61. Friday Things – how is it Friday again?

Inspired by bloggers like Kasey and Brittany to do another Friday Things! They call theirs “Friday Favorites” and “Friday Five.” I like it!

1. Goodby, Silverstein & Partners new case study, I Am The New Creative. Watch it!

2. Quest Bars – all day, every day! I used to inhale one each afternoon, but now it has evolved into a nighttime snack. Cut it up, bake it, devour with some nut butter and greek yogurt. Oh yes.

Quest Bars

3. Mad Men. I don’t even care that I’m 7 years late. Better late than never! Currently binge-watching Season 1 on Netflix.

Doctore Who
4. Jamie Eason‘s Live Fit Program! If you’re looking for a FREE way to add structure to your weight training, I really reccommend it! I trained with weights for about a year and a half without seeing my strength improve much. With Jamie’s program, I don’t have to think about or really plan my workouts, which I really like! It gets me to write down how much I’m lifting, so as the weeks go by I can see my strength increase. I’m not following her food plan, not weighing myself or counting calories, and sometimes I alter the workouts to fit how I’m feeling each day. Haha! Does that mean I’m doing my own version of Jamie’s program? Either way, I feel so empowered each day that I can lift a bit more 🙂 Today I did Phase 2 -> Day 48 -> Back/Delts.

5. This ridiculously amazing video from Nintendo Direct. I just love rolling on the floor. Can I work at Nintendo now? I think it’s full of comedians…plus I’ve invested in so many issues of Nintendo Power.

That’s it for Friday things! What fun things did you discover, do or watch this week?

 

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53. 日本のシーエム!Daily dose of Japanese advertising.

AdFreak is one of my favorite sections of Adweek‘s website. Today, this post caught the attention of the Japanese major in me. I proceeded to spend 5 minutes with a big grin on my face. I most likely displayed a slightly confused expression for the other 51 seconds…

Crazy? Normal? To Americans, it probably seems a little chaotic! I’ve spoken with Japanese ad students before, and they generally agree that Japanese commercials are a bit quirkier and more bizarre than American commercials. I think it depends on which commercials you’re looking at. Who could forget American commercials like the dancing hamsters and robots? Definitely quirky.

With this particular compilation of current Japanese commercials, there were a few that jumped out to me. The ユニクロ/UNIQLO ad that begins at 2:19 is very similar to any other trendy clothing brand commercial in the US. The music is in English and the models are all of different ethnicity. Is this because UNIQLO is an international brand? I wonder if Japanese consumers who shop at UNIQLO are more internationally curious. This ad was also the most revealing of all the ads, showing the models in undergarments as they slip on their jeans. Also – just a fun side-note – I totally tried on a pair of the jeans in the  commercial when I visited UNIQLO in New York City earlier this month. So nice~

The ad at 4:05 for the Japanese rock band, Ace of Spades, is also interesting. It’s all in English! Other than their song, that is. All the text is in English, and the narrator speaks only in English. Could Ace of Spades be trying to attract an international audience? The mood of the ad reminds me of some sort of ad for a metal rock band in the US.

Quickly skipping over the creepy soda gum ad (toddler bodies with grown-up heads…appealing?), starring massive pop girl-group AKB48, we get to the Coke Zero ad. Featuring a soccer team, the ad is all about living on the wild side! Hence the slogan “Wild Health.” This ad reminded me of Chevy Sonic’s skydive ad, upside down shots and all. I noticed in the bottom right corner in tiiiiiiny text, there is a little message urging people to recycle. In Japan, recycling and garbage disposal is something fierce. When I studied abroad there, figuring out which can to put different trash items in was a challenge. Also, the background music is in English. Other Japanese Coke Zero ads use English songs, like this one. Fun fact: The song in that commercial was performed by Terry McDermott, a current contestant on this season of The Voice. These Coke Zero ads also display just how popular soccer is in Japan.

My favorite commercial in this compilation is definitely the one for the job recruitment company with the panda. It’s just plain cute.

I would love to someday be able to learn the strategies behind these Japanese ads, especially the ads trying to appeal to a more international audience. Are they trying to imitate other American ads to draw in consumers who are attracted to the US or other cultures? The more I watch, the more curious I become. While it of course depends on the brand, what does this mean for American companies who want to advertise in Asia? How much should they alter their advertising when many Japanese brands are advertising like American brands? How far can they afford to stray from the brand message/identity? And who are we to say that these Japanese ads are weird or bizarre? In Japan, it’s just normal television. Perhaps Japanese people find our ads boring and plain.

