In September, The Richards Group Media Planners and SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) visited TAI to discuss what having a career in media and digital look like. Experts in paid social, programmatic, and brand media took turns discussing their role in the agency, what kind of path they took to get where they are, what are the differences between SMEs and media planners, and tips on preparing for internships and future careers. An amazing group of nine TRG experts came to the panel and enjoyed fielding questions from our students.
Our senior Digital Media Strategy Specialization students joined the panel as well, Beth Rose, Hannah Tymochko, Julia Devine, and Austin Inglett, all graduating seniors, took time out of their busy schedules to give tips to the incoming group on how to navigate school and professional career building. Students discussed numerous past and current internship experiences, scholarships they have won, and classes within TAI and outside that helped them build relevant knowledge. Everyone emphasized the importance of networking and advised the new students to tap into our TAI faculty as a great resource and to establish more connections.
The Richards Group will be back in November for another media/digital panel and all of TAI will be invited. Media and digital crosses over to all other tracks so it would be a great way to learn more about different areas of an advertising agency. We hope to see you there!
In the program capstone course, Advertising Campaigns, our senior students showcase their accumulated knowledge through an intensive practical exercise. Working in small agency groups, they vie for the new business of a client. The client is real, in the room and judging their performance. The problems and the budgets are real. Students investigate, plan, develop strategies, create integrated marketing campaigns and solve clients’ advertising problems. We’ve worked with brands such as American Airlines, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Glidden, Nokia, Rockfish, Kinko’s, Hyundai, Postal Vault, Toyota Matrix, Bank of America, Waste Management, Wingstop and FLA USA.
Praise from one of last semester’s class clients below…
May 16, 2018
From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for the marvelous work you and your students did on the marketing campaign for Cox Insurance. I am thrilled with the results. All of the campaigns went beyond my expectations and “hit it out of the ballpark.” At the beginning of the project, you said that no client had ever been disappointed with the results and I am certainly no exception. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a client being more happy than I am with the results.
All of the campaigns had useful information—some more than others—but the beauty of your method for teaching the students is that the competition generates an overall product which surely goes far beyond what would be possible otherwise. In other words, the whole project is a brilliant conception, and that redounds to you.
It was very hard to pick a winner since all of the campaigns were extremely well conceived and dug deep into the market. Red Chair’s winning campaign centered squarely on the reason why I started Cox Insurance in the first place, which is to save people time and give them the respect in the marketplace that such hard-working people deserve but have never had.
Again, thank you so much for helping me find the “nuggets” among Cox’s demographics. I know that we have to pick a project winner and that’s why I’m writing, but let’s be clear—I’m the real winner here—and I know it.
I ran into a former student, who had just received her masters degree, at the bookstore after graduation this past May. She was telling me how much she was using the skills learned in one of my graphic design classes at her job – which she hadn’t expected but found that the skills came in handy in her somewhat unrelated field.
Awhile back another former student told me how excited she was to be able to use her graphic design skills at her copy writing internship. Being able to pitch in on projects in a different capacity than was expected made her an even more valuable asset to the team.
Why am I telling you this? Well, while you may know that TAI offers an interdisciplinary minor in graphic design, you may not realize how many fields of study can benefit from these skills. You might be interested in pursuing graphic design as a career but even if you aren’t, learning to become a better visual communicator can enhance a variety of career paths.
It’s so much more than learning the software used in the industry. It is about cultivating your ideas; using design principles of composition and layout; learning about typography, imagery and color choices along with a little psychology to best present your ideas. We discuss and practice all of these skills to build a powerful toolbox to help create messages that inspire, inform, tell stories or engage your audience.
You might want to consider how these skills can enhance your interests and career path. You can learn more about the graphic design minor here.
Images Courtesy of:
Currency Redesign, Cho Kim, Intro to Graphic Design
Event Poster, Tanner Thompson, Intro to Graphic Design
MayTerm or JanTerm courses are not just if you need an extra class or are trying to make up for a failed course. These short courses, 11 class days and eight class days respectively, can be super beneficial and enjoyable. In both situations there are no other courses being taken at the same time so a student’s focus is only on the readings, lecture notes, and assignments of that one specific class.
