Sketching things out sometimes is the clearest way to think. Here are some visuals about life, liberty and the pursuit of advertising.
We all took a break from work this afternoon and gathered to celebrate Co-Founder and Chairman Roy Spence’s birthday. Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell joined in the festivities and surprised Roy by proclaiming October 10, 2013 “Roy Spence Day” in Austin. We clapped, we cheered, we hugged… And then we ate some cake.
“I thank you, and I love you. And you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” – Roy
As brands continue to extend their voice and message through social media, many are showing signs of becoming more and more comfortable in a space that was once feared.
Brands now feel more inclined to talk about and talk to other brands in the Twittersphere; sometimes to pass along a compliment and other times to poke fun (e.g. Audi publicly stated it was sending LED lights to the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome during the blackout at Super Bowl XLVII). By engaging with each other, brands indirectly expose themselves to new followers by creating unlikely associations. For instance, I don’t think people visiting the Old Spice Twitter feed were expecting to read a complaint about Taco Bell’s “fire sauce”. Regardless, the social banter is certainly something to pay attention to.
Honda’s “Odyssey’s Day of Reckoning” Twitter campaign is a great example of social conversation done right. In an effort to promote the new Odyssey’s in-car vacuum cleaner, Honda is warning snack brands that they should watch out. Crumbs will no longer linger in the car nooks and crannies as evidence of a mess that once was. Here are a few of my favorite tweets:
There is definitely a strategy behind the brands Honda is targeting–Like Oreo and Skittles, they are well known for their fun and loyal fan base. Nearly 20 brands have already responded to the conversations Honda has initiated on Twitter, whether it be with a witty response or image featuring both products. Honda followers are even recommending brands for the company to engage.
This Fast Company article does a nice job of compiling the best responses to the “Odyssey’s Day of Reckoning” campaign. It’s great to see brands acting more like people and coming up with innovative ways to engage and attract new audiences. So much better than “Happy Friday!” tweets.
Well done, Honda. Well done.
My first advertising interview was with Tiffany R. Warren which led to my first internship in New York. The Multicultural Advertising Internship Program (MAIP) was the catapult that started my career. Back then my goal was to get some experience and land a job at a full service agency. I decided early on I didn’t want to be pigeon-holed into a Hispanic advertising role because I thought it would limit my potential.
This past weekend I was lucky enough to attend the ADCOLOR awards in Los Angeles. Hearing and seeing successful multicultural people in the industry and the change they created and inspired was amazing. My goal used to be to fit in, be like the masses and that would mean success. After hearing each person’s story and how attainable their impact was, I’m not doing enough to push change in our field. We are all not doing enough.
What if we all rose up to the challenge of creating a more diverse workforce? It’s not about meeting agency goals but rather stepping out of our comfort zone of sea of sameness and reach out to someone different. I don’t know what my career would have been like without that interview. Why not give someone different the chance to say the same thing. Who knows how it will change their life and yours. I urge everyone to be an agent of change. No one is looking for a handout–just a hand up.
September 26, 2013
Posted by Melanie Mahaffey
At a recent Austin Music People event, we ran into Black Fret Founders Matt Ott and Colin Kendrick and immediately wanted to know more.
How would you describe Black Fret to someone on the street?
At our heart Black Fret is a social and connected community of music fans dedicated to good music, good times and the sustainable success of Austin’s local musicians. Together our members find great bands, gather to see them in intimate shows and award them grants to help them create and perform new music.
(Erin Ivey at the Black Fret launch party, January 2013)
Why is Black Fret’s mission important?
In 2012 the Austin music industry was an almost $1.7 billion dollar economic engine. It supports over 18,000 jobs**. Austin is home to thousands of amazing musicians. Yet many musicians struggle to create and distribute their art. There is a misconception that the digital revolution has made creating music an inexpensive and easy thing to do. While the technological advances have made recording music more accessible to more people, creating “professional” high-quality music and then spending the money to tour, manufacture, distribute and promote that music remains an amazingly expensive proposition. Black Fret grants make a big difference in the success of our local artists and, hopefully, keeps Austin out of danger of losing the talent that makes our creative economy so unique.
