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AAF District 10 Advention 2017 (Part 2)

Erin Smith

As we continued into the breakouts on Friday, we heard from Doug Renfro with Renfro Foods. (BTW, we all get jars of salsa in our swag bags to take home!) Doug explained that Renfro's has been able to stay relevant in a very saturated market by staying on top of trends and utilizing strategies to help their small company excel. He suggested using social media because "it's practically free," monitoring and watching your media channels closely and using what you have and making it work for you. Perseverance, tenacity and stubbornness can be good things!

During lunch, we heard from Jason Dailey of Facebook as he discussed the future of mobile video. He stated that on average people check Facebook 14 times a day, and they consume media faster on mobile. And despite what you may think, people are less distracted by their surroundings when they are viewing on mobile, versus viewing on a larger screen. He gave 4 "musts" for mobile video on Facebook. 

1. You have to capture people's attention quickly. Use the most captivating elements first, like people and faces. Put the hero of the video or ad front and center. Incorporate your brand identity early and use engaging post copy!

2. People want to be able to view it with the sound off, so tell your story visually. Use text and graphics to deliver the message. Use captions. 

3. Frame your visual story. (Most people don't rotate their phones to watch the video!) Explore different frames (square or viewed vertically). Highlight key elements and create visual surprises.

4. Play more! Experiment to learn. Make it as short as it can be but as long as it NEEDS to be. Push the boundaries. Break up the visual space. 

If you'd like to see how your video will look on mobile, visit Facebook's Creative Hub to test them out! Check to see if it captures your attention in the first few seconds. Can you watch with the sound off and still understand it? Is it framed for mobile? Does it contain thumb-stopping creative?

After lunch, our breakouts included Haidy Francis, Alex Pierce and Laura Smith. Haidy Francis is a product designer at IBM working in the cyber security division. Although she started as a successful graphic designer, her focus at IBM is to lead a team of 30 designers and make sure that the user experience is the most efficient it can be, while still being visually appealing. She challenged us to constantly ask "why" and decide if we are really solving the right problem for our clients. We need to reflect often. Observe. Take notes. She also suggested some UI podcasts like Hacking UI and the Breakfast User Experience

Alex Pierce is a user interface designer and WEBBYs judge. He gave us the 6 principals to follow for user experience (which are also the 6 categories that WEBBYs judges use). 

1. Content is king! It needs to engaging, relevant, concise and leave them wanting more. Content should always come first! Your design should work around and compliment your content. 

2. Structure and Navigation. It needs to be consistent from page to page and intuitive. Users should be able to get anywhere with ease!

3. Visual Design. Looks matter. Pay attention to detail and aesthetics. It needs to be relevant to your audience and content. And if it's more aesthetically pleasing, it gives off the impression that it's easier to use. 

4. Functionality. It needs to be fast, browser independent, device agnostic and accessible. Basically, it needs to WORK! Make sure it's easily accessible and legible. Remember to design for your audience. 

5. Interactivity. UI allows your user to engage with the content in a meaningful way. They're participants, not spectators. 

6. Innovation. Push the boundaries. If your idea is strong and the technology supports it, go for it! 

Then Alex gave us some bonus tips. 

  1. Provide value (Design with no content is just decoration!)
  2. Do your homework (user research)
  3. Execution>idea
  4. Sweat the details
  5. Be realistic (budget, scope)
  6. Eat. Your dog food (use your own product, empathy thinking)

Next week's post will include Michael Doret and Landon Ledford! Stay tuned! 

AAF District 10 Advent10n 2017 (Part 1)

Erin Smith

Each year, the American Advertising Federation District 10 (the district Shreveport is a part of) hosts a convention lovingly named Advent10n. This year's convention was April 6-8 in Fort Worth, Texas. And if you didn't attend, well, you missed out on some FANTASTIC speakers and educational opportunities. Over the course of the next few posts, I'm going to bring you up to speed on what you missed. 

National Student Advertising Competition
The conference has multiple layers and events happening simultaneously. One of which is the National Student Advertising Competition preliminaries. A multitude of student teams from various colleges throughout the district create a full marketing campaign for a national brand and present it to the judges for a chance to attend the National Student Advertising Competition at Admerica! This year's brand was Tai Pei frozen foods. 

