Tuesday, December 29, 2009
A very yuleTIDE Christmas and happy holidays to everyone! For me, Christmas was fairly uneventful this year. I didn't make it home due to outlandish airline ticket prices as well as frigid temperatures. Instead I opted to stay here and start a new Christmas morning tradition. Surfing. Santa Claus was generous this year with a very large Christmas swell hitting the coast throughout the weekend.
I have never surfed during the winter months, nor experienced a large winter swell of this magnitude so for me it was quite the occurrence. While being up in Los Angeles over the weekend, my sister, future brother-in-law and I took a short drive up to Ventura, CA to surf the famous "C Street" point break. When we got there, the surf was massive. There were a lot of people out in the lineup, but just as many if not more on the beach watching the show go down. Paddling out is particularly tricky at this spot because there is such a strong current flowing down the beach. If you are not careful or not a strong paddler you could end up a mile or so down the beach into the pier.
The waves were huge, I took a serious beating just paddling out to the lineup. They were growing every minute and they would break farther out then the previous. It was getting serious, waves were taking guys out left and right. About after an hour a sneaker set rolled through and I was caught on the inside of the wave. Just facing a 15' + mammoth about to break on top of me, which is exactly what it did. A sheer nightmare for what seemed to be forever. I was tossed around like a rag doll, got the wind knocked out of me and held down in the dark abyss. I remember opening my eyes and only seeing pitch black. When I finally reached the surface, another wave came in right behind me and did the same. I was absolutely certain that I was going to die right there. Somehow I managed to reach the surface again, climbed back on to my board and made my way to the shore. As I threw up the remaining salt water in my lungs and stomach, I couldn't believe I made it out of there alive.
It was a Christmas to remember at the least.
Trying to correlate advertising during a recession and surfing big waves is tough but if you have a little imagination you can see the similarities. Surfing big waves is like advertising during a recession- companies are afraid to spend ad dollars due to the tightening of budgets and the risk of going bankrupt. Surfers are afraid to surf big waves due to the risk of injury or even death. But if you take the chance, whether it be spending more ad dollars and setting yourself apart from the cowering competition or take off on that big wave for the ride of your life, the end result is definitely well worth the risk.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Well, the day has finally come. I’m nearing the close of my last day at Bailey Gardiner. It’s definitely a bittersweet feeling at the moment. I’m excited to have some extra time, which will sadly be taken up mostly by studying for finals. However, I’m definitely sad to be leaving this office. As I was saying in my last blog post, I have learned more here than I ever could have learned in a classroom. Before starting my internship, I was skeptical because of stories I’ve heard or things I’ve seen on TV shows, movies, etc. Would I be making coffee and licking envelopes all day? No, definitely not. I never made coffee for anyone but myself thanks to the wonderful Keurig. And my wonderful supervisor, Becca, let me in on the secret to sealing envelopes – wet paper towel. As you can see, two possible issues were easily averted. They’ve got your back at BG.
I’d like to focus on some of the things I was able to be a part of during my semester long internship. I was able to attend multiple meetings with clients, one being a focus group, where I was able to see first-hand how people would interact with a new product and service (2 out of 3 meetings included a meal, which is definitely a score in an unpaid position). I was able to research companies that I’d never heard of and find out that I might even be the type of person they’re targeting. I was able to talk with several publications and negotiate rates for insertions. I was able to start the coordination of a project for college students that helped a client with their market research needs. I was able to flex my editing muscles on test messages and Eblasts. I was able to learn about paid advertisements on Google and start a new campaign with keywords. I was able to express my thoughts on an intern-run blog. I was able to make some new friends, both interns and full-time employees. But one of the most important things I was able to do, and I believe this is true for all interns, was that I was able to add experience to my resume.
When you look at it on paper, it may be only a few words, sentences, or lines of information. But in reality, it’s a whole lot more than that. The next words I’ll be able to add to my resume will sum up an incredible opportunity I was given. Obviously, a few lines won’t do it justice, but hopefully future employers will understand how much it meant when I answer any questions they might have. In a time when so many are finding it difficult to land an interview with an employer, let alone a job, a resume plays a critical role. It is important to have your resume stand out and stand out for the right reasons. Having your resume stand out because of grammar or spelling errors, doesn’t count. I haven’t entered this scary new job market yet and I have a feeling it will be a long process until I find a good fit for me, but starting out with a well prepared resume is definitely what I plan on focusing on. So wish me luck as I enter my last semester of college and eventually join the job search.
Ad Intern 1 is definitely full from a wonderful meal at Bailey Gardiner, but I’m leaving room for dessert.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Around this time of the year I have a tradition to get myself prepared for the upcoming snowboard season. It starts with digging my snowboard out of a pile of assorted sports equipment in the garage. Always a daunting task because it is constantly at the very bottom. Then dusting it off, prepping it to be waxed, and making sure I have plenty of ice-cold Pabst at hand. I'll throw my goggles on for good measure, turn the iron on, grab a nice fresh stick of deliciously scented wax, pop in one my favorite snowboard videos, and wax away.
Lucky for me I grew up by a well renown ski resort and only had to drive 5 minutes to get to there. Living in San Diego is a completely different story with the closest decent mountain being 6 hours away. I never had to plan out a ski vacation ahead of time, it was more or less looking outside my bedroom window in the morning to see how much it had snowed the night before. For the average consumer, deciding the morning before or even a week before is not an option. Or is it? With the economy in shambles and an unclear future, consumers are finding it unrealistic to book a ski vacation 4 to 6 months in advance. Making reservations for 1 to 2 weeks in advance is seemingly becoming the norm. At least for Vail Resorts.
After watching a interesting clip featuring the CEO of Vail Resorts, Rob Katz, he explained how they have completely changed their marketing efforts for this upcoming season. By focusing on Social Media and advertising with real-time messages as opposed to committing to print ads 4 to 6 months in advance or long-lead traditional advertising. Attracting consumers with weekly real-time messages and being able to "accelerate the consumer decision cycle" is proving to be the new route. Attracting consumers with videos on social sites of skiers/boarders jumping off cliffs, powder shooting everywhere, or as some put it "ski porn" versus traditional means is allowing Vail to adapt to the economic conditions at hand.
I am really not looking forward to the 6 hour drive, but after watching online videos of snowboarders hucking themselves off of cliffs into 4' deep powder, I feel myself getting more and more eager to go shred.