Happy Valentine’s Day from Love Advertising

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2013 Nerd Cave Holiday Gift Guide

The three men in our digital department felt that the female population of Love Advertising was visiting their office, affectionately known as the ‘nerd cave,’ a bit too often for holiday gift ideas. So often, that they decided to put together this unique list of gift ideas that would be ideal for anyone on your Christmas list. Being the experts that they are, they even included great gift descriptions and links to purchase each item.

We hope you enjoy this list as much as we did.

Happy Holidays!

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Filed under Creative, Design, Love Advertising

Find Your Creativity Within

Where does creativity come from?

It is actually within all of us; we just need to get it out.

There is a misconception in our industry that “creative” is defined as clever TV spots or clever ads, where in fact, creative problem solving involves every person in every department.

So how to you tap into your God-given creativity?

I once worked with a copywriter who told me a story of one day when he was trying to come up with an idea.  He closed his door almost all the way, closed his eyes and tried to quiet his mind.  After a while his boss stuck his head in, saw him sitting there with his eyes closed in a meditative state and asked, “Isn’t there something you are supposed to be doing?”  The copywriter said, “I’m working.”   The boss didn’t get it.

In our fast paced work environment, which can sometimes be described as “organized chaos”, where we are expected to read the equivalent of three novels per week in emails alone, sometimes we just need to shut down the technology and get away for a bit in order to get in touch with the natural creative side of our brains.

Many forward-thinking companies, Schlumberger for one, have places where employees can lie down for a quick “power nap”.   They know that a quick 20 minute rest to quite the mind, regardless of whether you doze off or not, is better for rejuvenating the mind than drinking another cup of caffeine.

Give it a try, and let your natural creative juices flow.

Andy Jackson – Account Director

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Showing Love for Charitable Causes

We at Love Advertising are always happy to team up with organizations that support charities and the well-being of others.  This year, we have the privilege to work with the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston presented by the Greater Houston Honda Dealers, who has welcomed The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center as their 2013 beneficiary of Grand Prix Charities. In light of the momentous fight against cancer, Grand Prix Charities unveiled two unique programs designed to benefit the top ranked cancer center.

During the “Three-Day Festival of Speed,” Grand Prix Charities of Houston, a 501c3 organization, will host Flags Over MD Anderson Cancer Center Speedway and the 2013 Celebrity Go-Kart Race Benefiting MD Anderson Cancer Center and you have the opportunity to join the 2012 IndyCar Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay in supporting the institution’s world-class research and patient-care programs. Here’s how you can help:

Flags Over MD Anderson Cancer Center Speedway

Grand Prix Charities and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have teamed up to allow fans to sponsor a portion of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Speedway with commemorative flags that will line the 1.7-mile course. Companies, organizations and individuals looking to be a part of the Grand Prix and to give back to MD Anderson can purchase flags personalized to honor loved ones or show support for the fight against cancer.  The flags, available beginning Aug. 20 at two purchase levels: $250 or $1,000, will fly over the speedway throughout the Grand Prix weekend. The commemorative flags will be returned to purchasers following the event, and $1,000 package donors will have their flags autographed by the winning drivers of the weekend’s two IndyCar races.

Celebrity Go-Kart Race Benefiting MD Anderson Cancer Center

The Celebrity Go-Kart race, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Oct. 5, is an opportunity for companies or individuals to show their support for the fight against cancer by sponsoring a race “team” consisting of two go-karts: one driven by a designated celebrity, and one driven by a company representative. The race will be contested on the MSR Houston Go-Kart Track Benefiting MD Anderson Cancer Center inside Reliant Park, and will consist of two heats, with eight cars racing in each heat. The top drivers from each heat will go on to compete in a final race to crown the champion. This will be the second Celebrity Go-Kart race, with the previous event in 2007 featuring the late Paul Newman edging out Roger Clemens to take the first-place trophy. Team sponsorships are $5,000. Benefits include not only the competition, but also VIP hospitality and a full day of excitement at the Grand Prix.

 

We encourage you to help support the critical fight against cancer. Whether it’s by purchasing a flag or attending one of the races, you can help benefit MD Anderson Cancer Center.

For additional information on Grand Prix Charities visit www.grandprixcharities.org.

Tickets to the Grand Prix are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at grandprixofhouston.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 or in person at the Reliant Stadium South ticket windows inside Budweiser Plaza. For more information, please visit www.grandprixofhouston.com.

