INDUSTRY CONNECTIONS: Stone Boutique Partners with Campaigns Students

Stone Boutique is a Dallas-based fine and rare stone showroom that brings cutting-edge slab technology to the interior design consumer. Owners Francisco and Margarita Acosta are dedicated to disrupting the industry by leveraging their patented technology to pioneer a new start-to-finish purchasing experience. They explain:

“For us, discovering a once-in-a-lifetime slab is a magical experience. Over the course of our first 30 years in the industry, we watched in awe as pieces forged by the history of the world’s most intriguing places were unearthed, only to be delivered to the customer through a lifeless, inefficient, and frustrating processes. It wasn’t good enough for the customer or for us.”

The Acosta’s aspire to increase sales, expand offerings globally, and roll out a proprietary process to revolutionize the consumer journey. They have partnered this fall with Professor Peter Noble’s campaigns course seeking a complete integrated marketing and messaging strategy to achieve this goal. “We partnered with Stone Boutique for two reasons. First, they provide our senior advertising students with an unusual challenge — their business spans both business-to-business and business-to-consumer product categories. And second, with their proprietary technology Stone Boutique has the potential to rapidly grow from a relatively recent start-up into a leading global brand. They’re poised to disrupt the entire stone industry. At this stage in their brand development, Stone Boutique was interested in raising and enhancing awareness of their revolutionary stone selection process,” Noble explains. Temerlin students are eagerly working on the campaign; two teams will present a plans book and virtual presentation to the client early next month.

Our students greatly benefit from working with real-world class clients such as Stone Boutique.

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.

ALUMNI UPDATE: Network with an Advertising Alumnus

Careers in the advertising industry heavily rely on networking opportunities; jobs are often found through referrals, former colleagues, and various industry events and organizations. The Meadows School of the Arts recently conducted research that revealed current students want to engage with fellow alumni but don’t always know how to make the first step. With traditional agency tours, internships, and industry events on pause, the need for student networking opportunities is critical. Recently, SMU launched a new platform, The SMU Network, to bridge the gap between current students and alumni.

Nikki Koenig graduated from Meadows in 2005 with her B.A. in Advertising. She founded Cykochik, a handbag, apparel and lifestyle company, from her dorm room during her undergraduate degree at SMU. Koenig used the tools acquired through her advertising courses to build a successful brand and quit her corporate job to focus full-time on Cykochik in 2013.

While Koenig was an SMU student, she also interned at Group Baronet, now MasonBaronet, an agency owned by Willie Baronet. Baronet, now the Stan Richards Professor in Creative Advertising at the Temerlin Advertising Institute, joined SMU in 2014. Over the past sixteen years, they have remained close; now she regularly speaks to his Intro to Creativity students, and guest critiques many of his creative courses and senior portfolios.

“Koenig has inspired many of my students with her edgy and illustrative designs and her passion for brand building with environmentally sustainable materials,” Baronet explains.

Koenig now serves on the Meadows 2050 Council to engage and connect Meadows alumni with students and serves as a mentor for The SMU Network.

To learn more about The SMU Network or sign up, please visit: https://smunetwork.com/

FACULTY RESEARCH: How Luxury Brands Can Curate Luxe Experiences for Digital Media

As of late, luxury brands have shifted their focus to engage consumers with more meaningful and compelling digital content. According to Dr. Quan Xie, Assistant Professor of Advertising in the Temerlin Advertising Institute, only a small percentage of consumers can afford high-end luxury products, but it is not surprising to see those who aspire to this lifestyle also engross themselves in luxury branded content.

In recent research published in the Journal of Interactive Advertising, Dr. Xie studies luxury fashion brands’ content marketing practices on YouTube, and demonstrates that consumers’ perceived experiential value, social value, and unique value of the luxury branded content are positively related to their perceived brand exclusivity and customer intimacy, which in turn, will boost consumers’ loyalty toward the brand. In addition, consumers’ perceived functional value of the luxury brand’s YouTube channel is positively related to their perceived brand prestige and exclusivity. However, viewers’ perceived informative value was found not relate to brand prestige, exclusivity, or customer intimacy, suggesting that the informative value of luxury content may not play a role in brand building of high-end luxury fashion brands.

While a luxury brand like Bentley boasts around 7.8 million Instagram followers, Hermès has more than 10 million followers, and Dior maintains a following of 32.7 million. Having a large group of followers may generally be seen positively, but for luxury brands seeking to build long-term loyalty, marketers must boost consumers’ perceived brand exclusivity and concentrate on building an intimate customer-brand relationship.

