I recently had the opportunity to go to New York through the UNC J-School so that I could mingle with some ad pros. I got to go to some really cool places and I’ll sum up each one here:
Google was all that I thought it would be and more. The offices are right above Chelsea Market (an old Nabisco factory that now houses shops, bakeries, restaurants, etc.). This office took up the whole block so it was HUGE – so huge that there were scooter stations set up at various locations around the offices so that people could get where they are going faster. When I first walked in, I saw a game of ping pong going on. The environment was incredible and so conducive to creativity. The best part was lunch. Not only does Google have several cafeterias located around the campus, the food is FREE (and pretty good). It is no stretch to say that I was impressed by Google.
This is the place that surprised me the most. I admit, I never watch the Food Network. But, the people here were incredible. They came from so many different backgrounds. We toured the kitchens where they create their awesome dishes. Luckily I had just eaten lunch at Google before going here. They were also filming an episode of Chopped while we were there. This office is also located in Chelsea Market.
Mcgarrybowen is an interesting ad agency. They won Agency of the Year for 2011 and do the new Reebok CrossFit commercials and the controversial Miracle Whip ads. It seemed like there were about 12 UNC grads working there so there was a tight community. The founders of the company also still work there and are apparently an active part of the culture. Needless to say this was a cool place to visit – not to mention the amazing view from their balcony.
When I found out I was going to visit Sports Illustrated, I was both excited and confused. When you think of SI, you don’t think of advertising. I think of editorials and reporting pieces. My trip here showed me that ads and editorials can go hand in hand. For example, we looked at an editorial sponsored by Mobil. It was a spotlight piece on Tony Stewart but treated as an advertisement as well. It was great seeing the place where the magazines I read on a weekly basis are put together for publication.
Saatchi & Saatchi
Saatchi NY was impressive. It is a big agency that feels like a small one. They are part of Publicis Groupe and have offices all over the world but it still seems like a family atmosphere while in there. I got to meet with a Creative Director as well as an Account Manager so I got to hear a lot about the different facets of the agency.
In school you learn that Nielsen is just a data collecting agency – but that is just the tip of the iceberg. There I met people that were doing things I never thought Nielsen did. For example, some of the people I met work with Univision and help them market themselves. It is fascinating what work they actually do and how diverse the people are that work there. I no doubt could see myself there as an intern this summer.
JWT was designed by the same guy who designed Google, so it was interesting to say the least. I didn’t really get to see what all they produced, but I got to talk to several people from creative to account management and they were all eager to hear from us about our goals. Overall, it was a good experience.
I have never read RedBook and probably never will. But it was interesting to see how advertising works from the publishing side.
If any one reading this is considering going on the JAFA Networking Trip, I highly encourage it. You may not leave with an internship or job offer, but you make valuable connections with some amazing alumni.