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 withLuque. 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.” 

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.

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 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.

INDUSTRY CONNECTIONS: Professor Mark Allen’s Wildly Talented Students

Temerlin Advertising Institute’s Senior Lecturer Mark Allen shares his journey from high school art class to advertising professor on the We Are Next podcast. Allen found his love for advertising early on, established RedCape consultancy working with clients such as Martha Stewart, and currently feeds his passion for teaching wildly talented students at SMU.

In fact, one of Allen’s former wildly talented students, Elizabeth Entenman (B.A. Advertising 2010), introduced him to We Are Next founder Natalie Kim for the sit-down and sharing of advice learned over his varied career in the field of advertising. We Are Next is a resource for students and junior talent entering the advertising and marketing industry. This platform offers mentorships, a robust jobs board, and a variety of career advice-related content.

An interest in art, followed by a design course in high school, led Allen to major in drawing & painting and communication design and minor in advertising while in college. Post-graduation, Allen recounts leaving his creative work with recruiters at many notable agencies. He once found a note from an agency principal inside his book. Allen says, “I was so excited to see the note, but it read Nice book. Can’t tell if you’re an art director or copywriter.

He fondly retells this story to students as a critical moment in the progression of a career in advertising to help prepare them for the ups and downs that come along with building a reputation in the field. In the podcast, Allen recommends making creative portfolios stand out to potential employers by:

    1. Showing your best work.
    2. Making sure big ideas are supported by great craft.
    3. Showing a sense of restraint, whether it is in art direction, writing or the selection of products and clients. It shows a sense of maturity.
    4. Developing a good sense of taste over time by looking at lots of great work in Communication Arts annuals and The One Show, as well as Cannes and Clio award winners, to start. It is one of the most valuable things a student can do.
    5. Showcasing quality work over quantity. Recruiters usually skim portfolios, so make sure to highlight your strengths and capabilities. Also, include class or spec work that you are excited about, as it gives employers a sense for the types of clients that would be a good fit for your skills.
    6. Identifying and articulating problems, not only in a brief, but in brainstorming and day-to-day interactions. It helps to refine your craft and identifies you as somebody who can help other people, setting you up for director-level positions.

In advising students, Allen adds, “Look at ads and ask yourself questions such as, what is the problem? How did they solve it? When you see good work, identify what is compelling and deconstruct it a little bit. What makes it great? How and why did they make that?”

Listen to the full episode of the We Are Next Podcast.

See some of the creative awards won by SMU Advertising students at the 2020 National Student Show and the 2020 AAF Dallas awards show.

INDUSTRY CONNECTIONS: Advertising Course Connects Students to Internships

Last week the Temerlin Advertising Institute hosted its annual communications career fair, organized by Temerlin’s Sandi Edgar and held in conjunction with her Business Communications class. The evening began with Ivonne Kinser from Avocados From Mexico and Francisco Cardenas from LERMA/ breaking down their Super Bowl strategy and the cross-collaboration needed to produce their award-winning work. Students then met with agencies hiring for both full-time and internship positions.

Have a position you’d like to share with our students? Learn more here.

Thank you to all who participated:

Agency Entourage

Avocados From Mexico

Inspire

Launch Agency

LERMA/

MarketScale

RocketBrand

Slant Partners

The Power Group

The Richards Group

INDUSTRY CONNECTIONS: What’s it Like to Serve on a Board of Directors?

Temerlin’s Sandi Edgar wanted to know more about the AAF so she started attending events, this quickly evolved into joining the AAF Dallas Board of Directors in 2018. There she met some pretty incredible advertisers and quickly found her way as the AAF Dallas Education Chair.

A board of directors is the governing body of a nonprofit which is responsible for overseeing an organization’s activities. In this case, AAF Dallas board members meet monthly to discuss and vote on the affairs of the chapter. In addition to attending these meetings and AAF events, Edgar creates programs to engage college students and works with other board members to include educational initiatives in their planning. In 2019, AAF Dallas won second place nationally for its 17 educational programs! “Serving on a board is a really fun and rewarding way to serve our industry and community, I strongly recommend everyone connect to a non-profit and give back” Edgar explains.

