Motivating Students & Consumers: What Works


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Whether you need someone to buy into your brand of thinking or your brand's promise, a creative, engaging presentation can change minds and behavior. These case studies and executions detail how I apply insights, discovery, humor and reflection to motivate students and consumers.

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Motivating Students & Consumers: What Works

  1. 1. I love marketing and learning. When done well, both contain elements of the other. The most effective ads and lessons aren’t seen, they’re discovered. Experienced. Remembered. Acted upon. Bad ads and lessons tend to be quickly forgotten—if you're lucky. Having been both a Creative and an Educator, I’m well-versed in the art of making the dull, dynamic and the complex, elegant. As a concepter, copywriter, adjunct professor and former 5th grade teacher, I get my kicks from communicating in insightful, surprising and sticky ways.    
  2. 2. Professional  Experience   • Marketing Professional with a proven track record of unearthing the root cause of a challenge, then crafting the what, where, when and how of a compelling communication strategy to deliver integrated, scalable marketing programs • Former 5th Grade Educator known for sparking a student's natural curiosity by introducing multiple ways of thinking, interacting and problem solving. This included researching, generating, refashioning and presenting differentiated math, language arts, reading and science lessons for mixed-ability students • New Media Adjunct Professor charged with inspiring adult learners to utilize the tools, distribution and emerging platforms to create branded new media communications.   Special1es   • Concepting and writing branded marketing communications for digital (web content and email), promotions, video treatments, print, outdoor, television and radio • Adult and tween Improvisation Facilitator; Youth soccer coach     Awards   Communication Arts Award of Excellence, CADM Tempo Awards, Mobius Award Finalist, Clio Awards Shortlist, Chicago Show Finalist  
  3. 3. Marketing Portfolio | PayPal “Star vs Star” Mobile Promotion Concept Role: Concepter/Copywriter As part of its growth strategy, PayPal is venturing offline and partnering with retailers at their instore locations. This partnered promotional concept with Foot Locker leverages the retailer’s highprofile NBA star spokesmen to generate PayPal sign ups, drive traffic and repeat purchases at Foot Locker. STAR VS STAR pits All-Stars Chris Bosh, Kyrie Irving, Carmelo Anthony, James Harden and Kevin Love’s star power against one another when they compete to give their fans $10 or more in Foot Locker Cred—courtesy of PayPal.
  4. 4. Marketing Portfolio | Clorox “Recipes for Fun” Promotional Microsite Role: Copywriter Research told us that our time-pressed mom yearned for more quality time with her kids. She also had concerns about using a bleach spray cleaner in her home. The solution was a virtual “recipes for fun” destination that served up added value with dozens of simple, low cost entertaining mom and kid-bonding projects. And since each “recipe’s” mess could be quickly remedied with Clorox Clean-Up (CCU), we were able to assure her that CCU was family friendly. Fortunately, I was able to draw upon my experience as a fifth grade teacher and father of two to craft a voice that clicked with moms.
  5. 5. Marketing Portfolio | Clorox “Bleachable Moments” Facebook Contest Role: Copywriter/Concepter To make liquid bleach relevant to today’s young adults and parents, Clorox hit upon “bleachable moments”: real life, messy situations that call for a bleach resolution. I was tasked with concepting a vehicle to drive participation in their Facebook  Bleachable Moments Contest. A simple "a + b = bleachable moment" equation asked viewers to visualize the cringe-worthy soiled result. This small act of completion rewards consumers  while reinforcing Clorox Liquid Bleach's role as the go-to solution.
  6. 6. Marketing Portfolio | Purina “Simple As” DR Website Concept Role: Copywriter/Concepter In the last two decades, pets have become treasured family members for both childless adults and traditional families. Findings showed that pet parents were unaware, intimidated and skeptical of current pet care insurance offerings. This concept positioned PurinaCare’s plans, options and coverage to be as simple as the bond you share with your pet. By shifting the onus off the consumer and onto a trusted brand like Purina, our pet insurance became the uncomplicated, obvious choice.
