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Interns, Advertising, and the Future

Posted By Emily Hope, Friday, October 14, 2016

When the challenges are obvious to the interns, it's time to realize the platform we're standing on is burning, writes Tim Leake, RPA's SVP of creative, marketing and innovation

A couple of times a year, I do a presentation for our current crop of interns. I begin by asking them to think about "the future of advertising" and what it looks like. Inevitably, they surprise me with their remarkably clear vision of what's coming. And then I explain that it was actually a trick question, because the future of advertising is, of course, them.

If you just rolled your eyes, that's cool. I probably would, too. But the gag is effective. Suddenly, the interns aren't at the bottom of the totem pole, hoping for a glance inside the Wonka-esque magical idea factory. They realize they're important. They realize the factory is going to be theirs someday.

Any agency is fundamentally only as good as the people that make it up. People are everything to us. Internships aren't just an opportunity for them—it’s an opportunity for us to show them why we love advertising and why it’s worth keeping their smart brains in our industry. And perhaps even more importantly, interns are an opportunity for senior folks to learn as well.

So, at RPA, we commissioned a survey of recent interns from agencies in the Los Angeles area (not just our own) to see what else we could learn about the future of our industry. Here’s what we learned:

They really do want to do this. One thing we learned is that they didn't stumble into this field by chance. Ninety-five percent of them were already interested in pursuing a career in advertising before their internship. And only 4 percent were less interested in the industry after their internship.

Also interesting is what they aren't interested in. For all we hear about the freelance economy, startup culture and the millennials' passion for doing good, the vast majority of our interns want to work for either a well-known brand (84 percent) or an advertising agency (81 percent). Less than half of them have any interest at all in working for a start-up (44 percent) and 26 percent expressed an interest in working for a nonprofit. They did intern for an ad agency, after all, not for Heal the Bay—so maybe this shouldn’t be surprising.

But this is surprising: only 21 percent have an interest in working freelance in the future. Considering how mainstream the idea is today, it’s interesting that our future leaders have a much stronger bias towards full-time work.

Creativity is (still) our secret weapon. Whether they plan to work in the department with the word "creative" in its name, or not, people are attracted to our creativity. Seventy percent of respondents listed "Creative Work and Environment" as one of the top-three most appealing aspects of the industry.

This is vital, as the industry continues to evolve. In this big data, programmatic, digital-everything world, it’s easy to let creativity take a back seat. But creativity is the one job artificial intelligence will have a hard time replacing. It requires people.

And the silo-ing of creativity into a dedicated department has a similar effect. Too often, both young and seasoned people disclaim an idea with "I'm not creative, but...." This needs to stop. Creativity comes in all shapes and sizes, and we need to foster it across every discipline if we want to thrive in the future.

They see our challenges without bias. Interns aren't part of the advertising system already, so they have no interest in perpetuating legacy thinking. This helps them see industry challenges with clarity. In one respondent’s words, they "worry about the ethics of the industry and how the continued use of digital media may turn off more and more consumers to advertising in general."

They don’t resist change, they adapt to it—even when it comes to where they see themselves. They recognize that "the trend of doing more in-house will continue," and as such, can potentially see themselves as being client-side in the not so distant future, or even understanding why their friends are "more interested in working at Facebook and Twitter than advertising." When these challenges are obvious to people who've been working for only a few weeks, it's time to wake up and realize the platform we're standing on is burning.

They can remind us how to thrive. For even the best of us, it's easy to get bogged down by our day-to-day tasks and forget the attitudes and actions that help make superstars.

We asked the interns what traits they believe are most important for achieving success. Their answers are valuable advice to anyone who wants to make an impact, at any level:

  • Adaptability – Being able to go with the flow was key for them, and given the industry’s unpredictability, that’ll be good trait to have moving forward.
  • Open Communication – Simply talking to people outside of your own team was something they valued. Finding mentors is key these days, and so is finding new ideas.
  • Initiative – Being told what to do isn’t in this generation’s DNA, so it’s no shock that standing up and creating their own projects that can benefit the larger team is something that they gravitate towards. 

In general, internships exist to help the interns learn. But in an industry that's all about people, there's a lot to be said for taking the time to learn from the interns as well. They are often more sophisticated than we give them credit for, and it’s up to us to help them grow into tomorrow’s industry leaders.

--Tim Leake is SVP of creative, marketing and innovation at RPA in Los Angeles

This article was originally written for Campaign Live and can be found HERE.

