Back at it. Sorry not sorry recruiters.

Back in 2016, during the middle of all that graduation pressure of finding a job, I decided to stop blogging so I wouldn't offend any hiring managers with any opinions they may find here. This decision was made after receiving advice from multiple people that I shouldn't post anything too racy under my own website because you never know who is going to come across the content and be upset by it.

I can honestly say that advice didn't make a difference for me. I could have had whatever I wanted on this website, and honestly, it wouldn't have made the process of finding a job any better or worse. And if anything, I would've at least had an outlet to comment on how terrible finding your first full time job is; I'm definitely not making that mistake again (details on frustrations and advice with job searching to come at a later date).

I'm at a point in my life and career where I want to work with people who are not afraid to speak their minds, and are open to respecting different points of view. Ultimately, that is why I know feel comfortable sharing my commentary under my own personal website.

So, whoever you are, and however you found me....welcome! I will use this section of my website to discuss my views on culture, current events, advertising, and whatever else I feel like. It's basically my expanded Twitter, but I promise to be professional and polite. 

Enjoy...or not, up to you. 

What is my ad dream?

As graduation approaches I'm reminded time and time again that I need to figure out a specific and short way to describe what my dream job is. After 12 years of interest and admiration for this industry, it's kind of surreal that I'm finally going to "follow my dream."

I remember when I was 12 years old, I started to comment on the quality of commercials, and how thought I could make better jingles than those on tv. 

I remember at 17, agonizing that my favorite college didn't have an advertising major, and that I had to get creative with my education in order to still get into the field.

I remember being a freshman in college and deciding on my major based on the hunch that by the time I graduated, print ads and commercials weren't going to be the cool thing anymore, but instead websites and social media. This hunch pushed me into avoiding a traditional marketing major, and getting me into the converged media track at the media arts and design department, which gave me all the "hard skills" that set me apart.

I remember when I did my first internship in a big-time NYC agency, and thought: "this is what I need my life to be like."

And that brings me to just a year and half ago, when I found myself in grad school, finally learning about the behind the scenes thinking that goes into all those jingles and commercials that will hopefully inspire the next generation of ad professionals. 

I know my dream has evolved as drastically as the ad industry itself. The fact that I soon will be living my dream, is terrifying and fascinating at the same time. 

From wanting to do what I now understand to be production, to wanting to be a designer, to then exploring account management and brand management, and then realizing that what I really am meant to be is a strategist at an agency with a strong digital focus, it's been an incredible journey. I have come to conclude that although my ad dream today is much different from 12 years ago, the path I'm in today is made possible because of the overall appreciation I have for every facet this industry.

Cheers!

 

Why Clients' Fascination With "Millennial Hipsters" Is Unrealistic

I have a very strong point of view on a phenomenon that I have come across lately: big companies' insatiable obsession with the elusive "Millennial Hipster". 

I'm not sure if it's because so many big companies are located in NY or CA (Hipster Meccas), and therefore people that work in said companies think "that's what kids are like these days," but I'd like to take a moment to point out, that no not all millennials are hipsters. Actually, the majority of millennials are not hipster-like at all.

Sure we millennials like to make things ourselves, and we seek the finer things in life down to what kind of olive oil to use on an organic kale salad, but that doesn't mean every millennial has a home garden, or makes everything from scratch, or thinks that the mainstream sucks. Quite the opposite. 

You can find and manipulate all the data you want, but the true Millennial Hipster is NEVER going to buy into a mass consumer product good. True hipsters go against the norm, and unfortunately, marketing normalizes whatever angle/point of view it touches. The fact that big companies with big national brands want to target millennial hipsters only goes to show that there are so many people out there making key decisions for brands without understanding anything about culture or the consumer. And no big conglomerates, a brand extension doesn't solve your problem. Any ties you have to your little trendy/hipster-y brand extension will still deter your so-desired millennial hipsters from buying into it. 

There is of course an increasing subculture of hipster-adjacent or hipster-wannabes that, at the end of the day,  could maybe buy into a product targeted to hipsters. But the moment they buy into the product, they lose any sort of hipster badge they once had. And can I point out, those people aren't truly hipsters?

