Posted tagged ‘Chicago’

Marketing & Promotions, Michigan Avenue style

October 26, 2009

 VS Mich Ave

Ok, ok…I know I look a little cheerleader-esqe in this picture, but you’ll get why I needed to channel my high school dance team days in a minute. Victoria Secret displayed their “wings” on Michigan Avenue (yes, Heidi’s ginormous 80-pound angel wings) to promote the grand opening of their new flagship store on the Magnificent Mile this weekend. Of course, they needed a smiley, bright street team to wear some Vicki’s gear and spread the word- this is where I come in.

Besides the bitter cold and rain combination (and homeless men who tried to steal our pink-striped umbrellas), I actually had fun this weekend. The whole point was to pass out VS gift cards and take pictures of people in front of the wings that they could then upload to the local promotional website, but I had more fun talking to tourists than anything. Sure, I was being used to give directions and my opinions on the local pizzerias most of the time, so what. Who cares! I met the funniest people (don’t worry, I twittered everything). I even met this couple from Ireland who offered me a room at their home whenever I wanted to come hang out in Dublin. (Speaking of, I have their contact information, right?)

And course, there were the Navy guys who just HAD to stop by and see us. An actual direct quote from a 20-year old sailor from Alabama: “That is the biggest darn thing I ever did see!” He wasn’t talking about the angel wings, he was talking about the Hancock Building but it was still in his little southern drawl and it was still adorable.



Well, I can check off street team experience in my advertising repertoire. At least I’m getting to be extremely well-rounded in this industry.


How Twitter made me chase down Ellen

June 15, 2009

Now, I wouldn’t say that I’m a twitter fanatic, but I do “tweet” and browse updates regularly and today was one of those days. With 3 other browser tabs open, not really paying attention, I see the following twitter status:

@TheEllenShow: First 5 people to show up to the bean with garbanzo beans wins tickets to my show go now!

I had heard Ellen was coming to Chicago soon. She’s here now? Oh my gosh! This is my chance! I grabbed my keys and purse and literally was out the door in 4 seconds.

As I was ran down my stairs, I thought “Garbanzo beans… garbanzo beans… do they sell those at Walgreens? No, Kellee, think. Grocery store! Across the street! Go!” In and out. Yucky garbanzo beans? Check. Ellen, here I come!

I jumped in a cab and yelled (politely) at the driver “Millennium Park as fast as you can humanly function”. Then I looked at the time. 5:30. Shit, rush hour. I’m never going to make it. As I’m trying to convince myself that Chicagoans are not twitter savvy and I actually have a chance to be one of the first five, the cabbie asks in his (Indian?) accent:

Cab driver: Why are you going to the bean so quickly?

Me: I’m trying to win tickets to the Ellen show.

Cab driver: (laughs) What are your odds?

Me: They get better everytime you blow a red light. Please drive faster.

Cab driver: Why you holding can beans?

Me: Ellen said to bring them.

Cab driver: You’ve talked to Ellen?!?

Not wanting to explain Twitter to a middle-aged cab driver, who under my gross generalization probably has a hard time working his Razr phone, I tune him out and look out my window. He took Michigan Ave? Are you serious? Kellee, why weren’t you paying attention? It’s packed. I pay the man and jump out. I’ll take my chances on foot.

As I’m running down Michigan Ave, I realize that I conveniently forgot to bring my Asics and sports bra in my frantic rush out the door. My flip flops and sundress are not exactly sprint-worthy. Hard Rock Hotel, almost there! Keep going. Man, I really need to up my workout routine. I mean, I jog regularly, but this is so much harder when you’re actually chasing something. I start to envision Ellen waiting for me with open arms, tickets in hand. I run faster.

After my 5K in flip flops, I finally get to the bean, run up the stairs beans in hand and start searching. And there I see her…Ellen… waiving goodbye… walking away. No!!!! Wait!!!! I had to buy the beans!! I hate garbanzo chick bean peas!! Why couldn’t you have asked for kidney beans?? I shouldn’t be penalized for having good taste in salad toppings!!! No!!

Luckily, her PR team was still lurking around for the late-comers and I gave them my info in case extra tickets become available. I get home and the ice cubes at the bottom of my glass haven’t even melted yet.

Moral of the story: Social media can change your life when you’re not expecting it. Ok, maybe just your day. Ok, maybe just an hour.  But I can now officially use the phrase, “Twitter made me do it.”



New CTA Bus digital ads

May 21, 2009

The Chicago Transit Authority has recently launched a advertisement opportunity with a lighted digital screen that sprawls across the 12-foot side panels. They actually scared me at first because I completely wasn’t expecting a bright neon light to chase me down Clark street at night, but now I actually look forward to seeing them.

The best part is that they actually change depending on time of day and target audience. In the morning, it’s Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts and on the 5 o’clock rush hour, icy cold Coca-Cola  and Oreo ads spring up. I have to say, watching a jumbo Oreo cookie digitally splash into some milk is a sight for sore eyes on the way home from downtown.


5 Questions Your Boss Will Ask You About Social Media

April 30, 2009

Suggest adding social media to your marketing budget and here are 5 questions you are bound to get from your boss:

1. What’s so special about it?

What’s so special about quarter-page B&W newspaper ads that are almost always printed blurry? Whether we like it or not, newspapers are a dying medium and everything’s going digital. Reach these online markets in the best way possible. Social media is a way to market in a smart, direct and personal way that has been producing increasingly effective results at a staggering rate. Do the research, you’ll be surprised.

2. Isn’t it expensive?

Social media is one of the least expensive tools you can use in the marketing industry. Most sites are free or have minimal costs for upgrades or optimal accounts. Even if you’re in the mindset of time=money, you’ll still be getting your dollar’s worth. 

3. Who is going to manage it?

Large and small companies alike are joining the social media revolution by using their own marketing team or advertising agency to run their social marketing executions. Depending on what your goals are, it is very possible to start implementing a program with a single social marketing employee aka me.

4. How does it produce results?

Like I mentioned earlier, the stats are there. Social media can generate higher sales simply by creating brand awareness and communicating services and promotions to a specific or general audience. The good news is that social media is continuing to grow and it’s not just for college students anymore- I was on the bus yesterday into downtown Chicago and overheard two Golden Girl-aged women have a conversation about who they’re following on Twitter.

5. When can we start?

Here’s where you can say: Right away! Try not to be surprised when a raise comes your way for suggesting such a great idea.

Why blog?

April 9, 2009

380To introduce myself into the wonderful world of blogging, I am an advertising professional from Michigan with a wide array of interests varying from fitness to fashion to social marketing. I currently live in Chicago and wouldn’t have it any other way. I plan on documenting my thoughts and opinions about the industry with tidbits from this crazy city and my personal life to keep things interesting.. My only thought is that I wish I would have started blogging earlier, although, I’m sure I’ll talk more about my background and experience through my posts. Stay Tuned!

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