Mayterm courses are about four class hours a day and JanTerm classes are about eight hours a day, so usually there is no time for extracurricular activities or part-time jobs. At first, this might scare off students, but it is only for 11 or eight class days and you are done with a three credit course for your major or minor as well as potentially a UC requirement. Also, during these two weeks, one’s focus only being on the course material helps learn the concepts well. Students can review material and continually be using and building on material from the day before and the day before that, while the professor can take additional time to review difficult concepts not always possible in class during a regular semester.
I have taught 17 week courses, JanTerm and MayTerm classes as well as 5 week summer sessions. I really think many students do better and enjoy learning the material in a shorter term course when they have only the course material to focus on.
The other element is the bonding that happens between students and also with the faculty member and students. Since people are together every day and for long periods of time, you really become a team in learning the material and working together while almost having a family like feeling. The latter point is further conducive to learning the material while enjoying the time spent learning.
For students unsure about how they would do in a course or nervous about the content, a short semester course is a great option. The average grade when I teach has typically been a little higher than the class average in a regular 17 week long semester because students learn the material better with few outside distractions. Students who sometimes struggle in a bigger class or during a 17 week semester, often find more opportunities within the class to clarify concepts and certainly outside of class time with the opportunity of seeing the professor every day. In many cases, a MayTerm or JanTerm course is smaller during these off semester learning opportunities, which again allows for deeper learning and richer dialogue in the classroom.
On this last point, the smaller and more intensive structure allows for interesting projects to arise that may not always be possible during a longer session or with a larger class size. One year, my MayTerm ethics in advertising course undertook a volunteer opportunity to help clean up a nearby park. In the process, they learned about the park and the neighborhood in order to create a marketing plan for how to engage the community in using and taking care of the park. This past MayTerm (2018) we tackled the issue of Mental Health and students developed proposals for matching brands with different facets of Mental Health with the goal of bringing awareness to the issues and to help normalize the conversation.
Please consider a short-semester course in your future. The Temerlin Advertising Institute often offers courses in Ethics, Production, Advertising in Dallas or Advertising in NYC as well as Campaigns. Check out your course catalogue online to see what might be available for you.
By Carrie La Ferle, Ph.D.
Distinguished Teaching Professor
Temerlin Advertising Institute
On Friday, April 13, Yan Huang, Assistant Professor of Advertising in TAI at SMU, shared her research titled “Persuasion and Counter Persuasion: The Impact of Narratives in Health Promotion,” at the TAI Research Brown Bag.
Professor Huang’s research examines the effects and mechanisms of strategic media messages and technologies in shaping consumer psychology, especially as they relate to health and socially responsible advertising. Through her studies, she addresses a series of questions including,
Is attitude induced by narratives able to resist the influence of competing messages?
What are the psychological mechanisms underlying narratives’ influence on resistance?
Can narratives effectively persuade individuals when used for counter persuasion?
How do we use storytelling to help the public make better decisions?
Health public service advertising (PSA) is not processed in a vacuum. An effective health PSA must not only produce an immediate persuasive impact but also compete with counter messages from different interest groups. Prior literature supports narrative benefits in eliciting immediate health attitude change. However, its influence in a competitive scenario has yet to be tested.
When individuals are exposed to a campaign message, they think about it, but they don’t typically engage in actions immediately. There is a time lag, in which individuals can encounter other information, which may contradict with what they were previously exposed to – these are competing messages. Professor Yan Huang performed a series of studies in which attitudes were assessed after exposure to pro- and anti-radiotherapy messages, in both the conventional rhetoric and storytelling formats. Immediate reactions and the responses after counter persuasion were assessed and analyzed.
Major findings of Professor Huang’s studies include,
Campaign messages in story formats can lead to better retention of information, which could enhance audience resistance to counter persuasion.
The experiential processes associated with narrative exposure, such as identification with story characters and the feeling of “being transported” into the story world, can increase counter-arguing with competing messages.
Narrative messages are much more effective than rhetorical messages in communicating counter-attitudinal information.
