SMU Students Skip Spring Break. Swarm South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive

Spring break at SXSW Interactive in Austin. A group of Temerlin Advertising Institute and SMU MA/MBA students launched into conference sessions including:

The SXSW Interactive Festival spotlights speakers at the developing edge of technology and those using technology in innovative ways. Dr. Steven Edwards, Director of the Institute and program leader at SXSW said, “We are here to explore how new tech and related issues are impacting the field of advertising and marketing communications.”

Temerlin Advertising Institute Students SXSW

Temerlin Advertising Institute Group in Austin at SXSW 2018

  • Students spend five intensive days exploring keynotes, panel sessions, speakers, and networking events to apply interactive technologies to advertising issues.
  • Students will interview key executives about issues in advertising at the intersection of new technologies.
  • In addition, students will maintain daily accounts and analysis of activities and meetings, contribute to a class blog, and will produce a paper on an assigned topic.

The 2018 conference breaks sessions into tracks on: Brands & Marketing, Design, Development & Code, Experiential Storytelling, VR/AR, and the Intelligent Future. There are also tracks focused on Government, Health, the Tech Industry, Style, Workplace, Food, Journalism, Social Impact, and Sports.

TAI faculty and staff are attending and are offering opportunities for meet-ups at the conference.

Students complete the experience by integrating knowledge from the conference with readings on Digital Disruption to produce a final paper solving a problem at work, identifying an emerging use for the technology explored, or researching a related topic in more depth.

Exposure to cutting edge technology, interacting with industry visionaries, and application of creative ideas across disciplines positions our students as unique in their fields. Bringing these ideas to work in current or new positions creates a point of differentiation that employers value.

As of hour three, Hannah Tymochko, Digital Media Strategy senior already believes, “It’s been amazing to see such a diverse group of people coming from all over the world to experience SXSW!”

Posted in Conference, Discovery Classes, SXSW Austin, TAI Classes, Technology | Leave a comment

TAI Hosts Visiting Scholar Dr. Sukki Yoon for Lecture on Speed-Induced Construal and Perceptions of Advertising Messages

Friday February 23, Temerlin Advertising Institute hosted a lecture by Visiting Scholar Dr. Sukki Yoon, associate marketing professor at Bryant University. Dr. Yoon discussed his research, “Slow Versus Fast: How Speed-Induced Construal Affects Perceptions of Advertising Messages,” with many SMU students, faculty and staff attending the lecture.

Through his research studies, Dr. Yoon addresses fundamental questions of consumer behavior: why and how people react to marketing communications. His research centers on Consumer Behavior but he is also interested in Branding, Integrated Marketing Communication, Consumer Psychology, International Advertising, Digital Marketing and Social Marketing.

Dr. Yoon provided a report of results of five studies investigating construals arising from the pace of commercials, which then affects consumers’ perceptions and responses.

“Dr. Sukki Yoon’s research provides important theoretical extensions to the construal level theory. It demonstrates that the speed of media stimulus can influence consumers’ cognitive processing. The findings offer useful information for the design and placement of advertising messages,” TAI Professor Dr. Yan Huang said.

Dr. Sukki Yoon lecturing to audience of SMU students, faculty and staff

Studies 1, 2, and 3 provide empirical evidence showing that slow-moving objects generate high-level construals and fast-moving objects generate low-level construals.

Studies 2 and 3 demonstrate that TV commercials featuring slow-moving objects will prompt high-level construals, which induces consumer preferences for desirability advertising appeals that emphasize product benefits and quality. Whereas TV commercials featuring fast-moving objects will prompt low-level construals and cause consumer preferences for feasibility advertising appeals that emphasize product benefits attributes and price.

Studies 4 and 5 demonstrate the same results when the same commercial is run slowly and rapidly.

SMU faculty and staff attending Dr. Yoon’s presentation

“Dr. Sukki Yoon’s lecture was very interesting in terms of how he connected a science theory with advertising. How fast pace music could speed up the path to purchase to process in stores, and how slow pace music can make people think more of their purchase before buying. His lecture was very well-spoken and simplified,” SMU student Chase Drexler said.

