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What’s in my Office Thursday: Alex Harvey

What’s in my Office Thursday: Meet CPS Alum Alex Harvey, Associate Creative Director at DigitasLBi here in Chicago.

Check out his advice below:

I’m sorry my cube isn’t cooler, but what I lack in decorations I make up for in condiments. Cholula chili lime sauce? Don’t mind if I do.

I opted to give my advice in list form because then I have 10 chances to say something useful.

1. Don’t work harder to get your opportunity than you do once you’ve actually received it.
2. Be nice to everyone you work with. Eventually you’ll be sending one of them your book.
3. Never post on AgencySpy, unless you’re there to say something positive.
4. When someone asks you to help out, say yes even if the assignment seems small or boring. It may lead to something big later on.
5. Don’t be afraid to close doors, but never slam them shut.
6. If you find a piece of birthday cake on the street, just keep walking. It’s never worth it.
7. Don’t dismiss opportunities without researching them first.
8. This was probably the best advice of all, but I forgot it on my way back from the bathroom.
9. Don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s only advertising.
10. On second thought, never post on AgencySpy.

Check out his talented portfolio:

By heather : June 11, 2015

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What’s in my Office Thursday: Chris Warner

What’s in my Office Thursday: Meet CPS alum Chris Warner, Junior Art Director at FCB.

Check out his advice below:

STOP WHINING. In agencies, people move at 200mph. I mean that literally. I’ve seen a Creative Director walk faster than a Ferrari. So suck it up and Photoshop that panda eating peanut butter due next week. Deadlines move much quicker in the real world.

SHOW UP. Trust me, just being in the room will do wonders.

THINK BIG. Stop doing the same thing you did last quarter. The app that organizes your sock drawer isn’t as unique as you think.

BE NICE TO EVERYONE. And I mean everyone. Even Betty from Iowa who smells like pee pee and insists her lizard has ESP. Because one day, Betty’s lizard might offer you a job. And that lizard knows what you think of her.

YOUR BOOK IS NEVER DONE. Don’t wait. Take pictures of doodles you drew of sandwiches and start uploading them to Squarespace now. You’re 90% there. The longer you wait to show people your “perfect” sandwich campaign, the longer you have to hear your Mom call you an “adult kindergartener.”

MAKE IT SMART. Poop jokes are easy. Jokes about the American sewage system are not.

YOUR GUT IS RIGHT. Everyone’s got an opinion. As you get more confident, take advice with heaping grain of Mediterranean sea salt. The stuff you like, the fun stuff, is the most important work you own. Fight for it. (Except when everyone has the same comment. In which case, take a hot shower and think about your decisions, Mayor Ego. The city ain’t that big.)

BREATHE. When the going gets tough—and it will—go for a long walk. Look at the stars. Or if it’s cloudy, listen to a Carl Sagan narrated audio book. And just remember, in the end, it’s only advertising ya dum dum.

Take a look at his talented portfolio:

By heather : June 04, 2015

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Learning to Market what you Understand the Most - Yourself

Getting your name out there matters in any business, but in advertising it is the business. When I first entered the field the gimmicky ways that I had heard of people getting hired made no sense. Wouldn’t it matter more to see the applicants’ work first than that they can buy targeted ads or send in a pair of slacks to get a job? Eventually, the rusty gears in my head creaked into place and I realized that the gimmicks work because they are advertisements that grab the employers’ attention, and since these people are aiming to get into advertising it stands to reason that being able to market yourself creatively would show that your ability to market clients would be effective as well.

After all creative agencies want their work to stand apart, to be noticed. It is just like one of us applying to a job; wanting to get noticed, to be above the competition and to be uniquely qualified in ways guaranteed to impress the employer. Well its good practice because once we get our dream jobs we will be applying over and over to people around the globe to prove ourselves and make what we are advertising stand out. The only difference is that now we are not marketing ourselves we are marketing for our client. The reason we are able to market ourselves is because we know ourselves, generally better than we may like to admit, and because of this we know how to market ourselves. What to highlight, what to down play, that one thing that no one else has that is going to set us apart from everyone else.

What we need to do is bring that to advertising. You cannot market what you do not understand. We learn how to shape ourselves to fit whatever job we need whether its making your college degree sound way more useful than it is or turning that one week in Spain into a cultural immersion that changed your views on bridging cultural gaps. Everyone has played the game of tailoring himself or herself for one purpose or another. It’s the same with the products we advertise for. We have to study them, analyze the pros and cons, and be just as critical of them as we are of ourselves. Once you know a product, it suddenly becomes a million different products at your disposal waiting for you figure out which is the best one to sell.

