Archive for the ‘Uber’ tag

Guest Q&A: Stephanie Rudnick

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rudnick bw headshot

For this month’s Guest Column, we sat down with Stephanie Rudnick, MKTG INC’s new SVP, Marketing Communications. An almost 20-year industry veteran, Stephanie shares her thoughts and expertise on the world of PR and experiential marketing, MKTG and the best advice she’s ever received.

What will your role be here at MKTG INC?
I’ll be developing and managing all aspects of the company’s communication strategy and practice, including media and industry relations, external communications and brand management.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Carpe diem” –  Live each day as if it were your last. It’s something I’ve lived by since learning about it in elementary school from my favorite English teacher.

How did you get into PR?
When I decided on my major, it was WAY before PR was as widely understood as it is today. I spent a lot of time working with non-profits in high school in Chicago and loved when the media would come to our events and publicize our causes. When I learned that I could study journalism with a PR focus, it just felt right. I went to college at USC in Los Angeles because I wanted to study in a major city where my teachers were working professionals in my field, but also because the location would offer me access to a wide array of internships. I was lucky enough to have internships every semester – from beauty to music to technology to entertainment and celebrity publicity – which helped expose me to how different PR can be depending on the client. Since then, I’ve done pretty much every kind of PR across a ton of verticals, both agency and in-house. Now that I’m older, one of my favorite things is to mentor young people who are interested learning how to navigate the business and continue to help them along throughout their careers.

What publications or websites do you find most relevant to your career?
It’s part of my job to read, read, read and do my best to stay on top of what’s going on in our industry and in general. So, I start my day with a scan of Twitter, which helps me get a handle quickly on the news of the day. Then, first thing at work, I go old-school and get my hands dirty tearing through the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.  I also read the hard copy of the Sports Business Journal and the SBJ’s three daily e-newsletters, as well as MediaPost, EM, Adweek and AdAge. The list goes on and on.

What are some of your favorite work experiences?
I’m so grateful that my job has afforded me so many amazing experiences. I’ve been able to travel around the globe, working, and experiencing working in other cultures. One of the craziest experiences was in Beijing, when just hours before a press conference I was organizing, a friend tipped me off that if I wanted the media to actually publish/broadcast something, I had to give them a gift and CASH. For real. That was fun to have to explain to finance why the company owed me thousands of CNYs in cash and for T-shirts from the hotel gift shop! I also have to share that one of my all-time favorite nights at work was in 2012 at the NFL Draft when my client, Andrew Luck, was drafted first. It was so crazy and exciting and anxiety-inducing being backstage with Andrew and his family and all of the other draftees and their families, waiting for “the call” from the teams. Not sure that will ever happen again, unless my son decides that’s the route he wants to take…urgh.

Who have been your favorite clients?
That’s a hard one but I would say that working with the totally courageous and amazing NBA center Jason Collins was a highlight of my career.

What are your favorite apps?
Amazon, Uber, Starbucks, SportsCenter, Swarm, American Airlines, Diapers.com, Fitbit, WeatherBug, WhatsApp, FlightTracker, OpenTable, Seamless, Timehop and Tile.

What are three things you can’t travel without?
Earplugs, a flat-iron and my Philips Sonicare toothbrush

When not at the office, where are we most likely to find you? (Not that we’ll be looking, of course.)
At home in Battery Park or running around downtown Manhattan with my husband Duncan, and kids Charlie (2 1/2) and Matilda (5 months). And probably reading.

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Q&A with psLIVE’s Peter Pearce

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Peter PearceFor this month’s Guest Column, we sat down with Peter Pearce, who heads up the Atlanta office for our new sister agency, psLIVE. Hear how he got where he is, where he’s going and why he loves his job.

Tell us about psLIVE – how do you describe the company to strangers?
My elevator pitch usually starts with defining “lifestyle marketing” (sports, entertainment, grassroots, retail) and who our clients are. Then I describe the work we do: Large-scale sponsorship activation, event development, mobile tours, sampling, street teams, staffing. You take it for granted because you live it every day, but the usual reaction is “that sounds like a lot of fun,” and it is!

What differentiates psLIVE from the competition? 
I think it all starts with our values – we live them every day. We are fiercely competitive, and our reputation for “doing it right” has followed us since inception. Secondly, the Dentsu Aegis push to collaborate across agency brands is a huge advantage – shared insights, tools and resources are a great business driver. Finally, we’re not just a creative, client-service and production agency. We are vertically integrated, with assets and services inhouse that many agencies outsource. This allows us to achieve budget efficiencies and get to market quickly.

What three words would you use to describe your staff?
Best. In. Class.

How did you get into this industry?
It’s sobering to realize I’ve been in the business for 18 years! I finished school and worked for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games after school, then I began in the agency world at what is now CSE (formerly Career Sports Entertainment). After five years, I helped open the Atlanta office of Strategic Sports Group, where I spent another five years building that business. I’ve now been with psLIVE (formerly Vivid and Team Epic) for eight years, and it has been a great ride so far.

Looking back at 2014, do you have a few favorite programs or campaigns your teams managed?
That’s hard because we emotionally invest so much in all our clients, but a few programs stand out. Our work on ESPN’s Heisman House is remarkable because of sheer scale, complexity and inherent logistical challenges. Our USTA work, which showcased the US Open of Tomorrow exhibit, really pushed the design envelope. And our work for AT&T is constantly evolving to keep pace with technology and continue to integrate into the consumer experience.

How has technology changed the way you approach the business? 
The smart phone has dramatically changed the event landscape, and we’ve leveraged technology in creative and compelling ways. We strive to design a pre/during/post-event engagement via mobile and social channels because mobile technology shortens the time between brand engagement and purchase. I see a bright future for two-screen interactive experiences at events, where you use your personal device to play on larger screens, or to create physical action onsite. You’ll also see more photo opportunities designed for selfies, and a decline in green screen/photo booths. Finally, I think beacons, NFC and other pushes to mobile engagements will become more prevalent in 2015.

