TAI Digital Media Strategy Students Dive Into The Changing Landscape of Fast-Casual Dining

With the success of fast-casual restaurants on the rise, fast-food chains have to find new ways to attract customers as they’re losing market share to their fast-casual competitors. Many restaurants are trying to appeal to the popular consumer segment of Millenials, who seem to value overall experience and atmosphere very highly when it comes to dining out.

Fast-food chains, including KFC, Arby’s, and Taco Bell, have started redesigning their restaurants, inside and out, to appeal to consumers. According to Ad Week, a lot of these chains, Arby’s especially, have seen aging customer bases. Redesigning the physical stores, many of which are outdated, is a way for these chains to increase customer satisfaction in their existing customers, while creating interest in consumers who might not be customers yet.

One view of Dickey's Barbecue Pit's new restaurant layout.
One view of Dickey’s Barbecue Pit’s new restaurant layout. Photo credit: Franchise Times

“The fast-casual restaurant industry is a market that is still in its growth phase, meaning that there is a lot of room within the market,” TAI Digital Media student Nicholas McCall said. “For the fast food industry, the barriers to entry are almost non-existent due to their already existing supply change. A small change in the food and atmosphere of a fast food restaurant would not be tough to make happen; however, rebranding a company’s [established] brand into a healthy, fast-casual option would be slow to materialize.”

These new and improved store designs have typically followed updates to the stores’ menus, keeping up with changing consumer tastes. The overall idea is for fast-food chains to be able to compete with rising fast-casual restaurants, urging customers to spend more time in the store by providing a better atmosphere and better food options.

“Consumers are busier than ever as well as more focused on their health,” TAI Digital Media student Paige Brown said. “Fast-casual restaurants offer the best options available that provide both of these increasingly influential factors at a reasonable price.”

One view of Dickey's new restaurant layout.
Another view of Dickey’s new restaurant layout. Photo credit: Franchise Times

This semester, TAI’s second year Digital Media Strategy students are working with a class client, Dickey’s Barbecue, in the fast-casual industry in their Digital Media Strategy 3 course. Last year, Dickey’s introduced their newly designed store into the market, with a completely new tone and vibe. Now our students are working to help Dickey’s find innovative ways to bring new consumer segments into their store, mostly through digital efforts.

As we’ve seen, newly designed stores and up-to-date menus are a must-have to be competitive in the market. With fast-casual restaurants continuing to improve, will fast-food chains be able to keep up? Even a newly designed fast-food restaurant might not be enough to beat out the modern feel of a fast-casual restaurant. The stigma surrounding fast food might be hard to overcome for these chains.

TAI Alum Sarah Erickson Returns as Guest Speaker in Professor Mendenhall’s Typography Course

Name lecturing in Professor Mendenhall's Typography course.
Sarah Erickson lecturing about brush lettering techniques in Professor Mendenhall’s Typography course.

Thursday, November 3, TAI Creative Advertising and Graphic Design Professor Cheryl Mendenhall had a guest speaker lecture in her Typography course. The speaker was TAI Alum Sarah Erickson (’15), who is a designer for Doodle Dog Creative and owner of and designer for Sarah Ann Design. Erickson specializes in Calligraphy and lectured the students about the ins and outs of Calligraphy in regards to Typography.

Professor Mendenhall’s students were fascinated by Erickson’s lecture, and it is always exciting for professors to have former students come back, especially to lecture on their career and area of expertise.

“Sarah has amazing lettering skills!” Professor Mendenhall said. “It was great to have her back on campus and show us how she’s using these skills in her work and to teach us a few lettering techniques.”

Sample of work by Erickson for Sarah Ann Design. Photo Credit: Sarah Ann Design
Sample of work by Erickson for Sarah Ann Design. Photo Credit: Sarah Ann Design

TAI professors love to have guest speakers lecture in their classes to provide students with a different perspective from someone currently in the industry.

Industry Guest Speakers to Visit TAI Professor Kim’s Digital Media Strategy Class

In the upcoming weeks, TAI Professor Eunjin (Anna) Kim will be hosting multiple guest speakers in her Digital Media Strategy 1 class. She is inviting any interested students to come sit in her class on the day of these speakers as well.