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10 Tips for Owning a Successful Business

I have often been asked what I believe are the keys to owning a successful business. Having talented, passionate people working with me would be one of the first things that comes to mind along with the fact that I have never entertained the thought that I might fail. Recently, I gave a speech to a group of women business owners and was asked to share a few things from that talk that I believe can make you successful not only in business, but in life.

 

1)      Have a positive attitude. A positive attitude about everything! Yourself and your ability, other people, the future. Whatever life throws your way … maintain a good attitude!  I’ll pass along one of my client Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvales favorite sayings… “If it is to be, it is up to me.” To me, that says it all.

2)      Don’t be afraid of problems. When I walk through the door of Love Advertising every day there is only one thing I’m sure is going to happen. PROBLEMS. Unresolved problems pave the road to failure. But if you have a positive attitude, you can solve most any problem and solving problems helps you learn to think and grow and it builds your confidence to survive and win … both in your personal and professional lives. Focus on solutions and be sure to hear both sides … get facts on the table and give everyone the benefit of the doubt until you hear both sides.

3)      Don’t hire people and tell them to be nice. Hire nice people. You can teach people many things but nice isn’t one of them.

4)      Slow to hire, quick to fire.  I read an article once called “I quit but I forgot to tell ‘ya” and I looked around and saw two people at the agency that fit that description. I sat down with them and found that they really wanted to be doing something else but needed the push to move forward. I worked with them to create an exit strategy and remain on good terms with them to this day.

5)      Your first method in communicating with your staff, customers, etc. should be eye-to-eye, i.e. face-to-face. Then ear to ear. Then you can rely on technology like texting, but the last should be email as it is too easily misconstrued.

6)      Watch your money. If you own your own business, sign your own checks so you can keep track of what’s going out – it’s just as important as what’s coming in.  Also, get a plan for what to do with the money you make.

7)      Dress for success. A great saying is dress for the job you want. Nice black pants and white shirts are not expensive and if you add accessories, you can look polished and professional every day.

8)      You can’t grow if you don’t let go. Make sure you are delegating and letting others work on your behalf. You can’t grow your business if you don’t have people who can do what you do, and if you don’t let them try, you will never know their capabilities.

9)      Don’t overuse pronouns. This leads to so many communications problems. She told her that they didn’t want them to help him. Use names – that is why we have them!

10)   My last piece of advice is to give back. Give back to your community, whether it’s your church or charity. Volunteer, donate time and if you can, money. Find a way to give back something of yourself.  We have a program at my agency called LOVE MATTERS where I give everyone $500 to give to a charity in which they are personally involved. Try it and I promise, you’ll get more than you can ever give.

- Brenda Love

 

 

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Proud to Promote

There are some internal changes taking place at Love, and one that we’re especially proud of is the announcment of two promotions in our account service department.

Congratulations Virginia and Michelle, your exceptional client service has paid off.

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Filed under Announcements, Love Advertising

Love Matters: Beckendorff Junior High

In my time at Love, I have had the pleasure of working with several worthwhile charities including Chuck Norris’s Kickstart Kids, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Houston SPCA. So when I was asked to assist Beckendorff’s Junior High School’s 7th grade class with their persuasion and research projects, specifically the creation of public service announcements (PSAs), I was happy to share my experiences.

The first day was a working session with more than 100 students grouped together.  Each selected an organization or cause they wanted to focus on for their project ranging from animal abuse to bullying.  Many of the groups already had their PSA ideas drafted, so much of my time was spent proofing and tailoring the current scripts in efforts to fit PSA guidelines. A few of the groups spent the day filming, and I enjoyed watching their progress and offering suggestions on camera angles and other filming techniques. Today’s students are brilliant and technologically savvy! The future of advertising is bright!

I then attended the students’ final presentations. I was thoroughly impressed with their professional dress and presentation skills as well as the  finished PSAs. Click the images below to see some of Beckendorff’s great work.

I really enjoyed this opportunity to give back to community and it was a great reminder that love matters!

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5 Key Tips to Landing an Ad Job out of College

Well, here it comes. It’s the time of year when young soon-to-be-college-graduates are ramping up their anxiety about finding a job. With graduation just around the corner, pressure begins to mount from all angles…parents, classmates, professors, counselors and your own desire to find success.

When it comes to a career in advertising or marketing, unfortunately you’ve chosen a field that is highly competitive and sometimes even poorly compensated for the entry-level personnel. But, you’ve also chosen a field that interests you because of the innumerable upsides that make it exciting. A job within an ad agency allows you to experience the rush of new creative ideas, a variety of brands and personalities, assignments and opportunities that you may not find elsewhere, all with the potential to shine like never before.