Tags:  #InternSummit  Career  Future of Advertising  Infographic  Interns  RPA  Survey  Survey Results 

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7 Questions for the Green Hot Chili Peppers

Posted By Emily Hope, Wednesday, September 21, 2016

For years, AdJam, ThinkLA's Annual Battle of the Agency Bands, has unleashed the raw, savage – if unheralded – musical talent upon an unsuspecting planet. The top agency bands compete, and the winner receives the coveted AdJam Axe, plus bragging rights in the industry for the whole year.

This year's AdJam is at The Novo DTLA, and we are ready for the battle. We've profiled each of the bands to help decide whom you should root for come decision day. Check out what we asked Green Hot Chili Peppers (GreenLight Marketing and Media), and make sure you're registered for AdJam on Sept. 22. #ThinkAdJam


GREEN HOT CHILI PEPPERS - GREENLIGHT MARKETING AND MEDIA

 

Why do think so many ad people seem to be musicians? They gave up to their dream of being a rock-star, and to stay in touch with their "creative" side, they follow a path into the ad world.  
   
What's the hardest kind of ad-musician to find? The kind that is not a "self-indulged, auto-proclaimed God."

Who in your band is your "secret weapon"? Jenn AKA "Tambourine Girl"… Combined with her dance moves, will give everyone a reason to envy our performance.

Are you involved in a band beyond the adjam? Can we get tickets? Yes! check it out…

Is there a genre or band that is your agency's soundtrack? Boyz-N-The-Hood 

Which is easier for you, pitching or performing on stage? Performing on stage 1000% duh...

Jay Z or Kanye? Dr. Dre…


Green Hot Chili Peppers AdJam submission video  

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4 Questions for Shy Dogs

Posted By Emily Hope, Tuesday, September 20, 2016
For years, AdJam, ThinkLA's Annual Battle of the Agency Bands, has unleashed the raw, savage – if unheralded – musical talent upon an unsuspecting planet. The top agency bands compete, and the winner receives the coveted AdJam Axe, plus bragging rights in the industry for the whole year. 

This year's AdJam is at The Novo DTLA, and we are ready for the battle. We've profiled each of the bands to help decide whom you should root for come decision day. Check out what we asked Shy Dogs (TBWA\Chiat\Day), and make sure you're registered for AdJam on Sept. 22. #ThinkAdJam

SHY DOGS - TBWA\CHIAT\DAY 

Why do think so many ad people seem to be musicians? Because advertising is an industry that attracts creative individuals with varying artistic skills. So it only makes sense, with music as a form of artistic expression, that at least a handful of people would have musical talents. 
 
Is there a battle for the music played in your office? What kind of music wins? We're musically democratic. Every Friday employees are given the option to create a playlist of their favorite songs to play throughout the agency. It's just a bit of a battle deciding who.
 
What famous musician would have made a good advertising pro? David Bowie and Prince would have been amazing. Their unique styles disrupted and evolved pop culture and they branded themselves in a way that resonated the masses. 

Which is easier for you, pitching or performing on stage? Both are equally nerve-racking. Because you can be as prepared as you possibly can but you never know how your audience is going to react.

Shy Dogs AdJam submission video 

Tags:  #ThinkAdJam  Advertising  LA Advertising  Music  Shy Dogs  The Novo DTLA  ThinkLA's 10 Year Anniversary 

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3 Questions for JunkShot

Posted By Emily Hope, Tuesday, September 20, 2016

For years, AdJam, ThinkLA's Annual Battle of the Agency Bands, has unleashed the raw, savage – if unheralded – musical talent upon an unsuspecting planet. The top agency bands compete, and the winner receives the coveted AdJam Axe, plus bragging rights in the industry for the whole year. 

This year's AdJam is at The Novo DTLA, and we are ready for the battle. We've profiled each of the bands to help decide whom you should root for come decision day. Check out what we asked JunkShot (Red, Tettemer, O'Connell and Partners), and make sure you're registered for AdJam on Sept. 22. #ThinkAdJam 

 

JUNKSHOT - RED TETTEMER, O'CONNELL AND PARTNERS

 

What’s the hardest kind of ad-musician to find? A good one.

What famous musician would have made a good advertising pro? Paul McCartney, because he’s so fucking cheesy with all his jingles and shit.

John or Paul? John, because Paul is so fucking cheesy with all his jingles and shit.

 

Junkshot's AdJam submission video

Tags:  #AdJam  #ThinkAdJam  AdJam  Advertising  Agency Bands  Battle of the Bands  LA Advertising  Red Tettemer O'Connell and Partners 

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5 Questions for Darth Vato

Posted By Emily Hope, Tuesday, September 20, 2016

For years, AdJam, ThinkLA's Annual Battle of the Agency Bands, has unleashed the raw, savage – if unheralded – musical talent upon an unsuspecting planet. The top agency bands compete, and the winner receives the coveted AdJam Axe, plus bragging rights in the industry for the whole year.

