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How Often Should I Be Logged Into Social Media?

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computer-typingBeing a social marketing professional I have noticed the same question popping up over the years — how often should I be logged in? This and other questions seem to reform themselves and surface in most conversations regarding social media strategy. The problem is, it is entirely the wrong way to look at business.

To truly understand social media you must stay on top of it daily, read continuous amounts of articles and insight from other industry professionals, and overall just use it. Compiled below are a list of three social media questions that seem to arise in most conversations with people who may not truly understand social media. They are as follows:

  1. How often should I be logged in? The better question I have is how often can you afford not to listen to your customers and engage with them? When you word the question that way it is much more difficult to even ask. Social media does not start at 9AM and stop at 5PM, especially if you are a global brand. For some companies, their best engagement happens after 10PM. This is why it is very important to have at least one dedicated social media specialist at an organization, and depending on the size of the organization you may need more. For the entire General Motors brand, they have…

Read the entire article on the Talent Zoo blog Beyond Madison Avenue at: http://www.talentzoo.com/beyond-madison-ave/blog_news.php?articleID=18211

Never Trust A PowerPoint Expert

What makes someone a PowerPoint expert?

Nothing. Mostly it is self-proclamation. Millions of presentations are created and given each year in PowerPoint, but how many are effective? How many have a clear goal that is translated well into a cohesive and effective presentation? It is not clear if we will ever get these numbers.

Usually when someone proclaims to be a PowerPoint expert it means you now have more work to do to fix the presentation before it is presented to the client. Case in point: In the final step of an RFP process, we were to give a presentation sharing our value proposition with the potential client. The presentation was blocked for a two-hour time window with time for a question and answer session. The “PowerPoint Expert” went straight to building the deck of 67 action-unpacked slides. Many of the slides had text in full sentences and were to be read word-for-word. The expert-created slides made me want to slide under the table. What is worse, in an attempt to include more charts and drawings, smart graphics were used. It is important to point out that smart graphics are only as smart as the person putting them together. They not only differentiated from our color scheme but they modified the graphics in such as way that that they were corrupt. In the end I was the one doing as much as I could to clean them up before presentation day. We did not secure that work.

The PowerPoint may not have completely been to blame for not winning the work but it plays a more significant role than one may realize. The key thing to remember is this is your first deliverable for a new client. It delivers your brand’s image and value.

There are tons of articles on best practices on how best to create a presentation. Similarly, there are at least twice as many articles and media on what not to do in creating a PowerPoint presentation. That is not the goal of this article. The goal is to recognize the importance of PowerPoint as a medium of story. In The Art of The Pitch, Peter Coughter does it better than anyone in explaining on how best to give a presentation. One key point that sticks out is not to start out going straight to the deck to put the slides together. Think about what you want to audience to take away first. Know specifically what they are interested in and then figure out the best way to convey it. Sometimes, you may not even need a PowerPoint.

What presentation formatting nightmares have you seen? What would you do differently?

Here is a funny-but-true video to better illustrate these points by comedian Don McMillan called Life After Death by PowerPoint. Watch it here.

Original article published on the Talent Zoo blog Beyond Madison Avenue at: http://www.talentzoo.com/beyond-madison-ave/blog_news.php?articleID=17626

Business or Busyness?

The business of advertising, or any business for that matter, can get very hectic. Poor time management skills, unreasonable requests, laziness, and work overload are just some of the reasons, good and bad, for being busy. Business and busyness are nearly identical in spelling. In fact, depending on your regional accent, it may sound the same coming out of your mouth. These terms are closer than just in spelling. Why are they synonymous? Do they have to be?

The answer is no.

How are things going today? Busy.

How many times have you had that verbal exchange with someone in your career? The last month? The last day? With an educated guess, I am confident in saying way too much. Saying “I’m busy” is like saying “I was born a human.” Everybody knows it and no one cares. Being busy is part of having a successful life. Very few people get anywhere without being busy.

When you have a verbal exchange with someone and you simply say “busy,” you are shooting yourself in the foot professionally.

