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Are you awake? Here are the highlights from our Intro to Mindfulness workshop!

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 3, 2014

On 12/2, over 60 people attended our very first workshop on mindfulness at Ignited USA in El Segundo. The workshop was led by Allen Weiss Ph.D., InsightLA instructor, business professor at USC, and co-chair of Mindfulness USC, and we learned how mindfulness can help clear away internal clutter and nurture your passions. We focused on four particular areas - mindfulness of emotions, mindfulness of thinking, mindful listening and cultivating kindness. The feedback that we received from everyone in attendance was incredible. Take a look at the presentation slides, and stay tuned for more workshops of this kind in the future! 



Presentation Slides

Thank you to our instructor, Allen Weiss.


Tags:  Mindfulness  Professional Development 

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Top 5 Takeaways from AdU Grad: RTB/Programmatic

Posted By thinkLA Aficionado, Thursday, November 6, 2014
Updated: Thursday, November 6, 2014

Technology is changing the media-buying landscape. The term "programmatic" is growing in popularity but often lacks consistent definition. On 11/4, we met at Rubicon Project for a top line overview of what programmatic is and what it isn't. Here are the takeaways from the team at Rubicon Project…

1. Automation is not the future, it’s the present.
2. The machines won’t put people out of work; relationships and negotiations are still needed, though execution becomes
    easier and performance gets better.
3. Buyers and sellers both benefit – this is not a one-sided solution.
4. Automation isn’t new – in fact, advertising is late to the party.
5. Programmatic originally focused on unsold inventory but has matured into premium, high-valued placements and audiences.


Presentation Slides



How creative can marketers get with programmatic?

Will fraud be the death of programmatic 

The 3 biggest marketing attribution challenges

How is the IAB addressing programmatic?

3 practical ways publishers can protect programmatic inventory

4 key ways programmatic is transforming marketers

Will last-click attribution ever die? 

2 programmatic misconceptions you need to reexamine

3 simple ways to ease programmatic into your strategy

How did programmatic get a bad rap?

Understanding programmatic accountability

The 5 fastest ways to alienate online audiences

How USA Today Sports entered the programmatic video space


Thank you to our host:
Rubicon Project

And to our instructors:
Ed Carey, VP, National Sales, Rubicon Project
Michael Gellar, Sr. Director - Central, West, & Canada Head of Sales, Buyer Cloud, Rubicon Project
Trent Beckley,Director, West Coast Sales, Rubicon Project
Elvin Kawasaki, VP Digital Group Account Director, Initiative
Jennifer Dodez, Account Director - Programmatic Solutions, Edmunds.com

Tags:  Education  Professional Development  Programmatic  Real Time Buying  RTB 

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AdU: Account Management 2014

Posted By Sarah Ledo, Wednesday, July 16, 2014
At the AdU: Account Managment class, members of RPA, Common and DirecTV explained what it takes to be a strong account manager. Attendees were shown real-life examples and skills to apply to their own jobs and gained a better understanding of the many opportunities of working in account management. Check out the presentation slides!

The instructors also recommend checking out the following:
Built to Last & Good to Great (Jim Collins)
Made to Stick (Chip and Dan Heath)
Hey Whipple, Squeeze This (Luke Sullivan)
The Lean Startup (Eric Ries)
Power (Jeffrey Pfifer)
Ogilvy on Advertising (David Ogilvy)
Collaborate or Perish (William Bratton & Zachary Tumin)
Drive & A Whole New Mind (Daniel Pink)
Blue Ocean Strategy (W. Chan Kim)
Why We Buy (Paco Underhill)
The Tipping Point & David and Goliath (Malcolm Gladwell)
Top 10 TED TALKS (or all of them)
Ad Week/Ad Age
This Advertising Life Tumblr (trust us)

Thank you RPA for hosting the event and to our instructors:
Lisa Tanner, Vice President, Account Director, RPA
Romy Flint, Senior Director, Common
Kaleen Ogden, Associate Planning Director, RPA
Margaret Mason, Director of Marketing, DirecTV


Tags:  Account Management  AdU  Professional Development 

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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.

View Photos

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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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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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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