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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

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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.

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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.

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