Creatives Take NYC

From April 25 to May 1, several of our students had the opportunity to tour and network with some of the world’s leading advertising companies during this year’s TAI creative NYC trip which serves as a discovery class. Dr. Mark Allen and Professor Willie Baronet planned and led graduate and undergraduate students in this unique immersive advertising experience.

“As always it was an inspiring and productive time in New York where we took our students to some of the best agencies in the world. Watching them meet our alums and seeing the amazing work they are producing is always a magical experience for me. This year we visited Anomaly, Ogilvy, Momentum, Walrus, NBC Universal, Kenneth Cole Studios, Translation and more!” – Willie Baronet

The first stop on the tour was Johannes Leonardo, a creative firm that encourages customer involvement on behalf of companies. TAI alum Tessa Conti gave us a tour of the distinctive JL church-style facility and updated us about her work with clients including Adidas, Amazon, and Kraft. Later on in the day, we went to Translation with Kaleb Mulugeta, a TAI graduate, and had breathtaking views of the Brooklyn Bridge. AdAge has named Translation the 2022 Agency of the Year and included it on their Agency A-List.

We began our Friday morning at Kenneth Cole Studios, where Maria Cuomo gave us a tour of the facility and shared some of Kenneth Cole’s advice. Despite being a fashion business, we learned about in-house advertising and the brand’s deliberate adherence to its identity. Amol Rana gave us a fascinating tour of Google and displayed some of his YouTube commercials. We had the opportunity to speak with several alumni for a Q&A session at the end of the week, during which we asked them questions regarding their post-college and professional lives and received some incredible advice.

The plan for the weekend was to visit Central Park, see shows on Broadway, and visit museums like the Whitney and MOMA in order to thoroughly immerse oneself in NYC life.

On Monday, we had a great start to the week by going to Momentum Worldwide, here they served us NY way. We learned everything there is to know about experimental advertising, which is the practice of leveraging technology to improve the human experience while creating memories for brands. Former TAI alumni Jordan Chlapecka and Allie Hartman talked about their experiences working with companies like Verizon, Nike, Coke, and AMEX. Next, we visited Ogilvy, where we met up with Helen Rieger and Morgan Hoff, two former SMU students. They were able to demonstrate several projects they had completed for Verizon, Nationwide, and Coca-Cola, but they also gave us advice on how to approach uncertain circumstances proactively when things could change unexpectedly. Deacon Webster’s Walrus was the final agency visit of the day, during which he explained his strategy of being calculating but yet humorous. We concluded Monday night with the senior dinner, where Willie and Mark gave inspirational speeches and many of us shed tears as our seniors begin a new chapter in their life.

On our last day, we began with a visit of the SNL and Jimmy Fallon sets at NBCUniversal. Michael Reidy, an SMU alum, welcomed us with breakfast before the panel discussion began. The panelists stressed that while our creativity will make us stand out, we must also enter this phase of our life with passion and resiliency. Eric Damassa led the final agency visit of the trip, which was Anomoly. Anomoly strives to cooperate with companies like eos, Ranch Water, and Obie that align with its mission. We concluded the trip with the Alumni Networking Event, where we had the chance to socialize with other alumni who live in the city and sing a few karaoke songs to round off our time together.

Overall, there are not enough words to describe our trip, so be sure to watch our reel on Instagram at @smu.advertising!

Dr. Joe Phua Publishes New Research on the Power of Emotional Messaging in Vaccine Communications

By Bella Cox and Liby Navarro

Dr. Joe Phua is a Professor and the Endowed Distinguished Chair at the Temerlin Advertising Institute at Southern Methodist University.  In 2011, he earned his Ph.D. from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. Throughout his career, Dr. Phua has worked with over $4.5 million in external research funded by distinguished organizations.  His research has explored new communication technologies, their impact on advertising and branding, and their application in sports marketing and health communications and have been featured in significant media outlets such as ABC News and National Public Radio (NPR).

Through his published work in some of the utmost journals, including the Journal of Advertising and Journal of Consumer Behavior, Dr. Phua has won awards from the International Communication Association (ICA), American Academy of Academy (AAA), and the International Communication Association (ICA), among many others.   

His most recent research titled, “Encouraging Positive Dialog Toward COVID-19 Vaccines on Social Media Using Hope Appeals, Celebrity Types, and Emoticons” was published in the journal,  Mass Communication & Society, and was conducted in conjunction with an international team of colleagues from Washington State University, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, and the University of Melbourne. This study evaluates how utilizing hope appeals, celebrity endorsements, and value emoticons shaped attitudes about COVID-19 vaccinations.  In addition, it discusses ongoing research to refine messaging strategies and improve the effectiveness of public health campaigns.  