James Moore, Chief Revenue Officer at Simpli.fi
James Moore, Chief Revenue Officer at Simpli.fi

The first guest speaker is James Moore, Chief Revenue Officer at Simpli.fi, specializing in Programmatic Advertising & DSP (Demand-Side Platform). On Tuesday, October 18, Moore will speak about Programmatic Advertising. He will address the evolution of online marketing and how data driven RTB (Real Time Bidding) has changed the way media is bought and sold; common tactics and real life applications for programmatic display, mobile, video, and social; how the target works: Geo-Fencing, Site RT, Search RT, category and keyword contextual; and what’s next in programmatic.

Paul Buckley, President of D Custom
Paul Buckley, President of D Custom

The second guest speaker will be Paul Buckley, President of D Custom, a Content Marketing Subsidiary of D Magazine. On Tuesday October 25, Buckley will speak about Content Marketing. He will be talking about content marketing strategy, trends, challenges and opportunities for digital marketers, and what’s next in content marketing.

The third guest speaker is Mike Wylie, Managing Director Dallas at Wpromote, specializing in Paid Search and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). On Thursday, October 27, Wylie will speak about Search Marketing.

The last guest speaker is Brad B. McCormick, Chief Digital Officer at Moroch, a Dallas-based top 10 independent ad agency. On Tuesday, November 8, McCormick will speak about Social and Mobile Media Marketing.

Detailed topics for the last two speakers will be distributed soon.

While these lectures will occur in Professor Kim’s Digital Media Strategy 1 class, all interested students are welcome to attend any of the lectures. All lectures will be at 12:30pm in ULEE 234.

TAI Creative Advertising Students Meet with Industry Professionals for Critique

On Monday, September 12, first-year TAI Creative Advertising students in Professor Mark Allen’s Concepting class were given an opportunity that many students will never get – to show their work to multiple industry professionals and get feedback from people who are currently working in the field.

Professor Allen calls it “Speed-Dating Critique.” Each professional is stationed at a separate table to speak one-on-one with the students, who will each have a stack of 50-60 concept sketches loosely organized by similar concepts and themes. Students spend roughly ten minutes with at least three to four different professionals throughout the class period, receiving feedback on which of their ideas are most promising.

Professor Allen's Concepting class during "Speed-Dating Critique."
Professor Allen’s Concepting class during “Speed-Dating Critique.”

“I do this event twice every semester,” Professor Allen said. “But this time the response from the local advertising community has been overwhelming—we typically have 4-5 professionals volunteer to review work, but this time I [had] 14-16!”

Some of the professionals who participated in the critique include: Steve Grimes, Creative Director (CD) at The Richards Group; Shelby Tamura, Art Director (AD) at The Richards Group; Dr. Ben Wyeth, Copywriter at The Richards Group and SMU Adjunct Professor; Randall Kenworthy, Freelance Copywriter; Greg Hunter, Group Creative Director (GCD) and Principal at Firehouse; Julie Bowman, Senior CD at Slingshot; Jose Benitez, Senior Copywriter at Dieste; Arturo Lee, AD at Dieste; Jason Shipp, GCD at Moroch and SMU Adjunct Professor; Matt Villanueva, Associate Creative Director at Moroch; and Matt Lindner, Copywriter at Moroch.

“I gained some priceless advice after talking with industry professionals during Concepting,” sophomore TAI student Jolie Guz said. “I still cannot believe that in my third week in the Creative program, we were able to put our work in front of art directors and copywriters from The Richards Group, Moroch and more. I am looking forward to being able to meet more and more Dallas area creatives during my time in Temerlin!”

Several of these advertising professionals are alums of TAI, having attended SMU for their undergraduate and/or graduate degrees. Having successful professionals visit an undergraduate class to provide input on student work is an incredible experience. However, having successful professionals who were once in your exact same position (in the same program at the same school) is an invaluable experience, providing students with even more motivation and confidence to be successful in their careers after graduation.

The Temerlin Advertising Institute offers students the opportunity to earn a BA in Advertising while specializing their knowledge in one of three key industry areas: Creative, Digital Media Strategy, and Strategic Brand Management. The major is designed to provide students with the optimal blend of theory and practice. Learn more about the major and specializations here.

