Alumna Feature: Alex Mackillop ’18

During my four years at SMU, I majored in Strategic Brand Management through the Temerlin Advertising Institute and minored in business and international studies. I have had several internships and my most recent position, before securing a job in Dallas, was with M&C Saatchi PR Worldwide in London.

My studies at Temerlin helped me obtain this internship position. I learned how to market myself for professional opportunities – an invaluable skill that all students should master as early as possible. Temerlin also taught me how to behave in a professional environment and how to respond to real world, real life, and real job situations.

My responsibilities at M&C Saatchi PR in London encompassed a wide range of activities. I wrote press releases, attended influencer events, and initiated one of the biggest energy drink activations in Europe. I worked with multi-national multi-billion-dollar companies including Red Bull and Foot Locker.

Currently, I am employed at another globally leading PR firm, Weber Shandwick, which is located in the Dallas American Airlines Center.

Temerlin not only prepared me to know the acronyms people use in meetings and to meet deadlines, but also how to position myself professionally, how to be successfully interact with clients and colleagues, and how to market myself in this industry.

This is my advice for current Temerlin students: don’t wait for the job hunt. I encourage you to secure an internship as soon as possible because all experience is good experience. I had five internships in college and I believe that I now work at Weber Shandwick because of this extensive experience. Oh, and also listen to your professors. One day, you might need to know what they taught you.

TAI 2017-2018 Student and Faculty Awards

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.

Industry and Special Awards

Industry Recognition

  • 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

Student Organizations

  • SMU Ad Club Officers
Joanna Fennessy President
Sara Jane Stephens
and Alex Mackillop
Co-Membership Chairs
Lex Pedraza Treasurer
Peyton Turbeville Event Planning Chair
Eric Sedeño Communications
  • 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.

Institute Scholars

  • Engaged Learning Project –  Samantha Butz
  • Morris Hite – Zachary Crosby
  • Roger and Rosemary Enrico – Andrea Rosas

Honors

  • Alpha Delta Sigma – Joanna Fennessy
  • Kappa Tau Alpha – Arin Forstenzer, Tiffany Giraudon, Caroline Moss, Rachel Kainer, Cheyenne Tilford.
  • Hunt Scholar – Riley Blair
  • SMU Mortar Board Top 10 Sophomore – Rachel Kainer and Jolie Guz

Institute Awards

The Best Students. The Best Faculty. The Best Advertising
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 CreativeTiffany Giraudon.
  • TAI Outstand Academic Achievement in DigitalRachel Kainer.
  • TAI Outstanding Academic Achievement in Strategic Brand ManagementCheyenne 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
  • Adjunct Professor Extraordinaire  – Gordon Law
Awards Lunch Room
Dr. Edwards on Stage

SMU-TAI’s Ad Team Brings Two Trophies Back to Temerlin

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!

Third Place and Special Judges Award for Best Market Segmentation

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.

Strategy Development and Research

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.

Presenting Team: Harrison, Sara Jane, Alex and Amy.

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!”

Ad Team Members in Corpus Christi, TX: Rita de Obarrio, Anne-Marie Geisler, Alex Mackillop, Harrison Fiveash, Sara Jane Stephens, Amy Cooley, Alissa Llort and Frank Zhang.
TAI Students and Faculty at the Awards Presentation in Corpus Christi, TX.

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.

 

SMU-TAI’s Ad Team: Expectations for the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC)

Now that the campaign for Ocean Spray has been created, SMU-TAI’s Ad Team has begun to get their final presentation ready for the AAF District 10 competition in Corpus Christi, TX. The members that were selected to present the team’s work to a panel of judges shared their expectations for the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC).

Amy Cooley– Advertising major on the Strategic Brand Management and Spanish major. 

“This is my second year on Ad Team, so it feels good to know what to expect going into the competition. I think that our campaign strategy is really strong, and we have an incredible team of presenters (if I do say so myself) so I’m excited to see how all of our hard work is going to pay off!”

