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Dodgeball Tournament 2014

Posted By Administration, Thursday, May 22, 2014
On May 21st, 19 advertising company teams went head-to-head in our Dodgeball Tournament benefitting the MAT Program at the LA Galaxy Soccer Center in Torrance. There was a lot of dodging, ducking, dipping, diving… and dodging going on. In the end, the company that took the championship trophy home was Stoddard and Partners. Blitz took home the trophy for best team spirit. Congratulations to everyone for dodging like pros, and having fun out there!
Team Photos

Watch the video!

Thank you to our sponsors:



Food Truck & Hydration Station

Referees provided by:

Hosted by:

LA Galaxy Soccer Center 


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AdU: Creative 2014

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, May 21, 2014

On May 20th, Jordan Atlas, SVP, ECD at Ignited, showed us how important it is to create breakthrough work. We learned that “creative is not everyone’s job; It’s everyone’s responsibility.” The idea is not a product shot, cute kittens or celebrities. The idea embodies a lifestyle. It’s fresh, memorable and breaks through the clutter.

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Presentation Slides
Jordan Atlas - Creation & Ideation

Thank you to Jordan Atlas for leading the class, and to Ignited for hosting us.

Tags:  AdU  Creative  Professional Development 

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connectLA Spring Mixer 2014

Posted By thinkLA Aficionado, Friday, May 16, 2014

On May 15, 2014, over 150 people attended our connectLA Spring Mixer at Duplex on Third, and had a blast playing bingo and networking. Attendees were able to mingle with LA’s thought leaders and ThinkLA board members, and learn more about how to get involved in our community.

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Congratulations to the Blackout Bingo winners:

1st Prize: Nick Giordano, LA Register - JAMBOX, courtesy of PK4 Media
2nd Prize: Lauren Taylor, StrikeAd - 2 Interactive Idea Awards Gala tickets, courtesy of ThinkLA
3rd Prize: Colleen Sumpter, StrikeAd - $75 Giftcard to Duplex, courtesy of Duplex on Third

Congratulations to the raffle winners:

Jim Baudino, Toyota Motor Sales - Amazon Fire TV, courtesy of Solve Media
Taylor Vella, UM - PS4, courtesy of Twitch

Thank you to our sponsors:




Tags:  Duplex  Members  Membership  Social 

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Maker Workshop: Rapid Prototyping 2014

Posted By thinkLA Aficionado, Wednesday, May 14, 2014
On May 13, 2014, an intimate group of 25 people from the advertising community came together to learn how to accelerate their creativity using the skills of rapid prototyping. Individuals worked in small teams to hone in on the best way to develop, package and sell ideas like they’ve never done before by creating a conceptual mobile app prototype on paper in a few hours. What was the main takeaway from this workshop? This rapid prototyping approach can be applied to developing anything from a new business to conceptualizing a new campaign.

Presentation Slides

Per Hakansson - The Art of Rapid Prototyping

Thank you to Per Hakansson for leading this workshop, and to Ignited for hosting us.

Tags:  Creative  Maker Workshop  Professional Development  Rapid Prototyping 

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AdU: Media Planning 2014

Posted By thinkLA Aficionado, Wednesday, April 30, 2014

4 key takeaways from AdU: Media Planning

At ThinkLA's AdU: Media Planning course at OMD's office in Los Angeles, California, four leaders from the OMD team shared their insights in the media planning and buying space. There is always more to be learned in this space, and the students listened in on four presentations, all with important takeaways for media planners and other marketing professionals alike.

Analytics must be planned in advance

"Analytics should not be an afterthought," Kemble Fletcher, associate director, analytics, emphasized to students. Metrics should be established up front with the client, in accordance with measurable goals. Fletcher also remarked on the humungous volume of data in the world today. (1,200 exabytes, to be exact!) Fletcher then highlighted an important distinction. There are two main approaches to measuring people, and it is important to remember the difference. While demographics refer to quantifiable stats like age and sex, psychographics are more about attitudes and values, for example, people who like dogs or particular breeds of dogs.