I leave you with more questions and musings than answers…and my favorite collection of Japanese commercials. These Fanta commercials were done by ad agency Hakuhodo. またね!


51. Whatever Wednesday – Baking Edition!

Welcome to a new activity I’ve decided to try with my blogging – themed days! I’ve dubbed today “Whatever Wednesday,” where I can write about whatever my little heart desires! Up until now, this blog has been dedicated to media and the advertising industry. I recently got advice from someone IN the industry who said it’s okay to write fun, non-ad related posts. It helps to show off your personality. I’m still deciding what other themes to assign to different days – any thoughts?

So! Without further ado…let’s kick off Whatever Wednesday!

Whateverrr…Wednesday!

Food, food, food. Everyone loves food, right? I know I do! With a passion for making healthy food exciting and tasty, I’ve tried cooking and baking more during this past year than ever before.

I’m always on the look out for new recipes (whether they’re healthy or a little indulgent). It’s all about balance, after all. Enter my best friend! She’s known in her college friend circle for her banana bread. When I learned of this, I was almost offended! Why had I not tasted this? Something had to be done.

On Monday, we decided to have a banana bread baking session! I happened upon some EXTREMELY ripe bananas on Sunday, and knew that Monday banana bread was meant to be.

I first observed the banana bread master as she made her batch. We decided to improve alter the recipe slightly, tossing in some roasted pecans. We mixed the batter in a Cuisinart, which I had never done before. Apparently it makes the bread more smooth and dense once it’s baked. I cut the sugar in half in my batch as well. Once both our batters were mixed and in the oven, it was time to wait.


We passed the time by emptying out her tea cabinet (she sent some home with me) and learning Irish dance moves. Yes. My family also has a tea cabinet of sorts (okay, it’s more like a corner of our counter where we throw all the tea). I wonder…do all tea drinkers buy more tea than they know what to do with? Hmm, possible insight into tea buyers? Why do we buy so much?! Perhaps this is a topic for a future blog post.

Finally, it was done! The house smelled of wonderful banana. We all then took part in a taste test…or 3.

Now. What’s the one thing that can make homemade banana bread even more amazing? Homemade ALMOND BUTTA. I’m not too picky about nut butters. I always want to try new kinds! Peanut, almond, cashew…oh my! I’ve never tried sunflower seed butter or walnut butter, but believe me – they’re on the list! What’s your favorite nut butter? Since I tend to over-eat nut butters, my new best friend is peanut flour (hello, Protein Plus!). Mix with water, and you’ve got much healthier peanut butter! Less fat, sugar and calories. So much protein! All natural. Another option that is quite tasty is PB2, made by Bell Plantation.

Almond butter has become my staple gift in the last 6 months or so. I made it for everyone on the Oregon Bach Festival staff after I completed my internship with them as well as for my teammates in my final advertising class. It makes me so happy to see everyone enjoying it (and I get to enjoy it too!). I’ll share the recipe at the end of this post, but first…some almond butter food porn. Oh yeaaaaaaaaaah.

Notice the banana bread makes an appearance with the almond butter! 😀 Also, I love how roasting the almonds yourself makes the entire house smell delicious. The smell reminds me a bit of popcorn.

My recipe is inspired by Brittany at Eating Bird Food. Love her site! I just altered the recipe slightly.

For one batch, you’ll need:

2 cups raw unroasted almonds
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (heaping. I love cinnamon.)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp raisins
About 4 tsp coconut oil (virgin, unrefined from a health food/nutrition store)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place almonds on a 9×13 baking sheet/cookie sheet and roast for about 14 minutes. If you’re making more than one batch, you can roast 4 cups on one sheet and increase the time a bit. You’ll know they’re done when they smell a bit like popcorn! 🙂

2. Once the almonds are done, place all the ingredients (except the coconut oil) into your Cuisinart or food processor and start to pulse/blend. Don’t forget to wear ear plugs if your Cuisinart is loud!

3. After a few minutes, you can start to add in your coconut oil, one teaspoon at a time, blending after each.

4. In my Cuisinart, one batch probably takes about 20 minutes. If you want a chunkier consistency, blend for a shorter amount of time. For more creamy, blend longer.

5. When the consistency is to your liking, scoop it out and enjoy!


49. Chobani – My life fuel!

I love Chobani.

Why do I love it, you ask? Be still, my beating heart!

