I recently finished up some TV spots with my agency, Masterminds. The campaign is for Finger Lakes Gaming, a fun-loving client that cares a lot about making their customers feel good. They were a lot of fun to create and I hope you enjoy them.[vimeo 161493210 w=500 h=281][vimeo 161493211 w=500 h=281][vimeo 161493212 w=500 h=281]Thanks for reading, and watching. You're awesome.
Incredibly creative and inspiring friends. That's just one of the many things I feel thankful for this Thanksgiving season.But unfortunately for me, one of mine just moved all the way across the country. I'm sad for the city of Philadelphia, but I'm super happy for her and her new adventure. LA is lucky to have her.And lucky for me, she asked me to create two prints for her new place. It's an honor to know that my work is hanging in her home 2,725 miles away.Check it out:
As I mentioned in A Walk Down Art School Memory Lane, I recently assigned a project to the advertising students at the University of Delaware.In short, I challenged them to come up with the next big thing in social media. The next Facebook, the next Twitter, or a great new app. Then, to advertise a product using only their new creation. Because as we know, we can't rely solely on television and print ads anymore. Social media is where it's at.So last week, the students came up to Red Tettemer + Partners to present their ideas to me. It was so much fun to see what they all came up with. They really exceeded my expectations with their innovative ideas. In fact, I'd love to share a few of them here, but they're so good, I'm afraid you'll steal them and make millions! So instead, I'll just share some of my favorite photos from the day, and hope the students continue to push their ideas into reality.
When I think back on my childhood toys, all I picture are art supplies. Coloring books, crayons, easels, water colors and even oil pastels. So it's rather ironic that I didn't take any formal art classes in high school. This was because my mom thought it would be more practical for me to focus on things like math, English, Latin, and more SAT prep courses than I can count. I'll probably never let her live it down. (Right, mom?)Even still, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the arts. So when I went to college, I majored in design. In four quick years, the Visual Communications program at the University of Delaware taught me everything I needed to know to make a career out of my passion. So naturally, a few weeks ago, when my professor asked me to guest lecture for his senior ad class, I agreed without hesitation. It was the least I could do for all that they taught me.Going back to the classroom was seriously nostalgic. And seeing the second-semeseter seniors preparing to graduate was exciting. I remember being in their shoes all too well.After I gave the students the low-down on my role in advertising and answered any questions they had, my writing partner and I assigned a project that we'll critique in a few weeks. It calls for some serious creativity and I can't wait to see what they come up with! I'll be sure to let you know how it goes. But in the meantime, let's take a walk down Art School Memory Lane with a few photos from my day on campus.
I just hiked the Inca Trail. Destination Machu Picchu. That's four days with no computer. For a designer, that's potentially more challenging than acclimating to the 13,800 foot altitude.And with all that time in the open air, with no distractions, I was certain I'd return to work with more ideas than I knew what to do with.Turns out, I came back with absolutely nothing.Nothing... but a clear head.But to me, this was even better. I'll be the first to admit that I have trouble putting away my computer. And my work. But the rejuvenation (and sanity) I returned with from Peru was incredible. It made me realize the power of unplugging. Escaping. Just being. Sometimes our minds need to zone out in order to zone in.Below are photos of some of us zoning out on the Inca Trail. Taking it all in. Appreciating life. Something I plan to do a lot more.I'll leave you with a quote I read back in May in an article called "Don't Fall Asleep at the Wheel: Successful Entrepreneurs Have Lives."
My advice, then, is to understand that your business will not die and fall off a cliff if you take a break. It is okay to spend [time with] people you love. Don’t feel guilty about hanging out with friends. “Balance” is determined by your work style and your needs outside of work; don't fall into the trap of working 80 hours a week—whether out of compulsion or fear of failure—and ignoring life.
(No, that cliff pun was not intended. And yes, I need to listen to this advice more than anyone.)So tell me, what do you do to refresh your mind?
Recently, a few of my creative co-workers and I were taking our daily stroll to grab some lunch. If you remember from Resolution Color, these are the very co-workers who tease me for wearing too much black. So as we were walking, I snapped this pic:Turns out, it's not just me. They were all wearing black, too.It's pretty bizarre, but creatives really do wear a lot of black. Especially in advertising. It's something that probably cannot be explained.But if I were in middle school science class, and Mr. Duva asked me to form a theory about this phenomenon, I'd say maybe it's because black absorbs light and color. And therefore, maybe black absorbs creativity. Maybe, just maybe, it's the secret to our creativity.Ridiculous? Probably. But that's why I majored in design and not science. And why I will continue to wear black.Tell me, why do you think creatives wear so much black?