I really hope clients and advertising professionals stop with this one-trick pony obsession of trying to get this one psychographic that by principle stands against everything marketing does. The best strategy to attract hipsters, is to ignore them. Eventually when they need something, they'll come to you, and all you have to do as a brand is not freak out and pretend you're something that you're not.

Here's a bonus strategy: how about targeting the rest of the population? Don't you think the average American deserves something well designed and modern too? Or how about targeting Gen Z? They're the next best thing anyways. There are so many more possibilities, so why do we as marketers default to the same cliche view of what's trendy or cool? Let the hipsters be!

Well, I will now conclude my vent on this matter.

 

Cheers!

 

My 2016 Reading List

 This is the book I'm the most excited to read. It's a play that picks up the Harry Potter story 19 years after the last book! 

This is the book I'm the most excited to read. It's a play that picks up the Harry Potter story 19 years after the last book! 

 A more dignified modern re-make of my all time favorite book  Pride and Prejudice.  Let's hope it's not as silly as that zombie re-make I'm boycotting.

A more dignified modern re-make of my all time favorite book Pride and Prejudice. Let's hope it's not as silly as that zombie re-make I'm boycotting.

This year, other than the average stock NYE resolutions like "eating healthier" and "exercising more," I've decided that I wanted to go back to reading for fun. I've challenged myself to read one book per month, and here's my reading list!

January: The Girl On the Train by Paula Hawkings (Read, and LOVED)
February: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (Reading now)
March: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
April: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K Rowling
May: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (Main character's name is Louisa...so I gotta read) 
June:  Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne,  and John Tiffany
July: Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld (modern-retelling of my favorite book: Pride and Prejudice)
September: Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
October: Sprint by John Zeratsky and Branden Kowitz (the "business book" yearly read)
November: Finders Keepers by Stephen King
December: The English Spy by Daniel Silva

As you can tell, I really like thrillers. I have tried to sprinkle in my reading list some romance with You Before Me and Eligible, as well as a more intellectual read with Sprint. I'm excited to read all of these novels, and I hope come December I can say I'm finishing up The English Spy

It was very interesting to me as I made this list, that really the biggest advertising force behind these books were the curated recommendations on Amazon or the fact that they were going to become "blockbusters" or were written by a famous person. Again it brought me back to wonder, how can the little guys get any exposure from the publishing industry? The model is broken. Could advertising fix it? Just a thought.

The Harsh Reality Facing Indy Books

"Oh it'll be fun!"

That's what I thought when I started helping a local author promote his independently published book, Organs of Greed. Well, it's fun for sure, but most of all it's HARD. People are not as empathetic towards new authors as I would've hoped. In the publishing business, it's all about already being established, and few seem to want to take a chance on anybody or anything new. It's been extremely difficult to secure local distribution channels for this incredible novel. My author dreams of being on Barnes and Noble, and yet we struggle with getting him on the shelves of small local bookstores. How is anyone supposed to cut through the clutter without a fancy publishing deal?

I've also realized that no one teaches you how to get likes on a Facebook page "organically." How the heck am I supposed to motivate people to like my author's Facebook page? Granted I can get some sorority sisters, close friends and family to like the page...but they're not necessarily the target. How am I supposed to do a fun and innovative social media campaign for this book if it's not going to reach anyone outside my social circle?

And then there are the false leads of hope from people who say "Oh, that's great, I'd love to help you promote the book" but then you never hear from them again. Seriously, throughout this process I've been wondering if novel writing has simply become an expensive hobby. Does any one even care about books anymore?

Despite all of these hardships, I do love a challenge. And mark my words, when I'm done promoting this book, you'll be seeing it on the silver screen.

 

 

 

 Intrigued? Check out the first 4 chapters free at www.organsofgreed.com

Intrigued? Check out the first 4 chapters free at www.organsofgreed.com

Hello Blog World

As graduation approaches, I started to wonder what I'm going to do in my spare time. Granted, I'll be busy with a job, but this year I really want to focus on what I do outside of advertising. So, in order to hold myself accountable in keeping up with current events, industry news, and my hobbies, I decide to blog. 

So here it is, a hodge podge of social commentary, ad talk, and the occasional sharing of my latest food/drink concoction. 

 

Stay Tuned!