Super Bowl 50: What Ad Club New York marketers are expecting from this year’s game


Originally posted on The Drum.

With Super Bowl 50 less than a week away, most advertisers in the big game have either unveiled their spots already or have at least rolled out teasers to give viewer a taste of what’s to come.

Ahead of the game, The Drum asked some of Ad Club New York’s members to reflect on what they’ve already seen and what they hope to see during the game this year.

As brands increasingly try to appeal to both millennials and Gen Z, we asked marketers to sound off on how they think advertisers can best appeal to these coveted audiences and how they can continue to generate buzz after the game ends.

See their responses below:

Vito Zarrillo, executive creative director at Gyro New York


Anticipation for the Super Bowl is off the charts as newcomer Cam Newton will square off against first-ballot Hall of Famer Peyton Manning. For advertisers, it’s a golden opportunity to get in front of millions of consumers’ screens during one of the most-watched events on television. As brands seek to make more noise than ever, the trend of an increasingly younger (i.e. Millennial) and female-tilted audience will be top of mind.

Let’s start with the younger generation. MiniUSA recently launched a spot that is part of its “#defylabels” campaign, which is on-trend for a couple of reasons. First, younger people are on a growing quest for self-identity as they look to define themselves on their own terms. With a generation that is increasingly defined by individuality and uniqueness, brands that highlight this kind of humanly relevant thinking are brands that will resonate the most. From Tony Hawk to Abby Wambach to Serena Williams, brands that tell stories of defying and overcoming labels will truly speak to this generation and ultimately stand out during the big game.

Second, with more women watching the Super Bowl than ever, messages around the empowerment of individuals and, more specifically, women, are going to stick with audiences. Role models for younger women are fantastic and need to become part of the message. Gone are the days of super models and celebrities. Coming from an agency whose lifeblood is about creating humanly relevant ideas, I believe that meaningful messages of empowerment will stick with audiences much longer than superficial ones. And, as a man whose wife is a successful executive in her own right and a major advocate for the empowerment of women in business, I personally love it.

I am also looking forward to seeing what pieces of culture has become borrowed interest for marketers this year.

Andreas Dahlqvist, chief creative officer of Grey New York


I think we’ll see less tear jerking stuff and more upbeat, fun entertainment this year. I hope to see some bold moves that really break into pop culture on their own merit – ideas that transcend what you think of as advertising and that makes the rest of the industry envious. I’d like to see more unconventional ways of grabbing attention, i.e. our work last year with Volvo Intersection, which never even appeared on network television, but essentially hijacked the conversation around cars and Super Bowl through social media.”

What overarching themes or strategies do you think will be employed this year as marketers increasingly try to appeal to Millennials and Gen Z?

Purpose-driven marketing is not going away, but it’s changing. The key trend is that Millennial aspirations are meeting the ‘real’ world. So while they remain idealistic (wanting to change the world and seek experiences over material goods), the reality of their lives now dictate that this must be lower cost, lower effort and lower impact. They now have families and bills to pay. Time is not entirely theirs. So they can no longer unconditionally follow the dream, or cause, or experience without consequence. That’s why purpose and interaction at the heart of marketing will still play a big role, but it now needs to be served up with lower demand on what the level of personal commitment and involvement has to be. The brands that tap their inherent desires but recognize their stage in life will be the ones that win.

Thom Gruhler, CVP apps and services at Microsoft Corporation, and former president of The AD Club of NY Board of Directors


At around $5 million per 30-second spot and over 114 million viewers, this big stage for breakthrough is too irresistible for many marketers to resist. This year promises to be no different. Elite celebrities, comics, movie stars, sports heroes, even Doritos with another run at user generated ads, are vying to be the one that gets the air. The competition for entertainment value in these ads is escalating faster than the actual impact they may or may not have. With so much hype around ‘which ad won the Super Bowl,’ I am faced with this nagging question that if your ad ends up being ranked in the middle of the pack, did you really get your money’s worth? What we do know is that with all the celebs, comics and sizzle in the lineup, we have seen the viewers pulling for a more human story to break through. Last year it was a puppy. Curious to see what gets us this year…

Kirk Olson, vice president of Trendsights, WHY Group at Horizon Media


Have you seen any Super Bowl campaigns that have already launched that you think are particularly good or not good?

There are a few campaigns that really stand out from a cultural trends perspective. The way Intuit is reimagining consumer participation through the lens of small business is really smart. By mashing up the UGC notion of Doritos “Crash the Superbowl” idea with the philanthropy of Chase Community Giving, Intuit is giving its small business owner customers a shot at a marketing pot of gold. Self-reliance and entrepreneurship are timely topics in post-Great Recession America. The election will keep jobs, the economy, and empowering U.S. business on people’s minds. It’s a smart alignment with quintessentially American values and it’s well-timed. In fact, Intuit could extend it beyond the big game  by opening up the vault on more of the submissions. Let ordinary people vote in social media for a few more business to receive the $25,000 runner-up rewards. The earned media would be well worth a greater investment in their idea.