After sharing her research Professor Huang discussed various theoretical and practical implications including,
Narrative persuasion research may benefit from focusing attention beyond the change in attitude intensity to other properties of attitude strength.
The mechanisms underlying the carryover effect of narratives in the face of a competing message are both cognitive and experiential.
The applicability of narrative persuasion theories in a competitive situation.
The strong potential of narrative campaign messages in altering attitude.
Temerlin Advertising Institute was honored to have Yan Huang for a lecture on her research. TAI is passionate about staying informed on all current topics in the advertising industry, hosting speakers periodically throughout the year.
It’s time to celebrate another wonderful year of student and faculty accomplishments. We’ve recognized the achievements that make the Temerlin Advertising Institute an award-winning institute at SMU, and we could not be more proud of our talented students and faculty.
Below are all the industry and special awards earned by our students and faculty during the 2017-2018 academic year.
AAF’s Most Promising Multicultural Student – Jennifer Nelson and Eric Sedeño
AAF American Advertising Awards (ADDYs) – Samantha Butz, Lucas Crespo, Tiffany Giraudon, Jolie Guz, Madeline Khare, Grace LaMontagne, Grey McDermid, Kirsty McLauchlan, Caroline Moss, Jennifer Nelson, Helen Rieger, Eric Sedeño, Matthieu Smyth.
AAF Stickell Internship – Austin Inglett and Dalya Romaner.
AFF 10th District Scholarship: Alissa Llort and Avery Lewis
Advertising Education Foundation MADE Internship: Eric Sedeño
Alliance for Women in Media (AWM) Dallas Irene Runnels-Paula McStay Scholarship – Alissa Llort
DFW Interactive Marketing Association Scholarship – Hannah Tymochko
DSVC National Show Best Print Advertising Campaign, Best Copy & Judge’s Choice – Tiffany Giraudon, Laura Walsh and Caroline Moss.
National Student Advertising Competition, SMU-TAI’s Ad Team: Third Place and Special Judges Award for Best Market Segmentation
SMU Ad Club Officers
Sara Jane Stephens
and Alex Mackillop
Event Planning Chair
National Student Advertising Competition | Ad Team –
Hayley Banas, Myla Borden, Mary Charles Byers, Amy Cooley, Rita de Obarrio, Harrison Fiveash, Anne-Marie Geisler, Alissa Llort, Alex Mackillop, London Mercer, Shelby Pointer, Juan Reyes, Sara Jane Stephens, Sara Ann Whiteley and Frank Zhang.
SMU Mortar Board Top 10 Sophomore – Rachel Kainer and Jolie Guz
TAI STUDENT AWARDS:
TAI Anchor Award – Given to a student(s) who consistently “pulls more than his/her weight” in bringing projects to fruition: Matthieu Smyth.
TAI Donald John Carty Leadership Award –Given to a student(s) in recognition of leadership in the classroom, the Institute and beyond: Cheyenne Tilford.
Face of TAI Award – Given to a student(s) who represents the Institute within Meadows, SMU and/or the advertising industry: Joanna Fennessy
TAI Optimizer Award – Given to a student(s) who demonstrates a desire and aptitude to make work better through superior work strategies and iteration: Alissa Llort and Eric Sedeño.
TAI Outstanding Graduate Student – Given to a student(s) who best represents the academic and professional pursuit of the field: Coral Pisek.
TAI Resilience Award – Given to a student(s) who deals effectively with project setbacks while maintaining a positive attitude and demonstrating a resolve to produce outstanding work: Kirsty McLauchlan
TAI Social Impact Award –Given to a student(s) who exemplifies aspects of social responsibility in their advertising work and beyond: Anna Proctor.
TAI Service Award – Given to a student(s) who renders substantial service to the campus at large as well as in the greater community: Rita de Obarrio
TAI Team Player Award –Given to a student(s) in recognition of contributions to team projects and activities: Sara Jane Stephens and Jolie Guz.
TAI Outstanding Academic Achievement in Creative – Tiffany Giraudon.
TAI Outstand Academic Achievement in Digital – Rachel Kainer.