For this research, Dr. Phua and his colleagues were interested in examining how social media posts by celebrity endorsers can influence their followers’ attitudes towards the COVID vaccine. Two experiments were conducted in the study:

In experiment one, they tested three celebrity endorser types (politician, scientist, athlete) and two message types (high and low relevance hope appeal). This experiment revealed that politicians posting low relevance hope appeal messages had the strongest effect on changing attitudes towards the COVID vaccine.

In experiment two, three emoticon types (positive, neutral, negative) and the same two message types (high and low relevance hope appeal) were used. It was concluded that neutral emoticons (wow, haha), rather than positive (like, love, hug) or negative (sad, angry) emoticons, had the strongest effect on changing attitudes towards the COVID vaccine.

For both experiments, it was concluded that the more someone strongly identified with the celebrity endorser posting the message, the more strongly their attitudes towards the COVID vaccine were changed.

Dr. Phua emphasized that “through examining COVID vaccine messages, this study was helpful to healthcare organizations who can be better prepared to use the most effective social media-based message strategies to combat and mitigate any major health pandemics that may arise in the future in the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic.”

In addition, Dr. Phua recently visited Nanyang Technological University in Singapore to initiate research and teaching collaborations. 

2024 ExxonMobil Lecture Series: Celebrating the Decade of the Mexican Avocado featuring Avocados from Mexico CEO and President, Alvaro Luque 

On February 22, 2024, Temerlin Advertising Institute at SMU hosted their annual ExxonMobil Lecture Series on Sustainability at the Angelika Film Center in Dallas. This event offered an immersive experience, blending educational discourse with a vibrant networking atmosphere for over 200 students, professionals, and sustainability enthusiasts. All gathered to hear from the man responsible for revolutionizing the avocado market, Alvaro Luque, President and CEO of the non-profit marketing organization, Avocados from Mexico (AFM). The expanding popularity of avocados took center stage as the event seamlessly wove together the threads of sustainability, and marketing innovation. Luque’s insights provided a rich tapestry of his 30-year marketing journey, emphasizing the strategic vision that catapulted Avocados From Mexico to its status as a household name and a symbol of sustainability in the produce market. The night was a great success and we are already excited for next year!  

The evening began with a networking hour where guests could connect over drinks, avocado focused hors d’oeuvres and sweets, as well as AFM’s signature build your own guacamole cart. The cart allowed guests to pick and choose their favorite ingredients and experience AFM’s brand message of always good by showcasing how avocados can be delicious, healthy, and fun! 

When it came time for the lecture, Luque was an immediate crowd pleaser with his utilization of AFM’s  famous jingle to kick things off. His discussion centered on the remarkable journey of Mexican avocados in the U.S., where today, 8 in 10 avocados consumed are from Mexico, contributing over $11 billion in economic output. He went on to emphasize the importance of understanding their target audience and how being the first fresh produce brand to advertise in the Super Bowl played a large part in evening the playing field for them as a brand, increasing awareness in such a large market, and setting a precedent for industry innovation. 

 At the presentation’s conclusion, TAI’s Dr. Carrie La Ferle went on to engage in a lively Q&A with Luque. La Ferle shared how delighted she was by his genuine care about the next generation, engaging in every question presented, and further sharing words of wisdom with the students in the audience. Dr. La Ferle later stated how impressed she was “by Mr. Luque’s passion for strategy and his keen eye for how to, in the words of Luque, “Make AFM in the produce category, like Pepsi or Coke were to beverages.”

   

“If you ever doubted the ability to market produce like a CPK, developing a visible brand in a brandless category, doubt no more,” said Dr. Carrie La Ferle of the Temerlin Advertising Institute. 

Guests left the evening with more than valuable insights on developing visible brands in brandless categories. Each attendee received a goodie bag which included their very own Avocados From Mexico. 

The 2024 ExxonMobil Lecture Series: The Decade of the Mexican Avocado, highlighted the Temerlin Advertising Institute’s dedication to integrating sustainability with marketing excellence and moto of “Better Advertising. Better World.” 

Watch the full lecture here:

Previous ExxonMobil Lectures included brands like Publicis, Pepsi Co, Honest Company, Nike, Chick-fil-A, and Monster, features like Signs of Humanity and David Baldwin, and topics like Spirituality.