  7. 7. Marketing Portfolio | United Airlines “Suite Dreams” Microsite Role: Copywriter When United Airlines relaunched its International First Class, it faced a formidable challenge: convince disillusioned international travelers that the airline had truly transformed its offering. Combining ethereal visuals and a sophisticated voice, the copy lets readers take flight through the numerous upgraded amenities. All evoke the reimagined experience and restful sleep guests enjoy while drowsing in their 180° flat bed seats.
  8. 8. Marketing Portfolio | Sally Beauty “Brand New You” Web Promotion Role: Copywriter When beauty product usage skyrocketed among teen girls and boys, Sally Beauty Supply found itself in need of a makeover. Taking on a youthful, cheeky voice, the “Brand New Year, Fresh New Look” makeover contest told Sally’s depth-of-product story in a language teens could understand. And to ensure that our contest got on their radars, our web efforts were supported with ads in Seventeen magazine and two fashion sketchbook-inspired animated spots on MTV.
  9. 9. Marketing Portfolio | Disneyland “Monsters, Inc.” Attraction Launch DM Role: Copywriter Regardless of your theme park’s name, only your latest, greatest attraction matters in today’s competition for entertainment dollars. And for Disneyland in 2007, that magnet was Pixar’s Monster’s, Inc. Playing upon the movie’s recognizable door and taxicab motifs, these pieces’ interactive components brought the film’s characters and storyline to life in for both big and little monsters.
  10. 10. Marketing Portfolio | Electrolux “Trilobite Vacuum” Product Launch Role: Copywriter At $1,799, the Electrolux Trilobite is one of the most expensive and technologically advanced automated vacuum cleaners ever produced. Attracting the right audience segments meant varying how this Ferrari of vacuums came across to gadgeteers, domestic goddesses and the wealthy few who might aspire to own one. For added effect, we let the product’s impish bleeps and trills emote a smug air of “I’m so worth it.” aloofness.
  11. 11. Marketing Portfolio | Chicagoland Chevy Dealers “Michael Jordan” TV Role: Copywriter/Art Director Without a clear connection between a brand and a star, any celebrity endorsement can fall flat. Fortunately, the Chicagoland Chevy Dealers signed Michael Jordan as first-year rookie, which allowed his relationship with brand evolved along with his career. At the height of MJ’s global stardom, we positioned him as a great Chicagoan who just happened to drive a Blazer. Hometown fans couldn’t get enough: while Ford Explorer was outselling the Blazer by 2 to 1 nationally, the Chicago Metro area remained the number one Blazer market in the country.
  12. 12. Marketing Portfolio | Chicagoland Chevy Dealers “Genuine Chicago” TV Role: Copywriter/Art Director How do you differentiate Chevrolet’s models from the other domestic brands in Chicago? Build upon the national “Genuine Chevrolet” campaign with a local “Genuine Chicago” campaign comparing our car models’ features to those of beloved Chicago institutions like Ferrara Pan Candy, Lava Lamp, Radio Flyer Wagons and Mr. Beef. So rather than running one-size-fits all national spots with a local dealer tag, we showcased genuine hometown icons alongside our cars. The results as they say at Mr. Beef were, “A beautiful thing.”
  13. 13. Marketing Portfolio | Verizon Wireless “Build Your Rocket” Opt-in Sweeps Role: Copywriter To market to a greater share of young adults and their higher ARPUs (Average Revenues Per Unit), Verizon Wireless charged us with collecting half a million opt-ins from 18-24 year-olds in six weeks. Luckily, we were able to leverage the popular Fast & Furious-tuner car culture of the moment. When the smoke cleared, we delivered more than 300 million impressions including 500,000 opt-ins with a 81% opt-in rate (vs. 30-40% industry average), and a follow-up email achieved a 15% open rate with a 6% conversion rate.
  14. 14. Marketing Portfolio | PetSmart “Pet & Parent” New Pet Parent Guides Role: Copywriter As the provider of smart solutions for the lifetime care of your pet, PetSmart is always looking for new vehicles to deliver their brand promise in a meaningful way. These “Pet & Parent” guides were designed to connect with an upscale female demographic who may be in need of a little hand holding. Brought to life with a knowing, compassionate voice, these guides position PetSmart as a trusted partner for easing into the journey of raising a new pet.