Colgate’s cause-centered spot is also on trend. Today’s cause marketing is about simplicity: “Give me something that’s easy to do, related to something I’m doing anyway, that will help make the world better.” That’s why one-for-one programs with brands like Toms and Warby Parker are so popular. It’s so easy to do good. Just buy this instead of that. We call it CAUSE-sumption: cause baked into the primary act of consumption. In Colgate’s, it’s actually about NON-consumption of water while doing one of the most ordinary things every human does. But that simplicity is why it has the potential to engender a lot of good will for the brand.

What Coca-Cola has in the works this year is less inspiring. The “taste the feeling” anthem feels a bit fuzzy and marketer-created compared to the straightforward and concrete messages other brands are putting forward. Snickers is about satisfaction so you can be yourself. Butterfinger is about bold taste. Budweiser is getting back to basics with the craftsmanship behind the product. How exactly are consumers meant to interpret an abstract idea like “taste the feeling?” Togetherness, sharing and experience are all solidly on brand. It just feels a bit expected for Coca-Cola. It’s not clear yet how the brand is going to make it special for the biggest event in advertising.  Maybe there will be something akin to “share a Coke with _____” that will blow everyone’s minds. We’ll see.

What overarching themes or strategies do you think will be employed this year as marketers increasingly try to appeal to Millennials/Gen-Z?  

Social media is critical for keeping the momentum going with millennials and Generation Z. It’s where they have a voice. It’s where they can most easily participate in the conversation.  Finding ways to get them speaking the brand’s message in their own voices is the way to make the messages resonate beyond game day. Butterfingers ‘bold’ message is perfect for Generation Z expressions on Instagram, Snapchat, or Vine. Both Snickers and Mini connect well to the “you do you” theme native to social media. Snickers does it in a funny way and Mini in a more earnest way. But the key is it can’t feel too forced. It needs to feel organic to what’s already being discussed.

We can also expect marketers to use mystery in compelling ways. They’re already doing it in the lead up. Taco Bell’s redacted press release, Hyundai’s car-free chase teaser, Skittles Steven Tyler motion gif or Kia’s pic of Christopher Walken with a sock puppet. There’s even a term for this intentional vagueness in social media posts — “vaguebooking.” In a way, it’s like gamifying advertising, inviting consumers into the story but challenging them to figure out what’s going to happen. And it’s perhaps easier to do in the lead-up and harder to continue afterwards. Brands that can figure out how to do it, though, will benefit from continued brand resonance.

What the Oscar Diversity Problem Says About Corporate America

Oscar Statuettes On Display At Chicago Museum Of Science & Industry

By Gina Grillo

Originally Posted on Fortune

It’s time for brands to take action.

Oscar buzz is taking on a different tone this year. After the recent backlash against the lack of diversity amongst this year’s Oscar nominees, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced last Friday that it plans to double the number of diverse members by 2020. And while some have argued that the backlash and boycotts are an overreaction, it’s clear this moment serves as a rallying cry to take a harder look at the overall system and the foundational elements within corporate America that keep us from moving toward a more accepting, inclusive future.

The Academy’s commitment to increasing diversity within its membership is an excellent start. And now, the entertainment industry, along with all business communities, must take action to build a self-reinforcing culture that champions diversity, starting with leaders.

Spike Lee argued, “It goes further than the Academy Awards. It has to go back to the gatekeepers…The executives when they have these green-light meetings quarterly where they look at the scripts, they look who’s in it and they decide what we’re making and what we’re not making.”

Business leadership’s buy-in is imperative to winning the battle for diversity and inclusion. News of Apple’s (AAPL -4.43%) board recommending shareholders go against a motion for increased diversity in its senior management and board member roles is indicative of the challenge society is up against. Without support from the top, businesses can’t implement the necessary structural changes that shepherd in and retain diverse up-and-coming talent that will ascend the ranks and instill the diverse environment so many are striving for.

Diversity is a topic that has been discussed and debated across all industries—from calls for diverse thought and inclusion to buttress the environment to creative work product in advertising.

In business, leadership tends to go with a known entity vs. taking a chance on someone new, and the only way to achieve this change is by slowly adopting new practices and providing an opportunity in a more thoughtful way. Actress Viola Davis hit upon this point in her Emmy speech last year when she said, “…The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.”

The same rings true for industries across America. For diversity and inclusion to thrive within our greater business communities, business leaders must give people the chance to enter the corporate culture, become a fundamental component of business operations, and ultimately, help businesses thrive.

There is no debate that diversity drives innovation. Companies like American Express (AXP 0.56%) , AT&T (T 0.48%) , and Unilever (UNLVF -4.53%) are excellent examples of businesses that are winning by making diversity a key objective, and business leaders should all take note. Even in my industry, advertising—which faces its own challenges with diversity and inclusion—we are making progress by putting building blocks in place that will ensure our ranks grow with diverse talent in the future. For example, i’mPART and ADCOLOR provide scholarships and training to minorities to further their education, and each organization creates events and networking opportunities with our industry’s top thought leaders so that diverse talent can learn from their success.

There are a number of other ways companies across America can champion diversity. Commit to diverse hiring across all ranks, not only entry-level candidates. This might mean appointing a designated diversity officer. By hiring up-and-comers with diverse backgrounds, companies can arm them with the tools and confidence that will ensure their rise to the highest ranks of a company.

