AdLab – Video: How It Can Fit Into Every Budget

January 31 | Templeton Landing | 2 Templeton Terrace, Buffalo
Cash Bar & Hors D’oeuvres @ 5:15 p.m. | Presentation @ 6 p.m.
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Lights, camera, astronomical costs? Not anymore. New technology and equipment makes video production an affordable option for everyone, including non-profit and small businesses.

Join us the last Tuesday of this month at our new AdLab venue, Templeton Landing, to hear from Andy Donovan (Owner, Daily Post), Laurie Wolfe (Independent Writer and Producer in Broadcast and New Media), John Paget (Director at First+Main Media) and Michael Niman (Media Arts Professor, Buffalo State College) as they cover such topics as: scaling the production to fit the budget, the importance of communicating expectations before the camera rolls, the hidden costs of video (and how to avoid them) and much more.

So whether you’re interested in creating a simple video on a small budget or a big television campaign on a client-conscious budget, this is one AdLab you don’t want to miss!

Blog Students

Communications Career Day and Portfolio Seminar 2011

The Advertising Club of Buffalo and PRSA Buffalo Niagara joined forces to host the annual Communications Career Day on November 4. More than 50 college students from across the region visited New Era Cap Co. for a one-day event crafted to help them find jobs and learn how to network with some of WNY’s top communications professionals.

The event kicked-off with a panel discussion on the topic: “How I Started my Communications Career.” Our panelists included young professionals working in various agencies, large corporations and nonprofits. Guest speakers also shared well-received information on how to create a personal brand and manage online reputation while job searching. Sure, you could google some of this—but combine all the insider knowledge with real face time? Now that’s an opportunity worth nabbing.

Career day concluded with resume and interview skill sessions, and “speed networking” with some local pros. While the volunteers wiped out entire stacks of their business cards, the students filled their notebooks page after page with priceless info. We’d wish these future communications grads luck, but we’re pretty sure they won’t need it.

Portfolio Seminar 2011

It’s just a portfolio, what’s the big deal?

What’s the big deal!? Well, on November 5th, Greg Meadows, Mark Wisz, Jessica Black and Levi Neuland had lots to say about that. And design students from UB, Buff  State, Villa Maria, Daemen and Canisius got the inside scoop.

Our crew of experienced pros talked about the basics and the not-so-basics of crafting a meaningful book of work that showcases your true talent. Yeah, yeah, yeah, they suggested how many pieces to show (6 to 8), and a few recommendations on format (your iPad is ok, just practice, and boards are fine, as long as your craftsmanship is impeccable). But like a really good tell-all book, they shared the gory details of what it takes to get a second interview. What you should leave off your resume – like rampant swirlygigs, or your 4th grade position as hall monitor. And how much cologne you should wear. (In the wise words of Jessica Black, “Don’t stink.”) After almost two hours of pure, unadulterated wisdom, the pros fielded questions in an open Q&A session. Questions like “at what point do follow-ups become annoying,” “do I need to know coding,” and “what was your absolute worst interview ever.” And to top it all off, the pros shared their own portfolios so the students could literally see all this advice in action—a rare opportunity in the design world.

It was an honor to put on an event that brought together these young talented designers and wicked smart pros. Pros walked away fulfilled. Students walked away entertained, educated, and with a leg up. Thanks to all who were a part of this annual event; and here’s to the hope that it makes for fewer “worst interviews ever,” and way more “best interviews ever.”


Writing for the senior living marketplace? Hit the “Big 3.”

By Brandon Stickney

A zillion or so Baby Boomers are following The Greatest Generation into lifestyles of bliss in senior living communities. As our country gets older, the elder (or mature) population just can’t wait to shed the tiresome, expensive burdens of home ownership for the greenest pasture of all, the mature lifestyle community.

Right? Maybe.

The United States gets older while Social Security wrings its hands with worry. Marketers—especially copywriters—for senior lifestyle communities (or Continuing Care Retirement Communities [CCRCs]) face the challenge of being pithy while extolling the numerous—one might hope obvious and inherent—virtues of our grandparents and parents leaving the old homestead behind for a new time of personal growth without elder worry. Forget the chores and home maintenance, forget “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” For a fee, our seniors can finally, after all these years, do what they’ve always wanted to do at a CCRC.

The client, the owner of the senior housing community, relies solely on the marketer initially get this point across. It’s up to the marketer to make the phones ring, so the apartment or home sales manager can take over in person and close the sale.

