MCG Interns Take New York City
“The City That Never Sleeps,” “The Empire City,” “The Big Apple,” or however you refer to this great city, New York was taken over by UT Advertising students last week, two of those being MCG’s very own interns, myself and Krista Gilbert. I had been to The City more times than I could count, but this trip was a little different from the rest. We had time to be tourists and MAYBE make a dent in the many attractions New York holds.
The majority of the trip was touring six of the city’s biggest advertising agencies; three top global agencies, an up-and-coming agency with many Super Bowl spots set to air, an advertising research facility and a software company. The last two agencies specialize in website optimization and online advertising, both crucial to a successful advertising campaign.
Walking through these agencies seemed something of a different world. One agency’s creative team was working on a project for ESPN, and gathering inspiration by practicing their accuracy in an office “PVC putt-putt” match. Another agency had a full-service bar featuring their clients’ products like Heineken and Jose Cuervo that was open for Happy Hour every day at 5pm. I think my favorite aspect of one of the agencies was their fully equipped gym, health facility and barbershop on the bottom floor of the building. Who says advertisers can’t play?
Each environment was undoubtedly fast-paced. Teams were constantly meeting and brainstorming with a plethora of coffee and whiteboard markers. The work was strategically displayed on cork walls as if it was designed to be the most unique office artwork around. As an avid Mad Men viewer, I expected there to be individual offices around the exterior with rows of desks in the middle. I was pleasantly surprised when many of the offices had clusters of desks separated by larger glass rooms specifically for brainstorming sessions. These open layouts were designed in such a way that each department worked together, and the next department wasn’t too far away.
Every agency gave me that same speechless reaction for one reason: The ideas that create advertising are real. They arise from real discussions from real people. The “behind-the-scenes” view we got was nothing less than insightful. This highlighted the unique nature of the advertising industry: Everyone has a different perspective, and a different way of creating, but in the end,
they are all pursuing the same goal. The agencies are as different as the people they employ and the culture they practice.
The days were long, but rewarding. The insight we gained gave us all a different perspective than we could’ve imagined, something that we would have never learned in a classroom. The motivation to graduate and join the geniuses behind some of the most creative work in the industry became something far more than “Junior-itis,” if a thing even exists. The New York Fever is real,
and a future advertiser’s dream.
– Olivia Rothermel