Dr. Yoon studies advertising and consumer behavior and has published articles in many international journals, served on editorial boards, and written columns for newspapers and magazines. He has previously taught advertising at Cleveland State University and has lectured as a visiting scholar at Grey Worldwide, Harvard, Sookmyung, Dongguk, and UNIST.

Temerlin Advertising Institute was honored to host Dr. Yoon for a lecture on his research. TAI is passionate about staying informed on all current topics in the advertising industry, hosting guest speakers periodically throughout the year.


Posted in Better Advertising. Better World., Community Outreach, Engaged Learning, Faculty, Faculty Brown Bag, Faculty Interviews, Guest Lecturers, Research, Social Responsibility, TAI Students, Technology, Undergraduate Students | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

TAI Creative Student Jennifer Nelson Shares Copywriting Experience with Award-Winning Ad Agency: McGarryBowen

Last summer, TAI creative advertising student Jennifer Nelson worked as a Copywriting Intern at McGarryBowen’s headquarters in New York City, NY. Internship experiences can give you a greater understanding of how a large agency functions according to Nelson.

Jennifer Nelson at McGarryBowen’s office

“I was hired as a Copywriting Intern so I was responsible for writing headlines/taglines/commercial scripts, concepting ideas, assisting my Art Director partner, and working on the summer-long intern project,” Nelson said. “I was put on the Chevron and Brand USA accounts, but I ended up working on mainly Chevron as well as a bit of United Airlines. There is a commercial that will air for the Sochi Olympics this winter and I helped write the script!”

Nelson learned many important skills from this internship, but she claims that by far the most important skill she learned was working with others. She partnered with a talented Art Director intern and worked on every project almost entirely through collaboration. “If I needed help with a headline, I would ask for her opinion. If she was stuck on some art, I would give her ideas,” Nelson said. Through this method, Nelson was always prepared for client meetings.

Every day was different depending on Nelson’s schedule, but she typically got to work at 9 A.M. and headed home at 6 P.M. Once she got to the agency, she made herself oatmeal and coffee, checked her e-mail for any meetings she could have, and talked with her intern partners about their plan for the day. In the mornings, she and her Art Director partner gave each other feedback on their concepts and worked on them until lunch. Sometimes the interns had informational meetings that allowed them to learn about the different departments and roles within the office. For lunch, she typically ate outside with the interns and then headed to a client meeting.

One of her favorite memories from her internship experience was working with other interns to present an Intern Project to the agency. “It was basically a campaign pitch for Champion. The interns were split up into three teams so it got pretty competitive,” Nelson said. “To set my group apart, I wrote a rap for us to perform at the beginning our presentation. We received a huge round of applause as well a couple chuckles. A few of the executives even praised my rap writing skills when we finished.” This experience allowed Nelson to sharpen her presentational skills.

Nelson has learned how to be a good team player from her advertising classes, and this helped her be the best partner she could in the internship.

During her internship, Nelson primarily worked with the Chevron creatives who became like a family for her. Nelson and her Art Director partner developed concepts for Snapchat games, videos, gifs, and more. Nelson also worked on a Chevron STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) event for women in Washington D.C. “That was super cool because I learned so much about the rich history of women in STEM,” Nelson said. “My partner and I ended up having the most accepted concepts for both Fresno and STEM on the team!”

On the creative floor

This internship gave Nelson amazing opportunities to create work, and was therefore allowed to experience the duties of a copywriter. In the future, she sees herself working for an advertising agency in a big city as a copywriter.

Advertising students are strongly encouraged to complete an internship prior to graduation. The hands-on experience allows students to learn about the advertising industry outside the classroom. Nelson highly recommends TAI students to apply for McGarryBowen’s summer internship!

Check the TAI Weekly Update for current internship opportunities.