Edgar has a new AAF position and recently sat down with Ray Schilens, CEO and founder of Radio Lounge, to discuss her role as the first American Advertising Federation District Education chair. As District 10 education chair, Edgar serves as a liaison between AAF national and district educational programs and initiatives. Whether it’s working with local representatives to onboard new NSAC (National Student Advertising Competition) schools, relaying information to professors in the district, or working with clubs to involve students, this role is new for the AAF and continues to evolve. Listen here: https://share.transistor.fm/s/cfae3f24

INDUSTRY CONNECTIONS: An Inside Opportunity Most Industry Insiders Would Love.

SMU Advertising students spent their winter vacation exploring the Dallas Advertising Industry.

A special topics course led by Professor Peter Noble delved into current media, advertising agency structure, and agency work culture for six hours per day for eight days as part of SMU’s January Term. A group of select undergraduate and graduate students visited Dallas ad agencies including TracyLocke and The Richards Group to get a backstage tour of the agencies, network and get the insiders’ perspectives from presentations given by agency professionals themselves.

Many students participate in for-credit internships through the Temerlin Advertising Institute Internship Program. “Students are able to find their own internships, but many agencies actively seek out our students as they are ready to contribute from day one,” relayed Professor Noble.

Graduate student Munir Abdurahman describes the power of small courses at Temerlin: “The experience I had at Commerce House is something I’ll always remember about this course. After we toured the agency I spent some time talking to the person that gave us the tour. I asked her some questions about what her experience was like during her graduate career at SMU. Lauren mentioned that it was a wonderful experience and that she wouldn’t be where she is today without being in the program. She also mentioned that I should always network and be involved in the program as opportunities can come out of nowhere!”

SMU Advertising students have recently interned at:

Employers interested in hiring our students, please see the following information about the internship program.

 

FACULTY SPOTLIGHT: Home is a Journey Recap

“I literally look homeless right now.”

Words overheard from a classmate in my 9:30 am Logo Design class.

Her outfit: a pair of sweatpants and a loose-fitting t-shirt.

The word “homeless” carries such a heavy stigma, and that weight falls on the shoulders of those who have been there.

Creative Advertising professor, Willie Baronet, has been buying and collecting homeless signs for a project titled WE ARE ALL HOMELESS which he created in 1993. To me, this project acts as a gesture to humanize the people who have unwillingly been made invisible. While interacting with a homeless person on a street corner, I’m certain I’m not the only one who fiddles with my A/C, pretends to see something important on my phone, or just looks the other way. The people who find themselves in such adverse circumstances are completely ignored. Reduced to nothing but sharpies on cardboard.

On a chilly November morning, Willie Baronet brought Home is a Journey to SMU. The first annual walk to raise awareness about homelessness, compassion, gratitude and privilege. Students and supporters marched from Doak Walker Plaza to Dallas Hall Lawn, carrying authentic homeless signs, created and held by someone experiencing homelessness. A lineup of compelling speakers shared their stories about experiencing homelessness, an eye-opening and humbling experience for everyone in attendance.

Baronet recounts the event, “The most poignant moment of the whole march was when we turned right on the boulevard. I looked back and saw a line of 120 people, nobody smiling, nobody talking, all carrying signs…the gravity of that image was so powerful.”

This week, the majority of SMU’s student body will go home for the holidays.

Which prompts the question: What is home?

Is it a group of people? A familiar location? A feeling?

Whatever home means to you, this project intends to shift your perspective, remove the stigma around homelessness and create a sense of gratitude for what you do have.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.weareallhomeless.org/

 

Photos:

This past weekend was the Home is a Journey event which held the first annual SMU walk to raise awareness about…

Posted by SMU Meadows School of the Arts on Monday, November 4, 2019

Kaleb Mulugeta

FACULTY SPOTLIGHT: Praise From a Class Client

Class Clients

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.

Click to learn more or apply to be a Temerlin Class Client

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Praise from one of last semester’s class clients below…

May 16, 2018

Peter,

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.

 

Maria Coello

Cox Insurance Group, LLC

photo credit: source