Ask these questions when developing a mobile strategy

According to Mobile Manager Laura Schneider, these are the three most important questions to ask about mobile:

  • How can I target my audience through mobile?
  • How does this fit into my plan strategically?
  • What unique value can mobile bring to the campaign?

Schneider also emphasized that when considering the time spent with the medium, mobile spend still isn't where it should be. Granted, it is still a complicated space. Schneider broke it down for students, explaining that there are four avenues to buying media on mobile: apps, premium, ad networks, and audiences. And when it comes to ad formats, Schneider claims native ads, short-form video, rich media, and interstitial ads are a better investment than static banners or long-form video.

Keep your eye on these consumer trends

Kristin Hogan, senior strategist at OMD, presented next, highlighting four major trends to capitalize on. Look no further than successful recent campaigns, and you are sure to recognize these key factors.

  • Instant gratification
  • Always-on and mobile
  • Experience-focused
  • New visual vernacular

Today's consumers, especially the youngest generations, have limited patience, want to be in constant contact, prefer experiences over tangible possessions, and speak a language driven by images.

Understand the value of paid search

Senior Strategist Jennie Antonakis, the last to instruct the class, gave a detailed overview of why search matters, as well as how it works. Search, many argue, is the most important channel because it leverages consumers who are already interested. Not only that, but search is at the center of the consumer's online journey. Paid search ads (SEM) are served as a result of a real-time auction, where you bid on certain keywords (for example, "jeans" for Levi's). A student asked: Why pay for SEM in cases where the brand already shows up organically (SEO)? Antonakis says it's because your brand will take up more real estate on the page, which means more clicks. Plus, you only pay for SEM when someone actually clicks through. SEM targeting is one of the most important considerations, so be sure to take into account dayparting, device, geo-targeting, retargeting, and language.

Recap by Chloe Della Costa iMedia Connection

Presentation Slides
Jennie Antonakis - Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Kristin Hogan - Strategy
Kemble Fletcher - Analytics
Laura Schneider - #BORNMobile
Thank you to our instructors:

Kemble Fletcher, Associate Director, Analytics
Laura Schneider, Mobile Manager
Kristin Hogan, Senior Strategist
Jennie Antonakis, Senior Strategist

Tags:  AdU  Media Planning  Professional Development 

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Automotive Breakfast 2014

Posted By thinkLA Aficionado, Thursday, April 24, 2014
Updated: Friday, August 8, 2014

On April 23rd, industry professionals explained how Social Media, PR, Analog/TV, Experiential, CRM, SEM and In-Car Tech can work together to amplify brand messaging and cross-promote in the digital space.

Presentation Slides


Press Coverage


The most exciting marketing opportunity you need to know by David Zaleski, iMedia Connection

How Honda helped save the American drive-in by David Zaleski, iMedia Connection

Thank you to our speakers:

Greg Johns, SVP, Client Director Digital Strategy, Initiative
Alicia Jones, Manager, Honda and Acura Social Marketing, American Honda
Brad Audet, General Manager, Garage Team Mazda

Thank you to our sponsors:

Tags:  #autobreakfast  #thinkauto 

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AdU: Account Planning 2014

Posted By thinkLA Aficionado, Thursday, April 17, 2014
Updated: Monday, April 21, 2014

Coherence and Mess, Insights and Noise: The Role for Strategy in a Converged World

What do a sausage, salad dressing, shopping cart and a giant box have in common? They are all life lessons that led the talented team at TBWA/ChiatDay to become strategists in account planning. And those four seemingly random objects fit in perfectly with the theme "Coherence and Mess, Insights and Noise," part of ThinkLA's AdU educational series.

Nick Barham, Chief Strategy Officer, led us on a rollicking overview of what a strategist does. Hint: There is not a linear way of mapping this job. His journey started with the British version of a Slim Jim called "Perperami" where Barham had the realization that memorable advertising can become a part of pop culture.