Posted in Better Advertising. Better World., Engaged Learning, Internships, Internships, Professional Development, TAI Students, Uncategorized, Undergraduate Students | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

TAI hosts 14th Annual Exxon Mobil Lecture Series with David Baldwin

 Tuesday, February 6, 2018 TAI hosted “Navigating the Belief Economy” with David Baldwin at the Angelika Film Center.

Each year TAI hosts lectures and events, as part of the ExxonMobil Lecture Series, to promote corporate and advertising ethics. This series is one of many ways that TAI advocates its motto “Better Advertising. Better World.”

Baldwin is the founder of Baldwin&, a Raleigh, N.C.-based company that was named Small Agency of the Year twice in its first five years by Ad Age and the 4A’s. The former chairman of the One Club in NYC, Baldwin was also an executive producer for the Emmy-winning film Art & Copy, and an associate producer for the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning film The Loving Story. His advertising has been recognized by The One Show, Cannes, D&AD, the Clios, the Effies, the Andy Awards, the MPA Kellys, Communication Arts and more.

At this year’s ExxonMobil Lecture Series, Baldwin shared insights about The Belief Economy and discussed the power of a belief-driven brand, the era of consumerism, shared beliefs, giving back to society, and more. A Belief Driven Brand is a brand that stands for something bigger than what they do “by attaching profit to the simple idea of making good things happen for people, we can transform the world,” Baldwin explained.

TAI undergrads and faculty enjoying the event

TAI’s MA in Advertising Program





“If you had the chance to make the world better, why wouldn’t you? – David Baldwin.

In case you missed the event, you can learn more about “Baldwin&” here, and obtain a copy of his new acclaimed book The Belief Economy: How to Give a Damn, Stop Selling, and Create Buy-In here.

Posted in Better Advertising. Better World., Community Outreach, Engaged Learning, Exxon Mobil Lecture Series, Guest Lecturers, Social Responsibility | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Introducing SMU’S 2018 NSAC Ad Team Members

This year SMU will be competing again in the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC). Students were selected by Ad Team manager Professor Amber Benson to be a part of SMU’s award-winning Ad Team. The Ad Team will be working together to create a full campaign applying the scrum methodology. This year’s client is Ocean Spray and the challenge is to drive relevancy of the brand for millenials across both food and beverages.

Ad Team members shown in the order listed below.

Hayley Banas is an Advertising major on the Strategic Brand Management track with a minor in Psychology.

Myla Borden is an Advertising major on the Strategic Brand Management track with a minor in Graphic Design.

Mary Charles Byers is an Advertising major on the Digital Media Strategy track with a minor in Graphic Design.

Amy Cooley is an Advertising (Strategic Brand Management) and Spanish double major.

Rita de Obarrio is an Advertising (Digital Media Strategy) and Psychology double major with a minor in Business.

Harrison Fiveash is a pre-major in Advertising interested on the Strategic Brand Management track with minors in Communications and Arts Entrepreneurship .

Anne-Marie Geisler is an Advertising major on the Digital Media Strategy track with a minor in Fashion Media.

Conrad Li is an Advertising major on the Digital Media Strategy track.

Alissa Llort is an Advertising major on the Strategic Brand Management track with a minor in Psychology.

Alex MacKillop is an Advertising major on the Strategic Brand Management track with minors in Business and International Studies.

London Mercer is an Advertising major on the Digital Media Strategy track with a minor in Graphic Design.

Shelby Pointer is an Advertising major on the Digital Media Strategy track with a minor in Graphic Design.

Juan Reyes is a Corporate Communications and Public Affairs major with a minor in Advertising.

Sara Jane Stephens is an Advertising major on the Strategic Brand Management track with a minor in Spanish.

Sara Ann Whiteley is a Journalism major with a minor in Advertising.

Frank Zhang is an Advertising (Digital Media Strategy) and Mathematics double major.

Four team members will be selected to present the team’s work in a 20-minute long presentation to a panel of judges made up of industry experts at each level of competition – first at the District level in Corpus Christi, TX in April, then (if they advance) at the National level in Chicago, IL in June.