In building your own personal brand, think about a few things:

  1. How many opportunities am I missing out on by saying “I’m busy”? If you tell everyone you’re busy a majority of the time they will stop asking. First they stop asking how you are doing, then they stop asking you to do things. There go the opportunities to form work friendships. If you tell your spouse, parents, siblings, and the like you are too busy, you will start detaching from them as well. Is work so important and so busy that you skip watching a game with your dad, baking Christmas cookies with your mom, or gardening with your spouse? Is work so important that the last time you saw your best friend face-to-face was over a month ago? Life is short and the work/life balance is never easy to handle. However, without maintaining that balance you will never find true happiness.
  2. Will people stop talking to me because my self-programmed quick response was always the same? After people stop asking you how you’re doing or asking you to do things, they will just stop talking to you altogether. You are a downer now. You are too busy. Try brainstorming new responses and physically tell yourself not to use the word as often. Treat it like a swear word and throw a dollar in a jar every time you use it. The responses you start giving people will be more memorable. Instead of saying “busy,” give a short overview of your day or one good thing that happened. People will think more highly of you for that. In Secrets of Closing the Sale, Zig Ziglar says to start out every morning listening to something uplifting. Something exciting to help start your day. Some upbeat music or an inspirational CD will do. You do not necessarily have to go all Rocky Balboa and climb the steps to “Gonna Fly Now,” but it wouldn’t hurt.
  3. What can I do to better control my schedule? Sometimes you may actually have to change a part of your routine. You may not like the change right away but it will help. One thing that helps is coming into work at 7:00 every morning instead of 8:30 or 9 AM. It gives you extra time to start your day and get moving before others come into your office and pull you in a thousand directions. This is just one example, but in this solid uninterrupted two hours you can usually get more done than in an entire eight-hour day.

Next time someone takes the time to ask how your day is going, tell them something memorable. Leave a positive impression on people because it is a small world in any industry, especially advertising. Everyone is busy.

Read the original article on the Talent Zoo blog Beyond Madison Avenue at: http://www.talentzoo.com/beyond-madison-ave/blog_news.php?articleID=17580

Merging Ideas and Businesses: Mad Men Philosophies

Ted Chaough (Kevin Rahm), Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) - Mad Men - Season 6, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/AMC

Ted Chaough (Kevin Rahm), Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) – Mad Men – Season 6, Episode 6 – Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/AMC

“For Immediate Release” was a perfect name for this last episode of Mad Men. This episode of Mad Men has truly been the best and most action-packed episode of season six thus far. Out of all the infidelity, french subtitles, and lost business, comes a revival of Roger. Through a VIP airport lounge girl, Roger Sterling meets Mikey O’Brien of Chevy. The two hit it off and Roger wins a spot in the creative pitch for their newest model car.

The night before the pitch comes and Don Draper is sitting at a Detroit bar – not surprised. Ted Chaough of Cutler, Gleason and Chaough walks in. Chaough believes that now that their are two smaller agencies in the mix, they now cancel each other out. So for the fun of it, they play a little game of “show me yours and I’ll show you mine.” After they run through a version of their pitches, Don laments that he should sell his brain to Chevy in a jar while Ted suggests they both leave now. Don slyly says, “We. That’s interesting.” It is interesting, especially since Joan berated him earlier in the show for never using that word. Don takes the reins and tells Ted to decide what to pitch while he figures out how to convince Chevy it was their idea. As simple as that, the merger begins. In the time of Mad Men, Campbell Ewald had already been handling Chevy’s business for decades. For this model, in the fictional world, SCDP and CGC won.

Mergers, partnerships, and idea sharing are common among today’s ad agencies for large clients. Just recently, former Chief Marketing Officer Joel Ewanik of GM formed a historic ad agency structure between Interpublic’s McCann Worldgroup  and Omnicom’s Goodby, Silverstein, & Partners, called Commonwealth. Unfortunately, this agency structure for Chevy advertising looks to be crumbling.  When creative’s come together to form a greater good for a client they must be able to work well together. Here are a few things Don and Ted, and anyone in this situation for that matter, will have to do to work well together.

