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5 amazing delivery services that will transform the way you interact with brands.

Delivery and subscription based services are changing the way people shop, consume and interact with brands. Here’s an overview of 5 must have delivery/subscription services and a pro/con for each.

Nova Belote review of Instacart

1. Instacart for groceries – PRO: Buy only what you need and can track your cart total along the way. Spend less money by avoiding impulse buys. CON: Personal shoppers don’t always pick a comparable replacement if something is out of stock. Trial and error with produce, for example qty 1 banana literally means ONE banana, not 1lb.

PrimePantry

2. Amazon PrimePantry for household – PRO: Avoid shopping at Target. CON: Savings is negated by the standard $4.99 box fee (in addition to the $99 Prime subscription).

Caviar

3. Caviar for restaurants – PRO: Tip and tax already factored in, no need to sign. Good selection of restaurants to choose from. CON: No complaints yet.

StitchFix

4. Stitch Fix for fashion – PRO: Receiving clothing items you normally wouldn’t select helps keep your style fresh. Killer variable data and imaging printing, each box feels extremely personalized. CON: Easy to exceed clothing budget, suggest opting for every other month rather than once a month service.

Alure

5. Allure Beauty Box for beauty – PRO: Avoid shopping at Target. Again, try new products you normally wouldn’t purchase. CON: Mainstream products (i.e. Unilever, P&G), would like to see more natural and organic options offered.

I’m starting to utilize these services like I do utilities, constant replenishment, auto draft, time-saving devices that don’t require much thought. Plus I don’t miss fighting for a parking spot at Whole Foods or weekend trips to Target.

Hope you give delivery/subscriptions a try and discover how you can dedicate more free time to important things…would love to hear about your experiences (good or bad) with these types of services.

Audi, I’m leaving you. Details of a brand break up.

There are two types of products that have my utmost brand affinity; shoes and cars. All other products and brands, from beauty, household and packaged foods, rotate through my life. I don’t even know the brand name of some products, just what the label color or bottle shape looks like. I’m constantly trying new brands from these categories and plus these types of products are dispensable, literally. So when one of the (indispensable) brands I’ve been living with for 12 years decides to lie, cheat and operate in a dishonest fashion, I must sadly and with great regret move on.

I’ve had to reevaluate my relationship with Audi in light of the recent VW emissions scandal. Although I’ve never owned a diesel-powered car, I have driven two VW’s and two Audi’s over the aforementioned 12 year relationship. As I come to the end of my current lease, I’m frantically and begrudgingly scrambling to find a comparable replacement. But other brands just can’t compare… I LIKE Audi, I was planning to STAY with Audi, there was nothing WRONG with Audi, except:

The disappointing news of Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi’s R&D Chief Engineer, being at the center of the VW investigation, along with other top automotive engineers at VW. Evidence proves they interfered with software programming in order to relay faulty data on tailpipe emission readings. The data produced a reduced reading in order to meet EPA standards. According to the WSJ, the hack occurred when the engineers were unable to deliver an engine that met the standard, and as a result programmed the deceptive device. The pressure to deliver on time, on budget and on spec was intense, new car sales were lagging and VW needed a breakthrough product in order to differentiate the company from competitors.

As a response to this monstrous deceptiveness and highly unethical behavior, I’m taking action and leaving Audi. I’ll have to unsubscribe to Audi’s social properties, local event notifications and merchandise catalogs (thankfully Audi only makes one type of shoe and it’s a Toms…). This big ticket brand and I had inseparable affinity and were striving to maintain a lifetime consumer loyalty, loyalty that could have spanned generations. Everything will be changing over the next few months as I painstakingly research another brand to fall in love with.

If anyone has suggestions on an automotive brand who would be a good match, I’m open to trying something new. European with impeccable design aesthetic is preferable.

The Curse of Know-it-all-ism

Ad folk know, working in this industry is not for the faint of heart, thin skinned, clock-watcher kind. It is challenging, competitive and unpredictable and for all of these reasons, quite appealing to certain personality types.

The agency workplace is (should be) comprised of the best and brightest talent who are all striving to achieve some form of greatness. Whether it be generating the best, smartest work or leading your department in adapting and responding to the evolving marketing landscape.

