A Great Brand in Action

maui_jims_adWhile we’d always love to blog about all of the great work we do for our amazing clients, today I’d like to brag on another agency’s client. Many of you have probably seen Maui Jim’s current ad campaign on TV or in print. The campaign shows the brilliant colors and detail that people can see every day when wearing Maui Jim sunglasses. Colors are shown literally bursting on the screen/page with the tagline “Like You’ve Never Seen.”

lisa_and_scottI own a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses that I actually bought in Maui in 2011 on my 10th anniversary trip with my husband, Scott. My husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor four months after we got back from that trip and passed away two years later. The Maui Jim glasses were my only souvenir from our trip and I have been reminded of that vacation every time I put them on. Three weeks ago, I accidentally sat on the glasses and bent the frame. Yes, I know they’re just glasses, but at that moment, I was heartbroken.

sunglassesBecause their ad campaign was fresh in my mind, I thought of looking to see if they had a repair service. I visited their beautiful and easy-to-use website, printed off a repair form, called the toll-free number and talked to a very nice and helpful lady (who answered the phone with a friendly “aloha,” even though she was in Peoria, IL). The rep walked me through everything that I needed to send, including a $10 processing fee, and said that the repair department would contact me for any additional charges. The next Friday, I got my Maui Jim glasses back in the mail. Not only had they been repaired, but also had new nose pieces and a new case. All for a whopping $10. I was excited, extremely grateful and overwhelmed at how easy the whole process had been.

Because of a superior product, brilliant and effective ad campaign and excellent customer experience, I have gone from having an emotional connection to a product to having an emotional connection to a brand. That’s a winning strategy for any brand looking to gain customer loyalty.

From the Desk of the Interns

Many internships are a joke. Maybe sub-par at best. You don’t get taken seriously, you never work on real projects, and no one wants to hang out with you outside of work. At least, that’s what we hear from our friends. But sometimes, when you’re in the right field, you find the right place. For us, the Right Place was o2ideas.

Here’s what we learned:

Emily, Art Director: After my 10 weeks at o2, I now have a better insight on the ins and outs of advertising. It is full of collaboration and improvisation. Along with some cool new Photoshop tricks (that I’ll definitely be showing off to my friends), I have learned how to design on a tight deadline. This skillset isn’t always taught in school. We might have an entire month to polish one project. I’ve learned to go with my instincts, be bold, and get the job done. Ipaddress . I couldn’t have asked for a better experience or co-workers to build me into a stronger art director.

Anna, Copywriter: I learned how to make progress through criticism – how to present my work, accept rejection, and completely start from scratch (to present later that week). I was accustomed to the evenly spaced project load in school. Here I learned time management because, in the real world, tasks come in consistently and almost always overlap. I learned that, although having sole creative control is lovely, it can be way more rewarding to work with a team, especially when it’s the right one. And the most important thing I learned during my life as an intern? Just keep writing.

Mitchell, Client Services: Oftentimes, the first thing people think of when they hear “ad agency” is what they see on an episode of Mad Men. That makes for great television, but that’s not how it works in the 21st century. After my experience as the lone intern in 2014, I had to learn to let other people do what they were hired to do, and for me to focus on my own responsibilities. After this internship, I found that a successful agency means everyone plays their part as well as they can. And, when everyone does that, then the finished work will ultimately benefit.

The past 10 weeks have presented challenges and successes that inspired us to work harder, faster and smarter. However, the most profound part of this internship was how we were embraced by the team members (sometimes literally). We felt valued, respected and competent – and, as interns, that’s a pretty cool feeling.

We’ve loved the time we’ve spent at o2ideas and the people who have guided us. The culture here is unique, nourishing and productive, and we wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else.

Thanks, o2!

Five Reasons to Join a Professional Organization

So, you’re a young professional or recent grad who wants to network more. You have big hopes, big dreams and an even bigger passion for your field, but you’re looking for the right way to get keyed in. Whether you’re on the hunt for your dream job or want to become more involved, professional organizations are a great way to expand your horizons as you grow within the industry.