The key elements of a strategist's job are relationships and storytelling. Consider the pairings of Business & Creativity with Brands & Culture. A super creative idea still has to address business goals. A strategist needs to understand how the brand fits into a global culture. Without a story the consumer can relate to, the brand is just an object. Best skills to have for this job? Barham says challenge familiarity, tell a great story and make strange connections. "Bring people and their worlds to life. Create the world they want to live in. Who are their role models?" He cited this Paralympics "Meet the Superhumans" clip as an example of seeing things differently.

Larry Lac, Director of SMARTS Lab, described his journey that included close encounters with Donald Trump and his one-time only claim to ESPN "I know I can make a viral video." Luckily, he was right and Alexander Ovechkin's Russian Shooting Accuracy Challenge got over two million hits and features the best use of Russian salad dressing ever Another great use of salad dressing came in Lac's work with Kraft and Bravo and "The Zesty Guy" Lac credits team collaboration, "Advertising uses everyone's unique talent. When you put it all together with courage you can make really cool things."

Jennifer Costello, Sr. Planner, was told, "Sweetie, you don't belong here" and ushered to the strategic planning department. Her three keys to success: Be a cultural arbiter, you need to know everything that's happening; Be a Method Actor, take a long walk in your audience's shoes; Be a maker, show proof of your concept. Costello spent two weeks living with Walmart shoppers to understand their behaviors and helped craft the successful "Every cart tells a story" campaign.

Planning Director/Digital Strategist Kyle Luhr said if creatives are known as frustrated artists, then strategists are frustrated entrepreneurs. He asks, "How do we use digital to hack the planning process?" The flexibility of digital allows you to see if something is working or not and adjust accordingly. To prove how the space between learning about something and buying it is shrinking, Luhr was involved in the Nissan Versa campaign, the first car sold on Amazon featuring a giant box that went viral with an assist from Reddit.

When in doubt, any argument you need to make for or against strategy can be found in an episode of Breaking Bad, which Barham calls a "Get out of jail free card for strategy."

Recap by Lynne Gullo (@pinkypulse) pinkyonthepulse.com


Automotive Breakfast 2014 Photos


Presentation Slides

Thank you to our instructors:

Nick Barham, Chief Strategy Officer, TBWA\Chiat\Day
Jennifer Costello,
Sr. Planner, TBWA\Chiat\Day
Kyle Luhr,
Planning Director, TBWA\Chiat\Day
Larry Lac, Director, SMARTSLab

Tags:  Account Planning  AdU  Professional Development 

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Mobile Breakfast 2014

Posted By Administration, Friday, March 21, 2014

Over 900 guests heard from industry leaders about the future of mobile including landscape, marketing tools and wearable technology.

Speaker Presentations
Henry Blodget's Presentation:
Coco Jones' Presentation:
Vaino Leskinen's Presentation:
Press Coverage

Why the IAB mobile ad unit will die by David Zaleski, iMedia Connection

2 mobile mistakes costing you time and money by David Zaleski, iMedia Connection

Are You Convinced to Rock Google Glass Yet? by Franchesca Nguyen, iMedia Connection

Why Every Year is the Year of Mobile by Jennifer Marlo, iMedia Connection

How “Angry Birds” Ignited Sales at McDonald's by David Zaleski, iMedia Connection

Business Insider CEO on the State of the Mobile Landscape by David Zaleski, iMedia Connection


Congratulations to the raffle winners:
Natalie Rusinko, Horizon Media Mobile Meeting Kit Courtesy of E!
Lisa Takahashi, Garage Team Mazda Jaybird wireless headphones Courtesy of Millennial Media
Karen Guthrie, Horizon Media iPad mini Courtesy of AdColony
Cassie May, Moxie USA iPad mini and Thinknear hoody Courtesy of Thinknear
Wesley Minor, OMD Apple TV Courtesy of Celtra
Mark Chu, Action Sports Lifestyle Group iPad mini Courtesy of PayPal
Alex Ornstein, Initiative Jambox Courtesy of Rocket Fuel