Once business leaders make these hires, they must institute an engaging corporate culture that proactively instills a sense of community and acceptance among talent. This means offering opportunities to incorporate employees into an organization’s initiatives and future growth by way of mentorship programs or clubs that allow employees to get to better know each other and understand each other’s unique strengths.

Finally, business leaders must win employee buy-in by outlining the business case for diversity and inclusion. While the moral reasons for diversity are apparent,Pinterest’s public battle for diversity over the last few years has revealed that not until employers directly link diversity to ROI, as they would a new business project or program, does change start to happen.

The Oscars started the dialog. Now brands must take action to ensure diversity and inclusion become a larger business issue—not just tackling this in small pockets by industry or company. If the business community begins to realize that every person is one step away from a success story, it may propel everyone into action.

It’s clear the challenge is faced in all sectors, which is why the global business community must come together and learn from each other to implement change.

Gina Grillo is the CEO and president of the Advertising Club of New York and the International ANDY Awards.

gyro Named Advertising Age’s 2016 B-to-B Agency of the Year


NEW YORK (January 25, 2016) – gyro, the global ideas shop, has been named Advertising Age’s 2016 B-to-B Agency of the Year.

gyro is not only the largest independent business-to-business agency in the world, but it is also one of the most awarded. In addition to being recognized by Advertising Age, gyro is the current Business Marketing Association Global B-to-B Agency of the Year. It received the honor for two consecutive years (2015, 2014).

All told, it has been a remarkable year for gyro. Highlights include:

– Blue-chip client wins, including HP, Google, Jabra, Danone, Vodafone and many others.

– gyro New York moved into its beautiful new office in Manhattan’s Financial District after doubling in size. From gyro San Francisco to gyro Singapore passing through gyro London, all offices have experienced growth and significant gains.

– The addition of high-profile talent, including gyro San Francisco ECD Ronny Northrop, gyro London ECD David Harris, gyro Chicago Head of Planning Mark Witthoefft, gyro London Head of Strategy and Media Jake Dyer, and other top executives.

– The continued growth of the gyro:fuel™ content practice and gyro:human™ healthcare division.

– Winning nine Advertising Age 2016 B-to-B Best awards for creative excellence for clients, including John Deere, Avaya, TD Ameritrade and Toshiba. This was the most of any creative agency.

Christoph Becker, ceo+cco of gyro, said: “Our mission to create humanly relevant ideas has allowed us to reinvent the B-to-B space. This was achieved only thanks to our amazing client partners. It is because of their belief and trust in us that we were able to arrive at this important stage of our journey. This honor is also a true reflection of our people and our unique UNO culture. Our obsession with creative quality, strategic power and client service excellence continues to drive our global ideas shop to greater heights.”

Advertising Age Editor Ken Wheaton said: “For anyone debating whether it’s creativity or business strategy that puts an ad agency over the top, the answer has become clear: It’s both. Smart marketers are looking for more than a beautiful 30-second spot, and the best agencies are happy to oblige, partnering with businesses from the start, assessing their needs and figuring out the best approach to hit targets, drive sales and sometimes invent new categories. And fans of traditional advertising shouldn’t fret. The best agencies can do all of that and still make beautiful, relevant TV ads.”


About gyro

As a global ideas shop, our mission is to create ideas that are humanly relevant. gyro isAdvertising Age’s 2016 B-to-B Agency of the Year and the BMA’s 2015 and 2014 Global B-to-B Agency of the Year. Our 600 creative minds in 14 offices work with top companies including BlackBerry, Danone, eBay, FedEx, Google, HP, Jabra, John Deere, Tate & Lyle, TD Ameritrade, Time Inc., USG and

The AD Club of New York Appoints Emily Goldman as the President of the Young Professionals Committee

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The AD Club of New York is excited to announce that Emily Goldman, Senior Manager, Brand Networks, will be stepping into the role of Young Professional President. After being awarded the Advertising Club of New York’s Rising Star Award in 2014 in recognition of her hard work on the YP Committee, we knew Emily was the right choice for president.

Emily has been a great partner to the Club, donating her time and talents to ensure the success of our Speed Networking event, “Conversation With” series and Summer Social. In her newly appointed role as President of the YP Committee, she hopes to bring her openness, perspective, and excitement to a group of already extremely devoted and diverse members.

As she takes her new office, and in an effort to help our members get to know her better, we asked Emily to share her goals for the Young Professionals this year as well as give advice to aspiring industry professionals. Here’s what she had to say!

What are you looking forward to the most in 2016 as you take on your role as President of the AD Club’s Young Professional Committee?

 I am mostly looking forward to the opportunity of working closely with my fellow YPC board members and bringing a group of new members into the mix of a driven and enthusiastic bunch. We have so many amazing events that keep growing in size and scope every year and there is a great energy surrounding the 2016 initiatives. I want this year to make a truly lasting impression of what Young Pro’s can bring to the entire club and the advertising community as a whole.

Why should other young professionals become part of the AD Club of NY?