As a city dweller, I walk by lots of homeless people every day.Their signs are usually pretty standard, and rarely compelling enough for me to take action.But yesterday, I walked by this girl.A little kindness goes a long way.Her sign was simple and it made me smile. So I told her, "I like your sign" and gave her five dollars.This is a good lesson in advertising. Keep your message simple and unique. People will take notice. And maybe they'll throw some dough your way.Tell me, would her sign have worked on you, too?
A couple of months ago, as you may have read in my post, Resolution: Color, I decided to add more color to my life. Around the same time, I started seeing Color Run imagery pop up all over social media sites. Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube...Considering the first ever Color Run was just in January 2012, word sure was spreading quickly. Over 22,000 people signed up in Philadelphia alone, and I don't think I saw a single ad. Just fun, vibrant, amazing pictures all over the interwebs. Oh, the wonders of social media in advertising.If you actually haven't seen it, The Color Run is a 5K held in numerous cities throughout the nation. Participants wear white and are covered in different colored dust at every kilometer.Considering my color resolution, I thought it inappropriate not to sign up!Before (That there on the right is team "Pantones." All two of us.)AfterThe incredible clouds of color at the finish line festivalProps to founder Travis Snyder for creating this unique event that is getting the country talking. And more importantly, exercising.So tell me, do you have killer pics of your city's Color Run (or as it's also known, "The Happiest 5K on Earth")? Link us to them in the comments. We want to see!
I often wonder if social networking sites are good for society. Sure, they keep us connected and informed. But they also promote procrastination (I mean, I have probably checked Twitter five times since I started this paragraph) and encourage narcissism (Sorry Facebook "friends", I don't care what you ate for breakfast). Social networks have also been known to facilitate bullying and even expose us all to predators.But Under Armour, with the help of Red Tettemer + Partners, has created a social network that is truly positive and inspiring. It 100% negates any doubt I had about social networking.The Under Armour network is called What’s Beautiful. It started as a 9-week competition to find the three new faces of Under Armour Women.But what the network actually became is much more than that. It became a place for women to set goals, push each other, encourage each other and inspire each other. It became more of a community than a competition.This week, What’s Beautiful announced its ten finalists. They also announced that there will be no end to What’s Beautiful. The site will remain active after the competition ends.A poster we designed for UA to post on another inspirational social networking site, Pinterest.If you're curious, the goal I set for myself 9 weeks ago was to “Bike 150 miles from Boston to Provincetown in 2 days, then finish it off with 5 pull-ups.” (note: I have never been able to do a pull-up in my entire life). So for nine weeks, I trained and documented my progress, along with thousands of other women, on whatsbeautiful.ua.com.Well, the Bike MS: Cape Cod Getaway was this past weekend. The moment of truth. I made it 75 miles on Saturday and 75 miles on Sunday. Check! It was challenging and exhausting. What got me through the rough patches was thinking about the people with MS who struggle every day. But their struggle doesn't end after two days like it did for me. That thought stayed with me through every steep hill. And so did the encouragement I received from friends, family, colleagues and of course, the women of What's Beautiful.As for the pull-up portion of my goal... well... it was not met. Instead, I finished the race off with 30 push-ups. But like I said, the What’s Beautiful site is staying active. So with the continued help and encouragement from other women, I know I will accomplish my pull-up goal in the near future.I guess you could say I am now convinced that if done right, social networking can be good for society. And it can make a difference. A beautiful difference.So tell me, what would your What's Beautiful goal be? Better yet, go sign up and tell the world.
I recently finished two great books. Bossypants by Tina Fey and Girl Walks into a Bar... by Rachel Dratch (You know. Debbie Downer? womp womp).Both authors touched upon the top rule of improvisation, which I think is great. SAY YES.As Tina Fey explains it:
“SAY YES. When you’re improvising, this means you are required to agree with whatever your partner has created. So if we’re improvising and I say, ‘Freeze, I have a gun,’ and you say ‘That’s not a gun. It’s your finger. You’re pointing your finger at me,’ our improvised scene has ground to a halt. But if I say, ‘Freeze, I have a gun!’ and you say, ‘The gun I gave you for Christmas! You bastard!’ then we have started a scene because we have AGREED that my finger is in fact a Christmas gun.Now, obviously in real life you’re not always going to agree with everything everyone says. But the Rule of Agreement reminds you to “respect what your partner has created” and to at least start from an open-minded place. Start with a YES and see where that takes you.”