Learning Centuries-Old Techniques with Digital Technology

by Cheryl Mendenhall MendenhallCheryl

In all of my classes you will hear me talking about the invention of the movable-type printing press by Johannes Gutenberg back in the 15th century. Movable type had been used in Asia hundreds of years earlier but Gutenberg’s methods made production much easier. His invention revolutionized printing, distribution of printed materials and influenced the development of typography. Printing methods did not change, albeit a few improvements, for hundreds of years. But as new printing methods finally came about, letterpress began to fade and all but disappeared in the 1980s with the rise of the computer. It has now seen a revival as the look of handcrafted pieces has become popular again – especially for invitations, stationery and posters.

letterpress

We are so used to instant printing now that I wanted students to get a feel for what the letterpress printing process entailed. A field trip to a letterpress shop would be ideal but hard to accomplish with an 80 minute class in the middle of the day. I have however been able to bring a little bit of the experience to class by using of all things the iPad. I think it’s interesting to be able to use digital technology to experience something from centuries ago. We do miss the tactile aspect of the printing, but students are able to get a sense of how to compose a piece for the press. Imagine having to place each letter individually on the press bed. And add on top of that it needs to be upside down and read left to right. Not an easy task. Even with its complications, the students create some really fun pieces in a short amount of time. Working with Meadows to supply iPads for the activity, I’ve been able to use a new technology to help students experience a very old technology.

Below are some examples from my classes

examples

Photographer Stewart Cohen Helps TAI Students See Advertising Through His Lens

by Mark Allen AllenMark

There are few things more frustrating for a creative advertising student than the moment they realize they’re going to have to settle for producing a lesser idea simply because the better idea requires production techniques, expertise or equipment that aren’t typically available to students. As I professor, I struggle with this reality, too. On one hand, I want to encourage a creative process that’s free and unencumbered by the usual limits and setbacks that students will no doubt face in their professional career. Whether it’s a creative director, or a client or an accountant, they will always have someone telling them “No.” So as much as I can, while they are in school, I always try to say “Yes” to the strongest ideas, regardless of what the production needs are. On the other, I have to be realistic and help students actually produce finished, polished work that they can be proud of and put in their portfolios.

One of the most common dilemmas that students bump into (or crash into) at the end of their ideation phase is the realization that the best idea is going to require high-end photography to pull it off right. And often this includes all the accompanying bells and whistles: cameras, lenses, lighting, location, models, and a host of various other specialized expertise. I’ve been amazed at how resourceful Ramen-eating college students can be as they scavenge the world for images and Photoshop their way to stunning imagery composited from a variety of sources. But I’ve also been impressed by students who have been able to find serious professional photographers who are willing to help bring a their vision to life – on a student budget or even pro bono.

Of the gracious and talented photographers who have worked with my students over the years, Stewart Cohen is perhaps the most consistent. He also happens to be one of the most respected commercial photographers in the business. He has won countless industry awards and has been profiled in Communication Arts Magazine and selected by Adweek as Photographer of the Year. All this to say, Stewart’s willingness to help my students is not because he’s trying to make a name for himself or because he doesn’t have enough paying clients. Quite the contrary, Stewart is constantly busy shooting for the biggest agencies and brands all over the world.

stewart_cohen
Stewart Cohen talks to Mark Allen’s Portfolio class about his experience as an award-winning commercial photographer and director.

But unlike other talented photographers, Stewart Cohen is a genuinely nice guy who believes in giving back. This isn’t to say that he’ll just shoot for any bright-eyed college student who’s in a bind – you’ve got to have a great idea first. As a professor, one of the things I appreciate most about Stewart is that he makes my students work for it. Every time he has taken on a project with one of my students, they always beam about all the things they learned with Stewart’s help – things that I’ll be the first to admit they couldn’t have learned in the classroom. At least not in my classroom.

Speaking of classrooms – Stewart recently agreed to come to SMU to speak to my Portfolio class about art direction and photography. He showed us a ton of great work with interesting backstories to each image. He doled out sage advice and fielded questions from a group that was eager to pick his brain for helpful hints on what it takes to do work at his level. In preparing for his visit, Stewart and I also discussed the possibility of a summer course for art direction and photography students – one that wouldn’t take place in a classroom, per se, but in a studio – Stewart’s photography studio, in fact. Although the final details of the class are still taking shape, the course is officially on the books for Summer 1.