I joined the Ad Club of NY once I got my first job in New York. I found the ability to show up at an event, so new in my career, and meet all different types of advertising professionals from agency to creative to start ups, truly inspiring. There are events, panels, and discussions that are tailored for any and all interests and the club’s four Pillars help young professional’s learn and build a network at the same time. The type of access you get with being part of the Ad Club of NY is unlike any other advertising club.

What’s your advice for those who are just starting out in their careers, and those who aspire to be a part of the advertising and marketing community?

Where you start is likely not where you will end up. Your career is going to take 100 twists and turns, and while that is daunting, that is the advertising industry. So dive in! Find a job that gets your foot in the door and learn as much as you possibly can, because you likely won’t be there forever, and all that experience is priceless. Also, join the Ad Club! Sounds like a shameless plug but it’s not (I’m not paid to make these comments, ha). And don’t just join, but attend events. Put yourself out there and start growing your network. You’d be surprised how willing people are to help, and who knows, as you continue in your career some of those people might reach out to you for help too! Never burn those bridges.

What was your favorite ad campaign of 2015? 

#LikeAGirl for Always. There are so many reasons to love everything about this ad and the campaign that has surrounded it! I honestly hope they do an iteration of this every year moving forward. Empowering women is essential to the world we live in now. Advertising has not always been the best at that, and this ad turns the whole thing on its head.



Awards shows must spur the evolution of creativity


By Gina Grillo

Originally Posted on Campaign US. 

The CEO of the Advertising Club and the ANDY Awards responds to DDB’s plan to cut back on awards submissions in 2016

Last week, Campaign US published a piece titled “The End of False Recognitions” by DDB’s Amir Kassaei, which bravely posits that the award industry has agencies putting their integrity on the line for the sake of winning trophies. Agree or disagree, the stage has been set for a frank discussion around why awards shows hold such an important position in advertising and how they can better use their power to propel the industry forward.

At the helm of a 120-year-old industry organization and awards show that was built by and for the world’s best creatives, I will always defend the importance of recognizing the people and craft that make our industry uniquely great; but I’m also acutely aware of where shows can veer off course. Awards shows have the power to be the strongest possible catalysts for spurring the evolution of creativity, and it is our responsibility as a group of organizations to uphold that standard. We must use our birds-eye-view of this industry and position of honor as an opportunity to empower marketers and agencies to be brave, ultimately advancing how creativity takes shape and its possibility to do good and inspire. This is a sacred responsibility. It’s very possible that awards shows are needed now more than ever, but how do we ensure the purity of our collective process?

The first and most important objective of any awards show should be to give back, with a system of checks and balances set in place to ensure that profit is never the end goal. We should be the instigators of a virtuous cycle of recognition for great, creative work and also forward-driving investment, propelling our peers to aim higher and tackle new challenges. On behalf of the entire industry, awards shows should reinvest their proceeds in leadership development; attraction and retention of young talent; and programs that offer new ways to nurture creativity as other industries compete for our great minds.

We must support the development of programs that protect the craft in the long-term, especially as it faces constant threats from converging industries, tight budgets, and the loss of the human element through technology and data’s influence. We have the power to show our industry how to work with these factors, overcoming barriers through tangible action.

We must also arm our juries with brave, world-class industry leaders and experts — visionaries with the utmost respect of their peers, who feed the positive cycle of what game-changing creative can do for a brand, economy or a cause. It’s a jury’s commitment to recognize impactful and brave ideas that will continue to raise the current standard of craftsmanship, inspiring burgeoning talent beneath them to strive for greatness themselves and setting the bar high for what it means to produce great work.

This means showcasing and honoring bold, collaborative ideas that make other creatives leave the room wondering why they hadn’t thought of that idea themselves. It also means recognizing and championing the sometimes arduous and painful journey required to bring an idea to life. We must nurture creatives and demonstrate to them that we understand and appreciate their efforts, inspiring them to commiserate and share creative war stories. Knowledge sharing is instrumental to innovation. We play a fundamental role to this idea pollination as a natural place to connect and converse.

Finally, just as the industry itself faces the challenge of adapting to new business norms and technologies, so too must awards shows evolve to keep pace with this industry transformation. Whether through the selection of jurors outside of the industry, new measurements of creativity or revamping show production, we must commit to new ideas that will help us continue to celebrate great work.

When industry awards do what they are supposed to, they give us new measure of what creativity can do, show respect for our peers and give us a way to propel fresh talent into the spotlight. Competition – better yet, honest competition – is a time-tested means of ensuring that ethical and meaningful progress is made. They serve as a way to lift up not just the people who win them, but the industry as a whole.  But they need to come from the right place. We hope that this honest conversation continues – we encourage people to speak out about their concerns for the industry, in the true spirit of brave collaboration.

Gina Grillo is president and CEO of The Advertising Club of New York and the International ANDY Awards.


LPGA Tour Pro Michelle Wie’s New Partnership With StarKist-5 Takeaways

By Ron Amodio

Originally Posted on Colvin Sports Network.

LPGA Tour Pro Michelle Wie, New Brand Ambassador For Starkist Tuna Creations, Insights helpful to corporate buyers of golf sponsorships.Recently, IEG published its Annual Review & Forecast of Sponsorship Spending projected for 2016. According to the findings, the properties that will continue to win the lion’s share of sponsors’ marketing dollars are those that can deliver customized benefits, integration with digital and social content, insights from audience data and top-notch servicing.