 

This year's AdJam is at The Novo DTLA and we are ready for the battle. We're profiling each of the bands to help you decide whom you should root for come decision day. Check out what we asked Darth Vato (Deutch), and make sure you're registered for AdJam on Sept. 22. #ThinkAdJam 

 

What famous musician would have made a good advertising pro? "Stravinsky would have been a fantastic creative director. He shook things up, whether or not people were ready for I.” - Marijke van Niekerk, Senior Copywriter, Deutsch

Are you involved in a band beyond the adjam? Can we get tickets? "I play in a band called Fat Stash and we are playing Saturday night, 9/24, at Paladino's. Tickets are available at the door for $10." - John McGonigle, EVP Group Account Director, Deutsch

John Mayer or permanent hearing loss? "John Mayer even though he’s a jerk.” Ashlee Zwahlen, Production Assistant and Client Services, Deutsch

 
Jay Z or Kanye? “Jay Z!” - Tammy Infusino, Executive Assistant, Deutsch


John or Paul? “Paul.” - Spencer Griffith, Media Supervisor, Deutsch


Darth Vato AdJam submission video

Tags:  #AdJam  #ThinkAdJam  AdJam  Advertising  Agency Battle of the Bands  Battle of the Bands  Deutsch  Deutsch LA  LA Advertising 

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9 Questions for Blank Canvas

Posted By Emily Hope, Tuesday, September 20, 2016

For years, AdJam, ThinkLA's Annual Battle of the Agency Bands, has unleashed the raw, savage – if unheralded – musical talent upon an unsuspecting planet. The top agency bands compete, and the winner receives the coveted AdJam Axe, plus bragging rights in the industry for the whole year. 

This year's AdJam is at The Novo DTLA, and we are ready for the battle. We've profiled each of the bands to help decide whom you should root for come decision day. Check out what we asked BLANK CANVAS (Canvas WW), and make sure you're registered for AdJam on Sept. 22. #ThinkAdJam

BLANK CANVAS CANVAS WW

 Why do think so many ad people seem to be musicians? Ad people from agencies are more creative, less stuffy and more fun than corporate America people. Fact.

What’s the hardest kind of ad-musician to find? Anyone who plays a brass instrument.

Who in your band is your “secret weapon”? Tough call but could be a tie between Ian (Saxophone) and Jordan (guitar soloist). 

Is there a genre or band that is your agency’s soundtrack? Genres vary but would describe them as feel good anthems.

Is there a battle for the music played in your office? What kind of music wins? No. But wish I had more country fans…nothing beats a steel guitar, fiddle and six string.

What famous musician would have made a good advertising pro? Beyoncé takes the cake but Drake might be a close second. 

What is the most compelling use of music you’ve heard in a spot? Drake T-Mobile. Or this Sony classic from a few years back. 

Which is easier for you, pitching or performing on stage? Neither are easy but they both challenge us to be better in front of a “crowd”. 

Jay Z or Kanye? Drake


Blank Canvas AdJam Submission Video

Tags:  #ThinkAdJam  Advertising  Blank Canvas  Canvas WW  LA Advertising  Music  The Novo DTLA  ThinkLA's 10 Year Anniversary 

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10 Questions for HB Riots

Posted By Emily Hope, Tuesday, September 20, 2016

For years, AdJam, ThinkLA's Annual Battle of the Agency Bands, has unleashed the raw, savage – if unheralded – musical talent upon an unsuspecting planet. The top agency bands compete, and the winner receives the coveted AdJam Axe, plus bragging rights in the industry for the whole year. 

This year's AdJam is at The Novo DTLA and we are ready for the battle. We're profiling each of the bands to help you decide whom you should root for come decision day. Check out what we asked HB RIOTS (Innocean), and make sure you're registered for AdJam on Sept. 22. #ThinkAdJam

  

HB RIOTS - Innocean


Why do think so many ad people seem to be musicians? Ad people need a creative outlet after having their dreams crushed on a daily basis.
 

What’s the hardest kind of ad-musician to find? One that accepts meeting invites.
 
Are you involved in a band beyond the Adjam? Can we get tickets? Yes! The tickets are usually $135, but you’ll get the bro deal.
 
Is there a genre or band that is your agency’s soundtrack? Creative Dissonance.
 