  15. 15. Marketing Portfolio | Print & Outdoor Role: Copywriter, Art Director, Concepter While digital and mobile marketing has reduced the popularity of print and out-of-home media, the right message can still make a huge impact when done well. This happens every time a great creative execution in these mediums end up generating earned media buzz online.
  16. 16. Education Portfolio | Facebook Fan Pages Role: Adjunct Professor (New Media Seminar) Whether it’s an 11-year-old or a French MBA student, students put forth more effort when creating an authentic product for the real world. Before creating the Vines, apps and Instagrams that would live on their brand’s Facebook Fan Page, students researched their brand’s intrinsics, built an audience personality profile, and generated brand purpose and positioning statements.
  17. 17. Education Portfolio | Meme Remix “Chicago Style” Role: Adjunct New Media Professor Memes are ideas that spread from person to person. And with the advent of the web, they spread and mutate around the globe at light speed. This assignment required my French students to take an existing web meme and give it a Chicago flavor. The results told a lot about how they, and possibly the rest of Europe, perceives Chicago (violence, sports and unhealthy eating topped the list).
  18. 18. Education Portfolio | 2020 Business Card Role: Adjunct New Media Professor It’s difficult to grasp that our modern era of intelligent, connected devices only came into being six years ago with the introduction of the iPhone. From Google Glass to implanted terminals, the stuff of science fiction is becoming less fictional everyday. For this assignment, students were asked to imagine how the next six years of technological and sociological shifts would transform today’s business card.
  19. 19. Education Portfolio | “Lego Invitational” Extracurricular Activity Role: 5th Grade Educator Every kid is going to join... something. As parents and educators, our job is to offer up enough options so that “something” is a positive influence. Some of my 5th grade boys who didn’t appear to have much in common shared a passion for building with Legos. Hosting the Lego Invitational enabled these kids from different social groups to get communally geeked over a common interest and hopefully see one another in a new light.
  20. 20. Education Portfolio | “Earth Day Awareness” Social Cause Role: 5th Grade Educator It’s a real challenge to extend participation for any event beyond its celebrated day, week or month. Creating a tangible reminder like this logo and T-shirt kept our school’s Earth Week’s lessons and actions top of mind with students, staff and parents long after the posters, projects and contests had run their course. Another plus was the student body got to vote on which environmental charity received the profits from our shirt sales.
  21. 21. Education Portfolio | “Real World Math” Teaching Materials Role: 5th Grade Educator Nothing induces sleep quicker that using the same tired PowerPoint templates and clip art to introduce new math concepts. Luckily, as a creative I’ve been privileged to work some talented designers—folks with the skills to turn vanilla information into some tasty eye candy. So when it’s time to communicate a concept, I let the images run lead and suck the reader in. Before you know it, kids are coming up with their own ideas of how to visualize math concepts.
  22. 22. Education Portfolio | “ISAT Hazards” Testing Signage Role: 5th Grade Educator Inspired by Raife Esquith’s “Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire”, I decided to treat ISAT prep as a game of matching wits with a room of heartless, faceless standardized test writers. My class had fun generating “trick” answers while producing these road hazard signs to alert us for the most common test-taking traps. Once it became a game of identifying the traps, my students felt like they were beating a worthy adversary.
  23. 23. Education Portfolio | “Problem Solving Heroes” Student Motivation Role: 5th Grade Educator Needy. Immature. Do-it-for-me syndrome. By any name, learned helplessness can make achieving a fulfilling life downright impossible. To thwart this bad habit, we erected a public billboard to champion students who solve problems for themselves and others. Once this went up, it wasn’t long before other students found their own powers of self-reliance.
  24. 24. Education Portfolio | “Atomic Structure Bees” Visualizing Concepts Role: 5th Grade Educator Challenged with making abstract subatomic particles concrete and knowable for my students, electrons were represented as negatively-charged bees (as one of my students pointed out, getting stung is a negative experience). These bees buzzed around a “honey” nucleus filled with positive proton particles, represented by Mr. Positive himself, SpongeBob, ever happy to be inside the nucleus.