  1. Find a new office: If one company just merges into the office of another it  could easily become a turf war. The other company would always be seen as the new guys and not as a merging of equals. A new office allows both companies to feel like the new guy and will allow them to start off on a good note without any mention of whose chair you can or can’t sit in.
  2. Set boundaries: Two creative genius‘ that are used to holding the fate of the entire company in their hands may not have the easiest time consulting each other before they make decisions. For client projects like Chevy they may both have to collaborate, but for the rest of the clients they should divide and conquer. Trying to have two creative heads with very different personalities work together may turn into an episode of Jerry Springer fairly quickly. Setting boundaries will help keep work efficient and effective.
  3. Respect colleagues: Peggy is in a new role and let’s face it, Don can’t just throw twenties in her face anymore. also, there is a whole other creative department that both sides will now have to integrate. Colleagues and superiors alike will need to respect each other’s talents.  If they respect each other, they should be able to collaborate more easily and produce even better work. If colleagues start disrespecting each other, cliques will form and it could be a huge detriment to both ad agencies.
  4. Find common ground: Both companies were doing some amazing work already. Once competitors, they are now a merger of equals. This competitive spirit may get in the way so it is important to find a common ground between colleagues. Understand each other, spend some time together, and understand expectations.

Have you ever been in a situation where a company was bought or merged? Maybe a new client came in and your department doubled? How did you deal with it and what was the outcome?

This article originally published on the Talent Zoo blog Beyond Madison Avenue at: http://www.talentzoo.com/beyond-madison-ave/blog_news.php?articleID=17462

National Tragedy and the Workplace: Mad Men Philosophies

peggy_mad_men_season6_episode5What does The Flood have to do with the assassination of MLK? That and many other comments came from viewers on the fifth installment of Mad Men season 6.  This episode did one thing very well. It showed the public how white collar working professionals dealt with a national tragedy at work just less than 50 years ago. Dealing with a national tragedy at work is not easy no matter what time period you are in. Every person and every company deals with these situations differently. Here are five situations in how the Mad Men era deals with national tragedy in the workplace; the similarities to people you may know today are haunting.

  1. The Paul Newman: Don Draper and the rest of Madison Avenue found out about the tragedy while at the Andy Awards with Paul Newman giving the keynote address. One audience member yelled out and the hall quickly cleared for a break in the festivities. When they summoned everyone back into the hall Don said “What else are we going to do?” The idea for this set was to forget about it and move on. After the party Don just wants to fall asleep.
  2. The Harry Crane: Less than 24 hours after the tragedy, Harry Crane is fielding calls from clients on make goods for all the commercials they are not airing. Crane boldly says “Enough of this crap already,” much to the dismay of Pete Campbell. Crane thinks there is too much news coverage on MLK’s death taking up his precious airtime. Crane’s philosophy is to work through the day and move past the situation.
  3. The Creepy Client: Roger’s “insurance friend” Randall Walsh wants to come in the next day, again less than 24 hours after the assassination.  Walsh wants to take advantage of the situation with a new ad. He had a trippy dream where he thinks he spoke to MLK himself. He wants an print advertisement for his property insurance with his company name, a Molotov cocktail, a match, and a coupon at the bottom. Don’s morals stand to attention and he agrees with the client’s current art director not to move forward. Don says it is in poor taste. The creepy client philosophy is focused on inappropriate opportunism.
  4. The Helpers: We see a few instances of people needing to spring into action in the wake of the tragedy. Henry helps the mayor. Abe helps the public by reporting for the New York Times, heading to “… Harlem in a tuxedo.” Megan takes the kids to a vigil in the park. She says ” I just can’t sit around the apartment anymore. I feel like I have to do something.” The philosophy for the helpers is to focus on the needs of others.
  5. The Peggy: Ever the insightful one, Peggy hits the nail on the head. Upon arriving at the office she tells her African-American secretary “You should go home. In fact, none of us should be working.” Back at SCDP, Bert Cooper closes the office early. This group realizes what affect a tragedy has on society and places high value on employee morale.

As we see in each instance, many people have very different ways of dealing with a national tragedy as large as the MLK assassination, especially in the workplace. From extremes of not caring about it to taking time off of work, the Mad Men era is all over the map in dealing with this. This is surprising to see since just 5 years earlier the world was in shock with the death of JFK.  Which set do you or your company fall into when dealing with a national tragedy at work? Was their a sixth category you would add to this list?