Photo (left):LPGA Tour Pro and Super Star Michelle Wie with StarKist’s “Charlie The Tuna” as they appear in tweet below.

Based on the aforementioned deliverables, we think that LPGA Touring Professional Michelle Wie’s new endorsement deal with StarKist further validates IEG’s conclusions. That said, here are five takeaways that make Michelle Wie attractive to sponsors.

1. Authenticity

According to StarKist’s press release, Michelle was already a loyal fan of StarKist’s single-serve, flavored seafood pouches and made them an integral part of her busy and healthy lifestyle. This factor made their partnership a perfect fit.

To further customize the benefits the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open Champion delivers, she’ll be contributing recipes and tips on behalf of the brand that fit with her active way of life.

2. Social Media Savvy

As gleaned from the tweet below, social media campaigning will be a key component of Michelle’s representation of StarKist products including Tuna Creations flavors such as “Lemon Pepper,” ‘Sweet & Spicy,” Hot Buffalo Style,” ‘Ranch,” and “Hickory Smoked” as well as their Salmon Creations in ‘Lemon Dill” and “Mango Chipotle” flavors.

It’s likely that what the social media savvy Michelle has demonstrated with regard to her other well known sponsors (i.e.,Nike, Kia and Omega) also played a role in StarKist’s decision to sign the Big Wiezy as the company’s newest spokesperson. As Arnold Palmer did in his heyday, Michelle seamlessly promotes her sponsors’ products at opportune moments that are part of her “on-the-go” lifestyle. And she does so with social media (e.g., michelle wie twitter) and digital tools (nonexistent in the Mad Men Era) that can be used to uncover insights from audience data.

3. Cross-Over Appeal

Here, Michelle’s cross-over appeal offers more opportunities to deliver benefits that can be customized and folded into Starkist’s media strategy. As noted in, Wie is slated to appear in StarKist’s multimedia campaigns such as those to be featured in Eating Well and Better Homes & Gardens.

4. Retail Partner Tie-Ins

As Mark McCormack frequently opined, the calendar is loaded. In the case of Michelle’s playing schedule, the opportunity exists for StarKist to tie-in their Tuna Creations promotions with retail partners who just happen to be title sponsors respectively to three LPGA Tournaments: Shop-Rite Classic in Atlantic City, New Jersey; Meijer Classic, Belmont, Michigan; and Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, Rogers, Arkansas.

5. Integration With Fun Concept That Reaches Youth

As noted in the aformentioned StarKist press release, part of Michelle’s brand ambassador duties include being the face of their new Kid’s Creations tuna pouches. To that end, the opportunity exists for StarKist to leverage Michelle’s role as PGA Junior League Golf Ambassador by associating their brand with a fun concept that reaches kids 13 and under while helping to grow the game.

All of the above assets can be further and fully leveraged if Michelle performs well over the first part of the season and qualifies to compete in the Golf Olympics for Team USA in Rio this summer. 

Hey, Millennials: A Tunic Is Not a Dress (and Other Important Career Advice)

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By Erin Johnson 

Originally Posted on TueNight

In the 20 years since I’ve entered the workforce (the past 10 of them at J. Walter Thompson), I have traveled the world, hung with Hollywood’s elite (and not so elite), had cocktails with the Marahana of Udaipur, sold major bling and counted stacks of moldy cash (literally, stacks) in the kitchen of an Aspen mansion on red mountain, met “The Donald” and all of his wives (yep, Ivana, Marla and Melania – at separate times for different reasons), been accompanied by one major Las Vegas CEO’s Belgian attack dogs (long story) and handled many major corporate crisis communications campaigns, brand launches, executive visibility campaigns and so on. Because of the nature of my job, some of my biggest accomplishments were keeping things OUT of the media, to protect either a brand or an executive.

So when the fabulous Ann Shoket asked me to write about advice I would give to my 25-year-old self (or those starting in the work force), it was pretty simple. Today’s 25-year-olds don’t understand that Generation X “paid our dues” when we were 25. While I have worked and mentored many amazing millenials who should be my boss sooner rather than later, it won’t ever happen if certain behaviors continue. Besides the obvious “don’t sleep with your boss” and “please stop saying ‘on fleek,’” I jotted down a few things to avoid doing along with some of my best advice:

Don’t say “No” when asked to do something. Ever.
True story: A few summers ago, we had an intern who never ceased to amaze us with her behavior. For a big event, we asked her to walk down one block to Staples to get some supplies for that night. She said NO, that it was too hot out and couldn’t we just order it online? She also asked for Ubers to and from work and regularly told us to use Task Rabbit.

A tunic is not a dress.
If in doubt, wear leggings or pants with it. Another rule is: If you would wear it to a club or the beach, it’s not right for the office. I have literally had to tell interns or junior staff to put on bras, pants, etc. While they looked beautiful, their choices were simply not right for a professional environment.