Where did the name come from?
Naming is always a fun challenge. After starting the Austin Music Foundation over a decade ago, we were looking for something with a little more character. We wanted a name that didn’t sound like a traditional charity because we aren’t one. We wanted something that reflected our mission to support local music. We wanted something younger, edgier and a bit secret society-ish that would align with our limited membership model. So we started brainstorming and researching. In the process discovered an obscure thread on the Internet about searching for a black metal that could serve as a fret on the neck of a guitar. It turns out there is no metal that can sustain a metal to metal vibration and remain black. So in effect a “black fret” doesn’t really exist. In that way it is sort of the unicorn of the music world. So we figured that was a good space for us to live. “Black Fret” was born.
How do I get involved with Black Fret?
Our business plan is simple and proven: find 1,333 patrons to donate $1,500 annually… raising $2,000,000 each year. After tax deduction this can cost you less than $100 per month ($50 if you have access to a corporate match). This allows us to build an endowed non-profit institution capable of supporting more than 50 artists each year. Those grants will flow to the best of the best of Austin’s internationally recognized musicians allowing us to build an internationally recognized brand around Black Fret Artists that will further enable those artists as they look to build their own brand outside Austin.
In return for their annual dues our members are guided through an annual process to learn, listen, see and share Austin’s best musicians ultimately resulting in a vote to select artists to receive grants. During that process members will experience regular and amazingly intimate musical events while gaining personal insight into Austin’s music scene. The member experience is equal parts arts patron, music industry insider, talent scout and connected Austinite.
If you don’t want to become a member or a sponsor, the easiest and most impactful thing one can do to help is spread the word to your friends, family, co-workers and favorite bands. If you are invited to an event we would love for you to bring people that are interested and able to join. Ultimately the sooner we get to 1,333 members the sooner we can achieve our full potential. There is also a Supporter level (annual dues of $300) outlined on our website and any and all donations are welcome. Lastly we need a few select volunteers at our events. If you would like to help please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Black Fret, membership and upcoming events, visit BlackFret.org.
** Source: THE STATE OF THE AUSTIN MUSIC INDUSTRY” WHITE PAPER; AUSTIN MUSIC PEOPLE, FEBRUARY 2013
We take a lot of pride in our culture—something that was put into practice by four rock stars… ahem, people: Roy Spence, Steve Gurasich, Judy Trabulsi, and Tim McClure. Our Founders. Since those four folks founded our agency 42 years ago—and therefore gave us jobs, we all like to get together and celebrate them and the house that they built. (And let’s be honest, a celebration is a great excuse to eat tacos. We love our tacos around here.)
Last Friday (which, notably, was my tenth day as a GSD&Mer) was Founders’ Day, so around noon, charter buses whisked my coworkers and me away from the office and dropped us off at Studio 6A (where Austin City Limits TV tapings took place for over thirty years).
When we stepped in to the elevator, it was summer in Austin. When we stepped out… well, it was Christmas in September, y’all—complete with Santa hats, Christmas trees, and entertainment by Dale Watson and his Lone Stars.
With speeches throughout the day, we celebrated our heritage and our future, but one moment in particular sticks out in my memory. Our CEO and fearless leader Duff Stewart said this about our agency:
We approach everything we do with heart. We want each of you to be happy, successful, and fulfilled. That’s love.
A holiday party in September, Dale Watson, tacos, and an inspiring speech from our CEO… Can you think of a better way to welcome a new employee to GSD&M? No? Me either. Two weeks in, and I am feeling right at home. You could even say that I’m feeling the love. (Intentional bad joke.)
…So we’re having another party next Friday, right?
Check out photos from the day here: http://gsdm.biz/18XEflS
September 3, 2013
Posted by Curiosity
When Southwest Airlines approached GSD&M to create a new campaign to promote their Nationwide Fare Sale, there was only one thing to do: go on vacation!
Together with production company Supply & Demand, we captured beautiful footage to highlight the kind of vacations we all daydream about, bringing to life the campaign’s mantra: “Carpe Vacay.”