Alex MacKillop – Advertising major on the Strategic Brand Management track with minors in Business and International Studies.

“We have all worked extremely hard for this moment, so I think it will be very satisfying to see all our work come together in the final presentation. Everyone on the team contributed so much to this campaign and we are all very excited to see it through. “ 

Harrison Fiveash – Advertising major on the Strategic Brand Management track with minors in Communications and Arts Entrepreneurship.

“I cannot wait for all of our hard work to come to fruition. Amy and SJ have been great leaders throughout this process, leading the charge in both coordination and execution. Professor Benson has also been extremely helpful in balancing a hands-off approach with corrective guiding. While there may just be four of us presenting, it took a small army for everything to come together. I hope to win and eventually move on to Chicago, but if not at least we gained a lot of experience and felt the real pressures of a hypothetical campaign.”

Sara Jane Stephens – Advertising major on the Strategic Brand Management track with a minor in Spanish.

“I’m extremely excited for the upcoming NSAC competition in Corpus Christi. Amy, Harrison, Alex and I have a lot of energy, charisma, and chemistry on stage, which makes our presentation memorable. Not to mention, our campaign strategy is really thorough and definitely makes us a strong contender in the competition. We’ve put in a lot of long nights and hard work into this, and I know that will be clear during the presentation!”

SMU-TAI’s Presenting Team: Harrison, Sara Jane, Amy and Alex.

The team will present their integrated campaign at the AAF District 10 Convention, ADVENTION, on April 15, in Corpus Christi, Texas. The winning team(s) from each district will advance to the 2018 semi-finals, which will take place over two days, on May 2–3, 2018. Between 16 and 20 teams will compete for one of eight spots in the finals. Eight finalists will then compete for the national title at the annual ADMERICA conference, which will take place in Chicago, Illinois in early June.

TAI is confident in Ad Team’s effort, abilities and talent. We wish them the best of luck at the NSAC district competition this weekend!

For more information about NSAC please visit the competition website.

 

Mentoring (and Caring) for Ad Students

Mentoring (and Caring) for Ad Students
by Dr. Alice Kendrick, Marriott Professor of Advertising

 

Do you have a mentor?  Who is that person?  A professor?  Professional?  This is a question worth asking and a goal worth pursuing.

Research indicates that having a mentor can contribute to not only career success but also to psychological and physical well-being.  Yet only about one in five college graduates claim to have had a mentor while in school, according to a 2014 Gallup-Purdue survey.  Having someone “who encouraged me to pursue goals and dreams” makes a student twice as likely to enjoy an engaging career, according to that study.  There isn’t a lot of research about advertising mentors specifically, though a survey of business students at a northeastern university and alumni 3-5 years out (D’Abate 2010) found that mentoring provided short-term psychosocial support and also advanced mentees’ career development and business knowledge in the first five years on the job.

A study in the late 1990s found that minority advertising students reported they wished they had mentors while in college as well as later in the workplace. About half of the students in a 2008 study of university ad club chapter members said they had mentors, and in many cases those mentors were college professors.  In a related finding, the Gallup-Purdue study reported graduates were almost twice as likely to achieve an engaging work life if “My professors at [College] cared about me as a person.” (p. 10)

The advertising employment landscape can be complicated, and unlike some areas of study and work like engineering and investment banking, hiring opportunities don’t follow a specified pattern.  That means that ad students looking to enter the ad industry could benefit from guidance and support of a mentor or mentors along the way. And while professors often serve as defacto mentors for students, there are many other sources of mentors such as members of local professional advertising clubs, speakers who visit campus, internship supervisors, university alumni and family friends and acquaintances.  Students and faculty should seek as many opportunities as possible to enjoin professionals beyond the university to augment student learning, networking and pre-employment socialization. Professional role models and professional relationships are a key ingredient to a successful career.

Alice Kendrick, Ph.D. is Marriott Professor of Advertising in the SMU Temerlin Advertising Institute. She is currently developing a mentoring program for TAI students, alumni and professionals.

