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While live-tweeting the Super Bowl for Ad 2 I noticed something, almost unanimously everyone hated and loved the same commercials. So that got me thinking, what makes these commercials so appealing or appalling to the everyone? If we combine every good commercial into one, would that be the greatest Super Bowl Commercial ever?! One way to find out but first, let’s dissect the best of Sunday night.

Want to Grab your Audience? Nostalgia is Key

Two of the best ads from the night made you nostalgic for years past. I’m talking about both the RadioShack and Toyota featuring The Muppets.  They take the viewer  back to their childhood.  In the Toyota ad Terry Crews is going through what the viewer is going through in his mind.

Just remember to actually get something that’s nostalgic. I’m looking at your Matrix commercial KIA.

Don’t Rely on Scantily Clad Women 

What did all commercials both good and bad share? Not one of purely used the sex-appeal of the fairer sex to sell. Did anyone miss it? No. Moving on.

But Men on the Other Hand…

See all Twitter traffic mentioning H&M and David Beckham.


I don’t get it. . .

Crazy Over-the-Top Things is Still Fine (within reason)

This one has to be precise. Take a look at Audi’s Doberhuahua. Commercial starts small and quickly escalates to a Doberhuahua apocalypse. In other words take the Transformer trailer equation: Marky Mark + Transformers + Robot Dinosaurs = WIN.

Don’t take the Bud Light approach Guy + Secret Camera + Actors not doing anything = Confused Audience.

Generic = Lame

Hate to pick on Bud Light again but seriously the Cool Twist ad was the definition of generic.

I mean look at it! You could plug in any beer, no wait, any drink and the ad would not change. I mean this commercial could pass as the Bud Light Platinum commercial earlier in the night.

Don’t Play your Hand too Soon

Let’s say you’re playing Texas hold’em. You get an awesome hand and the flop is so favorable that you can’t lose. So you go all in right away. Everyone folds and your perfect hand wins you a handful of chips rather than a huge pot. This is what Budweiser did with one of the best ads of the night.

Emotional and tugs at the heart strings, this commercial has so much emotion that it might have been commercial of the night. Might have been. If you were on YouTube at all the week before the Super Bowl  you definitely saw this ad over and over again. I saw this ad so much that I just recognized it as the ad I skip on my YouTube videos. All the “umph” had been taken out. That’s a shame.

Cause a Little Controversy

I love Cheerios’ commercial the follow up to its “controversial” interracial family was so good. It featured a big ol’ F.U. to the haters while not being vulgar. It was genius.

With immigration being a hotly debated issue Coca-Cola had to know their “It’s Beautiful” paid tribute to America’s diversity and knew it would cause controversy. It also makes Pepsi drinkers seem like bigots.


Well I think that’s enough to make the perfect Super Bowl commercial. If you’ll excuse me I’m going to go write a script where Mark Wahlberg and his trusty Pitpug ride time traveling robot dinosaurs back to the 90’s  all while making social commentary on fracking. Oh and David Beckham will be in his chones in every shot. To see this and every other Super Bowl commercial head on over to YouTube.


Who wants to get a nasty email?  Of course, nobody does.  But I will tell you it will happen and chances are it will happen more than once.  There are ways to smooth such an unfortunate situation over, and I strongly feel a proactive approach is the best remedy.

Technology has advanced the advertising industry incredibly; however, as with any positive, there are negatives.  As a young professional in advertising sales, you can imagine the amount of emails that fill up my inbox.  My least favorite: emails to/from
clients.  I don’t mean that in the way you might think; rather, emails can blow a door wide open to interpretation (potentially and often: interpretation that’s not in your favor).  I love my town and my clients which is exactly why I’m in the field nearly 75% of my work day.  Yes, I understand that many of you are not responsible for recruiting business or interacting with the client.  I bet some of you are even thinking, “I’m a designer, my AE speaks with the client, so I don’t have to.”  On the contrary, I’ve found it very beneficial for my clients to meet with our designer and the three of us will then brainstorm.  In doing so, your client will end up much easier to work with and feel invested to make deadlines.  In addition, I’ve found that my clients are eager to meet the creative mind, and they trust not only me, but they put much more trust in our designer.  Finally, they’ll likely remove their grip on the creative process (at least a little).  Just try it once.  You’ll love it! In advertising, not only is a deep understanding of the business operations necessary for success, but a deep understanding of your clients is crucial.

Let’s do an exercise:

1. Imagine yourself in front of the computer

2. Think of your best client (I know, all clients are our best clients, but there’s no denying that we have stronger connections
with some more than others)

3. Make a list of three things that have helped
build that strong connection

4. Now ask yourself:

-“What type of pet do they have?” (You should
know this type of information even if it’s not directly related to the business
at hand)

-“What do they like to do when out of the

-Most importantly, “Why do they trust me?”