This article originally posted on the Talent Zoo blog Beyond Madison Ave at: http://www.talentzoo.com/beyond-madison-ave/blog_news.php?articleID=17427

NBCUniversal Says Loyalty Has Declined

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curvenotesAfter my haircut this weekend at local old school barbershop Roger and Rod’s, Rod asked me if I needed more hairspray to get me to my next appointment. “Sure,” I said without hesitation. Rod’s place is actually so classic that they do not actually accept credit, cash or check only. After I told him I did not have cash, Rod said “You’ll pay me next time.” I was stuck in my tracks. When was the last time you heard that? Even after I offered to go to the ATM and come back he said not to worry and to just remind him next time. Now, I have only been to Rod’s twice but he trusts me and my word alone. That solidified me as a loyal customer. Rod helped me step back in time to realize that the honor system and loyalty are lost in this day and age. This story is the preface to a few my notes taken from NBC Universal’s latest research for advertisers from The Curve Report.

The bi-yearly Curve Report is based on extensive surveys performed within the 18–49 year old market. At an event hosted by Adcraft and NBCUniversal last week in Birmingham, Melissa Lavigne-Deville announced that loyalty in today’s society exists on a 6–12 month cycle a majority of the time. As NBCUniversal’s Vice President Trends & Strategic Insights, Melissa knows her trends intimately. Discussing this further, she pointed out that loyalty does not exist like it did for parents and grandparents in days gone by. Melissa pointed out that this trend is important especially for automotive advertisers. Think about it; this is not even the length of an automobile lease.

Just a few years ago, loyalty was one of the keys to getting business done in society. You had a ‘guy’ for everything. Most people can think back to that one place their parents always used to go to eat, a beer your dad always drank, one brand of car that your family had to drive, and the list of ones go on. The shifting digital landscape has given younger generations more options. According to NBCUniversal, a fourth dimension has been created. One in which smartphones are changing our neighborhoods and making a personal grid, akin to what Melissa describes as a “topographic light bright.”

Gen Xers and Millennials have shaped, with the help of technology, a new future for business and the way advertisers reach out to consumers. It is up to advertisers, strategic thinkers, and innovators to cultivate the next wave of loyalty. To give consumers an online experience similar to my offline experience at Roger and Rod’s Barber Shop. The statistic of loyalty surviving on a 6–12 month timetable is not an easy pill to swallow. It is your job to figure out how to be the minority and to increase your client’s satisfaction enough to keep them coming back past the average drop off.

What do you do in your business to attract and retain loyal customers? What could you be doing better?

Read the original article on the Talent Zoo blog Beyond Madison Avenue at:  http://www.talentzoo.com/beyond-madison-ave/blog_news.php?articleID=17077

The Art of Proofreading

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proofreading_billboardIt is the copywriter’s fault. It is the manager’s fault. It is the creative director’s fault. It is the designer’s fault. It is the vendor’s fault. It is the intern’s fault. Without proofreading, it is everyone’s fault. With an industry as fast-paced as advertising, it pays to have at least one good proofreader on staff. Let us look at a few reasons why a proofreader is needed and some case studies to back it up.

  1. Oops, wrong word: The word may be spelled write but it is used in the wrong context. Why is this so important? Consider a billboard placed in 2010 for South Bend, Indiana Public Schools. Fox News described it as “This billboard left ’em blushing.” The billboard was supposed to read “15 best things about our public schools” but instead read as “15 best things about our pubic schools.” If you really think about how many steps it had to go through before it was approved, you wonder how it ever made it to the point of being posted. The key takeaway here is spell check doesn’t cut it.
  2. Misspellings: In a rally to re-elect President Obama last Fall it was noticed on national television that the t-shirts were spelled wrong. The t-shirts were simply supposed to say “FORWARD” but instead said “FOWARD.” While this was only one group of supporters that seemingly had the shirts spelled incorrectly it still helped taint one of the largest advertising campaigns of 2012. One would think someone would have at least noticed the misspelling before they were put in the front row of supporters on national television. Another example is aPorsche billboard in London. Not one billboard, but all of the billboards in and around the city were misspelled. Think of all the time and money spent to have this changed. Proofread people.
  3. Punctuation: Good punctuation is the difference between “Let’s eat Grandma” and “Let’s eat, Grandma.” It is funny but it also turns people away. After all, you would not want to end up as a “look at what not to do.” Commas and apostrophes seem to be the biggest mistakes when it comes to punctuation. In one online advertisement featuring the Ford Edge they couldn’t figure out the difference between its and it’s.
  4. Social Media: Not all social media can be planned out due to the shelf life of the majority of the updates. However, in the time you are able to plan out your social media in advance it is also important to have a proofreader take a look through. However, many instances of mistakes via corporate social media accounts happen when someone thinks they are logged in under their own profile.