 

Sources consulted

Kendrick, Alice, Jami Fullerton and Mallorie Rodak (2010), “Advertising student interns: Career preferences and ethical issues,” Journal of Advertising Education, 14(2), 42-51.

The 2014 Gallup-Purdue Index Report (2014). Great Jobs. Great Lives. Gallup, Inc.  Retrieved from http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2014/Q2/gallup-purdue-index-releases-inaugural-findings-of-national-landmark-study.html

Fullerton, Jami, Alice Kendrick and Connie Frazier (2007), “Job Satisfaction Among Minority Advertising Professionals.”  Paper presented at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication national conference, August, Washington DC.

D’Abate, C. (2010), “Developmental Interactions for Business Students: Do They Make a Difference?” Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies May, 17(2), 143-155.

Can Agency Culture Foster an Ethical Mindset?

Can Agency Culture Foster an Ethical Mindset?
by TAI Professor Dr. Sidharth Muralidharan

Business ethics can be broadly defined as a brand’s moral obligations to their stakeholders, employees, consumers, competition, and society at large. Ethics operates at a higher plane than law and motivates brands to think beyond just meeting the minimal legal requirements. In advertisements, ethical considerations can manifest by providing honest and truthful information about products and services, by not being offensive, or culturally distasteful. Being in a position of influence, the expectation for a brand to abide by a moral code can never be perceived as a choice but a duty. This moral duty rests not only in the hands of the advertiser but also the hired advertising agency.

The ad agency is an organization where the blending of business and creativity occurs seamlessly. In such a competitive environment where both advertisers and agencies are driven by the motive of earning more profits, the emphasis placed on ethics, unfortunately, diminishes. Lapses in ethical judgment can negatively impact the brand in terms of lower sales, negative brand image, and can end the relationship between the agency and the client. For example, in 1991 Volvo and its agency Scali, McCabe, Sloves Inc. of New York was each fined $150,000 for their deceptive ad. The commercial depicted a monster truck that ran over a line of cars, and the only car to survive was a Volvo station wagon. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found the ad to be deceptive because the body of the Volvo was specially strengthened to withstand the impact and a regular Volvo was not equipped with a similar shell. Knowing that the demonstration did not truly represent the product, the agency still decided to move forward with the campaign, posing an ethical lapse. Granted, agencies are under the influence of their clients but the question remains, can an agency still come out with a creative ad that is both effective and morally sound?

The answer is yes. To overcome such setbacks, agencies need to foster a culture of ethics and responsibility. This should be initiated from the very top, where, leaders are setting an example and having employees not only be a part but also take ownership of the culture. A good example could be the agency ‘Enviromedia’ based in Austin, TX. The main mission of the agency is to make the world a better place to live in and help brands make profits. Championing this vision is the CEO and Founder – Valerie Salinas-Davis, who has created strategies for campaigns such as “Don’t Mess with Texas” and the eco-friendly Nissan Leaf, to name a few. Being a B-Corporation, the agency has set high standards to achieve both social and environmental goals. As per their website, the agency has contributed $1 million in pro-bono work and volunteer time to different charities. The agency headquarters has sustainable features like solar panels and water saving functionalities, while employees recycle and use recycled materials. Enviromedia is selective of who they work with, making sure their culture and values align with their clients and is propagated through the campaigns they create. From the causes they support to providing employees with paid time off, Enviromedia has shown that their belief system can foster an ethical mindset. If the industry is filled with more agencies that have a strong moral compass then it helps put pressure back onto brands to achieve their bottom line through ethical channels.

Dr. Sid Muralidharan is assistant professor at the Temerlin Advertising Institute. His primary research interests are on cross-cultural studies and advertising’s impact on mitigating social and environmental issues in India and abroad, while secondary research interests include social media and online advertising.

 

TAI Creative Student Jennifer Nelson Shares Copywriting Experience with Award-Winning Ad Agency: McGarryBowen

Last summer, TAI creative advertising student Jennifer Nelson worked as a Copywriting Intern at McGarryBowen’s headquarters in New York City, NY. Internship experiences can give you a greater understanding of how a large agency functions according to Nelson.