What publications/website do you find most relevant?
I always try to stay current with AdWeek, MediaPost, BrandWeek, etc. to understand the broader media world. I also read traditional Lifestyle Marketing media like Event Marketer, Sports Business Journal and BizBash. However, I think the single most relevant website I visit frequently is Reddit – it’s truly the “front page of the Internet.” Although it’s not always totally PC, no other website captures the current cultural zeitgeist like Reddit.

What are your favorite apps?
The ones I use routinely are pretty limited, but my essentials are Uber, Spotify, Delta Airlines, Waze (traffic in ATL sucks), Open Table, GolfNow and Instagram.

What excites you about psLIVE’s integration with MKTG INC?
I’m most excited about the combined potential of two agencies coming together. The whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts, and I’m looking forward to what 2015 holds. We’re so culturally similar: the type of work we do, how we do it, and everyone I’ve met along the way has been great!

What do you do to relax?
With this job, and two active kids under 10 at home, relaxation comes in small doses. I’m a formerly avid golfer, fisherman, skier and sailor, so I try to vacation where I can combine at least a few of these. Also, cocktails.

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Johnnie Walker: Keep Disrupting

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Disrupt SF
These days when people hear “TechCrunch Disrupt,” they immediately think of the Startup Battlefield scenes from HBO’s Silicon Valley. The HBO version, though, is a parody — the headline speakers at the real Disrupt are not startups, they’re CEOs like Salesforce’s Marc Benioff, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer, Tinder’s Sean Rad and Mark Cuban.

This year Johnnie Walker joined this formidable lineup of innovators by bringing its innovative whisky portfolio to Startup Alley. Disrupt marks the first stop on the Tier 2 House of Walker tour, which brings elements of the larger experiential tour into pre-existing consumer events. The House of Walker tour has been running since 2005 and offers consumers a multi-sensory cocktail and mentorship experience through the different variants of Johnnie Walker.

At Disrupt, MKTG INC produced a booth featuring a bespoke cocktail bar serving Johnnie Walker Red label, Black Label and Double Black cocktails to startups and investors looking to take a break from the craziness. Stephen Wilson, National Master of Whisky, took consumers through an in-depth tasting of Johnnie Walker Black and Double Black. Johnnie Walker partnered with 3D printer Makerbot to create a “Keep Walking” award, given to the startup that best encompassed Johnnie Walker’s pioneering and forward-thinking spirit.

Huan Ho and Dan Ellis of Rallyteam walked away with the “Keep Walking” award. Rallyteam is an employee empowerment platform that helps employees find interesting internal opportunities that fit their skill set. Ho and Ellis received a 3D printed Keep Walking award, an engraved Johnnie Walker Blue bottle, and a complimentary 20-person private Johnnie Walker tasting.

After three exhausting days of pitching and networking, entrepreneurs left Pier 48 one step closer to making their dream a reality.

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SMIRNOFF ULTIMATE HOUSE PARTY

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SUHP

Tired of seeing the same vodka commercial on repeat portraying an exclusive and lavish lifestyle that you can’t relate to? Sick of waiting in the cold for hours praying the bouncer will allow you inside a club you can’t afford? Smirnoff understands, and its new “Exclusively for Everybody” campaign proves it. So did their experiential Smirnoff Ultimate House Party tour, which partnered with Spotify to offer “everybody” to host their very own Ultimate House Party. Once the 4 lucky winners were selected, MKTG INC designed a house party specifically for the winner and threw it in their home town. Several entrants also won a three-month premium Spotify membership, furthering Smirnoff’s dedication to inclusivity – music for everyone. The winner invited attendees through a tactic called “Six Degrees of Smirnoff” – 19 of the winner’s closest friends were invited and then asked to invite 6 friends of their own. This, together with residential venues and decor, gave each event the feel of a real house party. While Smirnoff’s official DJ JayCeeOh spun the summer’s hottest hits, guests enjoyed snacks and Smirnoff cocktails served in mis-matched glassware. The winner’s bedroom was re-created and decorated with pictures and personal items along with posters reflecting their interests or hobbies. Each house was equipped with a game room, bottled cocktail and punch station, large graffiti wall for guests to sign and a movie theater.

The event series kicked off in New York for Colorado native Hannah Small and featured a surprise performance by Kelis. This event was followed by winner Justin Day’s Ultimate House Party in Dallas and and Meghan Reynold’s in Portland. The final event will take place in Warren, Michigan in October. Smirnoff partnered with Uber and Broadway Cab Company (in Portland) to ensure all guests arrived in style and got home safely.

Remember – for your next house party, grab a bottle of Smirnoff. Everybody’s invited!

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Movember Survey: Meet MKTG INC’s Hairiest Hero

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UnknownMKTG INC’s Gregory Lorenzo & Javier Cubria

We’d like to congratulate and thank everyone who participated in Movember this month! We had great support across all MKTG INC offices and, win or lose, money raised for charity – and overall awareness of men’s health issues – makes those itchy upper lips worth it. In last month’s newsletter, we did a survey on who would deliver the best ‘Mo, and in a landslide, NYC’s Javier Cubria was declared the winner.

“It’s a hollow victory, to be honest,” said Cubria. “I took the easy way out and went for a fairly respectable beard. Some of my MKTG INC brothers sacrificed much more, leasing valuable facial real estate for mustaches usually only seen on Uber drivers and 1980’s cop shows. So I share this recognition with them, and we were all relieved when the razors came out on December 1.”

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Written by Katie Kirby
Katie Kirby

December 3rd, 2013 at 4:32 pm