Don’t whine about career advancement three months into your job.
Please don’t start asking for a raise three months into a job. The better approach is to document your successes and keep a file on hand for your review. You need to know how to self-promote, but you have to choose the right moment and you need concrete facts to support a specific request. Do you want more responsibility? More access to other projects? Know what you are asking for and think of solutions management would be open to.

Don’t ever wrestle with a pig because you both get dirty — and the pig likes it. (Also known as, “Taking the high road.”)

You WILL encounter some assholes. There is always going to be someone who has it in for you. Don’t let them steal your self-confidence. Whether they are jealous, insecure, feel superior or are just plain mean, I think the best way to deal with these situations is to, as my mother said “Kill them with kindness.” It feels good to do the right thing, and it is possible to stand up for yourself while maintaining your dignity. Plus, you never know when you will have to deal with this person again down the road in your career. Instead, console yourself by looking at the wiki for “imposter syndrome.” And don’t let the bastards get you down.

Get a “graduating class.”
Maintain supportive and honest relationships with people in the same industry that are roughly at the same level as you. It is good to have people in your “class” coming up along with you – through the good times and the bad. The friendships I have kept from 20 years ago still stand, and I know I can go to these friends for trusted opinions and even to level-check me when I am unsure about stuff.

Shut your mouth.
You are probably brilliant and will be running the place someday, but the best way to learn is to start by improving your listening skills. You can learn a lot by being a fly on a wall. Some of the best lessons I learned happened when I was a publicity assistant at Miramax and we would have “rolling calls” for our executives, meaning we would conference our executive into one meeting after another. I wasn’t technically included on the calls, but I had the opportunity to listen to the most fascinating business negotiations and learn from them – without ever saying a word.

CYA/Or “It didn’t happen if you don’t have it in writing.”

Oh, the heartache and drama that can be avoided when you learn to CYA (Cover Your Ass). Whether you are in a meeting, on a phone call or having a casual desk side chat and decisions/delegations are happening, follow up with a short, bulleted email to confirm/document next steps and deadlines. It seems simple, but it is so critical to covering your a$$.

Bring your lunch.
I am afraid to go back and count how much money I have spent on lunch in NYC in the last 20 years. Truly. Insane. Not only is it significantly cheaper to brown bag it, you will eat healthier, feel better and be less likely to make a bad food choice during the day. Because my next one is coming up…

Go to the gym at lunch. Then eat at your desk later.
Forget the insanity of “I am too busy to leave my desk for lunch.” It’s bullshit. If that is the truth, then you are not managing your time well enough. And I also call bullshit on the perceived/imagined “stigma” of leaving during midday to (gasp) workout. There will always be a to-do list in your life; put yourself on that list. Working out during the day twice a week is a great way to maintain your fitness momentum as you climb the corporate ladder. When you feel healthy, you are more confident – and it shows.

Negotiate salary and severance.
Severance is just as important as salary. Nobody likes having tough conversations, but I believe in the work “pre-nup.” What’s does that cheesy subway ad for divorce lawyers say? “When love isn’t forever.” Think of your job as a marriage. You might stay married forever, or you might fall out of love sooner than either one of you anticipated. I have learned that the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Do your homework and try to find out what your company has done before or what similar companies offer. Don’t walk down that aisle without a mutually agreed-upon employment contract.

Get mini-mentors and learn how to ask (and take) someone to lunch.

Professional dating is a critical part of networking and learning. Make a list of people you would love to meet and ask them to lunch (or breakfast or coffee). Tell them upfront that you aren’t looking for a job or pitching them but that you are curious about their career path and want to hear their story. I was terrified to ask a senior reporter out years ago, but it turned out to be the best experience. Lunch doesn’t need to be fancy; you just need to have a goal for the lunch. Do research and ask questions, but not ones you can find out via Google. Find out what makes people tick, and you’re guaranteed to learn something that can help you in the future.

Pay yourself first.
My college roommate’s father used to lecture us about saving ten percent of our income. It was a joke to me. I was so in debt from loans and rent that I was barely making it from one paycheck to the other. I didn’t have the money to save, or so I thought. But I was wrong. Compound interest is no joke. Even if you only put aside $10 in a savings account or 401K the day you start your first job, you will be amazed at how much you can accumulate in 20+ years.

Shoes and bags matter.
A $19 H&M wrap dress looks just as amazing as a $500 DVF dress when you have the right basics. Invest in one GREAT bag and a pair of Chanel Ballet flats (or some major heels – you get the point). Continually get them cleaned, moisturized, resoled, etc. You only need one go-to fancy pair that is forever classic and elegant and says, “I’m an adult.”

Check under the hood, and freeze your eggs.
That’s right. You don’t want kids now, but those eggs of yours are VERY valuable. Don’t wait until you are 35 and freaking out because you haven’t met Mr. Right, so you settle for Mr. Fertile. Freeze your healthy eggs NOW – even if you have to forfeit a summer share. Your 40-something self will thank you. Then you will be able to relax about it and meet the right person at the right time, not just because your clock is ticking.

So, there you have it. In today’s crazy, 24/7 work environments, it’s difficult to remember to take the time for self-improvement. For example, “Active Listening” is a skill that takes as much practice and patience for me today as it did 20 years ago. And who doesn’t struggle to save money, work out and take the high road? But believe me, it’s worth the effort.