Posted in AAF, Ad Team, Better Advertising. Better World., Competitions, Professional Organizations, TAI Students, Undergraduate Students, Upcoming Events | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

TAI Professor Mark Allen Judges BBB Video Contest

TAI Professor Mark Allen

TAI Professor Mark Allen was one of six local advertising professionals to act as a judge for the BBB Serving North Central Texas’s video contest. Students from seven local high schools created 1-minute PSAs about BBB’s services to illustrate the contest theme, “Be Smart. Be Informed,” to North Texas consumers.

Students from local high schools Berkner High School, Booker T. Washington High School, Lagrone Advanced Technology Complex, Lincoln High School, New Tech High School @Coppell, Richardson High School, and Rockwall High School were selected to participate in the competition because of their strong film, journalism, and audio video production programs.

“I was totally blown away by the talent of the students and the advanced capabilities of the winning high school programs—in fact, I had a hard time believing that these were just high school students,” Professor Allen said. “I was equally impressed with the teachers I met from Richardson High School, Berkner High School and New Tech High School in Coppell. I have been talking with all three since the competition and we are making plans to have their students visit SMU to discuss opportunities for collaboration between our students in the future. I’m hoping some of these students might consider applying to TAI’s creative track in the future—we’d sure love to have them.”

The videos were judged on production quality, creativity, the teams’ ability to market them, and effectiveness at representing BBB. The first phase of the contest took place online. The 17 videos submitted racked up an impressive 320,259 likes on this site. The second phase of the contest took place on one of BBB|NCTX’s Facebook pages, where students were encouraged to promote the videos among their friends on Facebook.

TAI Professor Peter Noble speaking at the BBB Video Contest Awards

The winning team was from New Tech High School in Coppell for their video titled, “Don’t be scammed by this guy.” Berkner High School and LaGrone Advanced Technology Complex placed in the top three. The schools of the winning teams will collectively receive $4,000 in donations to their Audio Visual programs. The students of the winning team will each receive a GoPro digital video camera and cash prizes. The winning video will be used in BBB|NCTX marketing efforts for 2018.

TAI also had an information booth at the BBB Student Video Contest Prize Ceremony on December 7.

Posted in Awards and Projects, Better Advertising. Better World., Community Outreach, Faculty, Professional Development, Professional Organizations, Social Responsibility | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet TAI Adjunct Professor Tom Edwards

Professor Tom Edwards is teaching capstone course ADV 4399 Advertising Campaigns for the Temerlin Advertising Institute this semester. Professor Edwards is the chief digital officer at Agency, Epsilon, where he oversees brand planning, research, data design, digital strategy, digital experience, social/CRM/email, innovation and media. He regularly publishes content and speaks on the future of marketing.

Professor Edwards was an adjunct faculty member of the virtual campus for Wayland Baptist University from 2003-2015. He also instructed Principles of Marketing, Advertising & Promotion, Global Marketing and Consumer Behavior. He has also guest lectured at University of Texas at Arlington, and prior to joining the TAI team he was a member of the SMU Digital Accelerator certification program faculty.

What made you want to become a professor?

I have spent the past 17 years in the marketing technology space. The rate of change associated with technology, its impact on consumer behavior and ultimately how we connect with consumers continues to outpace traditional academia’s ability to keep pace. I wanted to contribute and give back to the next generation of advertising professionals by bridging the gap theory and the practical application.

What is your background in the subject you teach?

I currently instruct the Advertising Campaigns course. Over my professional career I have worked on campaigns for hundreds of fortune 1000 brands (Citi, Starbucks, AT&T, GameStop, Activision, Hasbro, Frito-Lay to name a few) both domestic and international. My expertise is rooted in a deep understanding of technology, consumer behavior, data and intelligent systems such as artificial intelligence and the application of machine learning.

What has been your favorite memory from teaching for TAI so far?