Within the agency world, two organizations are highly frequented by my co-workers and me – The AAF Birmingham and AL PRSA. I’ve been involved with PRSA since college, and still use it as a way to grow within my field today. Whether I was seeking mentors that are now professional friends or meeting Bill Todd and learning about an opening at o2, professional organizations have played an integral role in my growth within the industry and proved their worth in these five ways:

1. Networking
You can never know too many people within your field. It still amazes me how I can call upon an old contact and pick up where we last left off. In PR alone, it’s important to attend these events and make connections within the city where you live and work, because you never know where one handshake could lead.

2. Advice
Truth be told, you aren’t the only newbie in the city, and professionals within the organizations have been in your shoes before. It’s important to make connections and grab coffee or lunch with someone who is seasoned in order to gain the ins and outs of the industry.

3. Leadership
So, you want a chance to share your ideas and bring something new to the table, or simply give back to the community. Organizations allow you to use your talents in a vast array of areas and grow not only in your job role, but in a community-focused role as well.

4. Potential Job Leads
As someone who found out about my last two positions through PRSA, I am a firm believer in using organizations to find out about openings that may not be posted to the public. If you’re in the job market, meetings and networking events give you the chance to meet a potential employer face to face and potentially gain access to the position of your dreams.

5. Industry Insight
In the field of PR and advertising, trends and information mediums are constantly changing, and it’s important not to get left behind. Going to events and listening to key speakers who are trained on these topics will help grow your knowledge of what’s to come, allowing you to take it back to the office and bring something new to the table.

Five Business Lessons from the Monaco Grand Prix

With only 15 laps to go and a 20-second lead, there was no way Lewis Hamilton could lose the Monaco Grand Prix. But something happened on Hamilton’s way to winning the most prestigious Formula 1 race. After a crash on the 63rd lap, Hamilton’s crew felt there was time for a quick pit stop. Problem is, Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel, the number two and three drivers behind Hamilton, didn’t stop. Neither of their crews felt they had a second to give.

The next scene was dramatic. Hamilton pulled out of his pit stop, only to see Rosberg and Vettel speed past him. With no room and no chance to pass, Hamilton came in third behind Rosberg and Vettel. During that time span, you can hear Hamilton radio his crew, “I’ve lost the race, haven’t I?”

It struck me that this event has lessons for us in business, well away from the Formula 1 world:

1. Don’t let up. Ever.
Your competitors aren’t taking it easy when the game is on the line. Should you? As good as you did today, you can do better.

2. Sometimes opportunities just aren’t.
It’s easy to see that the opportunity Hamilton’s team saw wasn’t an opportunity at all. It was a cul-de-sac that snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
3. Work with what you have.
The Hamilton pit stop was a luxury, not a necessity. His tires, fuel and everything else were enough to finish the race without stopping. Rosberg and Vettel knew they couldn’t stop for anything if they had a prayer of winning. What they had was enough to finish, and Rosberg finished first.

4. Mistakes are the best teachers.
f1Nobody has analyzed Hamilton’s slip more than Hamilton and his team. They won’t make the mistake again. The pain of losing will fade. There are lots of F1 races between now and next year’s Monaco GP. The mistake you may make today will sting. But the pain will go and you’ll be the wiser.

5. Grace is most visible under pressure.
Kudos to Hamilton and his team for chalking up the error for what it was. He was gracious in defeat and gave the right public praise for Rosberg. In so doing, Hamilton kept his team together and lives to race another day. Move fast and move on.


The Second-Best Advice I Ever Received

My new creative director called me into his office, and I knew it wasn’t going to be good. I had just uprooted my family and moved a thousand miles away to start my dream job. The only problem was, my dream job was anything but and everything that could be going wrong was going wrong.