Professor Sid Muralidharan Panelist at FTC Workshop


On June 24th, Dr. Sidharth Muralidharan, Associate Professor at the Temerlin Advertising spoke at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) four-hour business workshop series, Green Lights & Red Flags: FTC Rules of the Road for Business.

The Dallas program continued the popular business workshop series that the FTC has held in past years with regional partners in cities across the county. The workshop focused on trending topics in truth-in-advertising law, social media marketing, data security, business-to-business fraud, and other business basics.

Dr. Sidharth Muralidharan, served as a panelist for the session titled “Avoiding a Promotion Commotion.” The session was moderated by Tom Carter, attorney at FTC Southwest Region, and covered six main topics – e-mail marketing, free offers and negative options, children’s online privacy, customer reviews, social media and influencers, and consumer gag clauses. Other panelists included, Iris Diaz (Chief Marketing Office for the Dallas Mavericks), Edward Hynes (Attorney at FTC Southwest Region), and Lea Williams (Adjunct Professor, Thurgood Marshall School of Law).

Designed for business owners, advertising professionals, attorneys, and others who need to know how established legal principles apply in today’s fast-moving marketplace, the program offers practical insights from Texas business leaders and recognized experts in consumer protection law and cybersecurity.

Dr. Carrie La Ferle Recognized for Career Promoting Advertising Ethics and Social Responsibility

Dr. Carrie La Ferle of the Temerlin Advertising Institute at Southern Methodist University was awarded the prestigious Kim Rotzoll Award for Advertising Ethics and Social Responsibility. The award has only been given nine times since 2004 with La Ferle following the likes Ivan L Preston (2005), Herbert Jack Rotfeld (2006), Richard W. Pollay (2007), Wally Snyder (2009), Les Carlson (2010), Meme Drumwright (2013), Jerome Williams (2018) and Kim Sheehan (2019). Carrie said she was honored and absolutely beaming with gratitude to be included among these esteemed colleagues.

Kim Rotzoll spearheaded the teaching and research of ethics in advertising, from media ethics to the study of advertising as a social and economic institution in society. He was Dean of the College of Communications at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign for over ten years and prior to that, head of the department of advertising, one of the best ranked research advertising programs in the country. Kim died in 2003 at the age sixty-eight and the award was created to recognize individuals demonstrating an outstanding commitment to advertising ethics and social responsibility.

Dr. La Ferle was praised for….over twenty years of teaching ethics in advertising to undergraduate and graduate students, contributing to the design and now thriving MA in Advertising program at TAI with social responsibility at its core, her outstanding contribution to research, and her continued active service to the profession nationally and internationally, promoting teaching and research in ethics and social responsibility in advertising.

The American Academy of Advertising is the top advertising organization for advertising scholars interested in advertising research and education. It oversees many advertising journals, including the premier journal in the field, the Journal of Advertising.

FACULTY SPOTLIGHT: Difficult Year. Difficult Briefs. Smart Solutions.

Throughout his career, Temerlin professor Dr. Mark Allen has worked as an art director and designer for clients including the History Channel, the New York Yankees, Norton/Symantec, Martha Stewart, The Walking Dead, A&E Networks, HBO, the U.S. National Parks Service and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. His work has been recognized for creative excellence in the Print Regional Design Annual and Applied Arts magazine and by the Promotion Marketing Association, the Illustrators Society of Los Angeles and the Dallas Society of Visual Communications. He joined SMU’s newly established Temerlin Advertising Institute in 2003, where he currently teaches various creative advertising courses. Allen recently shared his insights into his students’ work and the shift in teaching creative courses brought about by the pandemic.

“I knew that teaching creative studio-based classes virtually was going to be a challenge, but it was much harder than I anticipated. It was difficult to hold our weekly critiques—the lifeblood of our creative classes—on Zoom because we’re used to walking around the room, making notes, and drawing sketches on the work that plasters every available surface in the classroom. Losing the spatial, tactile dimension of what we do in the classroom was felt every time we met online. Additionally, there’s usually a lot of back-and-forth with the students. But humor and sarcastic banter are hard to pull off on Zoom when most of the class is on mute. More than anything, I miss hearing the flood of input from my students during a critique. They are so smart and so funny, and I depend on their eyes, ears and brains to back me up—and to challenge my ill-advised suggestions. Zoom only allows you to focus on one thing at a time: one voice, one image, etc. And I don’t usually run my classes like that,” Allen explains.

Continue reading “FACULTY SPOTLIGHT: Difficult Year. Difficult Briefs. Smart Solutions.”