The passion and creativity exhibited by the students and the staff and their willingness to roll up their sleeves and get to work, even when it’s in areas they may not be in their core area of focus.

What is your favorite part about being a professor?

I have instructed thousands of students over the past 15 years across a few universities and my favorite part is the open dialogue with the students. Getting to hear their perspectives and thoughts and to see their work evolve over the course of the semester are incredibly gratifying.

What made you want to go into advertising? How did you get where you are in your career?

I started my advertising career during the dot com days of the late 90’s. I had a passion for technology and all things digital. As graphical user interfaces and connectivity began to spread, so did the need to create engaging digital experiences.

The alignment of marketing and technology have been a key foundation for the advancement of my career. I have worked in interactive agencies, start-ups, enterprise software companies and large agency holding companies. Having the ability to decipher complex problems into simple solutions has been a key to career advancement. The other critical component to career growth has been my blog. 10 years and over 400 posts later, having a visible point of view and a repository for thought, industry commentary and speaking has been a valuable asset in my career development.

How have you seen the advertising industry change since you started?

 The biggest change over my career is the shift towards the empowered consumer. Prior to 2007 advertising had remained somewhat stable with broadcast at the center of the experience. In 2007 we saw that begin to shift with the introduction of the first iPhone. This sparked the shift towards mobility in advertising that is still prevalent.

Then we saw how technology enhances consumer empowerment through the creation of user created content, accessibility and amplification via social channels, the personification of brands and celebrity being redefined from Hollywood to influencers.

Moving forward we are now seeing the shift from content marketing to contextual and the rise of multimodal interfaces with the focus shifting from mobile and desktop to voice, vision and touch.

Moving forward, we will see the shift from consumer centric advertising to system based marketing as algorithms and virtual assistants will take on more responsibility for consumers and ultimately our definition of reality will evolve when we see the convergence of location data, computer vision, augmented reality and artificial intelligence where any space, physical or digital becomes a new canvas to connect with consumers.

What advice do you have for students who want to have a career in advertising?

I have 3 tips for students just starting their career:

1) Network – Begin building a professional network before you start your professional career. Attend industry events and network in-person, focus on your LinkedIn profile and engaging with content. Your professional network is one of your most valuable resources. It should require more nurturing and attention than personal social channels.

2) Sponsor & Mentor – It is key to seek a mentor, someone who works in the industry you are about to enter to help navigate key pitfalls and to “learn the ropes” from a seasoned individual. It is incredibly important to be open to feedback. It is also important to identify a sponsor within your organization. Someone who is either directly or indirectly in your chain of command. Someone who can provide positive internal earned media and groom you for advancement. You cannot always depend on an immediate supervisor to serve this role. Seek out highly respected and influential individuals within the organization, you will know who they are.

3) Original Thought – I cannot reiterate how important publishing content can be for a new grad. Having thoughts on industry commentary or showcasing your ability to connect trends that may not seem to link on the surface is an art that can lead to you being selected over someone else.

How do you incorporate aspects from your work into your teaching?

 I look to bring best in class examples and techniques, be it research, the latest on aligning psychographics and affinity to personas or the role of conversational experiences into digital strategies. The key is aligning experience and tools with the core areas of focus of the lesson or assignment.

What is one interesting fact about you?

 I was named by Ad Age as a 2017 Marketing Technology Trailblazer.

Follow Professor Edwards on Twitter @BlackFin360 to stay up to date on the latest areas of study.

Posted in Better Advertising. Better World., Faculty, Faculty Interviews, Personal Branding, Professional Development | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

TAI Professor Dr. Hye Jin Yoon Publishes on Corporate Responsibility Campaigns on Social Networking Sites in the Journal of Business Research

TAI’s Associate Professor Dr. Hye Jin Yoon has a paper forthcoming in the Journal of Business Research, which has an impact factor of 3.354. With Dr. Yoon-Joo Lee and Nicole H. O’Donnel of Washington State University, she explored how number of followers and valence of comments could affect the perceived legitimacy of corporate social responsibility campaigns on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Title: The effects of information cues on perceived legitimacy of companies that promote corporate social responsibility initiatives on social networking sites

