Archive for September, 2010

IMC Groupies

September 24, 2010

Hi IMC Friends!

We are officially halfway through the Early Fall semester—woohoo! I hope you all are enjoying your classes.  I only have one assignment due on Monday, so I’m planning to use the extra time this weekend to spend time with family and friends on the lake.  Boat season is almost over here in Morgantown 😦

I had the opportunity to participate in an IMC focus group earlier this week, and one of the things we discussed was the possibility of forming an IMC student organization. Several IMC students have expressed an interest in having more networking and professional development opportunities.  I’d like to use this blog to get some feedback from you current and prospective students. Would an IMC student organization be something you’d be interested in?

Also, IMC graduates—one of the things we discussed in the focus group was the possibility of including a mentorship program within the student organization, where a few IMC graduates would be available to answer questions from current students. What are your thoughts?

Any feedback you guys have regarding the proposed student organization would be greatly appreciated! Just reply to this blog with any comments or suggestions you may have.

Have a great weekend everyone!

I Got Buzzed

September 16, 2010

Hi IMC pals! I hope everyone’s having a good week thus far. I must say that I’ve been having a blast in my classes this week. For my 612 Audience Insight class, I got to write (again) about one of my favorite TV shows, True Blood, as part of a discussion about buzz marketing.

Again, this was one of those weeks where topics from each of my classes intertwined. Right after I turned in a creative brief assignment for my 615 Creative Strategy class, I started doing some background research for my True Blood discussion post about buzz marketing for my other class. I found case study for True Blood’s Season 2 buzz marketing campaign, which was executed by Digital Kitchen. The folks at HBO handed Digital Kitchen’s creative team a two-word creative brief that simply said, “Create buzz.” Two words! That two-word brief resulted in some really cool creative executions, where ads for real brands targeting vampires were placed in media among regular ads.

The other example of buzz marketing I mentioned in my discussion was one that actually happened to me personally a few years ago. As part of their product launch, the marketers of Stacy’s Pita Chips mailed boxes of pita chips to everyone in the country named “Stacy,” myself included. The boxes contained a letter asking me to send a box to a friend if I liked them (I sent one to my parents).  I’m not sure how effective this tactic was, but I will say that I told all of my friends about it!

What are some of your favorite examples of buzz marketing?  Have you ever been “buzzed”?

Account Planning: An Unfortunate Name for a Cool Job

September 10, 2010

Hi IMC Land! I apologize for not blogging earlier this week. It’s been crazy at the Wise House –the WVU football game, the holiday weekend, homework, discussion posts … and the most important event of all this week—Hailey’s first day of preschool!

First day of preschool! No tears for Hailey. Lots of tears for Mom.

I know I’ve mentioned this in previous blogs, but I really love it when I get those “ah ha” moments where I see how something I’m learning in one class relates to something I’m learning in another class. This week we’ve been discussing the field of account planning in my Creative Strategy class. In the past, whenever I’d see job ads for an account planner I would think, “boring,” and gloss over them. Having no prior knowledge of account planning, I simply assumed that “account planner” was another term for “account manager” or “account executive.” Not so!

Our Creative Strategy lesson this week quoted account planning pioneer Stanley Pollitt, who described account planning as  a way “to ensure that all the data relevant to key advertising decisions be properly analyzed, complemented with new research, and brought to bear on judgments of creative strategy.”

I know, that doesn’t really sound all that great yet, but just bear with me…

According to our lesson, account planning is “one of the most rewarding roles in the field of advertising.” Why?  Because “planners spend a lot of time in crazy places like football stadiums, airports and yoga studios attempting to develop a deeper understanding of the audience than mere surveys or focus groups can provide.” Our lesson gave the example of account planners for Sega. Their job was to watch kids play video games all day long to identify key insights about them. The result? Sega’s successful “Welcome to the Next Level” campaign.

It just so happens that my other course this semester is Audience Insight. We spend a lot of time in that class discussing what motivates consumers—the heart of account planning. At the beginning of this semester, I never would’ve imagined that something we discussed in Creative Strategy class would directly apply to my Audience Insight class. I think it’s a great example of what IMC really means—integrating all of these elements together to form what Professor Stultz refers to as “the big idea.”

Just out of curiosity, do we have any account planners in the IMC program? Have any of you worked with account planners?  If so, please share your story with us!  

Have a great weekend, everyone, and …. Let’s GOOOOOO Mountaineers!