Too often, however, the marketer forgets that the target audience is part of a generation that fought tooth and nail to keep the homes they are now encouraging them to give up; in bad times they skipped meals to pay the mortgage. This generation has been through all of the sales come-ons, too. Today’s senior lifestyle communications must get to the heart of the matter. Quick. And that’s where the “Big 3” come in.

There are three main points that every senior living communication must subtly address for the decision-making seniors and their adult children (who often weigh in heavily on the final choice)—the main reasons why seniors make the decision to join such a community:

1) The Event: After age 60, most mature adults encounter, or see their loved one(s) face, “The Event,” which ranges anywhere from a bad fall to a stroke. For whatever reason, on that day, no one was there to provide help. They may have been calling for help for hours, fearing the worst. The takeaway? Senior housing has solutions.

2) Loneliness: As seniors get older, they lose friends to out-of-town moves, long-term hospitalization, and death. When they were younger, they “lost” friends to marriage. But sometimes they came back. In the 4th quarter of life, the social contacts seniors lose don’t come back. The takeaway? Senior lifestyle communities are full of new friends their age, and young people (staff) who really care.

3) The Financials: Is it really a wise decision, in this market, to sell the family home? What about the kids taking it over? What about Dad’s woodshop? What about this, that? I’m too set in my ways to move. In other words, “No thanks. Take me off your mailing list.” The takeaway? Senior living is a sound financial decision.

The “Big 3” ideas can either help seniors choose to stay put, or choose mature lifestyle communities.  They are so blunt, even possibly demeaning when pondered, it makes them very difficult to address in copy advertising the senior living community – and may even scare the client.

So, in most marketing mailers, print ads, radio and web/blog copy, you see copywriters emphasizing the other, softer benefits of these communities: no maintenance, full access to healthcare services, lots of amenities and the idea that, “at my age, I can own a ‘new home or apartment.” Finally: affordable extravagance.

However, The Event, Loneliness, and Financials must be addressed directly, in a positive manner, when the copywriter and creative director work together to address the specifics that make each senior living community unique and attractive. The visuals of seniors sitting, reading books and playing golf may be tired (unless you’re marketing to older “assisted living” candidates); creative means creative.

You’ll get it through real teamwork—the creative director and copywriter collaborating. Too often today, the two are in separate rooms on the opposite side of the building.

When the main reasons for buying into senior community living are ignored, the marketing communication devices will miss the mark. Successful selling to seniors means delivering the goods up front, honestly, and at every opportunity.

Brandon Stickney interviewed many potential and current members of senior living communities and CCRCs on their reasons for choosing, and not choosing, this way of life, so he could successfully write for ad agencies, CCRCs, and new senior lifestyle paradigms.

Blog Board

Advertising Club of Buffalo Announces 2011-2012 Board of Directors

BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Advertising Club of Buffalo, one of Western New York’s most reputable professional organizations focused on marketing, advertising and creative professionals, recently announced its 2011-2012 Board of Directors.

Over the course of the last year, the Advertising Club of Buffalo’s Board of Directors has worked to create new and exciting programming for the benefit of its members. The Board introduced AdLab, a monthly educational panel series, revamped the annual ADDY Awards show, and expanded on UberBowl II, a recently-introduced event covering Super Bowl advertisements. In addition to both unveiling a new corporate pricing structure and improving the organization’s social media presence through Twitter, Facebook and a recently launched blog, the Ad Club will soon kick off the first-ever AdWeek in Buffalo.

Recognizing a common goal of connecting with other groups in the advertising and creative  communities, the Ad Club also began partnering with other organizations, including the American Society of Media Professionals, the Buffalo Niagara Sales and Media Executives, Public Relations Society of America, Social Media Club of Buffalo, Writers/Artists/Musicians and the Western New York Book Arts Club.

With its new and returning Board of Directors leading the charge, the Advertising Club of Buffalo is set to enhance club membership benefits, further develop its brand, and increase its presence in the advertising community.

“Last year, the Ad Club developed quality programming to bring new ideas and opportunities to our membership, all while maintaining a healthy budget,” said Ad Club of Buffalo President Charlie Riley. “We’re excited to build off this momentum with a great, diverse new board.”

Riley, the Interactive Services Director at SKM Group, joined the Ad Club Board in 2008 and will be continuing his term as President this year.