Now try that exercise once more with a client that you have not met in person.  I would bet it’s much
easier for you to think of their less desirable qualities than the positives.  I would also bet that it’s very difficult for you to answer those three questions listed above especially the last question (why would they trust someone they only have an email bond
with?).  I would encourage you to develop that type of understanding solely through an email relationship, and see if you
can achieve the same results. To be frank, it hasn’t happened for me as of yet.  I truly believe that face to face interaction can iron out any potential conflict.  The next time you anticipate misunderstanding, difference of opinion, etc. take them to lunch or schedule some face time.  Notice the key word in the previous sentence: (anticipate).  If you can develop a proactive approach to all situations and start anticipating what your clients will want or how they will react, this will help you to avoid a potentially nasty email.

Check out this great article below.  Our sales team uses it periodically and we
find it very useful.

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There are two important steps to getting your press release
noticed; writing a great release and pitching what you’ve wrote. Here are some
tips on getting your press release noticed.

The Pitch

Writing a great press release is crucial to it being noticed
and published, however, the media has to be intrigued enough by your pitch to
even give your press release a chance, so the most important part of getting
your press release noticed is pitching it correctly.

The most important part of the pitch is when you pitch it
and who you pitch it to. It’s a big PR no-no to send a press release on a
Friday, the weekends or after about 3:30pm during the week. Monday’s aren’t
great either; people are returning to work from the weekend and are catching up
on emails. It’s more likely your email will get lost in the mix. The best days
to pitch a release are Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Don’t blast your press release. The media hates this. Do
some research on the best person to send your release to. If it’s a technology
announcement, don’t send it to the sports editor. Adding a name to an email
pitch shows that you care about where you’re pitching it and you’re not just
sending it to the masses.

Have a strong subject line. The media is inundated with
press releases and emails all day long, so your email has to have an intriguing
subject line that makes the reporter want to open your email.  Your subject line should highlight the most
important part of your press release: the main announcement you are making.
Example: (Ad2 Launches New Website).
Now that the media has opened your email, you want to
provide them with a short pitch of what your press release is about. It’s
important to highlight the who, what, where, when and why. The media should be
able to know all the details of your press release just from your pitch.

Lastly, let the reporter know that you’ve attached a press
release with more details about your announcement and to let you know if they
need anything else.

Writing a great press release

If you’ve gotten the media all the way to the point of
opening your press release, the last thing you want to do is lose their
interest with a poorly written release. Here are some press release writing

Don’t waste your headline. Your headline is the first thing
the media will see. Think of your headline as the subject line of an email. You
want to say something that gets the media to open your email and read more of
your press release.

Say it in the intro. You want to give the who, what, where,
when and why in the introduction of your press release. A lot of writers think
this information needs to be sugar coated, but the media is busy and they don’t
care about fluff, they want the facts.

Add a quote. Adding a quote to your press release makes it
look credible and adds a element of personalization to the release.

Keep it short. If they want more information then you’ve
provided they will call or email you. You shouldn’t need more than a page.

My last bit of advice is to follow up with your media
contacts. If your press release gets run, shoot a note out to the reporter or
editor and thank them for picking up your release. Public relations is all
about the relationships you build and if you have a good relationship with the
media you won’t have to try so hard the next time you pitch something. They’ll
get used to seeing your name and will know you produce good releases and you
won’t have to stress about a great email pitch to get it picked up. So keep it
quick, simple and good.

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Ad2 Reno’s very own Kevin Jones lead a workshop on Adobe Illustrator CS5 for a group of UNR Ad Club students last week. Quite appropriately, he called it “How To Make Your Business Card Not Suck.” Not only did the students get a basic tutorial run-down of the graphic design software, but also got to create their own business cards and discover the importance of one of the first steps to branding themselves.

After all, a business card may seem like something fairly simple. But it represents YOU, and when you meet someone for 3 minutes and hand them your card, it’s one of the only things that person will remember you by a few days later when they pull it out of their wallet. It should brand you. It should BE you.

Here are a few of Kevin’s quick tips from the workshop:

  • Be unique. Express yourself through your card, whether it’s through the copy or the design.
  • Try to use a real email address. Do not use Domains and email plans are cheap. You can buy a simple email hosting package and domain name for les than $20 a year using godaddy or someone similar. At least try to get something simple like
  • When in doubt, simplify. Keep it simple. Over complicating things usually makes it worse.
  • Easy on the fonts. The classics are classics for a reason. Don’t just go crazy on It doesn’t look professional and people most likely won’t like it.

Kevin’s presentation outlined the importance of being creative and unique, without being gaudy and obnoxious. Make yourself noticeable, but not overbearing.

A core component of Ad2’s mission is to bridge the gap between students and professionals, and that is exactly why events like this are so important.

“We’re so lucky to have professionals in the community who contribute to Ad Club. If there’s one thing I can say as President, it’s that we have the most amazing J-School alumni who are always more than willing to help us out, and I’ve been very thankful to have them as a resource this year,” said Jenna Hubert, UNR Ad Club President. “This workshop started with students on computers who had never opened the Illustrator program, and by the end they had created their own business cards. To me, that’s success.”

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