Written by CPS Blogger and 3rd Quarter Art Director, Margo Kurtzke

By heather : May 29, 2015

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What do you do, when you just get stuck?

There is a sad truth that unites us all in the industry. Once in awhile, we get stuck. With this is mind, I asked several different students, faculty members, and industry people what their personal reaction or go-to move is when they need to clear their head. Other than death and taxes, there are two more inevitable factors in your life. 1. Creative walls happen and 2. We all climb them in different ways. Here’s what you guys said:

“Watch a ‘relevant” movie’ – Anthony Tull, 4th Quarter CW

“Make a ham and mustard sandwich without the ham.” – Kevin Tosi, Junior CW, HY Connect

“Go to the Lincoln Park Zoo to see my favorite bear.” – Natalie Todd, 3rd Quater DS

“Cry into my pillow pet.” – Ian Todd, 4th Quarter AD

“I think the best way to approach a rut is to remember that this is hard. It’s weird but sometimes it’s easy to forget. There’s no formula in this. Take a step back, sleep on it, and change the way your brain is looking at it. There IS a way in, you just haven’t thought of it yet.” – Adam Bedol, 5th Quarter CW

“Honestly…. I eat. And find caffeine. I wish I could say I go exercise or ponder life, but really I just go find a snack and try to get some sort of chemical in my body.” – Vincent Marocco, 3rd Quarter CW

“The tips I can say out loud? I look at old Communication Arts or One Show annuals.”
– Jeff Epstein, Founder/Owner of Chicago Portfolio School, the Big Man upstairs on 5.

“I look at other ads, play whiffle ball, look at dogs walking on the street. I went to the dog park yesterday. I don’t even have a dog. I just went in and sat down.”
– Bryan Hradek, 4th Quarter CW

“Nothing. I do nothing. Keep working and wait for it to pass. It might be hours, days, weeks. I might be in one [creative rut] right now, I don’t know!”
– Aloysius Ong, 4th Quarter AD

“Music. Preferably music that is the exact opposite of what the tone of the brand is. If I’m writing something about comfort & tranquility, I throw on some late seventies punk; if I’m thinking about happiness & joy, I throw on some Fields of the Nephilim (goth band).”
– Gary Fox Robertson, Creative Director, Leo Burnett Chicago

“Step away from everything, take a nap, then come back to it. Oh and I always do this at the last minute, right when things need to get done.” – Martha Murphy, CW Intern, Wongdoody Los Angeles

“Try to step away from the project for an hour or so. You can’t force creativity. It’s amazing how much a ‘concepting walk’ can help you. Also, you can’t be too selfish with your ideas. Discuss your project with other creatives in your school or agency that you respect and trust.” – Sarah Gatling, Copywriter, Energy BBDO Chicago

“I don’t drink so that’s out of the question, and I used to smoke a great deal, but that just clouded my vision and lungs. I’ll take a printout of a comp that’s not quite there yet and view it from every visual angle, upside down and backwards. Or you just burn the idea and start anew. Painful, but there’s relief!” – Ignatius Aloysius, Digital Boot Camp Instructor, Art Director, musician, poet, designer, creative writer, Adobe therapist, and resident badass of CPS

“I draw inspiration from the activities in my life. I have to constantly test myself by exposing myself to new things; taking a capoeira/yoga/kick boxing class, trying hang gliding or skydiving, etc. I love to try new things to gain more experiences, to meet more people, and to remain forever curious.” – Pamela Gieseke, 4th Quarter AD

“Sometimes I will spend an hour or even two just standing in the shower. I once spent four. If I am in the shower and something comes to me but I haven’t finished showering, I will throw a shampoo bottle or something into the hallway to remind me;
‘what’s this shampoo bottle doing in the hallw… oh, yes, I had to remember that thing about ceramic dolphin collectors.’” – David Thorne, graphic designer, author, comedian

If you’re on this blog because of a creative block, I hope reading through this gave you some ideas, if not for your campaign, at least what you could do in the meantime. Have a fantastic weekend CPS, and if you do hit a wall, remember there are other things you can do besides bang your head into it.

Written by 3rd Quarter Copywriter and CPS Blogger, Jillian Aramowicz

By heather : May 15, 2015

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What’s in my Office Thursday: Tim Cerullo

What’s in my Office Thursday: Meet CPS Alum, Tim Cerullo, Senior Copywriter at Cavalry.