In many single occurrences a good proofreader could have had their entire year’s salary paid by the cost of repairing these and other advertising mistakes. When you are looking to hire a proofreader or qualify someone internally to help in this role part-time, give them a test. Make some of the ad blunders easy to see, some difficult, and some with no changes at all. If you have a proofreader it wouldn’t hurt to test them from time to time to make sure they are catching everything. Quality checks are needed on absolutely all company communications including advertising, PR, and marketing initiatives.

Proofreading is an art. What do you do now to proofread your company’s communications? What could you do better?

Read the original article on the Talent Zoo blog beyond Madison Avenue at: http://www.talentzoo.com/beyond-madison-ave/blog_news.php?articleID=16929

An Exclusive Interview with Mad Men’s Janie Bryant

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janie_bryantMad Men is coming. The date has been announced for the premiere of Mad Men season six, and you can feel the excitement building. Fans are begging for details, but AMC has only allowed the release of a few glamorous cast photos. Who is behind the industry-changing costume design on Mad Men? Janie Bryant.

Last week, I was fortunate enough to sit down for an exclusive interview with Mad Men’s Emmy® award-winning costume designer. Throughout our 25-minute conversation, Bryant took a few moments to answer some questions that may be of interest to fans of Mad Men and readers at Talent Zoo. She reflected on her costume design choices, adding the ’60s style to clothing options in today’s ad agencies, and thoughts on a new clothing line.

Don: How does it feel to be responsible for changing the fashion industry with your Mad Men styling?

Janie: I’m glad we’re talking about this because, just so you know, I am not a stylist; I am a costume designer. It is about creating a story about the characters through costume design. They are completely different jobs. A lot of people don’t know there is a huge difference in professions. Styling is about developing someone’s own personal style. Costume design is about creating and telling the story of a character through their costumes. On Mad Men I design the costumes and I build from scratch, I rent from costume houses in Los Angeles, I work with vendors from around the country to purchase vintage clothing, and I often redesign vintage garments as well.

Don: Got it. I had no idea there was such a big difference. When you’re telling these stories through this costume design, you really changed how some people are dressing out there. Since the show started you’re seeing a lot more skinny ties, and a lot more of the tailored suits for the guys at least.

Janie:  And for the women, too. It’s been incredible to see this whole fashion movement and designers being inspired from my work. I come from a fashion design background. That was my first career and I moved into costume design. I have always felt like costume design was one of the characters of this show in particular, because in the 1960s so many things happened during the decade, not only in terms of fashion but also socially and politically.

Don: That would definitely be a lot of pressure.

Janie: I don’t mind the pressure. I love period design. I really do I love it. And I love that people have been so influenced by the show. I love that the fashion industry has been inspired by the show. I love that there has been a whole movement in men’s and women’s wear that is based around the costume design of the show too. I love it.

Don: That is absolutely great. We were talking about how your clothing choices in Mad Men really speak as much for the characters as their dialogue. Do you ever second guess any of your clothing choices, and which characters are the most difficult to dress?

Janie: Well, it is all about careful balance. Of course there are at times when, yes, I do change things around but it’s also about instincts and really using those instincts. We shoot each episode of Mad Men within eight days so there is not a lot of time for changing or rethinking things. Also, it is just about knowing the character. I’ve been the costume designer on Mad Men since season one so I really know them well. I have lived with these characters for a long time, but not quite as long as Matt Weiner, the amazingly brilliant creator of Mad Men. With six seasons in, I have my color palette for each of the characters and their silhouettes set. I like to maintain some kind of continuity of their silhouettes and carry that through each episode, but again, it really depends on what is going on with the script. It all starts there. It’s about reading the script. It’s about breaking it down. It’s about understanding what the characters are saying to each other. It’s about understanding the mood or the tone of each script and how that character is going to best show the emotions of each scene through their costumes.

