A Fresh Look From a TNG Intern (cross-posting)

July 23, 2008

This is a cross-posting.  Originally posted by me on The New Group Blog. Figured my readers would want to read it too.

My first day here at The New Group is coming to a close. The first thing I noticed was how difficult it is to find this palace in the clouds. As a cyclist, MacCadam Ave was a cruel mistress. As a mild insomniac, I was quite groggy still this morning.
Oh my!  I\'m on the wrong side of the road.

Macadam Ave. – More crowded in the morning (And why am I on the wrong side of the road?)
Image Credit: Google Maps

Fortunately, I was met with smiling faces, a cup of coffee and a slew of introductions. One would be hard pressed to find a group of people that know as much about their profession as the people I encountered today. Each department and each employee had a different style and rhythm. Many of my discussions focused on social media and the “everybody’s got one” blogosphere.

How can a brand improve its image in the digital landscape? There have always been discussions about products and services by consumers. Now, these conversations and opinions are being migrated to the digital arena, giving them much more impact on consumer opinion. Brands must be willing to listen to consumers and help shape the conversation. Who better knows the consumer than the consumer? Direct communication channels are powerful tools, and this is just the tip of the conversational media iceberg. It takes research and a personal “feel” for the pulse of the internet to know where people are getting their information, videos, images and anything else you can dream up. I have blogs that I have deemed to be interesting to me, and I am discovering new “culture magnets” all the time. For brands, it is essential to find who these culture magnets are for your target and observe what they are saying. These are the new “cool kids”. No longer do all the cool kids wear leather and smoke cigs behind the gym. They are devouring information and dispensing it to the average kids who are, like me, sitting in front of laptops and trying to make all the cool kids like them.

Photo Credit: Jen64

These opinions and feelings towards the brand will only increase in volume and ability to craft opinion in the coming years. In other words: It’s a big deal. I admit to being new to the world of analyzing such mountains of data, but these folks seem like they have been doing this for years. Maybe, I will pick up a thing or two in my time here at The New Group.

Throughout my (short) tenure here I will be attempting to call myself a copywriter. I became interested in copywriting because of my two loves: solving problems creatively and seeing my writing in giant letters on a billboard. I don’t have a huge ego, but where else can you write cheeky, snarky pieces and not have to expose anything about your personal feelings. It’s a great way for smart alecks like me to define problems and find unexpected solutions. Great writing is hard to define, but when your writing makes a direct, understandable connection to the target, great things happen. Customers are compelled to buy, the sun breaks through the clouds and everyone gets a pony. TNG has quite a few of those moments, and I hope to learn from some of the best pony-givers in the industry. Let’s creatve something beautiful.

A pony for everyone!

Who doesn’t want a pony?
credit: andrediaslopes

Retrospectively Britton

July 23, 2008

The Griffins are like a family to me.   They welcomed me into their home and allowed me to drink their coffee, annoy their art directors and tag along with their copywriter like I was a lost puppy.  They didn’t even act annoyed when would suggest outlandish things, like a life-size cheetah replica, or demanded that everyone speak pig latin on Wednesdays.

It has to be at least three times this big.

It has to be at least three times this big.

Okay, so those things never really happened.  But, the people at Grady Britton were some of the more entertaining and kind souls I have met in a while.   GB really let me go with projects and write whatever I felt and included me on many brainstorming sessions.  It was really inspiring to see people doing the same things that I do….but better.

1)    Never, ever feel like your idea isn’t good enough.

2)    “Gumballing” is where you let ideas drop out of your brain and directly out of your mouth (Thanks Julie)

3)    Don’t eat the entirety of your thai food on your lunch.

4)    M & Ms make any meeting seem livelier.

5)    I never had to get coffee for somebody (not even once!)

6)    When pitching clients, remember to talk about how awesome they are.

7)    Im uh bayd spelur. (Why don’t they make an Idiot’s guide to not making an ass out of yourself by misspelling words when you’re a copywriter.  Damn you spell check and learning foreign languages!)

8)    Great work does not come easy.

And so, Griffins, this is my thank you.  My sad farewell.  You may never be the same without me.  I offered cheeky banter, mediocre writing and endless questions for people who know more than I do.  What are you going to do with all your fee time now that I’m gone?  Alas, now I have to go be awkward somewhere else.  Thanks for your support, your encouragement and blowing my brain apart with your crazy ideas.

”][phill h]
Go Griffs.

This just in!

July 16, 2008

Grady Britton Brightens Day, But Evades Victory

The GB Griffins started off hot, but their fire was cooled by the current of Upstream Advertising.  Despite their good looks, effortless style and superior bike riding abilities, the Griffs couldn’t get it done at Wilshire Park.

