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The Finish Line Always Moves image

For nearly 25 years I’ve been entering runs of various distances. Now I’m trying bike riding and swimming, too. Sometimes I enter an event with a plan just to finish. Sometimes without any plan. Often, I’m bitten by the bug and it becomes about racing: trying to shave off precious seconds to cross the finish line faster. I know where that line is and I work, grind, flow, sweat – whatever to get there. Recently I’ve been contemplating how different that is from work. Sure, at work we have deadlines. But in our careers and job function, the actual finish line keeps moving. Not in a way where you see someone inching the line ahead in a teasing manner. But simply where ...

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Move Slowly and Don’t Break Anything image

Many in our industry (and all things tech) toss around the phrase “Move fast and break things.” And treat it like a new concept. But how new is the idea? Does it mean we’ve forgotten Evel Knievel? You remember: that crazy guy who rode a motorcycle fast and jumped over cars, buses, Pepsi trucks and the fountains at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. He even piloted a rocket-powered cycle over Idaho’s Snake River Canyon. As a result of his career exploits, Knievel became famous for his crashes and was recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records as surviving the most broken bones in a lifetime. Now what in white jumpsuits does this have to do with business today? I’d ...

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How did we ever live without our mobile device which we rely on for almost everything in our daily lives today? Hard to believe the iPhone was introduced 10 years ago. The digital world is an incredible landscape that continues to take shape and evolve at breakneck speed. For those of us who spend our days guiding clients and helping them build their brands, the digital world is providing an endless canvas to explore and test new measureable ideas which is also having an impact on the brand building process. Are we forgetting what it takes to build a brand? If we expect instant ROI, does that come at a price? In a recent interview with Irwin Gotlieb, global chairman ...

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Meet Mitch Loney image

SMZ is happy to introduce our newest team member, Mitch Loney. Mitch joins SMZ as an account manager after four years at Doner where he worked as an account executive. He is a graduate of Albion College with a Mass Communications major and Economics and Management minor. After playing four years of NCAA lacrosse there, Mitch has continued his love of the sport and is currently the varsity lacrosse head coach for his former high school, Walled Lake Northern. Mitch is a Detroit Lions and Red Wings fan and has an adorable one-year-old yellow lab named Leyla.

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SMZ welcomes fall interns image

Meet our two new SMZ interns, Andrew Fuller and Amanda Mosakowski. Andrew is junior at Oakland University, majoring in communications. He is a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and involved in fundraising events to give back to the community as well as planning social events to help create a safe, fun atmosphere around campus. Amanda is a senior at the University of Michigan-Dearborn where she is pursuing a double major in communications and journalism. In her free time, she enjoys writing stories both for fun and the school newspaper, Michigan Journal. She also enjoys yoga.

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The Eyes Have It image

At a recent new business presentation, our team from SMZ introduced themselves and talked about being “extra eyes” for the client prospect. We’re proud to say we did win that business, hence the eyes have it. That led me to think about all the ways we as a good (to great) agency use our extra eyes. We study the competition. Not just their spend and media mix but how they present the brand and deliver the customer experience. We look at consumer trends. Each year we report on the Pantone color of the year. “Intense colors seem to be a natural application of our intense lifestyles and thought processes these days,” Pantone Color Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman forecasts for ...

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Meet the new SMZers image

We’re happy to announce the addition of Breann Wasson and Alec Schlitt to the SMZ team. Breann Wasson joins us as a junior art director. She started at SMZ in the internship program and since then has been an integral part of the creative department. Her skills in coding, HTML, FLASH and digital animation have proven to be invaluable to the team. Breann’s a Central Michigan University graduate with a BS in advertising and a minor in media design production technology. Alec Schlitt started as a summer intern at SMZ and has filled the position of account coordinator. Alec demonstrated a strong work ethic, dedication and eagerness to learn during his internship and will be a wonderful asset to the ...

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Sauna or Steam? image

Sauna or steam? A strange question. But just another example of the abundance of choices we face as marketers and the choices consumers face every day. As a privileged suburbanite, I have the opportunity to make the sauna or steam choice at the health club. Most days neither is the answer. On some days, the so-called dry heat of the wooden sauna wins out. On others, venturing into the tiled steam room and trying not to sit on anyone (a major gym faux pas) is the choice for sweating it out. Both boxes are the closest I get to mindfulness. And both are excellent examples of a timeless, focused experience. Thomas Edison said, “The object of all work is production ...

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Meet our summer interns image

Alec Schlitt is a recent graduate from Grand Valley State University with a degree in marketing. He enjoys photography and investing in his own creativity. He is excited to share his passion and creativity, to learn, grow and be part of the SMZ team. Krystal Robinson recently graduated from the Mike Illitch School of Business at Wayne State University. During her time there she was involved in the WSU Chapter of the American Advertising Federation, of which she was the president. She enjoys dancing and going to Cedar Point when she is not working. Daman Nallamothu will begin his junior year at Michigan State University in the fall. His major is advertising: management and media. In addition to his studies, ...

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She always talks back. image

I remember a teacher in 10th grade who used to reprimand the student next to me, “don’t talk back.” Of course, then he talked back. I wonder did that guy (who always wore his varsity letter jacket regardless of the temperature) go on to help invent Siri or Alexa? Anyhow, we welcomed Alexa into our home recently. Say her name correctly and she always talks back. I’m fascinated with how far the voice recognition ability of iOt has come. My car has what was state-of-the-art nav seven years ago. Today that car turns my saying “Grand Rapids” into something unrecognizable. On my iPhone I purposely mispronounce my sister’s names to get Siri to call the right number. Alexa worked perfectly ...

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