Don: Out of all of the characters, which one is the most difficult to dress?

Janie: I don’t really approach it that way because it’s not really about that for me. It is more about the challenges of what I want to say with each scene. Also, it’s more about the pure volume of people. It is more about figuring out how all of these pieces are going to fit and work together. I like to approach it essentially when there are all the principles in one scene and all of the background characters in one scene as like it was a painting.

Don: That is a very intriguing thought. The landscape of office attire today is very casual compared to the Mad Men era. What do you think the impact would be on today’s workforce if the same standard of professionalism and style existed today?

Janie: [laughs] I wouldn’t call the Mad Men guys very professional — grabbing women’s asses and drinking in the office. I don’t think one era is better than the other; I think it is an evolution. We definitely live in a more casual and comfortable period of time. Do I think it looks better to be dressed up and all put together? Yes, but I don’t know if we can ever really go back to that way of being so put together and not being comfortable. People are used to being comfortable now.

Don: I understand completely. That is a very good point.

Janie: It can be compared like this — would people in the 1960s wear corsets like they did in the Victorian era? No. If you look at all of the different decades, each really gets more and more casual. Then again, I think people have also been inspired lately to dress up more and really do understand that different way of how they feel when they’re really dressed up. They understand the feeling of looking great as opposed to when they’re not taking as much care. I think it’s about education and I think it’s about knowing how to dress up. There is a time and place for everything, you know.

Don: So along with that, when you’re looking at the characters, they look so put together. It’s definitely a different style and era.

Janie: That’s called permanent press fabric. The fabrics of that period were engineered to not wrinkle. It’s a whole permanent press era. That’s why so many of the fabrics were blends. That was the whole trend to stay pressed all day long in that period. Our fabrics are different today.

Don: That is very true; most clothes today are 100% cotton. You don’t see many blends out there.

Janie: Yes, and thankfully not. They don’t breathe. That’s why manufacturers stopped making them. The trend is different now. It’s more comfort. It’s breathable fabrics that are not focused on being permanently pressed. It’s about being permanently distressed [laughs].

Don: So, how do you recommend advertising professionals today add Mad Men vintage flair to their work attire?

Janie: Well, I’m a huge fan of menswear, and whether I am designing the suits for the cast or I’m renting vintage suits, it’s all about proper tailoring. As far as the ’60s era, it’s the skinny ties, the skinny lapel, and flat front trousers. Men were also wearing a lot of accessories in that period like tie bars, cuff links, monogrammed belts, beautiful watches, bracelets, pinky rings and so much more. For the men, it was definitely a time of accessories. And for the women, again, it’s about having clothes fit to your body. I always recommend people having a good tailor or seamstress. For the women, the design has really changed from when we first started the show to season five. Then [season one] it was all about the sheath and now [season five] the times have changed and definitely more of a square and architectural shape became the fashion. The thing is for women it is really hard to say what exactly is that Mad Men look. Iconically, I’m sure everybody thinks of Joan in her tight-fitting sheaths and her wiggle dresses. Now it’s about Megan in her Zou Bisou Bisou minidress.

Don: Sure, it’s all about finding your niche and seeing what works best for you.

Janie: Exactly.

Don: Do you have any future plans of creating your own fashion label? Would it take a page from the Mad Men era or would it be completely unique?

Janie: I do. It will be unique to my designs. As a costume designer I am working from the Mad Men scripts and I love the period. I love the ’60s. It’s a great period, but as far as my own design aesthetic, my brand is much more modern glamorous and sexy with an edge. But hopefully soon you’ll see that. [laughs]

Don: Soon, yes. I know a lot of people are asking you questions about upcoming things. On Twitter I see a lot of people are asking you questions about season six of Mad Men.

Janie: I know, I can’t tell you anything about that.

Don: I understand. I actually think it is funny that people ask because everyone knows how tight the set is and everything.