In a 12 – 5 decision, Upstream Advertising cooled the red-hot GB squad.  The Griffs were unbeaten this season coming into the match.  However, the “crack” of  bat seemed to find Upstream’s lofty shots long and in the gaps.

A strong showing by both squads.  One spectator commented “That was the single greatest display of athleticism I have ever witnessed”.   The Griffins are looking ahead to the next battle, with new uniforms rumored to be arriving soon.

Injury Report:

Scott – “All over” hurt (late game “slide” to 3rd)

Michael – dive + knee + ground = no more leg modeling

Bryan – Bruised ego, mouth of dirt (traction problem)


note:  Upstream Advertising is actually Downstream Advertising.  I’m just cheeky and a poor loser.

The new hotness

July 14, 2008

This is how all meetings should be:

Big thanks to Henry V for supplying the bagels and sugar.  Also posted on Team Kiwi.
Weekend was busy, I have so many blogs queuing, I need to sit down and get them out of my head.  More tomorrow.

edit: Sorry Mary!

On the first day there will be bowling…

July 8, 2008

First day of #COLAB (CoLaboratory) just finished up.  I had a blast meeting all of the new interns and agency pros.  They seem like a nice crop of professionals.  Not too intimidating, but scary enough that you know they know what the hell they are doing.

We were split up into teams, and as far as I can tell, it’s a great match.  I’m sure there will be many a disagreement, but nothing we can’t handle.  Here are a list of the teams I stole from Christine Vo, because I couldn’t write fast enough.  (Thanks Christine, see you soon for tennis/bball?) Links to blogs where I could find them. (Please let me know if you have one, let’s link love 🙂


  1. Kim Karalekas {account/project manager}
  2. Mary McPherson {account/project manager}
  3. Christine Vo {graphic designer}
  4. Luke Rolka {graphic designer}
  5. Bryan Davidson {copywriter}


  1. Heather Schwartz {account/project manager}
  2. Allison McKeever {account/project manager}
  3. Whitney Bard {designer}
  4. Melissa Casillas {designer}
  5. Megan Nuttall {copywriter}

I liked it.  I’m not going to spew praise, because it is too late.  Too much blogging will make your head explode.  I will just throw these words at ya: excited, sweet, nice, enthused, provoking, inspiring, bathroom breaks, lots of water, kickin’ threads, genuine guy, ideas, brain expanding, bowling, free, booze, food, good things, tired, so bad a bowling, fun people, ritzy bowling, where’s the smoking fat man? or The Dude? I’m going to be tired alot, much work, much more-er beautiful things to be made…

Here is a sequence of moving images put together to form the illusion of motion.  Some call it YouTube, I call it my favorite way to kill 20 minutes.  Why do you think this is posted at 1:15?

calm before storm, commence

July 7, 2008

It is mere hours before my CoLaboratory internship begins.  Soon, the lanky little fingers that clank out this blog will be crafting delicious prose, headlines, songs, jingles, and perhaps a haiku or two.  I’m ready, like a lion stalking prey.  No.  Like a pregnant mother ready to pop out her firstborn.  Your choice.  Whatever simile you prefer, I am ready to catch the big idea and translate that into a gross amount fun, creative little moments I can hold in my hand and call my own.

As for my fellow interns, it’s going to be a great summer together.  I propose meeting and greeting, then standing awkwardly for a few minutes until we stop being insecure and then forgetting a few names.  This is my plan, at least.  I hope you join in the revolution.

Image Attrib: canadianveggie
the jump off

the jump off

Note to self: Write this post approximatley 2 days ago

July 2, 2008

Okay, so…I admit it.  I’ve been a major slacker, and today I got had.  I’ve been moving in to the new NW Portland digs and haven’t spent much time working the blog muscle. Normally, a month between blog  posts would be okay.  A little lame…but still okay.  But today Grady Britton shone a little bit of light on this little narcissistic little niche in cyberspace I have carved out for myself in their blog.

So, little bit embarrassing to not have posted in over a month.  Nevertheless, the people that I have been in contact with seem uber cool, and want to welcome me into their “nest”, how cute :).  One of the resons they are one of the best companies to work for in Oregon, per chance? (5th best to be exact)

Portland has been my second home for over a year now.  I really thought I had a handle on things.  I was going to stoll in, and act like I knew my shit.  Seasoned veteran of the urban landscape, I envisioned.  Well try telling that to my abandoned bicycle, two parking tickets, numerous overpriced drinks and my now deflated ego.  Don’t get me wrong.  Portland is still one of my favorite cities.  I heart the bike-friendly, more refined older brother that Portland has been to me, now I just have to live in a two bedroom apartment with him.  I’m sure we’ll be fine.  Let’s make beautiful things together.  Godspeed.