TAI Outstanding Academic Achievement in Strategic Brand Management – Cheyenne Tilford.
TAI Student Marshal at Graduation – Caroline Moss.
TAI Undergraduate Reader at Graduation – Alex Mackillop
TAI Graduate Reader – Deja Sanders.
TAI FACULTY AWARDS
Scholar of the Year – Dr. Hye Jin Yoon
Service Exemplar – Professor Mark Allen
Teaching Innovator – Professor Cheryl Mendenhall
TAI Research Fellows – Dr. Sidharth Muralidharan and Dr. Carrie La Ferle
Professor Inspiring Excellence –
Student Support Superstars – Dr. Alice Kendrick, Professor Mark Allen, and Professor Willie Baronet
Step Away From the Google Doc Fostering True Collaboration
by TAI Professor Amber Benson
Today, Jeff Bridges will deliver the final talk in the SMU Tate Distinguished Lecture series. Most college students know Jeff Bridges for his role as The Dude in the cult movie The Big Lebowski. Your film professors would probably remind you that he is also a seven-time Academy Award nominee, with a win in 2010 for his starring role as a down-on-his-luck musician in Crazy Heart.
But my first memory of Jeff Bridges was seeing him in a quirky science fiction movie called TRON. In it, Jeff Bridges plays Kevin Flynn, a computer hacker that gets digitized–by a laser, no less–and trapped inside a mainframe computer. While there, he partners with other programs to break free and keep himself from de-rezzing (or dying). The special effects, which look like a bad 80s nightclub to a modern-day viewer, were groundbreaking. Although Disney updated the franchise (and Bridges reprised his role) in 2010, it’s worth checking out the original.
Or you could just visit one of my classes. Because I think the ghosts of TRON haunts the halls of Umphrey Lee.
Recently, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend. Whenever I encourage my students to work in groups, I watch as they circle up their desks, fire up their laptops and then go radio silent. They are sitting right next to one another, yet they are miles apart. And I know exactly what’s going on.
They are trapped in a Google Doc.
As a professor of digital advertising, I encourage my students to use technology to their advantage. I just wonder if that confab of multi-colored cursors in your browser is helping you achieve your goals. Sure, you are creating a document together, but are you actually creating value?
Value creation is at the heart of the advertising industry. As advertisers we create that value by turning insights into ideas. And to do that, we need to bring various perspectives to bear on the challenges our clients give us. And that requires more than mere collaboration. It requires dialogue.
The word dialogue has Greek origins, its roots are “dia,” which means “through” and “logos” which means “speech.” Dialogue literally means to “pass through speech.” It is the literal exchange of words that propels ideas forward.
Imagine that I give you a small piece of moldable clay and tell you to create a bust of Abraham Lincoln. You could try to do it yourself. You could make your best attempt and then give it to someone else to revise or edit. In the end, you might achieve your goal, but a linear, sequential process leaves little room for inspiration or optimization.
Alternatively, by working collaboratively, gathering team members and talking through the challenge, you are far more likely to achieve your goal and to do it in a shorter amount of time. Why? Like atoms bouncing off of one another, insights create energy when they are combined. And once you hit on the perfect combination, that clarity provides momentum. When everyone fully “gets” the concept, then you delegate tasks without losing cohesion.
At one point in TRON, Kevin Flynn says, “On the other side of the screen, it all looks so easy.” Collaboration software, such as Google Docs and Slack, can be useful tools in coordinating team member contributions, but they cannot think for you. And that focus on finishing the assignment rather than solving the problem is “de-rezzing” your grades.
So, next time you get a group assignment, step away from the Google doc and toward a white board. Grab a pack of Post-Its and a Sharpie. Visualize your data. Start a dialogue.
Wpromote is a digital marketing agency headquartered in California has regional offices in Dallas, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, etc. It is also known as the challenger agency and focuses on search marketing, paid & earned social media, and marketing intelligence. This April, Wpromote partnered with Facebook and held its first profit-driven marketing summit. It was an invitation based exclusive event, and two of our TAI faculty, Anna Kim and Hye Jin Yoon were invited. Last year, the agency had a similar event with Google.