Not only is Chobani the most delicious yogurt on the market, but in my opinion it’s also the healthiest! Chobani contains twice the amount of protein as other yogurts. It has very few ingredients, all of which are natural. It’s low in carbohydrates and sugar – the few that are in the Plain only come from the milk. Yoplait, eat your heart out.

Full of health benefits, Chobani helps me live my healthy lifestyle. Since March of 2011, I’ve lost 80 pounds. 80! I’ve completely changed my way of life – everything from eating habits to my exercise routine.


It’s been a journey, to say the least. Now, I aim to eat clean, fresh, REAL foods. I work weights at least 5 days a week (along with circuit cardio), aiming to build lean muscle. Muscles need food for fuel in order to grow – hello, Chobani! With it’s protein and healthy carbohydrates and live cultures, it can’t fail. Even the 0% Plain (which happens to be my favorite) is like a rich, creamy, scrumptious dessert.

I’ve had great experiences with the people behind Chobani as well. In the summer, I saw a Chobani contest advertised on Facebook. If you “liked” Chobani’s contest page, you’d be entered to win some samples of the three newest flavors – Apple Cinnamon,  Blood Orange and Passion Fruit. My Facebook page liking must have pleased the Chobani gods, because only a couple days past before I got the email.

I won?! What? I’d never won a contest before. My emails back and forth with a Chobani staff member to discuss shipping of my winnings was so pleasant and easy. When I received my samples in the mail, I quickly Tweeted, Instagramed and Facebooked some pictures. Chobani has a great social media presence, so I of course tagged the brand in all my posts.

Get this: Chobani responded! They retweeted my images and even took the time to write a little friendly reply. Chobani also changes the contests every so often. I just entered to win some of the new 16 oz containers. Yummy!

To top it all off, the brand has a heart-felt story, coming from humble beginnings. Chobani has valued people from the very start.

Recently, ad agency Leo Burnett and Chobani decided to join forces. Leo Burnett is behind ads such as this Chobani Olympic spot, helping Chobani bring home the gold for Olympic advertising.

My experiences with Chobani have been “nothing but good.” With a strong social media presence, contests, free coupons online, shared recipes, community events and even a bus tour, this is clearly a company that cares for its consumers, putting them first. Chobani even features a “Chobaniac” on the blog, putting the spotlight on fellow CHO lovers. When they interact by responding to my posts or sharing my photos with the Chobani community, it makes me feel like a part of the larger Chobani community and like my opinion matters. Please Chobani, keep it up!

One more thing. My day is never complete until I’ve had at least one Chobani! My favorite? 0% Plain. So simple, but at the same time offers the most freedom for creativity. My staple nighttime snack is 0% Plain, a splash of unsweetened almond milk,cinnamon, unsweetened cocoa powder, a little chocolate whey protein powder, and some PB2. If I’m feeling a little indulgent, I’ll add a little scoop of real peanut butter! After about 30 minutes of chillin’ in the freezer, my frozen Chobani yogurt is ready to (inhale) enjoy! Mmm. I’ve also tried a few other combinations, as well as making healthy oatmeal parfaits and veggie dips!

Now, if you’ll excuse me…


48. Under the rose.

Ad Week‘s “New Model Agency” video for today caught my eye. At New York-based agency Sub Rosa, founded in 2005, strategy and brand experience are held in the highest regard.

Check out the short video to hear CEO Michael Ventura chat more about this cool agency.

I admire how many outside sources they brought in and questioned while doing research for GE’s “For Women by Women.” Talking with Victoria Secret for the gown design was genius! Nothing screams uncomfortable hospital experience like your bum hanging out the back of a crinkly robe.

I like how Ventura explains Sub Rosa’s experiential work, talking about how interacting with a brand should be very similar to interacting with a person. It’s a brand’s experience and message that keep customers returning for more. If you don’t like the way an interaction with someone makes you feel, chances are you won’t want to hang out with them again.

This idea of a brand being like a person is evident throughout the Sub Rosa site as well. If you scroll to the bottom of the “About” page, you’ll find 20 all-too-intriguing squares with pictures of different items. Who do these things belong to? What kind of person pops into your mind when you see these brands? I decided to click around on the brands/products I was attracted to. Turns out I should be hanging out with Sub Rosa staff like  Executive Producer Anna Simonse, Technology Director John Barton and Junior Environmental Designer Caitlin Joyce. How about you?

I can definitely see making my own square of products that represent me this weekend…personal project! I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on Sub Rosa’s career page.