With the constant emergence of new departments breeding new disciplines, there is no shortage of so-called ‘experts’ anxious to tell you things you don’t know about some micro-niche topic. Side note; I’ve always struggled with the term ‘expert’ relative to advertising, probably because I’m secretly jealous of people who have the luxury of spending a majority of their day researching, learning and keeping abreast on emerging trends/technologies. Realistically speaking, no one knows how or what new products and services will emerge in the next five years, the technology for these services hasn’t been invented yet…

Returning back to the topic of know-it-alls.

I’m always looking for ways to advance my career, I watch countless webinars, I read topical publications, I peruse through my professional network to see what topics my peers find interesting enough to share. I’ve come to the realization that even after working in this industry for over 15 years, there’s a ton of stuff I know nothing about… I wish I had time to learn everything but there’s simply too much topical knowledge out there for one person to absorb.

So, I’m here to tell you that it is okay to admit (and even announce) that you “have no idea”, it’s actually quite refreshing to say “I don’t know” out loud. I hope people know that I’m humbling myself on purpose because I am human and as being so, learn by experience, mistakes and collaboration with others.

Look at it this way, if you already know everything, you have clearly hit the glass ceiling (e.g. roadblock) in your career and it’s perceived to be that you are operating in a stagnant environment with no learning opportunities available. This is extremely bad, how can you possibly progress/evolve if you’re the biggest fish in the pond or the smartest person in the room?

Alright then. Let’s suck up those egos ad folk and admit that we simply ‘don’t know’, it would be a refreshing infusion of human character in this sometimes mechanical churning of the machine we call advertising.

Now go learn yourself something.

USMC | Toward the Sounds of Chaos

USMC_Chaos_Campaign

Client: United States Marine Corps (USMC), Marine Corps Recruitment Command (MCRC)
Project: “Toward the Sounds of Chaos” Campaign Development
Role: Sr. Project Manager
Overview: Orchestrated large organization operations by directing cross-functional teams throughout the conceptualization phase of an integrated campaign. Performed detailed project requirements gathering and scoping exercises to ensure budget and schedule adherence by closely monitoring resources, project plans, change controls and financial burn rates on a daily/weekly basis. Played an integral role in managing the movement of information and clear communications via an extensive internal network comprised of various disciplines/specialisms.

Website Projects

Client: Various
Role: Creative Services Manager
Overview: A sampling of digital projects created during my tenure at Hothouse. Project based work involved requirements gathering, scoping/estimating, leading kickoff meetings with a team comprised of graphic designers, copywriters, front/back end developers and quality control proofreaders. Continual monitoring of scope, creative department workload (managing multiple clients in parallel), schedule adherence and final product launch.

Nova_Belote_Project_Manager_Digital5Nova_Belote_Project_Manager_Digital4Nova_Belote_Project_Manager_Digital3Nova_Belote_Project_Manager_Digital1Nova_Belote_Project_Manager_Digital6

 

Social Media Projects

Client: Various
Role: Creative Services Manager
Overview: A sampling of Facebook promotions involving complete project management oversight from conception to completion.

Who Are You?

Identity! Show your stuff utilizing specialty inks, paper and finishing.

My foil stamp seal of approval.

Go Play Outside

Outdoor installations!

QA in Print Production

CW-034-ad_errorAlthough somewhat of a bias opinion Google’s Biz Chief: 50 Percent of Ads Will Go Online in the Next Five Years. it is safe to say the digital medium is the future of advertising (shocking, I know). With ever increasing screen presence I feel it is equally important to highlight a quality control process for print advertising.

Case in point, this lovely error you see, of course no explanation could be given for the printing oversight. I was however able to negotiate a make good on the insertion because a SWOP proof was submitted to the publication to visually communicate how the ad should reproduce.

With the average media insertion rate for a single, full page, color ad in a national publication running anywhere from $8k – $35k (and more), investing a few extra dollars for a hard copy proof will guarantee the media buy and safeguard the agency and client from argumentative finger pointing should an issue arise.

I know it seems archaic to pull proofs, if you’re running a national print campaign and investing hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars on the media buy prepress should be included as an integral step in your QC process. If a client never pulled proofs before and boasts an issue free track record they’re lucky. The statistical rate of error will increase with the rise in volume of ad production. And print production (like the food industry) should always follow QC standards.

Copyright Infringement!