Dr. Xie points to Chanel as the cornerstone for luxury brand-consumer engagement through an ambitious and meticulously planned content strategy. At the beginning of this year, they had around 52 million followers on Twitter and Instagram, and 1.65 million fans on YouTube, which makes Chanel the leading luxury brand across all platforms. For example, they post regularly and consistently while adopting a video-first strategy. This well-crafted content has successfully transformed general viewers into faithful audiences. That said, any time the focus is on luxury brand interactions, the experience must leave consumers with the perception of brand scarcity.

Brand scarcity refers to the rareness of the product or service (e.g., scarce materials, limited accessibility, and distribution) that enhance consumers’ desire or preferences. Since luxury experiences provide more customized services and cost more than conventional experiential purchases, luxury experiences are entitled to greater exclusivity. Luxury brands also aim to evoke exclusivity at all customer contact points.

In the end, Dr. Xie’s research suggests luxury brands should aim to create content that offers experiential value, such as backstage stories, intriguing legacy narratives, and content that is unique to luxury branding – like aesthetic close-up of craftsmanship, as well as content that promises social value to followers. These content values will contribute to followers’ perceived scarcity and intimacy of luxury brands, which, in turn, can build up to greater brand loyalty. Additionally, reliable social media channels can also contribute to increased brand exclusivity. Luxury brands should strategically humanize their owned social media channels to transform them into credible information sources among followers.

Click to learn more about Dr. Quan Xie and her research.

FACULTY SPOTLIGHT: Dr. La Ferle Attends Global CMO Growth Council Meeting

Dr. Carrie La Ferle, Marriott Endowed Professor of Ethics & Culture, participated in the Global CMO Growth Council meeting last week in NYC examining Brand Experience, Creativity, & Media. The meeting focused on putting people first to drive growth through innovation, insights, creativity, experiential, and media.

Over the past two years, the ANA, Cannes Lions, and the Global CMO Growth Council have identified four priorities for driving industry growth: 1) Data, Technology, and Measurement; 2) Talent and Marketing Organization; 3) Brand Experience, Creativity, and Media; and 4) Society and Sustainability.

Anheuser-Busch graciously hosted the event last week and several CMOs cutting across multiple companies joined from Ernst & Young and Moet Hennessy to Subway, Stoli Group and Viacom as well as from Cannes Lions. Marcel Marcondes, U.S. CMO Anheuser-Busch provided a great overview of how Anheuser-Busch is working to drive growth by learning and listening more to consumers while also diversifying their offerings. Spencer Gordon, VP, Digital for Anheuser-Busch shared some of the recent wins that were driven by starting small and local to ensure relevance, using social media, then listening to reactions, and broadening the scope when reactions were good.

Future meetings are planned over the next few months across the four priorities leading up to Cannes Lions, where the Global CMO Growth Council originated in 2018.

FACULTY SPOTLIGHT: Can Design Help Combat Homelessness?

Evictions are a serious national issue and extreme weather events displace thousands, houselessness is one of our society’s biggest challenges. Professor Willie Baronet is excited to participate in the new exhibition Houseless where Alaska’s Anchorage Museum invites visitors to considers ways design can contribute to solutions.

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 supporting individuals and communities in problem-solving together.

Willie Baronet began WE ARE ALL HOMELESS in 1993 due to the awkwardness he felt when he pulled up to an intersection and encountered a person holding a sign, asking for help. Like many, Baronet wrestled with whether or not he was doing good by giving them money. “Mostly I struggled with my moral obligations, and how my own choices contributed in conscious or unconscious ways to the poverty I was witnessing. 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.” Baronet’s relationship to the homeless has been powerfully and permanently altered. The conversations and connections have left an indelible mark on his heart. He explains “I still wrestle with personal questions regarding generosity, goodness, compassion, and guilt. And what it means to be homeless: practically, spiritually, emotionally? Is home a physical place, a building, a structure, a house? Or is it a state of being, a sense of safety, of being provided for, of identity? I see these signs as signposts of my own journey, inward and outward, of reconciling my own life with my judgments about those experiencing homelessness.”

Opening night, WE ARE ALL HOMELESS at the Anchorage Museum

Houseless is an installation of hundreds of the signs Baronet has purchased over the past two decades. “This is the largest WE ARE ALL HOMELESS exhibit to date, and I’m honored to be a part of Houseless at the Anchorage Museum. I love how this project is integrated into the classes I teach at SMU, where many of my students have volunteered to help AND have been inspired to start their own purpose-driven projects, which contributes to our desire to teach principled advertising. I’m also very excited to be working with students from SMU’s Human Rights program led by Rick Halperin. Some of his students have volunteered to work on the WE ARE ALL HOMELESS non-profit impact campaign in order to meet their class requirements. I always love finding ways to collaborate across disciplines at SMU” explains Baronet.

