Yesterday, I had a moment. You know, that moment when you’re reinvigorated and reminded that, yup, you’re doing the right thing.

I was assigned to write copy for a new client project and was going to work with three different designers to come up with three different ideas for a simple promotional piece. When I met with the first designer, the idea just blew me away. No, it wasn’t anything crazy-complicated or super out-of-the-box by any means, but it was a refreshing new take on something really basic.

BAM! This is why I do what I do. I get to be creative and participate in interesting projects with some of the most inspired people out there. It’s moments like these that make agency life rock.

My giddy, inspired self took to Twitter to not only express my love for agency life but to ask other creatives why they love it, too. Why it keeps them on their toes. Why it excites them. And you know what? I really liked what I heard.

@romke: New projects. New tech. Pushing the envelope.

@amluebke: Working with creative, ambitious people. Diversity in projects and clients. Ability to try on a variety of roles!

@kjpociask: Each client means new relationships, new research, new skill sets flexed. A challenge for my brain!

@mkenerd: This is easy. The people, the projects and the excitement I feel when I wake up every morning!

@socialskipper: Energy. Excitement. Fear and thrill of the unknown. Each day presents new challenges and opportunities to learn. Passion.

@cjibo: You never know what the next thing will be so you are never bored. It is not the same old same old day in and out.

@dan_shunk: Everyday is something new. Crazy last minute requests. Thinking up ways to sell something that people need. Or maybe because we get to think outside the box.

@ijyoung: Working with clever people keeps you on your toes.

And of course, the Z2 team had similar things to say.

  • April: Agency life continuously challenges you. There’s no monotony because you’re never doing the same thing twice. No two days–or hours, for that matter–will ever be the same.
  • Mario: One week I’m planning a party for Milwaukee’s who’s who… and the next I’m flying to Utah for a flash mob.  I’m creative and chaotic all at once.
  • Pete: It’s always something new and challenging, and it’s exciting to create work that defines brands and that our clients fall in love with.
  • Dawn: You never do the same job twice. Every client is different. Every project is different, so it’s like going to a new job every day.
  • Jessica: It’s hard to anticipate what’s coming next, you’re always being pulled in different directions and clients will always make you work for an approval.
  • Kerry: I love that there are new challenges every day. It is definitely never boring.
  • Kim: Agency life is different every day. You never know what’s coming next, and sometimes that can be really exciting.
  • Kevin: Beats staying home and watching Maury Povich.

Thanks to everyone who responded — every single one of you continuously encourage me to think out of the box — and hopefully you’re all a little more inspired to take a simple little project and turn it into something really compelling!

March 29, 2011 · Posted by in misc  

Photo courtesy of pinoytutorial.com

A short time ago, I posted about the most recent changes on Facebook regarding privacy and security settings.  Well, here’s another change Facebook has made, but it’s much more exciting.

On March 24, Facebook launched their Questions tool which allows users, particularly brand pages, to ask questions of their followers.  These are not open-ended questions but rather multiple choice.  So what’s the big deal?  As Facebook continues to transition into a “one stop shop” social media site, this is just another free tool that people in the marketing business (or any business really) can use.  With over 500 million users and over 900 million objects that people interact with (like community pages, groups, events and other pages) on Facebook, it would be silly for brands and business to not take advantage of this new feature.  The Questions tool allows for quick market research that would otherwise be hard(er) to get participation in.  Here are some examples of how the Questions tool can be used from Mashable.com:

  • Ice cream parlors can find out what the flavor of the week should be.
  • A gym can find out what time is best for its new hip-hop yoga class.
  • Radio stations can determine the hottest concerts for the summer.
  • Manufacturers can do a pulse check on fans’ holiday shopping plans.

I think this will be a very useful tool for brands and businesses to engage in. What do you think?

March 28, 2011 · Posted by in branding, pr, social media, web  

Photo courtesy of brandweek.com

Men, do you think you might take more time to examine toiletry items if you had your very own aisle—free from girly scents and feminine products? That’s what a certain manufacturer is hoping.

I recently came across an article on Time Magazine’s Web site explaining that Procter & Gamble has been testing in stores the idea of creating separate aisles for men and women. Instead of being grouped by product, these aisles are grouped by gender.

The article explains, “The idea behind this separation seems to be based on the idea that men are freaked out by women’s products, and are therefore less likely to spend time perusing items. And not having to navigate their way through scary and foreign items (pink razors! tampons! eek!) must be such a relief to men, they’re inspired to explore and discover new things. Man things.”

I’ll base my opinion on how I think this change would impact my shopping-despising significant other. He’ll hate shopping just as much, regardless of the aisle in which he can find his razors. Changing aisles would probably just further confuse his trip to the store. Still, it’s an interesting concept. What do you think?

March 25, 2011 · Posted by in marketing  

Camera Mount

What do you say when people ask what you do at work?

I’ve been known to give answers like “Whatever it takes” or “I fix everything” because we do so many different things at Z2, it’s a hard question to answer.

For instance, last night I built a camera mount to attach to the ceiling. (It’s for a client.) This is probably the 4th camera mount I’ve built at Z2 in the last 9 months, and it doesn’t seem weird, it just seems like one more thing we do.

Olivia SlaterPhoto by Joe Haas

Here’s Olivia getting a lesson in “multiple hat theory” on a video shoot. I managed to pile about 4 titles on her, and while we were filming, gave her one more… “slater.”

I spent a few minutes telling her how to slate, and told her that she was lucky, because she’d be in every scene… until the editing started. :)

She did great, and I hope she had fun doing it.

Some people have a hard time getting thrown into tasks that are outside their comfort zone, but I think we’re pretty lucky to not have any of those people working here.

So if you’re ever in the Z2 office for an interview, and I ask if you can lift 50 pounds above your head, chance are it’s a real question, and not some weird trick to throw you off.

So, what do you do?

March 24, 2011 · Posted by in misc  

Read this and pretty please tell me you see what’s wrong.

Commas, people… commas! Please use them to keep your readers from misinterpreting that the delightful flavor in this wildly popular chef’s dishes is Bérnaise a la Pup. Seriously.

This stomach-turning magazine cover was passed on to me from one of my Spreenkler Creative pals, Mr. David Cha. And if you are not currently following him on Twitter, please do.

And remember… every time you forget a comma, a PUPPY DIES.

March 24, 2011 · Posted by in misc, photo  

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