Marketing

Back That Thing Up

If you knew me at all in my college days, there is a likelihood that you think of me every time you hear Juvenile's Back That Azz Up. It was my jam. So it naturally caught my attention when I heard the song– the clean version –playing in a commercial.

When I looked up, I had to laugh. A few women (including Kathryn Hahn of "Bad Moms" in the driver seat), presumably around my age (I am 100% the target market here) in a minivan doing WHAT? Dancing and backing that thing up. Literally. Backing that thing up to promote the van's parallel park assist feature.

And it wasn't just any minivan. It was a Chrysler minivan. Again, if you know me, I am a loyal Chrysler customer. (My dad retired from Chrysler headquarters after 40+ years of service.)

Last fall we finally bit the bullet and got a minivan. A Chrysler minivan. We got the Town & Country (no longer in production) instead of the Pacifica advertised here, but still. If they created personas for their target market, I would clearly be one of them. 

Well done, Chrysler. You hit the nail on the head with this one.

Recap: Internet Summit 2017

The Internet Summit is in Raleigh every November and, with it being in my backyard, I have attend four out of the last five events. 

Here's what I learned at #ISUM17.

Please don't stop the music

One of my favorite things about the Internet Summit is the music. In the past I remember there being a dedicated DJ for each ballroom throughout the course of the summit. This year, however, I wondered if they had cut back on the DJs and music. I didn't notice a DJ presence in between sessions, and I hadn't seen my favorite local DJ from the previous summits, DJ K Stones. Turns out she was there after all. Just – more music, please. Thank you and that is all.

Where's the Beef?

The very first commercial that I ever remember seeing was Wendy's "Where's the Beef?" (1984).  I was 4-years old at the time, and the commercial was a big hit. It separated Wendy's from the competition and introduced the world to a catchphrase that still, to this day, is used to emphasize lack of... anything.

Here's a throwback of the three elderly ladies evaluating their burger and actress Clara Peller exclaiming, "Where's the beef?!"

Big Day Tomorrow

Why it is that everyone has had that dream where you're back in school, you're late to class, it's exam day, and you haven't attended all semester?

I've also experienced nights like the one in this commercial by Vicks, either dreaming about or waking up thinking about work. I'm sure almost anyone can relate to this in some way or another, making this a humorous, relatable, effective ad.

That time I saw Gary Vaynerchuk and didn't say hi

When I heard that Gary Vaynerchuk was coming to the Internet Summit in 2013 as the keynote speaker, I went to our VP of Marketing right away and told him that I had to be there. Fortunately he agreed and signed us up to go. 

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Gary gave a great keynote, and after his talk, he stood off to the side of the stage, talking and taking photos with attendees. I was tempted to walk over and say hello, but I chickened out. Instead, I tweeted at him and he responded.

Who the hell is Gary Vaynerchuk?

If you don't know who Gary Vaynerchuk is and you're into business, marketing, self-awareness, and a lot of cussing, you need to check him out right away. (His 2011 Inc 500 keynote, below, is a great place to start.) His energy, mindset and marketing prowess are second to none.

Check him out on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram.

From General to Hawk-Eye: Expanding my skillset

After I left the Kmart account behind in Chicago I went back to Detroit, my husband and I moved to a new place, and – during an impromptu vacation in Florida – I received a call to interview with a local marketing communications firm. I landed the job and was assigned to the General Motors Product Training Library project as a graphic designer.

Not only was this a great team of people to work with, but there was an excellent structure in place of expectations, roles and responsibilities, and documentation to help learn processes and standards. Because of this, I always came to work knowing exactly what needed to be done and when.

I learned about the print production process and what to look for when signing off on proofs. I learned about building extra time into our schedules to account for unexpected edits in order to still meet project deadlines. I learned about AP Style guidelines for content and how a client's style guide can override AP Style.

One day I overheard senior team members discussing the need for a new proofreader. With everything I had learned – combined with my natural obsession with consistency – I felt I could do the job and wanted to challenge myself even further. I approached the Creative Director to see if he would give me a shot. He agreed to giving me a proposal to proofread and, once I was finished, he evaluated my work and said "I'm going to call you hawk-eye." My role expanded from that point forward.

I continued my graphic design duties while also proofreading nearly every project: brochures, publications, training guides, window clings, banners, proposals, letters, cover art, invitations and more. 

My husband and I were eventually ready for a big change: a cross-country move to Raleigh, North Carolina. I left the marketing firm, but didn't say good-bye. I remained a copy editor for three-and-a-half more years, working remotely on a freelance basis. I loved doing work that fed into my natural instincts and skills. But what I loved most was the opportunity to continue working with one of the best teams on the freaking planet. 

I loved working with Nikki! Her positive attitude, creativity and organization are second to none. Luckily, I had the pleasure of working with her as both a graphic designer and a copy editor. She met every deadline with ease, accuracy and efficiency. Her attention to detail is unparalleled!
— Angie S., Art Director