For the first time ever, LSUS created a team and entered the competition! Despite being up against some pretty tough odds and being the rookies, they enjoyed their time, know what they need to change for the future and are excited for next year! Go LSUS! 

Blake Goldston, President of the D10 American Advertising Foundation, Allen Garcie, D10 Educator of the Year, Kevin Dobbs, Executive Director of District 10

Blake Goldston, President of the D10 American Advertising Foundation, Allen Garcie, D10 Educator of the Year, Kevin Dobbs, Executive Director of District 10

On top of that, Allen Garcie, AAFSB education chair, former president of AAFSB and coach for the LSUS NSAC team, was awarded Educator of the Year for the district! To put that into perspective, Allen beat out all of the educators nominated from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and half of Louisiana! We are tremendously proud of him!

Conference Lineup
This year's conference lineup did not disappoint! We heard from Sam Shepherd, the creative director at Deustch New York on Friday at breakfast. He worked on the hugely successful Water is Life campaigns, highlighting the poor drinking water conditions through the personal stories of children in underdeveloped countries. You can see those campaign videos here.

During Friday's breakout sessions, we heard from Claudine Unterman with the Nielsen ratings system. She discussed the technologies coming down the pipe that will allow Nielsen to gather larger, more in-depth data samples, like personal people meters and the ability to know what you're watching without the old box-and-diary system. If you're a data driven marketer, take a look at Nielsen's Total Audience Report to gain more insight.

Lewis Williams of Burrell Communications gave an impactful presentation on the image of the African American consumer in advertising. He began his presentation with a video from The Atlantic highlighting the typecasting of African-American males in the media. He went on to discuss how positive realism can combat the previous negative realism and how authenticity is key.

Be sure to come back to hear about the rest of the speakers from Advent10n, including Sam Dailey of Facebook, Haidy Francis of IBM and Michael Doret, creator of the NY Knicks logo. 

55th Annual ADDY Awards Gala Slated for February 11th

Erin Smith

American Advertising Federation of Shreveport Bossier Hosts

55th Annual ADDY Awards Gala February 11th

 Shreveport/Bossier City, LA – On February 11th, Shreveport-Bossier advertising professionals will gather at Savoies: the Catering Place to honor the best of the best in the local advertising industry at the American Advertising Federation of Shreveport-Bossier’s 55th annual ADDY awards.

Conducted annually by the American Advertising Federation (AAF), the local AAF competition is the first of a three-tier, national competition. Concurrently, all across the country, local entrants vie to win American Advertising Awards—recognition as the very best in their markets. From there, entrants winning a gold or silver are forwarded onward to the district competition. If they place at district, then they are forwarded on to nationals.

This year, AAFSB has 132 professional ADDY entries and 31 student entries. Student entries are from LSUS, Centenary College and Northwest State University.

"Shreveport-Bossier’s artistic talent continues to astound me,” said Erin Smith, AAFSB club president and AAF District 10 Louisiana state representative. “Each year the caliber of the entries is on par with the work from across the district, rivaling work from Dallas, Houston, Austin and Oklahoma City. I can’t wait to see how the Shreveport entries fare at the district level this year!"

New to the event this year will be a People’s Choice Award and a raffle for a “booze basket.” The People’s Choice Award will be selected by event attendees. Chances to vote will cost $1, and the “booze basket” raffle chances are $5. Proceeds from both activities will benefit the AAFSB’s education initiatives, including the fall semester Agency Crawl and upcoming student conference.

“Being ADDY Chair this year has been such a rewarding experience,” said Amy Olita, 1st VP of AAFSB and 2017 ADDY chair. “We had a great response from a wide variety of companies and students, increasing our overall entries this year by more than 10 percent. I cannot wait to celebrate the amazing talent the Shreveport-Bossier advertising community has to offer!”

This year’s gala is slated to begin at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception and gallery viewing. The awards presentation and dinner will begin at 7 p.m.

The American Advertising Awards (ADDYs) are the advertising industry’s largest and most representative competition, attracting over 40,000 entries every year in local AAF Club competitions across the nation. The mission of the American Advertising Awards competition is to recognize and reward the creative spirit of excellence in the art of advertising.

For further event information, coverage options, photos or attendance info, please contact Erin Smith at or 318-674-0315