Lesson #91: The 20 Things TV Has Taught Me

Oh television! You’ve been my babysitter, my source of entertainment and my counselor. You’ve made me laugh, you’ve made me cry, and every day that I watch you, you teach me something new.

There are so many things I wouldn’t know if it weren’t for you television, and as such, I dedicate this blog post to you. To honour the many lessons I’ve learned all from watching you….

1. If you feel like something scary or dangerous is about to happen, always go explore it alone, and never arm yourself with a weapon.

2. Doctors must always be wearing a stethoscope, unless they are a lead or recurring character. This reassures the audience that they are in fact doctors, because just saying so, isn’t enough

3. Grocery stores only use plain brown paper bags, and people only buy crusty bread and leafy greens when they’re shopping.

4. Big guys can have hot wives and girlfriends, but this only works one way. Sorry ladies.

5. When you really need to find something, like a clue to a murder, the best thing to do is search with the lights off and only use a pocket flashlight.

6. Guns never run out of ammo.

7. If you see a man on Cops who isn’t wearing a shirt, he’s about to be arrested.

8. When you finally find the person you’re trying to capture or kill, never sneak up on them. Always yell “Hey” or “Stop,” to give them a chance to run. The element of surprise is unfair.

9. If you are being bullied, or get pressured to fight your enemy, always seek out the ethnic janitor or handyman of your school or apartment building. It’s common knowledge that these men were actually masters in martial arts and boxing in their homeland. But, obviously they gave up the fame and glory to pursue their dreams of being a janitor or handyman here in North America.

10. Even if you’ve only had a couple weeks training, as long as you were taught by the aforementioned janitor, you will win the fight against the seasoned boxer/ martial artist that challenged you.

11. Making a 30 foot jump with your car will not damage it, provided there is a mound of dirt or some wooden planks to leverage the jump with.

12. You can leave work in the middle of the day and never have to worry about it being noticed by your colleagues.

13. You will always survive the jump out of a building provided you aim for the garbage dumpster. And don’t worry, the dumpster will never house any broken glass, sharp metal objects or diseased ridden animals.

14. No matter where you might be going, particularly in major cities like New York and L.A., you will always find a parking spot right in front of your destination.

15. You and your 4-5 closest friends will always get the same table at your favorite bar, restaurant or coffee shop, no matter how busy of a night it may be.

16. It doesn’t matter if you’re a student or working a low-income job, a large flat in a city like New York is still within your financial means. So is all the furniture from Pottery Barn that outfits your pad.

17. The ventilation system of any building is an excellent hiding place and means to get around. No one will ever look for you there, and you can travel to any part of the building with ease.

18. When driving down a perfectly straight road, you still must turn the steering wheel vigorously from left to right every few moments

19. Whenever a computer is needed, everyone can type really fast without looking at the keys and without using a spacebar.

20. It’s good to have one ethnic friend in your circle of friends, but never more then one. (disclaimer: before you accuse me of being racist, think about who the real racist is here…. Television.)

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Lesson #74: The Digital World is Ever Evolving, And So Is Your Role Within It

As the digital space continuously evolves, so do the players in the field.

Agencies that traditionally adopted the pattern of branding themselves as “experts” within a certain area are now collaborating with trusted and respected partners to help “fill in the gaps.”

The result?

An increase in the number of “full-service” agencies with a more robust service offering, thus resolving the gap between client’s operations and marketing efforts; rather then solely implementing a PPC campaign, or a branded Twitter page.

So how does this affect agency structure and the individual roles within?

Traditionally agencies have had the typical functions in place: Account Management, Creative, Planning, and Production. But as more and more agencies begin to adopt a truly interactive mindset, the roles of the team members evolve accordingly.

This means employing a team that grasps the notion that the Internet is not just another way to engage with your audience. It is a central hub in which all communication efforts can be shared, (ie: print, TV, radio, video etc.).

Internet strategy visualWith the adoption of said mindset, the creative department is perhaps the one that’s role has been impacted most significantly. In most traditional, and advertising agencies, the creative department, (commonly made up of a Creative Director, Copywriters and Designers), rule. It is their concepts and ideas that sell the client and dictate how we will engage with our audience. But with the digital movement well underway, the creative team has evolved. Now digital professionals, (strategists, project mangers, information architects, user experience specialists and developers), are integrated throughout agencies in leadership positions, and are essential partners in the campaign development process.

