Monthly ArchivesNovember 2014

Creativity, Volatility, and Serendipity: My year in advertising standard

I graduated from Wayne State University a year and a half ago. I spent four years (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it) studying, settling on a degree in English. During that time, I ended up getting an internship at a small ad agency. It was an eye-opening experience, not because the work I was doing was amazing, but because it showed me that the creativity I was expressing writing stories and poems could be harnessed to, well, pay the bills. While I was interning elsewhere after graduation, I sent an email out to that agency, and they hired me. It was the dream: not even a year out of college, and working as a junior copywriter. I learned ...

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Reflections on the Midterm Election standard

Lessons successful brands can teach politicos. All the posturing and partisan antics once restricted to our semi-annual election cycles now permeate everyone’s daily lives, thanks to 24/7 cable and online news coverage and social media voices by the quasi journalistic opinion setters.  State and national legislative business as usual appears to be “my way or the highway, never back down, never compromise, never listen or consider another point of view” as an increasingly accepted political norm.  One-sided belief systems drive wedges and then major gaps in families, communities and countries.  They shift us away from the roots of what a democracy is supposed to operate upon. Basic brand and business principles like listening; exchanging ideas and views to achieve thoughtful ...

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SMZ welcomes Nia Martin standard

SMZ welcomes Nia Martin to the team as an account coordinator. Nia is a 2014 graduate of University of Michigan-Dearborn with a degree in business administration/marketing.  She was a collegiate athlete for five years and a member of the American Marketing Association.  Nia worked at Magneti Marelli as a product marketing Intern in 2013 and most recently at the Detroit Tigers as a community/public affairs intern. In her free time, Nia loves playing volleyball, listening to music, and food—Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo to be exact! She is a Detroit sports enthusiast: Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions and Detroit Red Wings all day.  

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The Weeks that Were standard

SMZ has been in business since 1929, 85 years.  In an industry that is often dramatic, very few weeks were as dramatic for us as the last few. We moved offices for the first time in nearly 30 years.  It was a herculean staff effort.  Combing through decades of work to determine what to keep, store or toss is a physical, mental and emotional challenge.  To then unpack, reorganize and get back to work in one business day was rather, well, exciting. Coinciding with the move, we said goodbye to our Executive Creative Director, Gary Wolfson and welcomed into that position, Michael Corbeille.  That change alone is also a very big deal for an ad agency. SMZ’s client mix is ...

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News flash: learning never goes out of style standard

Is it still possible, even after decades of experience, to recapture the enthusiasm, curiosity, and fearlessness to take on new challenges? Technology changes corporate landscapes and entire industries at an alarming pace, often making experience a curse. Careers stall, innovation stops, and strategies grow stale. Being new, naïve, and even clueless can be an asset according to Laura Wiseman’s new book Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work. These days, constant learning has become more valuable than mastery. It’s not that expertise isn’t helpful, but what’s interesting about this book’s theory is that success comes from constantly approaching work as a rookie.  In the author’s view, working perpetually on a learning curve can be a ...

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