What about the money?  Excuse me?  Did you think there was any?  Actually, the ad biz gets a bad rap for having a reputation for low-paying jobs. The reality is that those people who flourish and generate results move quickly up the ladder (meaning your compensation increases with each new challenge tossed your way along the path). Coming straight out of college, you can expect to make around $30-35K as an entry level account assistant or creative staffer in Houston. It can vary by firm and by geography, but not dramatically. How briskly that number increases is entirely up to you.

So how does one land a job with an agency right out of undergrad?  Beyond having the innate people-skills required in a very high-touch industry, along with creating positive chemistry in your interview, there are some things you can do proactively to get the edge in landing an ad job. Based on my experience over the years, here are the five key areas that you can, and should, influence:

1. Résumé. Build a strong one page resume…make it pop, this is the ad world after all. If you held a job while in college, describe your duties. If you helped fund your college, state that as well. Did you intern and gain real-world experience?  Your resume makes your first impression, without you being in the room to defend or explain it. Does it tell the story of YOU?  It should sell you in your absence. If it doesn’t, then rewrite it. But always make sure you have the right contact information on your resume. You’d be surprised how many new grads put down their temporary addresses and emails and forget to update them once they leave campus. Also, proof it well. I have tossed out many resumes simply because there was a single typo. The agency business is a detail and deadline oriented business. Embrace it.

2. Cover Letter. Wow. I’ve seen cover letters that actually have the agency misspelled in the first sentence. Or the letter is addressed “to whom it may concern.”  Actually, no one I know is concerned, so do some homework and find a name of the right person in the firm to send it to.  Make sure the right letter goes in the right envelope, or if you email it all in, make sure the attachments match. Nothing hits the round file faster than typos and perceived laziness via your documents. Get to the point, toss out a compliment, prove you know the agency and make them want to know more about you. Your goal is not the job, but the interview. Once you have that, THEN you can focus on the job. Many times you will find that an agency may create an opening where one does not exist because you are such a find.

3. The Search. This is where you get the real advantage. Almost every agency has a jobs tab on their website.  Almost every city has a professional organization for ad agency types that typically have an online job bank. In Houston, for example, it resides on www.aaf-houston.org. Very few newcomers I meet ever bother to look around at sites like these.  Exploit them and make a hit list of those companies or job types you really want to go after. Talk to your placement office at your college. Look up industry trade journal web sites… anything that will give you more information on an agency’s needs. Random salvos to agency’s that are downsizing or stagnant are just a waste of time. Spend your valuable time going for the hot ones.

4. Internships.  Participate in at least one if you can. Many agencies have developed strong programs to not only provide the experience to students, but to ultimately identify those all-stars that they would likely want to hire. Call around.  Search the Internet. Talk to professors and friends. Find the agencies that have the program and make contact. No recent grad wants to begin a career with an unpaid internship, yet unfortunately, we see that all the time. The best time to intern is during the summer and holiday break before your graduation. You want a real paying job offer BEFORE you graduate, not six months after. An internship either lands you a job with the agency or expands your network and experience.  Either way, you can’t lose.

5. Leverage. This is the biggest and best tool in your job search toolbox. You need to leverage your contacts. By that, I mean you need to talk to your parents, your friends’ parents, your professors, old bosses, rich uncles and other extended family. No one, and I mean no one, gets to the top of the interview list faster than a person that comes recommended from a “friend of the agency.”  Remember that many of your personal contacts may know agency people, or even may be a client of an agency. Make those calls and ask for help. Most decent folks won’t refuse to assist a new grad when and where they can. All of us went through the job hunt after college and still understand the stress. So ask and pull whatever strings you can to get in front of an interviewer.  If you are ever turned down after an interview, ask how you could improve, and always ask for other leads on job openings. Sometimes you may not have been hired simply because of the timing, so they may give you a name or two to contact if you ask.

Finally, be sharp. Look sharp. Know your audience and pay attention to detail. If you follow those above steps and still can’t land a decent ad job, you’re not working hard enough at finding the right fit. Go get ‘em.

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Spread a Little Love Today

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Love Continues to Grow

We’re very happy to end the year by adding  two talented gentlemen to our creative department. Their expertise in design and graphics is just what we asked for from Santa.

Congratulations Chris and Jesse! We’re lucky to have you on our team and welcome you to Love Advertising.

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Filed under Announcements, Creative, Love Advertising, Uncategorized