Charlie Malekan and Claudia Iraheta from The Richards Group guest lectured in Gordon Law’s 3303 Advertising Media class on Thursday, January 23rd. In addition to sharing information about TRG with the students, they also shared their annual Media Trends presentation, summarized below.
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.
“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.
SMU Ad Club recently welcomed Mr. Brad Todd, Principal at the Richards Group, to campus to share his insights about the advertising industry, and his experience as a Marketing Director at Frito Lay. To a packed room in the newly renovated Advertising co-working space, Mr. Todd has discussed his more than 40 years of experience, working on both the agency and client side around the country and world (Chicago, Japan, and Dallas to name a few places). He has worked for many big brands, including Hallmark, Kimberly-Clark, Cheetos and Doritos.
From the beginning of his career, Brad learned early to work on anything and everything to gain experience and to try and understand things from the consumer perspective. He claims that being proactive is critical to success. However, being able to step back and look at the situation from an outside perspective will give your work a competitive edge and provide value to your client.
Mr. Todd reminded students that advertising is just aspect of the branding process. He recognizes, “It’s an important piece, but small,” and it is important to understand how a company works overall to ensure the marketing contributes to the larger goals of each organization.
Brand transformations are an especially rewarding experience. By reinventing a brand and making it relevant to consumers, advertising helps move a product from a so so in the minds of consumers, to a household name.
Fortunately, Mr. Todd has had multiple experience with brand transformations, including creating the widely known Sun Chips from a relatively underperforming chip named Pronto.
Students had many questions, so Brad gave advice about moving forward in their careers. His top tip was to make sure that you have internships get the experience needed to set you apart. Internships also let you explore different agencies and departments in agencies to find your passion. He also had great advice in how to choose a job. Some points mentioned were:
- to look at the distance between your position and the decision maker to ensure you can impact the brand, and
- make sure there is room for you to grow in the long run, either within the agency or as a stepping stone for your career.
Moving forward may be scary, but to win in advertising Mr. Todd implores everyone…“Be curious. Be uncomfortable. Jump In.”
Brad Todd may be contacted via LinkedIn.
In the final semester of the Temerlin Advertising Institute’s MA in Advertising program, students work in an executive internship with a Dallas agency. Read their stories below and see what they are up to!!
Erin Hedrick – The Richards Group
I am currently interning at The Richards Group in the Brand Management department on The Home Depot account. As a Brand Management intern, I collaborate with other Brand Managers, Planners, Creatives and Project Managers to complete television, radio, digital, and branding projects from start to finish. I am also responsible for creating and presenting a weekly competitive summary presentation to alert top management of any changes in competitors’ advertising strategies, as well as conducting competitive store audits with analysis for The Home Depot. TRG is a fast-paced, but truly fun, working environment, and I am learning more and more each day about how to work and communicate effectively as a team. I am very grateful for the opportunity to work on such an exciting account here at TRG, and I am looking forward to seeing these projects I’ve been working on come to life!
Check back soon for updates from other students and their
MA in Advertising Executive Internships!
This summer, I am working as a Brand Management Intern at The Richards Group. I work mainly on the H-E-B account, as well as the PODS account. I have a wide array of tasks that I manage for the team, including scheduling out of home jobs (by creating posting instructions, quantities worksheets, purchase orders and communicating with vendors), compiling media traffic (including TV, Radio, Digital, Hispanic, Digital Out of Home,and specialized markets), creating weekly Competitive Dailies to send to the client, researching and compiling competitive decks for the creative team and client, opening jobs and purchase orders, and scheduling internal meetings with the team as well as external meetings with the client. Throughout the internship, I also give two major presentations to my entire team, including the principal. I have learned so much through this internship and am excited to see what the last few weeks bring. I have been entrusted with important tasks and appreciate the hands on experience.