Abstract: Social networking sites (SNSs) are increasingly used to promote corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Consumers can like, retweet, or comment on CSR messages on SNS pages, signaling public approval or disapproval and affecting perceived legitimacy of the organization. Especially for controversial companies, such as alcohol brands, both perceived legitimacy of a cause and consumer purchase intention (PI) might be enhanced by expressions of public support on SNS pages. However, few studies have explored this relationship. The findings from Experiment 1 suggest that the number of followers (low vs. high) affected perceived legitimacy and PI. Experiment 2 revealed that the effects of comment valence on attitudinal and behavioral intention interacted with the number of followers. These findings advance our current knowledge of factors associated with perceived legitimacy of companies that promote CSR campaigns on SNS pages. Implications for advertising research and practice are discussed.

You can access the article free before December 17th, 2017.

Posted in Better Advertising. Better World., Faculty, Faculty Research, Professional Development, Research | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet TAI Adjunct Professor Allison Dupuis

Professor Allison Dupuis is teaching ADV 4333 Topics in Digital Media Marketing for the Temerlin Advertising Institute. Professor Dupuis spent several years as a Career Counselor in the Hegi Career Center at SMU. She then transitioned to digital marketing and has built a successful career as a digital content manager at BuzzShift.

What made you want to become a professor?

I actually never thought I would be a professor. My dad has been a professor of Pharmacy at UNC-Chapel Hill for the past 30+ years, so I’ve been exposed to college life and higher education since birth. I love learning, working my interns at work, discussing new avenues of digital advertising, and exploring new sides of digital media, psychology, and technology. Considering the majority of expertise in my field is so new, I didn’t think that my career would take a traditional path towards teaching.

When the opportunity arose to teach digital content marketing at TAI last year, I jumped on it immediately. My sister is also a college professor, so it was nice to have two family members that could advise me on planning a curriculum, creating a grading system, and staying energized all semester long while balancing a full-time job, teaching, and life outside of work. Being a professor was never my plan, but I guess I may just be genetically predisposed to becoming “Professor Dupuis”.

What is your background in the subject you teach?

My background is a combination of traditional studies in sociology, psychology, strategic research and planning, and education plus self-taught experience in social media, graphic design, drawing, and photography.

My current work is all of those fields wrapped into one job as the Director of Content & Creative at BuzzShift. I focus in digital content strategy and help our clients at BuzzShift grow their businesses through online tactics and campaigns. My work analyzes target audience needs and wants to position a product or service as the optimal solution. I work with an amazing team to distribute creative and engaging content through social media channels, websites, emails, and other digital platforms.

A simple example of this work would be helping a company launch a workout app and running Facebook and Instagram ads to increase downloads to tech savvy individuals with a propensity for working out and brand affinities and online behavior connected to brands like LuLuLemon, SoulCycle, Nike, etc.

What has been your favorite memory from teaching for TAI so far?

There was one class where the room temperature was so uncomfortably hot. That day we were focusing on creative brainstorming and leveraging channels features to inspire great content. I decided it was the perfect opportunity to go outside and have a brainstorm in the fresh air. We had a lot of fun that day, explored various prompts and tactics, and my class came up with some amazing ideas on (1) how to celebrate Avocados on Instagram to increase awareness and then (2) creating a campaign that infuses the Starbucks into the wedding planning process to drive email acquisition.

What is your favorite part about being a professor, and what do you hope to get out of being a professor?

I just love learning about my students, getting them out of their comfort zone, and offering them help in whatever they need. We always start class with a fun personal question, have breakout projects, and I make sure we are actively reflecting and questioning everything. I want them to be honest with themselves, each other, and with me, so I do everything I can to get them comfortable with expressing their opinions every time we meet. We learned about new digital channels, brands, methods, and explored the best and worst of advertising together. I hope to always learn from others and have a great time discovering new ideas; and that was definitely the case with my class this fall.