I hope you can find some nuggets of helpful info in my experience. I’m off to go learn about a new analytics program from a 20-something who fascinates me. She’s going to teach me a thing or two. But I’ll be happy to buy her lunch at a fancy salad place.


Why 2015 became the year of LGBT ads

Virgin America served as the official airline of San Francisco Pride for the eighth year in a row.

By Michelle Castillo

Originally Posted on CNBC

It used to be taboo to feature gay, lesbian or transgendered people in advertising. But growing acceptance of the LGBT community by mainstream America, coupled with landmark legal decisions granting them equal marriage rights, has made brands less shy about targeting the group.

“Now that gay marriage is legal in most U.S. states, and individuals like Caitlyn Jenner are openly sharing their differences and struggles, we are starting to see a greater understanding of the LGBT community into the cultural mainstream,” said Gina Grillo, president and CEO of industry group the Advertising Club of NY, via email. “With a more open and transparent conversation, we would expect to see some kind of shift in how brands position themselves to the community.”

Virgin America showed its “Aloha Pride” in 2015 and became the official airline of San Francisco Pride festivities. Allstate launched “Out Holding Hands,” which showed solidarity with the notion that everyone should have the right to hold hands in public — a play off of its logo. Tiffany featured a gay couple in one of its wedding band “Will You”print ads.

Witeck Communications estimated that the LGBT community had a purchase power of $884 billion last year.

It’s not just that: Younger generations are more tolerant of other people. A Pew Research Center study in 2015 showed that 55 percent of Americans support same sex marriage, with only 39 percent directly opposed to it. Among millennials, 70 percent showed support.

With gay marriage being legalized in the U.S. in 2015, some experts believe that there’s potential for the wedding industry — among others — to grow.

“What’s going to change is the average age of couples getting married is going to trend downward,” Bob Witeck, president of Witeck Communications, previously told CNBC. “We have a pent-up demand of people who have been denied it for many years. Many of those are looking to legitimize and legalize their relationship so that they can be very confident that they can have legal custody of their children.”

In addition, with more celebrities like Jenner coming out and Hollywood not being afraid to feature LGBT storylines, it’s become acceptable for brands to show their support.

“If ads are a reflection of society, then ads need to incorporate more and more the LGBT community,” said Anselmo Ramos, chief creative officer of ad agency DAVID. “Brands are also starting to realize they need to stand for something. They can’t be on the fence. They can’t be everything to everyone all the time. They need to take a stand. That’s the expectation from a modern brand.”

That doesn’t mean there weren’t some controversies over ads featuring LGBT couples this year. A Wells Fargo ad featuring a lesbian couple adopting a child sparked Billy Graham churches to drop the bank. Advocacy group One Million Moms protested a Campbell’s Soup ad for featuring gay dads. The group also blasted Tylenol’s #HowWeFamily campaign, which had a same-sex prom couple and gay fathers among its featured couples.

Still, agency Fancy Rhino chief creative officer Vann Graves believes we’ve come a long way since 1994 when Ikea had to pull the first TV commercial featuring a gay couple in a mainstream commercial because of bomb threats.

Twenty-one years later, when Honey Maid ran its now-famous “This Is Wholesome” campaign featuring all kinds of couples, he pointed out that there was more applause than backlash. Graves said the idea of using all kinds of families was further expanded in the Tylenol ads.

“Each of these brands are embracing the underlying LGBT values to promote acceptance and open-mindedness, thereby appealing to a larger audience,” he said. “These ads show that LGBT marketing has become less about LGBT and more about a basic human truth.”

Deutsch NY CEO Val DiFebo, whose agency was responsible for the 1994 IKEA ads, added that the ad was “brave and groundbreaking” for the time. But, just this summer, she saw brands use key LGBT moments like Pride Month and the Defense of Marriage Act decision as real-time marketing opportunities, just like #Superbowl or #TheGrammys.

“Using trending hashtags like #GayMarriage or #AcceptanceMatters, or incorporating rainbow colors on social pages or logos, allow brands to become part of the conversation, a moment in history, in a contextually relevant way,” she said. “When leading advertisers decide that endorsing gay marriage won’t hurt their bottom line and they treat it as if it is commonplace, there’s been a marked change in society.”

DiFebo added there can be a risk for brands just trying to jump on the bandwagon and feature an LGBT couple without having a legacy with the community. It can also be a turn off if there’s no need or reason if the ad feels forced with no purpose.

“Don’t fake it,” she pointed out. “Make sure the brand can translate into this segment with integrity and be real. Just breaking into LGBT advertising for the sake of the brand being ‘cool,’ runs the risk of negatively impacting the brands reputation.”


The Future of Marketing is Here in Out-of-Home

Originally Posted on Little Black Book

Gina Grillo, CEO & President, The ADVERTISING Club of New York, looks at how technology is further shaping this section of adland

89a35ac5ab4e78df2ab33043938b6dafIt’s not news that digital advances have fundamentally changed the way we work and do business in the advertising world, ushering in new approaches to capture consumer attention and the spaces in which we interact with them. While certain forms of traditional media may be challenged, others are being revitalised by technology in incredible ways. Out-of-home advertising (OOH) in particular has seen new avenues for creativity and connection arise this year from the advent of digital media, not only for brands but for our cities and leaders as well.