Stewart Cohen photography for student campaign // Students: Jeremiah Alvarez and Ruth Sanchez // Client: Lush Cosmetics
Stewart Cohen photography for student campaign // Students: Jeremiah Alvarez and Ruth Sanchez // Client: Lush Cosmetics

Here’s a look at the learning objectives and course structure:

ADV 5301 Art Direction & Photography: (3 hrs) An exploration of the art direction skill set as it applies to photography in advertising and graphic design. Prerequisites: students must submit application.

In this course you will learn how to:

– Find and approach photographers/directors for advertising and design projects.

– Convey a conceptual vision to a photographer and a diverse range of creative professionals.

– Understand the inner workings of a professional studio by observing “real-world” photoshoots.

– Work side-by-side with photographers to produce quality images based on original concepts.

– Understand where the art director’s role ends and the photographer’s role begins (and overlap).

– Identify the need for necessary support roles (e.g., stylists, assistants, location scouts, etc.)

– Use design principles as they apply to photography (e.g., framing, cropping, balance, perspective, color).

– Identify and use the proper cameras, lighting and other equipment.

– Use proper terminology when art directing a shoot and communicating with a photographer/director.

– Discern differences and special considerations: studio vs. location; people vs. things; food vs. materials.

– Use pre and post-production techniques to ensure the capture and production of high-quality images.

– Create high-quality imagery with the equipment, resources and budget of a typical college student.

While this course is scheduled during the Summer 1 session, which runs from May 30th–June 29th, this class will take place in a concentrated and somewhat flexible format as opposed to the usual summer school schedule of 2 hours a day, 5 days a week. Concentrated, in the sense that most of our contact hours will occur during a few full-day photoshoots (6-8 hours) outside the classroom. Flexible, in the sense that we will be working according to the schedule of our illustrious photography partner, Stewart Cohen.

TAI Welcomes Incoming 2015 Cohort to New Undergraduate Advertising Curriculum

On Thursday August 20th, the Temerlin Advertising Institute (TAI) held orientation for newly admitted advertising majors. Over 50 students attended along with the entire team of faculty & staff. Institute t-shirts were given away to these exceptional students while faculty presented their backgrounds along with faculty expectations of this selected group of majors.

1 TAI UG Orientation-groupStudents pursuing a B.A. in advertising now have the opportunity to focus their studies in one of three areas: creative, digital media strategy or strategic brand management. Director of the Temerlin Advertising Institute, Dr. Steve Edwards claims, “We are creating students who are a value-add to agencies and marketing companies right from graduation.”

The new students had to undertake a competitive advertising application as well ascomplete a video application for the specialization. TAI Faculty reviewed all applications to select the best candidates to admit.  Edwards, said “The new curriculum is cutting edge and intended to make our students even more valuable in the field. We are training them in all the important traditional areas of advertising, but also working to better meet the demands of a technology inundated, fast paced, and results driven 21st Century advertising industry.”

2 TAI Faculty-Staff Orientation

Courses in the new curriculum range from Digital Media Landscapes to Digital Media Strategy and Media Measurement and Metrics as well as Strategic Brand Management, Research, Account Planning and Business Communication. All tracks will take a capstone campaigns course where they will work to solve a problem for a real world client.

For more information about the undergraduate curriculum in advertising, click here!

TAI First-Year Graduate Students Present Campaign Proposal to Dude, Sweet Chocolate

First row (left to right): Jing Jin, Colleen O’Brien, Erica Chiarello, Snow Wang, Chef Katherine Clapner, Emily Mize, Marin Berardi, Diana Herrera, April Yu, Dr. Sidharth Muralidharan. Second Row: Robert Keeler, Preston Barrett.

As a final project for the Responsibility and Social Entrepreneurship (ADV 6372) class, two teams of Temerlin Advertising Institute graduate students— Legendary and AMP’D, under the supervision of Assistant Professor Sidharth Muralidharan—created advertising campaign proposals with a social responsibility focus for Dude, Sweet Chocolate (DSC). The primary emphases were to create awareness of the brand and its’ offerings of quality chocolates and to highlight how the brand is giving back to the community.