What made you want to go into advertising? How did you get where you are in your career?

I always enjoyed learning about people and art & design. Honestly, I never planned to go into advertising. But looking back, I’ve realized that if you don’t understand human behavior and the art of persuasion, you’re going to have a really difficult time succeeding in business or relationships. And then in advertising and digital marketing, this is when you get to put a twist on that knowledge with art and design.

I was drawn to social media and technology because of the empowering and interesting effects it had on people. Before switching to an agency, I learned everything I know about design and technology from experts and explorers on the internet. Now I learn from my coworkers, industry, and the internet. I believe the most successful people in digital advertising and the people who push boundaries, hack the system, and always fight to individualize their brand messages for niche populations. After they figure out the right messages, they fight to ensure their ads include stand-out motion graphics and design. Why? Because we need them to stop scrolling and swiping and pay attention and fall in love with your brand.

I got where I am today because I said yes to learning, yes to new relationships and projects, yes to failing, and saying no to toxic environments and people.

How did you originally get to working at SMU? Why did you make the switch from working in the Career Center to becoming a professor?

I graduated with a masters degree in strategic planning & higher education from the University of Pittsburgh in 2011. I wanted to help students find great jobs, and leave college understanding who they are and who they want to be. Prior to my graduate program, I didn’t have a great job. It was 2008, and the economy wasn’t in great shape. I literally couldn’t even get a job at Forever 21. But luckily I was able to become a temp at Carnegie Mellon University and met so many awesome educators and administrators. Because my job would switch every few months, I was able to learn and develop my strengths and avoid roles that exacerbated my weaknesses. I knew if I could do this for myself, I could help other college students do the same before they graduated.

After a few years in higher education, counseling students and leading personal branding workshops on interviewing and LinkedIn, I made the jump to social media marketing for brands and businesses.

Last fall, more than 3 years after leaving SMU, I sat on a nonprofit social media panel for Social Media Dallas. Peter Noble from TAI just happened to be in the audience. I’m candid, a little fiery, and always trying to make a joke and I guess that stood out during the session. Peter approached me and recommended that I send him my resume for a potential teaching opportunity at SMU. I said yes, followed up (just like a typical career counselor would recommend you to do), and then said yes again to the job.

A lot of people might see the career jump as weird or unconventional (and it might be), but it always seemed like the planned happenstance theory in action. Build your skills and strengths and then just say yes.

How have you seen the advertising industry change since you started?

I’ve seen Amazon start to takeover the world and turn into an advertising platform following Facebook. Companies who still spend millions on TV commercials and billboards that have minimal tracking capabilities, yet distrust and fear digital ads (even though it has the proper targeting features, saving them money, and the human connection to our fans that we’ve wanted forever). I’ve witnessed 3rd party delivery systems turn the QSR industry on its head, and the life and death of Vine. It’s been an interesting road, and I can’t wait to see what I get to experiment with at work next.

How do you incorporate aspects from your work into your teaching?

Every class is a different perspective on traditional content marketing and advertising that I deal with at work. I break some classes down by topic (social media, influencers, email drip campaigns, paid media, etc.) or modern day advertising challenges and trends (6 sec ads that still need storytelling, brands & their trolls, or what we can learn about branding from online dating apps and transfer that to advertising).

At my job, we work hard, but we also get to know each other well and are very collaborative. I infuse those values into my class with breakout assignments and projects. Decks and presentations are also crucial to synthesizing complex digital methods and persuading those who control the purse string, so we actively discuss different philosophies on persuasion and positioning in business.

What is one interesting fact about you?

I’ll give you two. (1) I can jumprope on my butt and (2) I’m a quarter Korean with blonde hair and blue eyes.

Posted in Better Advertising. Better World., Faculty, Faculty Interviews, Personal Branding, Professional Development | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet TAI Adjunct Professor & SMU Alumna Elena Andro

Professor Elena Andro is an SMU alumna who is now teaching ADV 2342 Strategic Brand Management 1 for the Temerlin Advertising Institue. Professor Andro has been Manager of Communications for Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) for nine years and has experience on both the agency and client side.