Here are some behind-the-scenes photos from our three shooting locations.
MONTE RIO, CA
Props to the props department for the ideal fly fishing equipment.
Even when fishing on the naturally beautiful Russian River, it’s good to have a stellar lighting crew.
If you’re not laughing during a Southwest Airlines shoot, you’re not doing it right. Our director, Sean Thonson, demonstrates the proper technique.
Local families took a keen interest in the crew’s activities that day.
Cuvaison’s Tasting Room couldn’t have been a better backdrop for our “Wine Tasting” spot. Pay them a visit the next time you Carpe Vacay in Napa.
Getting the right shot sometimes means being the guy behind the tasting bar. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.
If you’ve ever spilled wine at a party, you can empathize with this moment. No stunt double required.
Our actors were on their feet most of the day, but it’s hard to complain about these work conditions.
Blue skies and happy skid marks greeted us in South Carolina.
Do not attempt this at home. Seriously, how would you even get out of the garage with all that rigging?
How cool is riding shotgun with a highly-skilled stunt driver? Creative Director, Brian Pudder’s reaction should tell you everything you need to know.
You may not have a pursuit car with camera rigging to capture your own driving experience, but you can drive off into the sunset at the BMW Performance Driving School.
Of course, to travel to each location, we flew Southwest all the way. #CarpeVacay
All photos by Ben Thoma
Sometimes it can be hard. Really hard. Unless it’s brilliant. Then it was easy. Wasn’t it?
By Nicole Corley & Nathan Hardy
In celebration of Founders’ Day, we’re taking a quick trip through time. A lot has happened in 42 years around here. From winning Jack Morton’s Menswear in 1971 to winning Lee Jeans in 2013. From writing copy off a typewriter to becoming a leader at SXSW interactive. From growing out of our 50 sq. ft. office on UT’s campus to taking over three acres downtown Austin. It’s been an adventure around every turn. So today, we take a moment (or six) to revisit the road that lead us to where we are today. Cheers.
View it on Instagram here: http://instagram.com/p/de-RXDiOCX/
You’re walking down the street. You see someone in front of you. Walking. Running. Mosey-ing. Maybe he has weird shorts on. Maybe she has weird hair. Or maybe they’re walking lockstep while sporting identical business attire. From your point of view, which is directly behind their point of view, things are different. You see what they can’t. Some call it “social stalking.” Others call it “observational humor.”
I call it #rearpov.
When I was little, I used to “people watch” at the airport (still do.) My parents were divorced and lived in different cities which made me a frequent flyer at a very young age . So my mom would take me to the airport a few hours early and we’d just sit there and watch all the people going who knows where. I didn’t much like the flying part, or those little plastic wings they gave you, but I did like the people watching while I waited for the plane. Sometimes we’d come up with a name and/or a quick story about that person. Did we have too much time on our hands? Yes. Were we being judgmental? Probably. But I think that’s where this whole #rearpov idea started—somewhere in the terminals of Love Field. Maybe.
People are more interesting when they don’t know they’re being photographed. They act normal, relaxed. They buy the beer they the like. More importantly, they don’t pose or have any pretense about them. Sometimes I just take pics of people from #rearpov because something makes me laugh. Okay, that’s really the only reason.
The people I see from #rearpov have stories. Funny stories. Sad stories. Complicated stories. Unfortunately, I don’t know their stories. But I like to imagine what their stories might be. Where are they from? Is she famous? Why does he walk with a limp? And are those really embroidered crabs on his shorts?!? These are the things I think about when I’m not at a computer.
It’s all fodder for writing. More often than not, these little #rearpov photos lead me to think about character development, and character development can lead to stories, and stories are what people care about. Stories and live music.
Some of the best #rearpov pics are the ones I’ve received from friends. Like @jaytaco. And @brewerscott. And @arthurstewartjr. That’s the great thing about #rearpov. Anyone can do it. In fact, I think you should. All of you. But watch your back. @chaydeng just might #rearpov you.