Advertising Professor Collaborates With Researchers to Study Homelessness

Willie Baronet, the Stan Richards Professor in Creative Advertising, has been buying and collecting homeless signs since 1993. The meaningful conversations Baronet had with the homeless when purchasing signs led to the founding of his not-for-profit We Are All Homeless. Through this organization, Baronet enlists volunteers and students to advocate for the homeless by organizing awareness-building events, including exhibits of collected signs and gathering donations.

In collaboration with a We Are All Homeless 2018 event, Baronet worked alongside researchers from Thomas Jefferson University’s Public Health Department and its director, Dr. Rosemary Frasso, to study the lived experiences of unhoused people who panhandle and their interactions with passersby. “I am so proud that I’ve been able to partner with Dr. Frasso to bring art and science together to create meaningful research to impact the homeless cause,” says Baronet. “Working with her students, and subsequently being a co-author to their research, is something I didn’t expect to be doing. The TAI slogan is Better Advertising. Better World. and the Meadows motto is Start a Movement. I hope that this work can be an example to our students who want to take the lessons we teach about creativity and purpose and find ways to make them a reality.”

Their resulting paper, ‘Even a smile helps’: Exploring the Interactions Between People Experiencing Homelessness and Passersby in Public Spaces, was published in the International Journal of Social Psychiatry this January. Forty semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants who were approached while panhandling and asked to describe their experiences asking for help in public and accessing homelessness services, as well as what they wished to share with those passing by. Participants’ experiences were consistent with loneliness, as characterized in the literature as distress at lack of social connection, and were also notable for the verbal and physical violence endured in public spaces. Many shared personal histories of tragedy and called for greater empathy and compassion from passersby, as well as society as a whole, for people experiencing homelessness. The researchers said that because social isolation and trauma are detrimental to mental health in this vulnerable group, interventions to support this population should provide opportunities for consistent, supportive social connections and focus on providing low-barrier, stable housing.

Dr. Frasso, the organizing researcher, adds, “This collaboration helped us both grow as scholars and educators. Working with colleagues outside your home discipline is powerful and together we were able to shed light on the lives of people experiencing homelessness, through art (the amazing exhibit we held at Jefferson) and through traditional public health channels, such as peer-reviewed literature.”

FACULTY RESEARCH: Graduate Student Co-Authors Article with Temerlin Faculty

Dr. Sid Muralidharan, associate professor, and Dr. Carrie La Ferle, Marriott Endowed Professor of Ethics and Culture, have been researching the effectiveness of domestic violence messaging on bystander reporting. Last fall, Dr. Sid invited Temerlin graduate student Lauren Howard to join their research for a third study exploring domestic violence prevention messaging.

The first two studies explore the outward-facing emotional response to ad messaging. The first study, published in the Journal of Advertising, compares guilt and shame ad appeals. A subsequent study published in the Journal of Nonprofit and Public Sector Marketing focuses on opposing emotional ad appeals – shame versus hope. Between both these studies, hope is found to be the more effective emotion in motivating bystanders to intervene. The most recent study, which Howard co-authored alongside Dr. Sid and Dr. La Ferle for Social Marketing Quarterly, pivots inward to compare the effects of guilt and hope messaging in relation to “independent self-construal,” the extent to which people view themselves as separate and distinct from others. Those with high independent self-construal are more apt to promote themselves positively and tend to be driven and have high self-esteem. In contrast, people with low independent self-construal tend to be less ambitious with lower self-esteem.  Findings reveal that hope messaging engages both low and high independent self-construal, whereas guilt messaging pushes those with low self-construal to distance themselves from potential bystander intervention.

“Through this independent study, I learned a lot about how we are still facing the impact of patriarchal societies’ dominance in many cultures worldwide,” says Howard. “This is important as it affects how people see, feel, and act upon domestic violence and the advertisements associated with bystander intervention. It is crucial that advertisers pay attention to what emotion resonates with consumers and encourages action when creating ads to promote bystander intervention.”

Temerlin faculty engage graduate students through a variety of work such as case studies, primary and secondary research, and agency internships to ensure students have exposure to the vast array of disciplines within the advertising industry. Learn more about Temerlin’s graduate program here.

FACULTY RESEARCH: Hope Inspires Bystander Intervention

Temerlin’s Dr. Sid Muralidharan and Dr. Carrie La Ferle have published a follow-up to their 2019 study, which explores emotional appeals in public health messaging to mitigate domestic violence in India.  According to UN Women, a global database on violence against women, India reports a 288% lifetime rate of physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, compared to 29% in the U.K., 269% in Argentina, and 38% in Turkey. These wide-ranging domestic violence rates by country underscore the importance of research for domestic violence prevention messaging.