Check out his advice below:

“A year ain’t that long. So take advantage of your time at CPS.”

“Never let go of your ideas. The great thing about being a creative is that you don’t have to be ‘at work’ to be ‘working.’ Think about your ideas on the train, in the shower, at the bar, wherever…you never know when inspiration will strike.”

“Hone your presenting skills and figure out how to talk about concepts. This will be a big help in your transition to agency life.”

“Mediocrity is your enemy. Don’t settle for an OK book. Don’t send anything out until it’s Great.”

“Most importantly, be cool to each other. Everyone’s working hard. Nobody’s sleeping. And nothing in advertising comes quickly. It’s tough. But it’s fun.”

“CPS will give you the tools to build a great book. But remember, you get what you give. You’re doing this for yourself. For your career. An awesome career where you get to make shit up for a living. How cool is that?”

“Holler if you need anything.”


By heather : May 14, 2015

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What’s in my Office Thursday: Carrie Bain

What’s in my Office Thursday: Meet CPS Alum, Carrie Bain, Copywriter at Commonwealth//McCann in Detroit.

About her photo: “My partner & I were recently featured on Partnerganer. We added lasers to look cooler.”

Check out her advice:

“I try not to stay at my desk for too long, but when I am at my desk I always make sure I have great books for conversation starters. My favorite title at the moment is ‘What’s Happening to My Body? A Growing Up Guide for Parents and Daughters.’”

“Don’t be afraid to move out of your comfort zone. I lived in Chicago for 10 years and I never thought I’d move to Detroit. In fact, Detroit was on the top of my list of places not to work. But when an opportunity knocks at your door, answer it. I’ve experienced so many cool things in Detroit and I’ve met some of the nicest people ever. Also working on a big brand like Chevrolet looks super nice on the resume.”

“Also, be nice to others and be yourself.”

“My last word of advice is when a rep or a vendor asks you out for lunch or dinner, do it because you can never get enough free food. And making connections is super great too.”

Check out her awesome portfolio:

By heather : May 07, 2015

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What’s in my Office Thursday: Annie Foss & Candace Carson

What’s in my Office Thursday: Meet CPS Alumni Annie Foss (Senior Designer) and Candace Carson (Junior Designer) at Webb deVlam, both on their branding team.  Fun fact – Annie taught a CPS class with Webb deVlam CD, Dan Walter. Candace happened to be in that class and they both liked her work so much that they snatched her up and she’s been part of the team ever since.

Check out their advice below:

Annie’s advice:
“Work hard. Do more versions than you think you need. Explain your thinking behind every concept and design. Read books. Read everything. Learn the badass design legends. Save work you find inspirational. Don’t be late ever. Learn to accept feedback graciously. Play well with others. Be enthusiastic and open to new challenges. Get just a little bit competitive. Keep learning everything you can from everyone around you. Teach others. Have fun. And be nice.”

Candace’s advice:
“Always bring your A-game, especially in class. Remember that your teachers are professionals in the industry you’re seeking out. Think of every project, critique and presentation as an opportunity, not just to create something book-worthy, but to show your talent and leave behind a lasting impression. Do work you’re proud of and always make it your goal to stand out. What you do and how you present yourself in class could possibly lead to the gig that launches your career down the road. So approach all of your time at CPS with that mentality. And have fun!”

Check out their awesome work:

By heather : April 30, 2015

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The AH HA Moment


“Innovators, such as Picasso or Newton or Jobs, are remembered for their “AH HA” moments- that moment where they came up with something great and altered the course of history. For some reason their “AH HA” is a given and I just assume it came out of thin air, even in the cases where I know they worked their ass off for their revelations. It still feels like the ideas popped up from nowhere just because these guys were geniuses.”

“And when I sit, working for hours, stuck in a creative slump churning out crap, I start to drive myself crazy. I start thinking that this isn’t the right field for me, that I must not be good at this whole ad thing, that a nice uncreative desk job where my tasks are either finished or not and quality isn’t a factor, doesn’t sound so bad after all. I start to think that I can’t have an “AH HA” moment because I’m clearly awful, and in my panic I forget about the fact that I, like most of us, was recently turned on to the field of advertising, I’m young, and my life isn’t actually falling apart yet. In part because it’s in a way impossible to fail at a career you haven’t actually started yet, and I know my fellow students have felt the same way.”