What made you want to become a professor?

First, I love SMU and my craft. Being able to return to campus was amazing and to impact tomorrow’s advertising professionals was a perfect way to give back to the university that gave me my start in advertising and marketing. Second, my mother was a university professor in Mexico so I was familiar with what it took to teach from watching her prepare and run her courses. Third, I’d guest lectured for SMU’s MBA program about the importance of public relations in marketing campaigns. This allowed me to “test the water” and I found that I really enjoyed teaching. Lastly, I’ve been a mentor many times at various organizations, and was often involved in the Dallas Advertising League’s Student Tour program. Also, advising people on their career path is something that comes naturally to me. My view is you spend so much time at work, you should really enjoy what you do.

What is your background in the subject you teach?

My career has always had branding as its cornerstone. I began my career in an ad agency my senior year. Professor Chip Besio brought me into his agency to assist with some clients and I loved being in the middle of exciting projects. I then interned at the McKone & Company agency three days a week my last semester, and then went to work for them my first three years out of college. I then worked client side for many years. Then I had my own agency for six years where I had the pleasure of working with Quaker State, Nissan, Sprint and Capital One. For five years I was a bank marketing executive for both Capital One and Wachovia. Then I joined Dallas Area Rapid Transit.

What has been your favorite memory teaching for TAI so far?

Since most students take notes on their laptops, it is easy to wonder if they are engaged in the lecture. My favorite memories are when students would raise their hand to add something that they’d spontaneously researched on their laptop about the topic being discussed. Now that is engagement! It’s very exciting to see that happening.

What is your favorite part about being a professor?

I love the creative brainstorming and ideation that happens organically in class when you are talking about real, to-the-moment branding situations – such as all the brands impacted by the shooting in Vegas. It is also very valuable for me to have the time with the students that represent a very attractive customer segment for the brands I work with.

What made you want to go into advertising? How did you get where you are in your career?

Advertising seems to have been in my blood. My siblings and I started businesses when we were in elementary school and developing the “pitch” and “product” were fun for me. What really helped my career was interning at agencies my junior and senior year. I cannot stress how important it is for students to get real, hands-on experience as it makes your school work better and you stand out from other graduates once you have your diploma.

My career also benefitted from the fact that I was game to do advertising for product categories that other students did not find interesting. For example, my first ad agency specialized in building products – paint, faucets, laminates, etc. It may sound a bit drab, but we were working with magazines such as Interiors, Architectural Record and Remodeling. It was a lot like fashion, with awesome photo shoots, rock star architects, trips to New York and such.

Another strong recommendation I have for TAI students is to get involved in the American Advertising Federation’s Ad2 club. To this day I still treasure and benefit from the connections I made when I was a student and on the Board of this organization. I later became the president of the Dallas Ad League (now AAF Dallas) which again proved invaluable in my career.

How have you seen the advertising industry change since you started?

Media is so hyper fragmented now! You used to be able to do great campaigns that targeted large segments with a relatively small number of creative executions. Now you cannot. And budgets have not kept up with the exponential number of executions needed to reach similarly-sized audience groups.

How do you incorporate aspects from your work into your teaching?

Students don’t often think about government agencies doing branding. So, it is eye opening for them to consider how DART must compete with the private vehicle and now Uber/Lyft for their share of “transportation occasions.” And because I’ve worked in a variety of industries (at ad agencies) and corporations (as a marketing executive), I’ve got many case studies from my own experience from which to draw from. It is also helpful that my career has been almost solely in Dallas as I’ve got contacts to draw from to bring in guest lecturers who can provide another “voice” from our advertising industry.

What is one interesting fact about you?

I have a Bearded Dragon lizard that likes to ride around in an RC truck, insists on organic grape tomatoes, loves to swim and sleep on top of my cats. I also married my SMU beau five year ago after reconnecting via social media.

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