It was an all-day event and well-attended by industry professionals. It is interesting to note that Dr. Yoon and Dr. Kim were the only academic professionals. They said, they really enjoyed the program. “The summit not only offered us an excellent opportunity to meet industry professionals but also informed us many interesting new trends as well as challenges that today’s media industry is facing. Keynote speeches and sessions were organized around the following three themes: leveraging profit-driven marketing & customer lifetime value (LTV), new customers acquisition, and visual storytelling through video.”
Here are some notes from Dr. Yoon and there’s a link in the bottom where you can download some of the presentations from Wpromote. Unfortunately, presentations from Facebook are not provided due to the sensitive nature of some of the content, it is Facebook’s policy not to distribute their presentations.
Businesses need to adopt mobile first strategies: consumers are increasingly discovering products through mobile, there is 41% faster content consumption on mobile than desktop, and on average, consumers search fewer products on smartphones than desktops before making a purchase.
eCommerce goes global: cross-border e-commerce with emerging economies have taken off; businesses need to be there effortlessly across the globe; these countries never had strong desktop culture and have leaped on to mobile, which creates a different set of opportunities.
Mobile video content is exploding: video is a primary way to discover and buy products and leverage video as merchandising tool affords highly dynamic immersive experiences.
Visual storytelling through video creative that converts: customers want to see themselves in your product; visuals are processed 60K times faster than text by the human brain; visual storytelling can help every stage of the consumer’s journey; great video isn’t about things, it’s about action (verbs before nouns); focus on people, their goals, and how the brand can help accomplish them.
Alissa Llort, a junior advertising student on the Strategic Brand Management track, was this year’s recipient of the 2018 Irene Runnels – Paula McStay Scholarship and the AAF-Tenth District Scholarship.
On April 5, 2018, the Dallas Area Alliance for Women in Media Foundation, Inc. awarded scholarships in the names of Irene Runnels, a distinguished and respected Dallas broadcaster and Paula McStay, a former Fort Worth advertising executive. Alissa was honored for her accomplishment at the Dallas Area Alliance for Women in Media Foundation Award of Excellence Gala. Applicants were considered on the basis of educational and career goals in their major field of study, activities and honors, service to community and references.
Alissa feels that Irene Runnels and Paula McStay have truly paved the way for the next generation of women to chase their professional advertising dreams. Alissa’s personal goal is to continue to empower young female leaders based on her college experiences. “I feel proud to have received an award from an organization that supports successful women in the media industry, because when we support each other, we are unstoppable!,” she said. Alissa is currently the marketing director at the Women Ambassadors Forum, a student run non-profit organization that aims to empower women globally through an annual forum held at SMU. In this principal role she leads her team in branding, graphic design, PR, social media and marketing.
A few days later, on April 15, 2018, Alissa was selected to receive the AAF (American Advertising Federation) Tenth District Scholarship, and was honored at the Tenth District Annual Convention in Corpus Christi, Texas during the NSAC (National Student Advertising Competition), Student Reception.
AAF District 10 endorses $2,500 scholarships which are designed to recognize, promote and encourage academically talented students in advertising-related disciplines, helping them to complete their education. Alissa was one of only three students selected to receive this award, competing against applicants from four states, including Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas.
According to Alissa, TAI has inspired her to be a professional advertiser even before graduating. “My advertising classes and professors have been key into my growth throughout these two years,” she said.
Please join the Temerlin Advertising Institute in congratulating Alissa on her outstanding achievements. TAI is thrilled to have Alissa’s talents recognized with these prestigious scholarships.
The 2018 SMU-TAI’s Ad Team, led by advisor Professor Amber Benson, competed with universities from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana, in the AAF District 10 Convention, ADVENTION, in Corpus Christi, Texas on April 15, 2018. They placed third overall and took home a Special Judges Award for Best Market Segmentation in this year’s National Student Advertising Competition. Additionally, TAI students Avery Lewis and Alissa Llort were awarded AAF Tenth District Scholarships. All-in-all a great weekend!
TAI student Harrison Fiveash said he could have not been more excited with the outcome in Corpus Christi. “Not only placing third, but receiving the Special Judges Award for Best Market Segmentation is a true testament to how hard and cohesively our team operated,” he said.