To learn more about this initiative please visit http://www.weareallhomeless.org/ and watch Willie’s award-winning documentary Signs of Humanity which is available to stream on Amazon.

 

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Introducing the 2020 SMU NSAC Adobe Team

By Kaleb Mulugeta

SMU’s Temerlin Advertising Institute is home to three undergraduate advertising tracks specializing in their respective disciplines: Creative, Digital Media Strategy and Strategic Brand Management. Mimicking an advertising agency setting, NSAC unites the three tracks to collaborate on a multi-media marketing plan while providing national exposure for students to land internships and full-time opportunities. Hillery Lemon ’19 recounts her time on last year’s winning team as “A really valuable experience. Especially as a creative student, because I got to work with the other advertising specializations and see what it really takes to put a campaign together. It’s so satisfying seeing your work do well!”

The National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) is the premier collegiate competition founded by the American Advertising Federation (AAF). Led by Professor Amber Benson, each team is asked to devise a completely integrated campaign and pitches their work to savvy advertising professionals which are judged at the district, semi-final, and national levels. Prior NSAC clients include Ocean Spray, Snapple, Nissan, Coca-Cola, State Farm (and more). This year it’s Adobe. Yes, that Adobe.

Collaboration, presentation, and strategic planning are invaluable skills for students preparing to enter the ad industry. The SMU Ad Team exists to nurture these skills and give students a chance to present their work to a real client and a panel of industry experts. And we’ve been pretty successful. Last year, SMU won 1st place at the NSAC District 10 Competition and was a national finalist with an insightful advertising campaign for Wienerschnitzel.

The SMU 2020 Ad Team: Professor Amber Benson, Kathryn Chavez, Sarah Jane Eckelkamp, Jackson Ferris, Avery Fuller-Monk, Sebastian Gutierrez, Caillie Horner, Sarah Katsikas, Meryn Kennedy, Lauren Kobayashi, Erin McCraw, Abhinav Nadella, Ankita Padarthy, Riley Preston, Susan Slaton, Lizzie Venditti, and Whitney Wilkerson.


How do I join?

Temerlin’s highest-performing students need to apply to compete on the NSAC stage. Applications open each fall, keep an eye on your email. Pony Up Team Adobe!

ALUMNI UPDATE: Producing the iPhone 11 Keynote Film

Interview by Professor Mark Allen

Ask any advertising student (or professional) to name who’s on their career bucket list and most likely you’ll find Apple near the top. In the same league as brands like Nike, Volkswagen and Coke, the creative heavyweight from Cupertino consistently pumps out ads that are just as revolutionary as their products.

This September, Apple released its much-anticipated iPhone 11 Pro with a seriously beefed-up camera. To show off the device’s impressive new video capabilities, Apple asked TAI alumnus, Diego Contreras (’08), to create a short film for the official worldwide launch at the most recent Apple Keynote. With an iPhone 11 Pro and an extraordinary amount of talent, this is what he produced:

The new iPhone camera is incredible, no doubt. But one thing is even clearer to me: I still don’t expect my videos to look anywhere near this good—that is, unless Diego Contreras happens to be holding my iPhone.

I’ve kept up with Diego and his career ever since he was an art direction student of mine back in 2006–08. In addition to being a unique creative talent, he’s one of the kindest people you’ll ever meet. Whether it’s dinner when we find ourselves in the same city or giving advice to my advertising students via Skype, he always makes time in his busy schedule to catch up and give back.

One of my fondest memories of Diego was how he always found a way to have fun while working so hard. When he returned to our program as a senior, I asked him to lead our Fall Startup Meeting—our annual gathering of creative students after returning from summer break. Diego kicked off the event with a crazy video he shot and edited of him and a few other creative students wreaking havoc at a local grocery store on motorized carts. He even hosted a goofy awards show, featuring trophies that he made himself. He gave me the Vidal Sassoon Best Hair Award, made from an empty bottle of shampoo that he spray-painted gold. It was very much like Diego’s own version of The Dundie Awards. The point here is that Diego spent a ton of time creating a bunch of completely unnecessary content and made-up awards in order to foster a culture of fun and creativity around hard work. More than 10 years later, I still see the effects of Diego’s contribution to the culture of fun, hard work and camaraderie in our program.

Since graduating from SMU, Diego has worked for a truly impressive list of agencies. He started out as art director at Crispin, Porter + Bogusky in Boulder, then went to Anomaly in New York. He became an associate creative director at BBDO and then launched out on his own as a film and commercial director, currently working with Reset Content in LA. In light of his momentous project for Apple, I caught up with Diego and hit him with a barrage of questions:
Continue reading “ALUMNI UPDATE: Producing the iPhone 11 Keynote Film”

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.