“Walking along you hear snippets of sleep deprived students lamenting how they’ll never find a job, or write good concept statements.  When really most of us should realize that having the knowledge to judge and question our own concept statement means we’ve learned something.”

“I asked Sean Burns, CPS Instructor & CD at FCB, about this struggle and if his work was made of “AH HA” moments or just ground out.  To which he sagely replied, “the grind gets you the ‘AH HA’ moments”.  That the fight to get there becomes like a drug and you put up with the suffering for the reward. So, maybe we are getting better and we now know what it takes to write a good concept statement. But suddenly, good isn’t cutting it for us anymore. Maybe, we’ve experienced that “AH HA” on a smaller level and are just building our tolerance to the drug so we can keep learning. Keep getting closer to that innovative, history-changing insight.”

“Then, once you get there, everyone will forget about the work you put in and all your bad ideas and just assume you are a genius with wonderful insights.”

Written by: CPS Blogger and 3rd Quarter Art Director, Margo Kurtzke

By heather : April 27, 2015

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What’s in my Office Thursday: Thomas Belmonte

What’s in my Office Thursday: Meet CPS Alum Thomas Belmonte, Junior Art Director at Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners in the Big Apple.

Check out his advice below:

“Use your time at CPS to develop a sense of hustle. Scour the internets for every free digital resource you can find, twist the ears of whoever will listen and never consider your work done. Its hustle that’ll get you the gig of your dreams. CPS will set up the tee, but it’s up to you to take the swing.”

Take a look at his awesome work:

By heather : April 16, 2015

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Integrated Campaigns vs. 360

Many people I talk to who ask about the industry don’t realize the amount of work that goes into creating just a few advertisements. Campaigns are far more complex than they appear on the surface, and not just because they require a lot of time and thought.

One of the difficulties I notice my peers have, myself included, is distinguishing the difference between a 360 campaign and an integrated campaign. After talking to several instructors and professionals, ranging from juniors to creative directors, I have learned a few things about the key points of both campaign styles. The biggest difference I have come across is that a 360 campaign starts with the brand problem, develops a concept to solve the problem, then finds every single media channel that is best suited to advertise the solution. This is a pretty traditional approach to advertising. You get a brief for, say, Kraft Macaroni. You brainstorm what the selling points of Kraft Macaroni are specifically, or you look at what isn’t being done for the brand that should be. Let’s use Kraft’s current selling point- it’s the cheesiest macaroni that kids love. There’s our concept. Now we go out and in the form of print, digital, OOH, mobile, commercial etc., make clever ads to show that Kraft Macaroni is, in fact, the absolute cheesiest and best macaroni.
This campaign has made a full 360 degree circle with its ads and executions.

An integrated campaign is different because its first execution is developing a big idea that will always be at the center of your campaign. An integrated campaign may or may not have additional executions in the form of print or OOH, but often times it does not. This is confusing, so here is an example of a fantastic integrated campaign.

In 2013, British department store John Lewis launched a holiday campaign called the Hare and Bear. It featured a mini-movie of animated forest creatures getting ready for Christmas but the bear goes to hibernate, much to the dismay of his rabbit friend, the hare. At the end of the video, the hare slips a John Lewis alarm clock into the bear’s cave and he wakes up on Christmas morning for the first time ever, and comes out to see the beautiful tree his friends made. The message: Don’t just give someone a gift for Christmas, give someone the gift of Christmas.

The video went viral and John Lewis ended up making a Hare and Bear story book for kids, Hare and Bear stuffed toys, educational resources, online games, and many more executions, but they all had to do with the Hare and the Bear. This is an integrated campaign. The advertisers started with a message, then tailored the campaign to match the message.

If this were a 360 campaign, John Lewis would have said, “We want to tell people to give the gift of Christmas, not gifts for Christmas”, then they would have ran a print series about giving the gift of Christmas, made a few billboards about the importance of giving, and perhaps they would have made a game where you can give your friends little gifts online.
Both methods of advertising are great, it’s just a matter of learning and choosing which one will be the greatest for your specific campaign. For other examples of integrated campaigns, look up Coca Cola’s Small World Machines, the BGH Big Nose campaign (hilarious by the way), or Snickers You’re Not You When You’re Hungry. You’ll start to see the commonality in integrated delivery. Until next time, I hope this helps with a few projects, and happy comping, my friends.

Written by: Jillian Aramowicz

By heather : April 14, 2015

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