Thank you to our speakers:
Henry Blodget,
CEO and Editor, Business Insider
Vaino Leskinen,
Head of Mobile, TBWA's Media Arts Lab
Heidi Browning,
SVP of Strategic Solutions, Pandora
Coco Jones,
Head of Brand Partnerships, Shopkick
Janine Gianfredi,
Marketing Lead, Google Glass

Thank you to our sponsors:

Tags:  Mobile Breakfast 

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Pokeraoke 2014

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 13, 2014

In Hollywood, ThinkLA members and their guests participated in a Poker Tournament, Karaoke Contest and Casino Games for another successful Pokeraoke!
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Poker Tournament Winner Anthony Ward, AdColony PS4 Courtesy of Rocket Fuel
Casino Winner Hemang Saraiya, Initiative Round trip for two to Vegas and one night at the Cosmopolitan Courtesy of Adroit
Karaoke - 1st Place Steven Flowers, Collective iPad mini Courtesy of Conversant
Karaoke - 2nd Place Matt Schneider, Starcom $100 Uber gift card Courtesy of Conversant
Karaoke - 3rd Place Chris Johnson, Moxie Interactive 1 year Hulu subscription Courtesy of Conversant
Raffle Winners Meredithe Woodward, OMD $100 Uber gift card Courtesy of Conversant
Sara Hilgendorf, OMD $100 Uber gift card Courtesy of Conversant
Sam Ko, OMD $100 Uber gift card Courtesy of Conversant
Chelsea Dominski, Palisades Media Clippers tickets Courtesy of Van Wagner
Emma Goldstein, Starcom $50 Gift card Courtesy of NDN
Evan Tiedemann, Mediacom $50 Gift card Courtesy of NDN

Thank you to our sponsors:









Tags:  pokeraoke 

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ThinkLA Conversations: Experiential Marketing with UrbanDaddy, Toyota & Pitch 2014

Posted By thinkLA Aficionado, Friday, February 28, 2014

On February 27, 2014, we put two thought leaders in the hot seat for our second town hall format with ThinkLA Conversations.

ThinkLA was very excited to host the event at the Pacific Design Center, bringing members of the L.A. media, marketing and advertising community together to share their thoughts about experiential marketing. We discussed what role digital plays in experiential, which brands are doing it right, how various marketing divisions can work together, and more. Taking the stage was entrepreneur Lance Broumand, CEO of UrbanDaddy, and the ever engaging Jim Baudino, Engagement Marketing Manger of Toyota Motor Sales, USA, moderated by Spiro Kafarakis, EP/VP, Agency Growth at Pitch. The LA marketing community in attendance really challenged our speakers, which made for a captivating and insightful conversation.

Recap from Moderator Spiro Kafarakis:
If we are looking for one thing as marketers, it is consumer attention. Recognizing that we are operating in a world where there is a scarcity of attention – effective engagement and our ability to connect is an enormous challenge. When people refer to experiential marketing, they refer to what it is - another channel to be utilized where brands might effectively capture consumer attention.  But the question that fails to be asked is why – why is experiential so important and what is it that can be achieved through experiential marketing that can’t be achieved any way else.  And the simplest answer is that experiential marketing has the ability to change what a brand means to consumers in a way that no other form of marketing communications can do. Why? Because at the core of experiential is experience – the sole driver for what we search for on this planet. Experience defines our lives and gives us meaning. The ability for anyone or anything to gives us an experience that we wouldn’t expect or moves us to feel any one of our range of human emotions means that we have created a connection - that we have engaged an individual on a such a personal level, that they walk away from that experience feeling different.

Below are a few of our favorite tweets from the event. 

Thank you to our speakers:

Jim Baudino, Engagement Marketing Manager, Toyota Motor Sales
Lance Broumond, CEO, UrbanDaddy

And thank you to our moderator:

Spiro Kafarakis, EP/VP, Agency Growth, Pitch

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