Sunday, 24 October 2010

Never doing a Jagerbomb again...

The end of another busy week in the life of a media graduate and the early mornings, daily commute on London's unreliable underground and my lack of sleep is beginning to catch up with me. However, I have to admit it's been another interesting week from visits to the Yahoo offices, after work training sessions at the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) and coping with my first work hangover!

I could go into detail about my new found knowledge of the digital industry and the new services that Yahoo provide but in all honesty it would probably bore you. All I will say is that I found out you can do a lot more than just display ads embedded on web pages. Something that you may find of use is my after work series I attend every Wednesday for 6 weeks at the IPA. It is a workshop set up for those people who are new to the world of marketing and communications and an excellent opportunity to network. You will almost certainly hear it is not what you know but who you know and how important the role of networking is in getting your foot in the door. Don't underestimate the power of this. Each week the session is themed and we hear from a panel of professionals in the advertising industry. Topics include: The Future of Advertising, Client Services,  Strategic Planning, Creative and Digital. Although it is an effort to attend these after a day's work, they have been extremely interesting and beneficial and to make it even more appealing there is free drink and buffet food!

Talking about free drink slightly turns my stomach as I suffered with my first work hangover on Friday morning. Not a good look or one I intend on taking to work very often, although working in media is an extremely social industry so maybe I need to just figure out the best way of disguising my suffering. Or maybe I just need to turn down the Jagerbombs which seem to be a popular death trap. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

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Sunday, 17 October 2010

"I want to play a game"

The title of this post relates to two separate work instances. The first reflects a series of chilling, gruesome and downright disturbing films. First clue is there have been 6 released so far and the 7th is about to be released in 3D? Any guesses?
I'm talking about SAW!

Saw 3D is due to be screening in our cinemas in a couple of weeks before Halloween and I have been (un)lucky enough to be working on Lionsgate Films which is one of our film distributor clients. Part of the perks of working on a film client is that you get to go to previews and premieres of the film releases you are planning and buying the media for for the advertising campaign, although in this case I was having nightmares of the film before I had even seen it. I went to a special preview screening of Saw 3D and I have to say it wasn't as gruesome as I had built it up to be, although I did spend most of the time watching the film through squinted vision.

The second instance that my post title reflects is that I actually did play a game...a cinema/film quiz game as part of our cinema immersion day at MEC. Two cinema media owners DCM and Pearl & Dean came to our offices to give our agency a series of presentations on how to best target audiences through the cinema medium including families and 15-34's and to introduce a range of new cinema innovations for engaging with audiences pre and post screening. The day finished with a film related quiz night. I had high hopes for my team coming first until we had one too many glasses of vino however the night was a great bonding session and I got to know people in my office who I hadn't previously met or been introduced to and not forgetting the added bonus of free wine and nibbles!

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ABSOLUTEly Fabulous

"Good morning, this is DJ Robbo and you're listening to Absolute Radio"... If you're wondering what all this is about then read on!

As part of our training on the grad rotation scheme we embarked on a radio tour of Absolute Radio (formerly under the virgin radio name) where I discovered my talent for radio presenting.
Upon arrival I sat in reception with my fellow grads staring at the wall mounted electric guitars signed by various artists. We were then greeted by our Absolute Radio rep who took us on a tour around the building and showed us the studios where the DJ's and presenters record their live shows. It felt quite surreal to be walking the same hallways that famous music artists had walked. After playing a mini game of table football in their live lounge we were given a presentation overview of Absolute Radio and where it sits within the radio industry. If I'm honest I had never really listened to Absolute radio before but since finding out that they have two different stations dedicated to pure 80's and 90's music I was won over and immediately downloaded their iphone app.

The best part of the tour was getting the chance to record our own radio show in one of Absolute's recording studios. I took the role as lead DJ presenter and the other grads took on newsreader, co-host and weather reader. We had some real radio banter introducing each other with comical names such as DJ Robbo (myself) and Rozzy D (newsreader) and had such a laugh just making up random chat. The mini show was recorded and will be sent to our office for us to listen to. Major cringe as I hate the sound of my own voice especially when we used ultimate cheesey lines such as 'In da house' and 'a big shoutout to..'

However the whole experience was priceless and I think if all else fails I will try my luck at being the next big radio presenter, so watch this space!
You have just been reading the blog of DJ Robbo, hope you enjoyed the script.

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Sunday, 3 October 2010

Immerse Yourself

The only way to learn is to become immersed in the subject you are studying and this doesn't just apply to the educational environment. As part of my training programme at MEC a number of events and training days have been organised. I'm now half way through my time in the communications planning department and everyday I have learnt something new. On Wednesday CBS Outdoor advertising took myself and the other rotational grads out for a tour around some of their key outdoor advertising sites.

Standing opposite Waterloo Roundabout we were given all we needed to know about outdoor poster/billboard sizes and bus panel advertising. I never knew there were so many different ways to advertise on buses whether its a t-side a superside or a rear panel or an all over bus wrap. Whatever or wherever you want to advertise, more often than not there is always a possibility however bespoke or crazy the idea may be. The idea of outdoor advertising is to completely immerse the consumer with the brand campaign and one of the most visually impressive methods is to do an underground station takeover.

After looking at 48 Sheets, digital escalator panels and cross track projections (those projector screens you see while you're waiting for a train) we were taken to Westfield shopping centre. We were given a guided tour around the whole centre and briefed on all the possible advertising opportunities and platforms available. As our tour came to an end, we finished the day with a free lunch! Amazing!

The following day was another full days training but this time it was conducted by all of the departments within MEC who each had a an hour to talk us through their roles and the kind of work we could expect to be doing if we joined their team permanently at the end of  the rotation. This was a really insightful day, one which may have been better placed during the first week of our rotation in order to fully understand the company set-up. However listening to talks and viewing presentations on each of the departments really helped me to identify the areas I was most interested in pursuing at the end of my rotation and a number of my preconceptions about certain departments were in fact challenged.

To end a great day we were able to get our hands on invitations for a private party hosted by Spotify (free online music) and partied the night away at one of Camden's great clubs Koko.

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Friday, 1 October 2010

Hop, Skip and a Massage

In the last few days I have been involved in a whirlwind of tasks and activities working on a number of different client campaigns. I am being given more responsibility and am becoming more confident in leading my own projects. I am currently putting together two powerpoint presentations, one related to my previous blog on X box's Halo:Reach and another on the history and future of 3D TV and film.

3D TV in the home is fast becoming a reality as TV manufacturers begin to advertise and sell 3D TV's and Sky prepares to launch its first 3D TV channel this autumn. After reading 'Life in 3D' in The Guardian I thought it would be beneficial to collate the information to show to our film distributor clients. The film industry has witnessed a surge in 3D film releases in the last year excelled by Box Office smash hit Avatar.
In addition over half of theTop 10 UK Film Releases in 2010 were 3D. Providing clients with interesting and relevant industry developments is part of MEC's core value 'Active Engagement'.

Now on to the best part of the day - receiving a hand massage while sitting in a presentation by CBS Outdoor Advertising. Yes, I did just say massage, and I know it's slightly odd but it was a great added extra for a Tuesday morning. However behind all the gimmicks and smiles the ultimate goal of any media owner presentation is to sell advertising space. On average I can attend around 3 media owner meetings a week ranging from TV houses, radio stations, outdoor and digital companies all trying to promote their services and sell their ad space. Being a new starter any interaction with media owners is beneficial as I have found the meetings to provide a great insight into the various forms of advertising platforms and how they can be utilised for each client campaign.

This blog has moved to www.laurarobinsonblog.com