In addition to Riley, returning Executive Committee members include:

  • Vice President – Amber Rampino, Freelance/Consultant, web design and Internet marketing
  • Treasurer – Cait Zulewski, Corporate Relations Specialist, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York
  • Secretary – Jordan Case, Senior Art Director, Eric Mower and Associates

New board members, elected to serve a two-year term, are:

  • Scott Bartels, Assistant Vice President/Senior Specialist Marketing, HSBC Bank USA
  • Academics Chair, Nick Colacicco, Marketing Director, Line Logic, a division of KegWorks
  • Carl Edholm, Creative Services Manager, clevermethod, inc.
  • Shannon Fisher, Senior Copywriter, SKM Group
  • Matt Low, VP, Associate Creative Director, Crowley Webb
  • ADDY’s Co-Chair, Alyssa Mayer, Account Manager/Digital Strategist, Travers Collins
  • PR Chair, Katie Rampino, Senior Account Executive PR, Eric Mower and Associates
  • Terri Swiatek, Marketing Designer, Algonquin Studios
  • Megan Wagner, Director of Corporate Communications, WNED Buffalo-Toronto

Returning board members include:

  • Membership Chair, Nicole Lawniczak, Senior Account Executive, Eric Mower and Associates
  • Lauren Cius, Associate Creative Director, SKM Group
  • AdLab Chair, Kim Pentheros, Art Director, The Martin Group
  • Communications Chair, Jason Yates, Art Director/Digital Developer, Gelia

Tricia Barrett, VP/Management Supervisor, Crowley Webb, is the immediate past president of the Advertising Club of Buffalo Board of Directors. Tina Pastwik returns as the Club’s administrative assistant.

Editor’s Note: Photos of the 2011-2012 Advertising Club of Buffalo Board Members are available. Please email or call 716-880-1483 to request specific headshots. 

About Advertising Club of Buffalo

Ad Club of Buffalo is an organization designed to promote and foster interaction among the graphic arts and marketing communication professionals in the Western New York area. They strive to provide current information about developments within the advertising/graphic design, visual arts, interactive development, print production, broadcasting and publication industries so as to further encourage excellence by those engaged in said fields while encouraging interest among students.                                                                        

For more information about the Advertising Club of Buffalo and its upcoming events, please visit: Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

AdLab Blog

The Big Tip-Off Pays Off

The Advertising Club of Buffalo hosted our first-ever “celebrity” (and we use that term loosely) bartending event on Thursday, September 15 at Encore restaurant to raise money for our student Scholarship Fund.

Aptly named The Big Tip-Off, the event shattered both fundraising and attendance goals. Over 100 guests brought in enough money to cover all of the scholarships for the upcoming school year, including some to spare for additional contributions.

The event featured a fool-proof concept: encourage advertising heavyweights to compete for bragging rights and a sweet trophy, offer an open bar, and set out tip jars. In the end, SKM Group’s President, Sue Meany, beat out her all-male competition by garnering the most tips.

Her competition, and all-around good sports, included:
Doug Bean, COO, Eric Mower and Associates
Rob Neiler, Partner/Director of In-Store Creative Strategy, Eric Mower and Associates
Brian Grunert, Owner, White Bicycle
Tod Martin, President/Creative Director, The Martin Group
Jeff Pappalardo, SVP/Creative Director, Crowley Webb
Jose Rodriguez, Owner/President, JRVisuals
Bob Travers, Principal, Travers Collins & Company
Ben Wagner, Play-by-Play Announcer/Account Executive, Buffalo Bisons

Collectively, they raised more than $3,400 in tips for the Ad Club Scholarship Fund. A special thanks is owed to our celebrity bartenders – as well as the generous Ad Club members and guests who helped raise money that will go directly to support the future of advertising.

And, “cheers” to Encore for letting us take over their patio bar!

To view more photos from the event please visit Jose Rodriquez Photos.


Ad Lab recap: Research = Results.

Take it from Lee, do your research. Lee Grunert of Focused Marketing Associates spoke to an AdLab crowd of advertising folks, businesspeople, and students about the role of market research in the strategic marketing process. She covered the basics of qualitative and quantitative research, explained when and how to use focus groups, and gave real world examples of research producing powerful results. And that’s where Bob Travers of Travers Collins stepped in. An ad man and industry veteran, Bob has utilized Lee’s services on several occasions to gather important consumer information, analyze attitudes, and breakdown buying behaviors. The result? Powerful, on-target campaigns that boost consumer awareness and clients bottom-lines. So while research may not seem like one of the most exciting aspects of marketing, AdLab taught us that it often produces some thrilling results.

Join the Advertising Club of Buffalo on the last Tuesday of every month for AdLab – an enlightening panel discussion on all things 
advertising, featuring a different topic each month. AdLab is geared toward students, entry-level pros, and anyone who wants to learn 
a new aspect of our industry. Do you spend your whole day thinking about strategy, but never get the chance to attend a press check? 
Or have you executed a million print projects but never got to sit in on a branding session? Well, we’ll have an AdLab for you!

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.