This rule resonated with me because it applies to the world of advertising as well. Concepting big ideas is a lot like improvising. It is about being open to your partner's ideas and running with them to see where they take you. And not shooting them down too quickly, because sometimes ideas that seem ridiculous at first can turn into something fantastic.Later, I realized that this actually applies to real life too. I think we can all afford to say “yes” more often. To say "yes" to the next road trip, the next night out, the next race, the next job offer, the next party, the next date... Fact is, more exciting and fantastic things are going to happen to you if you say yes. Or as Rachel Dratch put it, “No leads to dead ends, and yes leads to possibilities."I leave you with one last quote from Tina Fey that I thought was too great to not make into a poster:So tell me, when someone asks you to go out tonight, what are you going to say?
I just experienced my first Red Tettemer summer retreat. It is a tradition that has been going on for 17 years. And it’s indescribable.No, really. I can't describe it.So I won't.Instead, I will just say, that I work with the most talented, funny, crazy people out there. So crazy, I felt they needed to be showcased on a Tumblr page.If you’re in advertising, you’ve seen This Advertising Life. Well now, we present you with This Red Tettemer Life. Click that link and go check it out! It will give you a taste of what things are like at RT+P. Enjoy! And return often for updates.The Red Tettemer flag waving proudly over Cape May, New Jersey at Retreat XVII. Instagram photo by Ben McCool.
If you haven’t watched this week’s episode of Mad Men yet, you might not want to read any further.But if you have, you know that Peggy put in her notice at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.Go Peggy! It was certainly her time.Don, who used to teach Peggy so much, has been slacking. And the opportunities for Peggy at SCDP have been lacking.Taking matters into her own hands and leaving the comfort of SCDP, where her career began many years ago, shows bravery. Starting a new job is never easy.Having worked at 4 different agencies in that last 7 years, I know all too well that starting a new job is nerve-racking. In fact, I have walked home teary-eyed many times during the first few weeks of each new job. The new personalities you have to learn to relate to and the new clients you have to get a handle on can be incredibly overwhelming.But there comes a time when you have learned all you can from the people you work with. That is when it is time to surround yourself with new brilliant people to learn from.Looking back, I can pinpoint specific things I learned at every agency, and specific lessons I learned from every person. I am confident that I am more knowledgeable now than I would be had I stayed at the same agency for the past 7 years.And at my current agency, I truly believe that I am still learning something new every day, and am constantly being challenged by my bosses and coworkers. That is how I know I am in the right place at this time.In summary, I believe it is time to move on when you feel like your career is at a standstill. When you aren’t challenged anymore. Or maybe it is when you aren’t even looking, but you receive a job offer that seems like too good of an opportunity to pass up. In which case, I suggest taking the chance. As Mark Twain said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”Tell me, do you think Peggy made the right decision?
This post references the May 13th episode of Mad Men. Yup, last week’s episode. I’m guessing that’s a major no-no in the world of blogging.But considering I’m still new to this, I’m hoping you will forgive me just this once. And in the future, I’ll start watching TV shows when they’re actually on.That said, this episode of Mad Men was called “Dark Shadows”. It focused largely on the unhappiness of the characters.But then, it ended with a surprisingly upbeat song. It was called, “Sweepin’ the Clouds Away” by Maurice Chevalier. The song captured my attention when I heard the line, “If you want happiness, just help yourself to some”. I couldn’t agree more with this message.We are all in control of our own happiness. I think we often forget this. So if you’re feeling down, think about what might make you happy. It could be something as small as going out for a beer. Or as big as finding a new job. Whatever it is, go help yourself to it!Or at least start by listening to the song below. It might inspire you.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfNV9YLZrTYSo tell me, did this song invigorate you, too?
If you’re in the creative field, I’m sure you’ve had your fair share of all-nighters. Creativity takes time. And in that time, one can experience a slew of emotions.Below, check out the Ten Stages of an All-Nighter as I see them:My apologies for some crude language, but my goal was to depict all-nighters as accurately as possible. Thank you Mark Garman and Amanda Abrams for your constructive critique of this infographic and for making countless all-nighters more enjoyable.So tell me, what stages did I miss? I know you have some good ones.