A recent study by PWC finds that global OOH advertising revenue is steadily growing and comes second only to the explosive rise of digital advertising. So how can marketers act on these compelling statistics in the new year? As we round out another year of disruption and evolution in the advertising industry, here is what we’ve learned and what to keep an eye on in 2016.

Technology is Driving the Future

According to the same PWC study, OOH is the “traditional” advertising medium that has benefitted most from digitisation. The OOH space has evolved digitally to create better experiences for consumers, new opportunities for advertisers and additional revenue streams for providers. While television has seen its ad revenue continue to be redefined by online platforms, the ability to deliver dynamic messaging in real-time continues to evolve.

The area of creativity is fertile ground, take for instance, the ANDYs Award winning AMV BBDO and Pepsi Unbelievable Bus Shelter campaign. Using an outdoor digital screen on the side of a bus shelter in London, riders waiting for their transportation were delighted to see unexpected events happening on the street right beside them like hovering UFOs, a tiger on the loose and even a man floating by, carried by a massive handful of balloons.


“The new trend for Out-of-Home will be in the utility it provides by combining technology that tracks human behaviour with third party data,” said Connie Garrido, Partner at EnPlay. “Out-of-Home will by nature of its placements provide new mapping for audiences, live behaviour to inform planning and provide greater accountability for the medium than has been achieved to date.”

As the tech behind outdoor advertisements gets smarter and more interactive, OOH advertisers are able to leverage many of the same valuable tools digital advertisers have utilised for years. Tracking cameras and tools such as beacons that can connect with apps on mobile devices are delivering rich data about who’s seeing outdoor ads, making OOH ads more efficient and producing greater ROI than in previous decades.

Innovative Brands are Disrupting Through Traditional

That increased ROI is what is driving some of today’s most forward-looking, digitally minded startups and companies to turn to traditional outdoor mediums like billboards, subway ads and taxi toppers to enhance visibility and increase sales online.

Retailer is one recent example, having blanketed the outdoor and transit spaces of big cities like New York with ads announcing their launch earlier this year. Start-ups such as Boxed, Venmo and Grubhub have also launched outdoor campaigns recently as an effective way to build their brands, drive downloads and acquire loyal users.

When considering Facebook and Uber’s ventures into the Out-of-Home space, Elyssa Gray, Creative and Media Executive leader at Citibank says that she isn’t surprised by these brands’ integrated media plans because, “Out-of-Home has always been a great channel to make a brand impact in a specific geography.”

It makes a lot of sense for Uber to target their urban audience at “street level”, especially if in a city where taxis are a scarce commodity. The same can be said for Facebook, which connects with users via OOH during many moments throughout their day, gently reminding them to share their experiences.

These brands know the value of meeting your consumer at the right place and time, no matter how entrenched your business might be in digital and technological product offerings. And there is perhaps no better case than Apple, which has consistently showcased the company’s forward thinking products and design through traditional OOH billboards across cities in America and beyond. The fact is, OOH works, even if you’re not a traditional brand.

Creativity is Key

Great creative has also played a significant role in what makes OOH so successful right now. From billboards to ambient, the advertising industry has approached OOH in increasingly innovative ways.

One prime example is Grey New York’s powerful “Gun Shop”, which invited first-time gun buyers into a fake shop to check out guns affixed with tags illustrating which models were used in mass shootings, homicides and suicides. The project showed that there’s no limit to how the medium can be used.

“Being able to serve digital OOH messaging in a highly relevant way, at a highly relevant time, will become more pervasive,” says Gray. “Tactically, this can extend to optimising consumer engagements through retargeting and sequential messaging strategies.”

Just like any other marketing channel, OOH’s success is dependent on good creative. As the medium becomes more nuanced and technological, this means media teams and their creative counterparts must create strong linkages to not only dream up revolutionary experiences, but to execute as well.

Cities Stand to Gain

Looking ahead, OOH will continue to evolve as the Internet of Things (IoT) makes our engagement with the medium more experiential. This means that not only will brands leverage the power of OOH, municipalities too are expected to ramp up their OOH programs in an effort to meet connected residents across multiple touch points throughout their daily lives. Experiential OOH will also become a key tool for city planners and leaders to build relationships, provide more advanced services and make cities more attractive to locals, visitors and businesses alike.

“Urban markets have always played a unique role in the evolution of OOH, said Gray. “What is new is the interest government entities have in creating new OOH formats that provide utility and enhance the consumer experience.”

New York City is one example of local government leveraging the power of OOH. Through the redesign of thousands of defunct pay phones into digital kiosks that offer wifi, wayfinder mapping, power sources and digital OOH media, marketers are better able to reach residents and visitors while they navigate and experience the metropolis.

OOH, with its unique ability to benefit from location, has the capacity to make lasting impacts by virtue of understanding what target audiences are doing and thinking at particular locations. Marketers that seek out thoughtful touch points at the right time, place and with the correct message will provide additive value to the consumer’s experience.

Gina Grillo is CEO & President at The ADVERTISING Club of New York