious-ness.
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Kanye humbly reffered to himself as the original gangster of hip-hop and explained, “I am your OG and I will be respected as such.” Ok Kanye, you asked for it. I ‘m not going to ever claim myself as anything in the same sentence with “I am the OG (insert role)…” Regardless, Bleacher Report tweeted an incredible photo-shopped photo of Kanye courtside with the Lakers showing him stepping on Wiz on the sideline. My inner social media marketing dork has officially come out and I now want to follow the NBA because of the wit of the people working on this team.
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Jimmy Johns, also commonly known as the sandwich makers of the gods (mildly dramatic, I agree…) , also contributed: “I am your OG sub and I will be respected as such.” JJ, you may actually be the only brand allowed to call yourself the best, because no one seems to disagree. Sorry Subway, the funnier and more delicious brand won this round, but better luck next time.
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Overall, I think it is fascinating how pop culture plays such an immense part in how brands paint their image to the public on social platforms. You can see who wins the witty marketing award of the year in scenarios like this. People can relate to “funny.” Isn’t relating to consumers through getting into their perspective the baseline of what our industry circulates around? Twitter, I love you and your ability to rouse consumerist America to get involved in the cross fire of two verbally aggressive rap princesses via Twitter. Jack Dorsey, thanks for continually believing in Twitter’s superpowers. Happy February, all.