Jennifer Nelson at McGarryBowen’s office

“I was hired as a Copywriting Intern so I was responsible for writing headlines/taglines/commercial scripts, concepting ideas, assisting my Art Director partner, and working on the summer-long intern project,” Nelson said. “I was put on the Chevron and Brand USA accounts, but I ended up working on mainly Chevron as well as a bit of United Airlines. There is a commercial that will air for the Sochi Olympics this winter and I helped write the script!”

Nelson learned many important skills from this internship, but she claims that by far the most important skill she learned was working with others. She partnered with a talented Art Director intern and worked on every project almost entirely through collaboration. “If I needed help with a headline, I would ask for her opinion. If she was stuck on some art, I would give her ideas,” Nelson said. Through this method, Nelson was always prepared for client meetings.

Every day was different depending on Nelson’s schedule, but she typically got to work at 9 A.M. and headed home at 6 P.M. Once she got to the agency, she made herself oatmeal and coffee, checked her e-mail for any meetings she could have, and talked with her intern partners about their plan for the day. In the mornings, she and her Art Director partner gave each other feedback on their concepts and worked on them until lunch. Sometimes the interns had informational meetings that allowed them to learn about the different departments and roles within the office. For lunch, she typically ate outside with the interns and then headed to a client meeting.

One of her favorite memories from her internship experience was working with other interns to present an Intern Project to the agency. “It was basically a campaign pitch for Champion. The interns were split up into three teams so it got pretty competitive,” Nelson said. “To set my group apart, I wrote a rap for us to perform at the beginning our presentation. We received a huge round of applause as well a couple chuckles. A few of the executives even praised my rap writing skills when we finished.” This experience allowed Nelson to sharpen her presentational skills.

Nelson has learned how to be a good team player from her advertising classes, and this helped her be the best partner she could in the internship.

During her internship, Nelson primarily worked with the Chevron creatives who became like a family for her. Nelson and her Art Director partner developed concepts for Snapchat games, videos, gifs, and more. Nelson also worked on a Chevron STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) event for women in Washington D.C. “That was super cool because I learned so much about the rich history of women in STEM,” Nelson said. “My partner and I ended up having the most accepted concepts for both Fresno and STEM on the team!”

On the creative floor

This internship gave Nelson amazing opportunities to create work, and was therefore allowed to experience the duties of a copywriter. In the future, she sees herself working for an advertising agency in a big city as a copywriter.

Advertising students are strongly encouraged to complete an internship prior to graduation. The hands-on experience allows students to learn about the advertising industry outside the classroom. Nelson highly recommends TAI students to apply for McGarryBowen’s summer internship!

Check the TAI Weekly Update for current internship opportunities.

 

 

Introducing SMU’S 2018 NSAC Ad Team Members

This year SMU will be competing again in the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC). Students were selected by Ad Team manager Professor Amber Benson to be a part of SMU’s award-winning Ad Team. The Ad Team will be working together to create a full campaign applying the scrum methodology. This year’s client is Ocean Spray and the challenge is to drive relevancy of the brand for millennials across both food and beverages.

Ad Team members shown in the order listed below.

Hayley Banas is an Advertising major on the Strategic Brand Management track with a minor in Psychology.

Myla Borden is an Advertising major on the Strategic Brand Management track with a minor in Graphic Design.

Mary Charles Byers is an Advertising major on the Digital Media Strategy track with a minor in Graphic Design.

Amy Cooley is an Advertising (Strategic Brand Management) and Spanish double major.

Rita de Obarrio is an Advertising (Digital Media Strategy) and Psychology double major with a minor in Business.

Harrison Fiveash is a pre-major in Advertising interested on the Strategic Brand Management track with minors in Communications and Arts Entrepreneurship .

Anne-Marie Geisler is an Advertising major on the Digital Media Strategy track with a minor in Fashion Media.

Conrad Li is an Advertising major on the Digital Media Strategy track.