The presentations were judged by Chef Katherine Clapner (Co-founder & Co-owner), Emily Mize (Corporate and Wholesale Accounts), and Robert Keeler (Chief Operating Officer). Keeler was very impressed and pleased with both proposals saying “We were very surprised by their insights to our business and their creativity.”

Legendary
Legendary Group: Snow Wang, Colleen O’Brien, Jing Jin, Erica Chiarello

For the group, ‘Legendary’, Chef Clapner goes on to mention “the wedding charity, the sampling truck, contacting SMU catering, the contest, and ad design. They were some really good ideas.” According to Clapner, AMP’D ‘got’ their primary target audience and “understood we are trying to create an experience for our customers when they come into our stores.”

AMPD
AMP’D: April Yu, Diana Herrera, Marin Berardi, Preston Barrett

Dr. Sid commented on the presentations, noting “I am really proud of both teams as they were able to effectively use advertising to strategically market the socially responsible initiatives of DSC but without making it come across as standoffish. Combining the ideas from both proposals can open up even more opportunities for the Dude, Sweet Chocolate brand.

Social responsibility is a cornerstone of the Temerlin Advertising Institute’s Masters in Advertising program. ADV 6372: Responsibility and Social Entrepreneurship is just one of several courses with a focus on social responsibility that students in the Institute’s MA in Advertising program are required to take. These courses, and the experiences gained through working with real clients, equip graduates to become leaders in the advertising industry by helping them recognize their responsibility to their brands, their consumers, their industry and their society.

Former Television Host, Mark Bunting, Teaching Technology Marketing Class at Temerlin Advertising Institute

hdrTechMarketingGuru

SPRING 2015 – ADV 5302: Technology Marketing and Advertising 

The Course: Taking cue from Inside the Actors Studio, this weekly 3-hour class will include guest speakers from some of the industry’s biggest names. We will explore a myriad of topics involving the marketing and advertising of technology products and services.

Professor Mark Bunting is the former television host of many popular computer programs from CNBC, The Discovery Channel and The Learning Channel, www.MarkBunting.com www.SkyTV.net.

As a serial entrepreneur in both tech and media, Mark will expose students to a broad spectrum of topics within the technology advertising/marketing arena. A few of the topics will includes

  • Marketing Technology to Consumers
  • Agency and Client Relationship
  • Social Networking and The Changing Media Landscape
  • Entrepreneurialism
  • Print Advertising
  • PR’s Role in the Communication Mix
  • Marketing’s Influence in the Product Development Cycle Out of home/Alternative Media
  • Mobile and Social 

This class is designed to help students to understand the fundamental disciplines of strategy, creative, media and interactive in all facets of marketing communications for the high technology industry. A rich schedule of leading high tech marketing executives will present general case histories, new product go-to-market launch initiatives, general state-of-affairs and developing trends in technology marketing, as well as creative/media “problem solutions” that run the gamut from traditional “brand development” to “crisis or advocacy” work.

Students will hear directly from many of the marketing and advertising executives from Silicon Valley and the media industry. The program is designed to expose communication students pursuing Creative, PR, Agency, or Media careers to a portfolio of leading thinkers in the vertical of technology and consumer electronics. In addition, entrepreneurial opportunities in the changing landscape of a “new media” will also be explored.

In addition, we will explore the latest trends in digital advertising from mobile to social and its impact across marketing segments and industries. Entrepreneurialism in media will also be covered, as will the exploration of career opportunities involving all of the aforementioned.

Guest Speakers have included a number of key executives from leading technology and media enterprises. Past Speakers have included:

  • Sam Gilliland, Chairman and CEO of Sabre (Travelocity.com),
  • Rich Silverstein, of Goodby Silverstein
  • Howard Mittman, publisher of WIRED Magazine,
  • Colette LaForce– Chief Marketing Officer (AMD),
  • Rob Wrubel, Chief Innovation Officer – (University of Phoenix), and
  • Ann Finney – PR (Hewlett Packard).

Speakers from TI, Samsung and technology companies will also share their experiences throughout the semester.