47. Landor Associates – Stand up, stand out and stand for something.

Last Wednesday, I had the opportunity to visit branding agency Landor AssociatesNew York City office. Hidden within one of the tall, ominous yet beautiful buildings along Park Avenue, I gaped in awe at its majesty…while enjoying the conveniently located Starbucks across the street. Nothing like being 40 minutes early for an appointment! Even after accidentally going to the entirely opposite end of Park Avenue…

 

Protein box! Just my style.

Landor, I’ve found you!

I met Mindy Romero, Landor’s Director of Public Relations, when I was in NYC back in May with fellow UO classmates for Creativity Week. She and I were both attending the UnConference and ended up chatting together at lunch. I made it a point to stay in contact with her after leaving New York, and it definitely paid off! Networking is such a powerful tool in advertising. There are so many wonderful people in the industry who will happily help out new college grads. Mindy was no exception! When I found out I had the chance to be in New York last week, I quickly emailed her. I not only was able to set up a meeting with her, but she helped out so I could also meet with Alyssa Montalvo from the HR department.

When it was time for my meetings, I ventured over. With a clean, crisp lobby with security guards, I couldn’t help but feel a little intimidated.

Compared to the bright lobby, the Landor office was full of dark brick, sleek furniture, graphic art and examples of award-winning work on the walls. They even pay tribute to Walter Landor on one of the walls.


I’m so appreciative and thankful for being able to meet with both Alyssa and Mindy. We talked about Landor and how they function, things I’ve done in the past, what I want to do in the future, different possibilities and the industry. They both critiqued my resume and gave me tips for networking. I also have some ideas for personal projects to do in order to be a better potential employee in general.

Both reminded me of the importance of keeping a blog. Read and stay up to date on the industry. Form an opinion about what brands are doing and share it! When I struggled (only momentarily) to name a brand that had recently don’t something I liked, I knew I’d been away from industry news a little too long. On your blog, don’t be afraid to have a post every now and again about your new favorite song, shirt, recipe, whatever! It shows off your personality. If you’re able to tie it back in to advertising or branding, even better.

We’ve all heard it before –  LinkedIn and Twitter may be your best friends when it comes to landing a job. If you meet someone in the industry, try your best to establish a connection and keep in contact. Nothing beats face-to-face communication, but messages every now and again will keep you in their mind. If it’s someone who works at an agency, maybe they have some new work out that you admire. Strike up a conversation about it. Alyssa told me about a person she interviewed in the past. Landor wasn’t able to hire that person at the time, but s/he still keeps in touch with Alyssa. Alyssa said she would definitely think of that person if there was a job opening.

I had a great time at Landor and would love to come back (and someday land(or) a job there). I’m feeling more motivated to work hard. Let’s go!


42. Lessons from the Big Apple.

My takeaways. Is it cliche to say that it’s hard to collect all my thoughts from this trip and make it into something coherent? I’m extremely thankful to have been able to go on this trip. I met so many great people from the ad program, and I’m totally in love with the agencies we visited, the city, and our professors for putting it all together. A million thank yous!

The Industry.

1)    We’re more like Homer than Mr. Spock whether we want to admit it or not – DDB.

2)    Don’t be ashamed of having values. Stay away from bad behavior and stay true to yourself – Big Spaceship

3)    Be passionate about something! Put it on your resume and tell people about it – McGarryBowen

4)    Don’t make something just because it looks cool. Have a reason behind it – ROKKAN

5)    Don’t just see the problem. See the solution – ROKKAN

6)    The more creative the planner’s brief, the more inspiring it is for creatives (Holy cow, Dylan Viner’s target audience video!) – JWT

7)    It’s amazing how many fun, creative and smart ideas we can come up with in 30 minutes – W+K

8)    Everyone has something valuable to share. Just listen – The Unconference

After work.

1)    The cool, New York City air hitting your face is the best feeling in the world when you emerge out of the subway.

2)    There is always something positive or a lesson found in a negative situation.

3)    We have the best professors (not sucking up, I swear. This is just fact).

4)    People are just people! Be yourself and talk to them. Don’t be scared (learned from talking to NYC locals, fellow ad students and industry folk!).

5)    Even NYC’s late night delivery pizza is THE MOST AMAZING THING EVER.

6)    I love being in a place where I can walk a block and hear 5 different languages.

7)    We tend to rush, rush, rush. It’s okay to stop and take a moment to breathe – reminded of this when I ran into the Urban Speed bumps art project.

8)    Spending an entire day traveling around New York City on your own makes you feel like you can survive anything!

9)    We’re all going to go back to New York. Don’t worry 😉