Alissa Llort is an Advertising major on the Strategic Brand Management track with a minor in Psychology.

Alex MacKillop is an Advertising major on the Strategic Brand Management track with minors in Business and International Studies.

London Mercer is an Advertising major on the Digital Media Strategy track with a minor in Graphic Design.

Shelby Pointer is an Advertising major on the Digital Media Strategy track with a minor in Graphic Design.

Juan Reyes is a Corporate Communications and Public Affairs major with a minor in Advertising.

Sara Jane Stephens is an Advertising major on the Strategic Brand Management track with a minor in Spanish.

Sara Ann Whiteley is a Journalism major with a minor in Advertising.

Frank Zhang is an Advertising (Digital Media Strategy) and Mathematics double major.

Four team members will be selected to present the team’s work in a 20-minute long presentation to a panel of judges made up of industry experts at each level of competition – first at the District level in Corpus Christi, TX in April, then (if they advance) at the National level in Chicago, IL in June.

 

 

TAI Professor Mark Allen Judges BBB Video Contest

TAI Professor Mark Allen

TAI Professor Mark Allen was one of six local advertising professionals to act as a judge for the BBB Serving North Central Texas’s video contest. Students from seven local high schools created 1-minute PSAs about BBB’s services to illustrate the contest theme, “Be Smart. Be Informed,” to North Texas consumers.

Students from local high schools Berkner High School, Booker T. Washington High School, Lagrone Advanced Technology Complex, Lincoln High School, New Tech High School @Coppell, Richardson High School, and Rockwall High School were selected to participate in the competition because of their strong film, journalism, and audio video production programs.

“I was totally blown away by the talent of the students and the advanced capabilities of the winning high school programs—in fact, I had a hard time believing that these were just high school students,” Professor Allen said. “I was equally impressed with the teachers I met from Richardson High School, Berkner High School and New Tech High School in Coppell. I have been talking with all three since the competition and we are making plans to have their students visit SMU to discuss opportunities for collaboration between our students in the future. I’m hoping some of these students might consider applying to TAI’s creative track in the future—we’d sure love to have them.”

The videos were judged on production quality, creativity, the teams’ ability to market them, and effectiveness at representing BBB. The first phase of the contest took place online. The 17 videos submitted racked up an impressive 320,259 likes on this site. The second phase of the contest took place on one of BBB|NCTX’s Facebook pages, where students were encouraged to promote the videos among their friends on Facebook.

TAI Professor Peter Noble speaking at the BBB Video Contest Awards

The winning team was from New Tech High School in Coppell for their video titled, “Don’t be scammed by this guy.” Berkner High School and LaGrone Advanced Technology Complex placed in the top three. The schools of the winning teams will collectively receive $4,000 in donations to their Audio Visual programs. The students of the winning team will each receive a GoPro digital video camera and cash prizes. The winning video will be used in BBB|NCTX marketing efforts for 2018.

TAI also had an information booth at the BBB Student Video Contest Prize Ceremony on December 7.

Meet TAI Adjunct Professor Tom Edwards

Professor Tom Edwards is teaching capstone course ADV 4399 Advertising Campaigns for the Temerlin Advertising Institute this semester. Professor Edwards is the chief digital officer at Agency, Epsilon, where he oversees brand planning, research, data design, digital strategy, digital experience, social/CRM/email, innovation and media. He regularly publishes content and speaks on the future of marketing.

Professor Edwards was an adjunct faculty member of the virtual campus for Wayland Baptist University from 2003-2015. He also instructed Principles of Marketing, Advertising & Promotion, Global Marketing and Consumer Behavior. He has also guest lectured at University of Texas at Arlington, and prior to joining the TAI team he was a member of the SMU Digital Accelerator certification program faculty.

What made you want to become a professor?

I have spent the past 17 years in the marketing technology space. The rate of change associated with technology, its impact on consumer behavior and ultimately how we connect with consumers continues to outpace traditional academia’s ability to keep pace. I wanted to contribute and give back to the next generation of advertising professionals by bridging the gap theory and the practical application.