Ad Team members had been working hard since the beginning of the Spring 2018 semester when they began doing research and strategy development for Ocean Spray, this year’s national client. The challenge was to drive relevancy of the brand for older millennials across both food and beverages.
With the concept BREAK OUT OF THE BOG, the team created a memorable campaign designed to give older millennials, aged 25-34, new reasons to purchase Ocean Spray throughout the year, by leveraging the health benefits, and highlighting Ocean Spray’s responsibility to the environment and to their farmers.
The team was asked to target older millennials, but they broke it down a little further to reveal a sweet spot in the millennial market that would provide Ocean Spray the highest lifetime customer value. How? by introducing the HENRYs. A HENRY is a “High Earner that is Not Rich Yet.” They view the brands they buy as a reflection of themselves, and improve their personal brand equity by buying from brands that they have a positive relationship with. Since HENRYs are both early adopters and social influencers, investing in them would create a halo effect that would influence the rest of the 44 million older millennial target.
After harvesting research insights, the team came to the conclusion that when it comes to the HENRYs, the brand is bogged down. These millennials tend to buy Ocean Spray products during the fall-winter holiday season, are unaware of Ocean Spray’s extensive product line, are skeptical about health claims, and don’t know about all the amazing things Ocean Spray does as a company.
The team decided to build on the existing brand equity of Ocean Spray’s highly popular “Straight from the Bog” campaign by breaking the Bog Guys, Justin and Henry, out of the bog and placing them in scenarios which align with the interests and values of the target market. All they needed to do, was to BREAK OUT OF THE BOG.
Four team members, Amy Cooley, Harrison Fiveash, Alex Mackillop and Sara Jane Stephens presented the team’s work to a panel of industry judges at the competition, with the goal of leveraging Ocean Spray’s social responsibility and their healthier and celebration-worthy products; showing that Ocean Spray could become more than just a Thanksgiving staple, a sugar-filled juice cocktail, and another corporate name.
Going to Corpus Christi to compete in the National Student Advertising Competition was an incredible experience for Ad Team Leader Sara Jane Stephens. “It was so wonderful to see the team’s handwork pay off. Our presentation went really well, and Harrison, Amy, Alex and I had so much fun presenting our campaign to the judges and the audience,” she said. “I am really proud of the team and very grateful to Dr. Edwards and Professor Benson for their guidance and hard work.”
Ad Team Leader Amy Cooley believes the hard work and late nights that the team put into the entire campaign and presentation were validated by the awards received. “I could not be more excited to have received two awards at NSAC this year,” she said. “This experience more than anything has prepared me for the real world in advertising, and I’m so thankful to have been able to be a part of it all.”
Advertising majors are required to complete ADV 4399 Advertising Campaigns as part of their curriculum. This class combines major advertising theories with practice, allowing students to develop and present an advertising campaign to a real client based on current advertising challenges that the client is facing. Students that take Advertising Campaigns during the Spring semester have the opportunity to participate in the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC). Recent NSAC clients include Tai Pei Frozen Foods (2017) Snapple (2016) Pizza Hut (2015) Mary Kay (2014) Glidden Paint (2013) and Nissan (2012).
TAI Brand Management Student, Alissa Llort, said that being a member of SMU’s Ad Team was her most rewarding college experience. “I just loved the experience and would do it all over again,” she said. “Being part of the SMU Ad Team this semester allowed me to immerse into the actual process of building a campaign and experience the real advertising life!”
Please join the Temerlin Advertising Institute in congratulating this year’s SMU-TAI’s NSAC team on their outstanding work and accomplishments!
Members of the 2018 SMU-TAI’s NSAC team are: Hayley Banas, Myla Borden, Mary Charles Byers, Amy Cooley, Rita de Obarrio, Harrison Fiveash, Anne-Marie Geisler, Conrad Li, Alissa Llort, Alex Mackillop, London Mercer, Shelby Pointer, Juan Reyes, Sara Jane Stephens, Sara Ann Whiteley and Frank Zhang.