With four conferences under it's belt, Business Development Institute has announced plans for its 2008 series of Advertising Industry Diversity Job Fair & Leadership Conferences. Kicking off the series will be the New York event held at NYU February 28. San Francisco, Chicago and an Experienced Hire Diversity Recruiting Program in New York will follow. For more information on the New York event in February, go here.
We've been to plenty of ad conferences and we've seen plenty of people sitting on the floor with their laptops checking their email or IMing a colleague but we don't recall seeing too many women wearing very short school girl-ish skirts sitting with their legs in a position that would allow all all to see...well, all. While some of us might like seeing that, we're thinking it's fairly unlikely to become anything more than a fantasy in the mind of an away-from-home conference goer.
However, the ecomXpo thinks it's the norm according to one of their recent brochures promoting this week's conference. The brochure has four people - two men and two women (because, after all, we are totally PC in this industry) - sitting on the floor using their laptops. Both women's skirts are short but one is quite short and of the pleated plaid variety, her legs, in all their glory, fully exposed. We have no problem at all with this style of dress. In fact we wish we saw it more often. Sadly, we just don't think it's something one would see too often at a trade show. Except, perhaps, during that fantasy-cum-reality hotel room tryst.
Of course, the fact the ecomXpo is a virtual trade show and not a physical one, short, plaid, pleated mini skirts on women with long legs and the fantasies they fuel make perfect sense.
Last night The Ad Club of Boston held its 47th Annual Hatch Awards high atop the Boston skyline at State Room, a grand event space with two story, floor to ceiling windows offering beautiful vistas of the city. Cocktails began at 5:30PM and at about 9:30PM the Best of Show Award was presented to Arnold, along with Crispin Porter + Bogusky for their Singing Cowboy commercial, part of the American Legacy Foundation's truth campaign.
The event was well attended and there was some nice work acknowledged. This year, in response to comments on the structure of last year's event which was held at the Back Bay Events Center with a more traditional auditorium-style awards presentation far from the food and drink, the event was moved to the State Room where the food, drink and mingling along with the award presentation became one. Results were mixed at best.
The trouble with advertising people and advertising awards shows in general, especially when alcohol is involved, is that no one cares who wins unless it's themselves. So The Ad Club President Kathy Kiely and Master of Ceremonies John Verret had a tough time commanding attention from the crowd who were seemingly oblivious to the presentation ceremony and more concerned with socializing and drinking than paying respect to their peers who had won awards.
If you followed my Advertising Week adventure at all, you probably know I hit YPulse on Friday. In the late afternoon, a bunch of kids were corralled onto the stage to give us one last shot at learning their inner-workings before hitting the road.
Like the minds of the demographic it hopes to distill, the one-room YPulse Tween Mashup conference hall is a different world.
Upon entering, you're accosted by Michael Jackson's ABC (this is before Hanson's Mmmbop was spun about 6 different times) -- and with so much pink SWAG just waiting to be snapped up, you feel roughly the same emotional tug that only Lisa Frank's overpriced unicorn-shaped pencil sharpeners could conjure.
With all this going on, the YPulse atmosphere serves to make marketers feel pre-adolescent and out-of-touch, all at the same time.
Mainly for personal conceits, Advertising Week's Why Editors Matter panel was by far our favourite.
The panel consisted of Chris Franklin, Big Sky Editorial, NY; Paul Gowan, Rogue Editorial, Toronto; and Neil Gust, Outside Editorial, NY. Check out the link to the panel information to see the work they've done; notably, Paul Gowan is known for having edited that Dove Evolution piece that people keep subjecting us to.
Each of adland's Geoff Emerick's had an opportunity to speak, which we'll go ahead and synopsize here:
Renee Hobbs freaks us the fuck out.
Who is Renee Hobbs?
The director of My Pop Studio. And she's currently expounding on media education for girls at the YPulse conference.
My Pop Studio is a pretty interesting site. Founded on the notion that society promotes developing self through sales, it "pushes back" by imbuing girls with critical thinking skills for battling media messages.
A series of free online games teaches kids about how media works by letting them manufacture culture: you can observe how your feelings about a product (like lip gloss) change depending on the backgroud music, create a pop star, and practice multi-tasking.
This could be a great resource for kids. In fact, it probably already is - the site boasts partners like Alloy, and Hobbs champions her team as masters of viral and WOM marketing.
In the meantime, our experience of the product is colored entirely by Hobbs' own personality, who's an overwhelming real-life version of Nurse Ratchett.
Believe it our not, everyone that writes for Adrants does not, contrary to popular belief, live in New York. So revel, herewith, in the story of Angela as she masters the art of traveling on an Adrants budget as opposed to an Advertising Age budget which, for Adrants readers, is a very good thing.
After all, do you want the highly-edited, overly-tame version of Advertising Week - or do you want the gritty reality of life in the big city as seen by someone like you: People without huge expense budgets who go from glitzy hotel to cab to advertising conference and back again without reveling in everything New York has to offer? Read on.
You never know when you'll need the skills necessary to support your survival (and cool factor) if you happen to find yourself at a youth hostel during Advertising Week on a (trendy) Bohemian budget. And after three days doing it, I'm a PhD. Read on to glean the fruits of my loving labors:
1. Buy a map. This serves two purposes: locating all the 1 Line stations in Manhattan, and all the shot-in-the-dark buildings the Advertising Week people chose for the seminars (couldn't one location have done the job?).
If colleagues ask why you never take a cab home, say nonchalantly that you know the Subway like the veins on the back of your writing hand. They'll be impressed. Or at least they'll look like they are.
Tell me how to nail cheap two-star accommodations in NY the day before Advertising Week, and I'll call you a liar and tell you how you - yes, you - can survive in a youth hostel during a business trip.
Because after (reeeeally) bad planning on my part, that's where I ended up.
At the end of yesterday's Saving Darfur session, which ran a half hour over time, I wandered the streets of New York in desperate pursuit of the 1 Subway line.
After accidentally interrupting the filming of a movie called "Fighting," I located this crucial urban vein, hopped on and trekked to my hotel.
Priceline.com has this cool option where you can "name your price!" on a hotel. The setback is, if they find you a place at "your price!", you're married to it - no refunds, no takebacks. [Ed. Someday we'll elevate ourselves from the slums and hire and executive travel planner who will hunt down and torture Paris Hilton until she orders Hilton Management to put us up at the Waldorf Astoria for $50 a night.]
So it was with surprise, some chagrin and a sudden craving for croissants that I discovered my hotel, attractively dubbed West End Studios, was not a hotel at all but a youth hostel.
The world spun. I'd gone from from Underdressed Amongst Ad Execs to Overdressed to Kill. Flippin' amazing.
The Effie Awards, that fine upstanding institution that hands out awards to creators of ads that actually perform as opposed to just look good, has open the call for entries for its 40th annual show. So find your work that actually accomplished something and head over the The Effies site and enter.
For your pre-Advertising Week enjoyment, check out these super cheesy ads from the Washington DC Ad Club which is having its own advertising week and is running the most idiotic commercials to promote it. The really sad thing about this is that there are actual ads from actual companies that are as bad or worse than these airing on TV and the creators think they're actually good. Anyway, more pointlessness to amuse you on a Friday afternoon.