What is your background in the subject you teach?

I currently instruct the Advertising Campaigns course. Over my professional career I have worked on campaigns for hundreds of fortune 1000 brands (Citi, Starbucks, AT&T, GameStop, Activision, Hasbro, Frito-Lay to name a few) both domestic and international. My expertise is rooted in a deep understanding of technology, consumer behavior, data and intelligent systems such as artificial intelligence and the application of machine learning.

What has been your favorite memory from teaching for TAI so far?

The passion and creativity exhibited by the students and the staff and their willingness to roll up their sleeves and get to work, even when it’s in areas they may not be in their core area of focus.

What is your favorite part about being a professor?

I have instructed thousands of students over the past 15 years across a few universities and my favorite part is the open dialogue with the students. Getting to hear their perspectives and thoughts and to see their work evolve over the course of the semester are incredibly gratifying.

What made you want to go into advertising? How did you get where you are in your career?

I started my advertising career during the dot com days of the late 90’s. I had a passion for technology and all things digital. As graphical user interfaces and connectivity began to spread, so did the need to create engaging digital experiences.

The alignment of marketing and technology have been a key foundation for the advancement of my career. I have worked in interactive agencies, start-ups, enterprise software companies and large agency holding companies. Having the ability to decipher complex problems into simple solutions has been a key to career advancement. The other critical component to career growth has been my blog. 10 years and over 400 posts later, having a visible point of view and a repository for thought, industry commentary and speaking has been a valuable asset in my career development.

How have you seen the advertising industry change since you started?

 The biggest change over my career is the shift towards the empowered consumer. Prior to 2007 advertising had remained somewhat stable with broadcast at the center of the experience. In 2007 we saw that begin to shift with the introduction of the first iPhone. This sparked the shift towards mobility in advertising that is still prevalent.

Then we saw how technology enhances consumer empowerment through the creation of user created content, accessibility and amplification via social channels, the personification of brands and celebrity being redefined from Hollywood to influencers.

Moving forward we are now seeing the shift from content marketing to contextual and the rise of multimodal interfaces with the focus shifting from mobile and desktop to voice, vision and touch.

Moving forward, we will see the shift from consumer centric advertising to system based marketing as algorithms and virtual assistants will take on more responsibility for consumers and ultimately our definition of reality will evolve when we see the convergence of location data, computer vision, augmented reality and artificial intelligence where any space, physical or digital becomes a new canvas to connect with consumers.

What advice do you have for students who want to have a career in advertising?

I have 3 tips for students just starting their career:

1) Network – Begin building a professional network before you start your professional career. Attend industry events and network in-person, focus on your LinkedIn profile and engaging with content. Your professional network is one of your most valuable resources. It should require more nurturing and attention than personal social channels.

2) Sponsor & Mentor – It is key to seek a mentor, someone who works in the industry you are about to enter to help navigate key pitfalls and to “learn the ropes” from a seasoned individual. It is incredibly important to be open to feedback. It is also important to identify a sponsor within your organization. Someone who is either directly or indirectly in your chain of command. Someone who can provide positive internal earned media and groom you for advancement. You cannot always depend on an immediate supervisor to serve this role. Seek out highly respected and influential individuals within the organization, you will know who they are.

3) Original Thought – I cannot reiterate how important publishing content can be for a new grad. Having thoughts on industry commentary or showcasing your ability to connect trends that may not seem to link on the surface is an art that can lead to you being selected over someone else.

How do you incorporate aspects from your work into your teaching?

 I look to bring best in class examples and techniques, be it research, the latest on aligning psychographics and affinity to personas or the role of conversational experiences into digital strategies. The key is aligning experience and tools with the core areas of focus of the lesson or assignment.

What is one interesting fact about you?

 I was named by Ad Age as a 2017 Marketing Technology Trailblazer.

Follow Professor Edwards on Twitter @BlackFin360 to stay up to date on the latest areas of study.