The original study, published in the Journal of Advertising, found shame messaging, compared to guilt, to be the more effective message to inspire bystander intervention. In the follow-up study recently published in the Journal of Nonprofit and Public Sector Marketing, Dr. Sid, associate professor, and Dr. La Ferle, the Marriott Endowed Professor of Ethics and Culture, compare shame to hope in public service announcement messages. This study finds that bystanders are motivated to act when hope, more so than shame, messaging is utilized. “Social marketers would benefit from crafting domestic violence prevention messages that are framed with a strong hope appeal, i.e., a positive outcome of saving the victim will be achieved by calling the helpline,” Dr. Sid explains. For bystanders, hope is the key to motivating action through goals, agency, and pathways; therefore, marketers have to integrate these three components in their messaging. In other words, saving the victim from further abuse (goal) can be achieved by providing a helpline number (pathway), and the anonymity and ease of calling the helpline will increase motivation to help (agency).

While advertising is often perceived as a way to sell goods, the importance of research on domestic violence prevention messaging underscores for society the ethical component of advertising. Dr. Sid and Dr. La Ferle teach courses such as Advertising as a Cultural Force, Advertising Society and Ethics, and Responsibility and Social Entrepreneurship to Temerlin’s undergraduate and graduate students. Through their ongoing research, Temerlin professors play an active role in providing solutions to serious issues.

FACULTY SPOTLIGHT: Willie Baronet on Human-Centered Design

Temerlin Professor Willie Baronet began buying signs from the homeless in 1993 to connect and learn more about the journey of those on the streets, which eventually led to the WE ARE ALL HOMELESS project. “Like many, I wrestled with whether or not I was doing good by giving them money,” says Baronet. “Mostly I struggled with my moral obligations and how my own choices contributed, in conscious or unconscious ways, to the poverty I witnessed. I struggled with the unfairness of the lives people are born into, the physical, mental and psychological handicaps. In my struggle, I avoided eye contact with those on the street, unwilling to really see them, and in doing so avoided seeing parts of myself. That began to change once I began asking them if they would sell their signs.” Twenty-seven years later, he has collected around 2000 signs, which he uses to raise awareness for the homeless through events and exhibitions.

Earlier this year, Baronet was featured in a group exhibition, Houseless, at the Anchorage Museum. Some 500 collected signs were on display as part of a larger conversation: Could artists use design to find solutions to combat homelessness? According to the museum, “Design thinking helps break down complex problems and integrate new information and opinions while acknowledging there is no one right answer. The Houseless project provides a space for awareness, education and creative problem-solving around housing security in our own community. It supports individuals and communities in problem-solving together.” The exhibit concluded last month and included events such as Houseless Panel Conversation: Problem-Solving Through Design and Intersections of Domestic Violence and Homelessness for artists and the community to engage in a dialogue to discuss these challenging issues. Baronet’s cross-country sign collecting documentary, Signs of Humanity, was also featured as part of this exhibition.

More recently, Baronet was featured on Fox News regarding the second annual Home Is A Journey march, which took place November 14 at SMU to raise awareness about homelessness, compassion, gratitude and privilege. The event collected donations for two Dallas-based nonprofits, The Bridge and Vogel Alcove, that support the local homeless community. Participants also assisted with the socially distant assembly of blessing bags (snacks to hand out to the homeless) and learned about the Dallas homeless community through various speakers at the event. Home Is A Journey concluded with a march across campus in which each masked participant silently carried a homeless sign. Baronet explains, “It is important to recognize privilege, especially now. It’s also important to see each other as humans. I hope that WE ARE ALL HOMELESS provides inspiration and resources for students and our community to connect with those on the fringes of society.”

Baronet finds a direct correlation between this passion project and teaching creativity in advertising. “First, homeless signs are one of the purest forms of advertising,” he says. “Second, as a creative project, it is a great example of how creativity IS problem-solving and that creating compelling content is the best way to persuade people. This past year, one of the posters I designed for a WE ARE ALL HOMELESS exhibit was accepted into the Communication Arts Design Annual, the most prestigious design competition in the world. It’s hard to find a stronger intersection than that.” In addition, many of Baronet’s students volunteer outside of class with some aspect of the project, whether it’s helping kids at a workshop, assisting with an installation, or participating in the Home Is a Journey march across campus.