After I took a seat, my creative director leaned back in his chair and said two words, “Do better.” That was it. No anger on one hand or words of encouragement on the other. Just: do better. Meeting over. In advertising, simple is always better. This advice is no exception. No matter your job, you can always do better. Creatives can always push to do better work. Account people can always find ways to better serve their clients. And agencies can always build better cultures.

“Do better” distinguishes the remarkable agencies from the good ones. But what I like best about these words is that they go beyond the office. In life, we can all do better. We can be better husbands and wives, parents and children, neighbors and friends. It takes effort, but the results are worth it.

The Best Advice I Ever Received

The traffic manager at my first agency job was a true advertising veteran. She had worked at some of the biggest agencies in New York, and I was fortunate to be working with her at a small agency in southern California. I can’t remember the specific incident – it may have been as simple as asking if I could eat the donuts in the break room. But the gist of what I asked her was if I was allowed to do something.

She responded, “Unless you’re told otherwise, assume it’s so.”

Those few words did more than answer my specific question; they made me realize I could come up with any creative idea I wanted. Want to shoot a commercial with wild animals? Why not? Nobody told me otherwise. Develop a scholarship program instead of an ad? Great. Assume it’s so. Those few words have stuck with me for years, and they continue to guide my thinking today.

Client mandatories and scaled-back budgets put enough restrictions on advertising creatives. The last thing we need to do is put limits on our own thinking. Have a great, crazy, audacious idea? Go for it. Unless you’re told otherwise, assume it’s so.

Lucy & Ruby’s Brainy Day 2015

One of my client’s annual fundraising events is just one day away. It’s a draining, stressful and overwhelming project, requiring branding, design, interactive, video, PR, event planning and social media. I’m also working with both the easiest and hardest clients – myself. Along with my 8- and 10-year-old daughters.

blog_article_image-1For Lucy & Ruby’s Brainy Day, I am client, mom-of-the-client(s), account executive, account director, producer and publicist, while also doing my job as director of client service for o2ideas. The stress may be high, but the reward is worth it.

As the third annual Lucy & Ruby’s Brainy Day approaches, I’ve been reflecting on three things every project needs to succeed.

A Great Idea

I’m surrounded by great ideas on a daily basis. At o2ideas, it’s what we do and who we are. I’m not typically the idea person, though. I’m the make-it-happen and make-sure-everyone-is-happy person. But Lucy & Ruby’s Brainy Day is different. The idea initially came from my then 6-year-old daughter, Ruby. Her daddy had brain cancer and she wanted to do something to help, so she asked if she and her sister could have a lemonade-and-cookie stand to raise money for his hospital. Ruby didn’t think about where the cookies or lemonade would come from, where the stand would be, how we would advertise it or any other detail. She just had an idea and it was a really great one.

The core idea determines the success or failure of a brand, campaign or project.


After I pointed out some of the logistics involved in creating their lemonade-and-cookie stand, Lucy and Ruby recognized the importance of not just having a great idea, but also following through. They made posters, asked Publix to donate cookies and lemonade (another great idea) and asked me to post about it on Facebook so my friends would come. They took three relatively small steps and raised $3,000 that first year.

A great idea remains just an idea until action is taken to bring it to life.


Now that Lucy & Ruby’s Brainy Day has grown beyond a child’s lemonade stand, it takes a team of people who are a lot better at a lot of different things than I am to make it happen. o2’s culture has always been one of teamwork and selflessness, and I’ve been reminded of how special that is through Brainy Day. A team works together. They care about a project’s success as much as the client. And they challenge each other to make it better. You can count on them day in and day out. And that’s a great thing, especially when your event strives to make life better for people affected by brain tumors.

Teamwork makes it all possible.

So, here’s to great ideas, taking action to execute them and to the best team in the business. Oh, and of course, to great clients, if I do say so myself.

To learn more about Lucy & Ruby’s Brainy Day, visit lucyandruby.com.

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