Janie: We’re all hush-hush around here. As for other current projects I’ve been working with some amazing brands. I’ve worked with Banana Republic on the Mad Men collection and we have just announced our third collaboration, which is really exciting. Last year I worked with Maidenform on designing their 90th anniversary capsule collection and I still work as their brand ambassador. Also, I’ve been working with Hearts on Fire®, a diamond company which I love. Then I’ve been working with oneCARE company on a product called Downy Wrinkle Releaser® for fabric care. I love textiles and fabrics and have been working with them a lot, which has been great.

Don: It sounds like you’re staying pretty busy then.

Janie: [laughs] Well it has been busy, but it’s been really fun and really creative. I’m just working on it day by day.

Day by Day is the only way for someone as motivated as Janie to work. Her costume design on Mad Men is so spot-on that it almost feels wrong to call them costumes. It is almost more believable to think she took a DeLorean back to 1962 and filled the trunk of with as much clothes as she could. If you didn’t think working on the set of Mad Men was enough, she is brand ambassador to three brands, wrote a book called The Fashion File, designed three lines for Banana Republic, and is working on her own future line. There are four big takeaways from our conversation: find a good tailor; approach challenging situations like artwork, making every brushstroke count; to be successful like Janie you must have passion and love for what you do, and; as much as you ask, you will never get a spoiler on Mad Men.

Janie is clearly a large part of the genius behind the success of Mad Men. How has her costume design affected you? Discuss.

Article originally published on Talent Zoo at: http://www.talentzoo.com/news/An-Exclusive-Interview-with-Mad-Men-s-Janie-Bryant/16784.html

4 Must-Watch Super Bowl Commercials

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2013 Super Bowl Commerical Coke Chase

2013 Super Bowl Commerical Coke Chase

Every year we are stunned by some of the commercials that come out during the Super Bowl. Sometimes they are amazing displays of an advertising budget and sometimes they are lost in a creative directors vision. This years is more of the same; advertisers trying to outperform each other to get the attention of the masses on this all-American-almost-holiday that is Super Bowl Sunday. Here are just four commercials that you must watch. They will pull at your heart strings, make you laugh out loud, and make you run to YouTube to watch them over and over again.

  1. Budweiser: The King of Beers always makes a move to make stronger and better commercials year after year. This time they look at the man who trains their prized Clydesdale horses. The commercial really brings it full circle and in its short 60 seconds really makes you feel like you’ve just watched a really good movie. Not to mention they are making great use of social media but having people tweet their favorite baby name for their newest horse with the hashtag #clydesdales. Watch the Clydesdales “Brotherhood” here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2prAccclXs
  2. Fiat 500 Abarth: Fiat is at it again. This time their commercial goes topless. The commercial can be best described as tastefully sultry. Other than that, you have to watch it for yourself. This should get a lot of people talking. See the commercials for the Fiat 500 Abarth here.
  3. Taco Bell: This is one of the best commercials to come out of Taco Bell in years. It is called “Viva Young” and features a version of “We Are Young” in Spanish. Other than the song, there is no dialogue in the commercial except for a nurse saying goodnight to a lonely old gentlemen. Seconds later, he jumps out of bed and into some classic Detroit Muscle for a night on the town with his old codgers like no other. They end up, like all people do after a night of clubbing, at Taco Bell. Live Más. Watch it here.
  4. Coca Cola: What would a watch list be without Coke or Pepsi? Coke does it this time with a chase through the desert. This chase includes Flamingo showgirls from Vegas, cowboys, a sheik, a motorcyclist, and a large glitter cannon racing through the desert like they are trying to get to the oversized bottle of Coke first to quench their thirst. The sign says 50 miles ahead. The chase continues. The intriguing thing about this commercial is that Coke is letting the public decide how the commercial ends. Watch it here and see how it ends on game day.

Watching all of these commercials via YouTube early can be great. However, you miss out on the big reveal. The way Super Bowl commercials used to be aired before social media took a huge foothold. The agencies and advertisers that still keep this element of surprise should be commended. Coke gets innovative by intermixing both tactics. Do you think revealing these ads early on social media hurts the airing of the commercials during the Super Bowl or helps it? Discuss.

Article originally published on the Talent Zoo blog Beyond Madison Avenue at: http://www.talentzoo.com/beyond-madison-ave/blog_news.php?articleID=16718