By adopting this way of thinking and making it the core of every strategy, it challenges agencies to go beyond producing one big idea with one big message that must fit across all channels, into actually developing interactive and engaging content that is interlinked through multiple mediums and applications. The result is an increase in reach, relevance, measurability, and most importantly impact.

But with technology evolving and changing everyday, what does this mean for the future? Will new roles with new expertise be introduced? Will more traditional roles fall to waste side? Or, with agencies adopting such a collaborative approach, can we expect this current structure to stay in place for years to come?

What do you think?

Lesson #8: What I’ve Learned From Barbie

I know I am still fairly young, but one thing I’ve learnt over the years is that sometimes life’s lessons can come to you through the most peculiar places and experiences.

With the holiday season around the corner, I spent my past weekend dodging through crowds in hopes to get a head start on my Christmas shopping. Unfortunately for me, I think the rest of Ottawa had the same idea…

As I hopped from store-to-store, I couldn’t help but overhear children sharing their lists for Santa with their parents. Some were outlandish, some were adorable, but there was one little girl in particular who’s conversation with her mother struck a chord with me. She told her mom she wanted a Barbie like her friends had. I couldn’t help but smile when I heard this. As a child, I was a Barbie fanatic. I had everything from the dream house to the pony, and even used to throw little dress-up parties for Barbie and her friends, the Ninja Turtles. So naturally, I felt for that little girl when her mother retorted that Barbie is not the kind of toy she should be playing with, and wouldn’t she prefer something like a new Nintendo game? Really lady? You think a video game will have a more positive influence on your child then a Barbie doll?

This led me to thinking, looking back as a 27 year old female, I have to say, I don’t agree with a lot of the negative stereotyping that’s associated with Barbie. I mean sure she has an unrealistic figure and some of the outfits are maybe a little inappropriate, but is she really any worse of a role model then the Brittany Spears’ and Katy Perry’s of the world? There are some really great things that a girl can learn from Barbie, so I feel it’s only appropriate that I share some of the things that Barbie has taught me:

1. It’s okay to change your career path

Now-a-day’s so much pressure is put on youth to figure out at an early age what they want to be/do later in life so they can start training and educating themselves accordingly. I’m not against kids having a plan, but I am against the pressures we place on sticking to it. As per a report done in September 2010 by the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, the average person between the ages of 18-44 will change their job approximately 11 times before they settle on their career. Barbie went to college for the first time in 1964 and since had over 80 different careers ranging from flight attendant, to librarian, to doctor.

2. Always dress for success

No one can argue that Barbie had style, and always looked her best. Perhaps this is why she was so successful in changing her career as often as she did! Nevertheless no matter the job or outing, Barbie always made sure she looked her best and came prepared, armed with the most appropriate and practical accessories. For example, Architect Barbie dawns a black blazer and comes with a set of blue prints, a scaled model of the dream house for her important presentations to investors, and of course, a hard hat for site visits. Or what about News Anchor Barbie who is always ready to cover top stories sporting a suit and equipped with microphone, camera and news folder.

3. Sometimes even the most perfect relationships just don’t work out.

At a very young age, girls are led to believe in this unrealistic fantasy that one day, their prince charming will come sweep them off their feet and they will live happily ever after. I’m sure a lot of my lady readers are laughing right now over the realisation that this couldn’t be any further from the truth. Relationships are difficult and they require a lot of work. And sometimes, they just don’t work out, no matter how badly you may want it to.

Enter Barbie…

After 43 years with her high-school sweetheart, Barbie divorced Ken, teaching girls and women everywhere that even the most perfect relationships have their problems, and that sometimes it’s best to just part ways. But this wasn’t Barbie’s only chance at love. In June 2004, Barbie found love again when she was introduced to an Australian boogey-boarder named Blaine.

4. Money can’t buy you happiness

We’ve all heard this before, but I think Barbie really puts this into light. Barbie has had over 40 pets including cats and dogs, horses, a panda, a lion cub, and even a zebra. She has owned a wide range of vehicles, including pink Corvettes, trailers, and jeeps. She has had literally thousands of outfits and accessories, but it’s still not enough. Year after year Barbie continues to try and find happiness through material means, (designer clothing, gadgets and accessories,) but no matter how much she owns, it’s never enough and she’s always left wanting more.

5. Even the girl who has, “got it together,” can lose her head from time-to-time

And that’s Barbie for the win…