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Meet Emily

Emily Down | August 11, 2010

Hello world, I’m Emily. I joined Jama Software in June (just one day after my college graduation!) and will be posting some of Jama’s projects, as well as articles on collaboration and innovation, here on our blog.

As my college career came to a close, I had the opportunity to attend Creative Week and the One Show’s Creative unConference in New York. I also competed in the National Student Ad Competition in Florida, with my team, at the national level. From the hundreds of teams competing in the NSAC, 19 teams represent their districts at nationals in Orlando, Florida. It was a busy, wonderful month.

Both New York and Orlando were full of takeaways. A few:

Good design is transformative. During Creative Week NYC, Warren Berger, author of Glimmer, hosted a panel on design at the Martin Agency. He discussed what good design with panel of designers and strategists from RGA, BBDO and the Martin Agency. They all agreed — design should be carried through product development, as well as advertising. It helps people understand what you’re saying or doing in a clear, beautiful way.

A spontaneous meeting of the minds trumps a planned one. The Creative unConference’s unplanned sessions ranged from agency-studio relationships, creative process, technology, building creative teams, “making physical sh*t that works,” to “the survival of the digital immigrant.” It was collaboration. It was about solving real problems, meeting people, and answering questions — without time limits or (thought-out) agendas. It was inspirational.

Campaign strategies overlap. At nationals, we’ve all been working on solving the same problem: State Farm is losing 18-25 year-olds to other insurance brands. What’s interesting is that although our strategies overlap, the writing, art direction and media use is incredibly diverse. Most teams believed agents personalized insurance and that personalization was key for an audience that doesn’t understand insurance. No team presented the same campaign strategy.

People have different understandings of an effective campaign or pitch. Our education and involvement with professionals led to diverse presentation approaches. It’s fun to see how each team is shaped by its school and region. It’s also reminded me how within each pitch we must not only tell the most compelling brand story but also understand how each client interprets “successful” advertising.

An amazing campaign is useless without a stunning presentation. And a bad idea won’t succeed, even if it’s well-dressed.