Is there a battle for the music played in your office? What kind of music wins? 80's and Emo run neck and neck.
 
What is the part of an ad presentation that’s most like performing? Pushing "play".
 
John or Paul? John AND Paul.
 
Jay Z or Kanye? ZZZZZZZZ.
 
Mick or Keith? They're different people?
 
John Mayer or Permanent Hearing Loss? I'm not familiar with PHL, but I like the name.

 

HB Riots' AdJam Submission Video

Tags:  #AdJam  #ThinkAdJam  AdJam  Advertising  Agency  Agency Bands  HB Riots  Innocean  LA Advertising  OC Agency  The Novo DTLA 

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4 Questions for Chicken & The Waffles

Posted By Emily Hope, Tuesday, September 20, 2016

For years, AdJam, ThinkLA's Annual Battle of the Agency Bands, has unleashed the raw, savage – if unheralded – musical talent upon an unsuspecting planet. The top agency bands compete, and the winner receives the coveted AdJam Axe, plus bragging rights in the industry for the whole year. 

This year's AdJam is at The Novo DTLA and we are ready for the battle. We're profiling each of the bands to help you decide whom you should root for come decision day. Check out what we asked CHICKEN & THE WAFFLES (Maxus LA), and make sure you're registered for AdJam on Sept. 22. #ThinkAdJam

 

CHICKEN & THE WAFFLES - MAXUS LA 

 

What's the hardest kind of ad-musician to find? A talented one (ba dum ching!)

Who in your band is your "secret weapon?"
Chicken. He’s all drumstick.

Is there a genre that is your agency's soundtrack? Norwegian Death Metal with a side of Swedish Dream Pop.

John or Paul? Ringo. Always.


Chicken & The Waffle's AdJam submission video:

Tags:  #AdJam  #ThinkAdjam  AdJam  Agencies  Agency Bands Advertising  Battle of the Bands  Chicken & The Waffles  LA Advertising  Maxus  Maxus Global  Maxus LA  Music  The Novo DTLA  ThinkLA's 10 Year Anniversary 

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5 Questions for AMPERSAND

Posted By Emily Hope, Friday, September 16, 2016

For years, AdJam, ThinkLA's Annual Battle of the Agency Bands, has unleashed the raw, savage – if unheralded – musical talent upon an unsuspecting planet. The top agency bands compete, and the winner receives the coveted AdJam Axe, plus bragging rights in the industry for the whole year. 

This year's AdJam is at The Novo DTLA and we are ready for the battle. We're profiling each of the bands to help you decide whom you should root for come decision day. Check out what we asked AMPERSAND (Saatchi & Saatchi LA), and make sure you're registered for AdJam on Sept. 22. #ThinkAdJam

 

AMPERSAND - SAATCHI & SAATCHI LA 


What famous musician would have made a good advertising pro? Conor Oberst would have made a perfect creative intern. Sting would have made a dastardly Assistant Digital Strategist.

Is there a battle for the music played in your office? What kind of music wins? Strangely enough Christopher Cross' "Sailing" seems to be always be on loop. Damn you, Christopher and your wonderful melancholic yacht rock.

Are you involved in a band beyond AdJam? Can we get tickets? A few guys make up a rock duo called Wildera. If you say their band name three times and click your heels, a fairy will place tickets under your pillow.

What's the most compelling use of music you've heard in a spot? An up-and-coming brand called Toyota recently used "Some Lovin''" by The Spencer Davis Group in a spot called "Stand Together." If that doesn't put a smile on your face, you work for Honda. 

John Mayer or Permanent Hearing Loss? This question is absolutely savage. (We know). 


Saatchi & Saatchi's AdJam submission video:

Tags:  #AdJam  #ThinkAdJam  AdJam  Agency Bands  Battle of the Bands  LA Advertising  Saatchi & Saatchi  The Novo DTLA 

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Say 'Hello' to our New Logo!

Posted By Emily Hope, Monday, August 1, 2016



We're celebrating 10 years as the premiere marketing association in Southern California. To mark the occasion and honor the many contributions of our members, we've updated our logo.

We'd like to offer big thanks to our friends at TBWA\Chiat\Day for their work in designing our new logo and branding. Thanks to them, we have a new face as we continue to connect, inspire, and educate the Los Angeles marketing, media, and advertising community. 

It all starts with you, our members, and our community of like-minded, passionate and dedicated industry thought leaders. Here's to the next 10 years working with you! 

Tags:  #thinkLA  Branding  TBWA\Chiat\Day  thinkla  thinkla news  thinkLA's 10 Year Anniversary 

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