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2017 Jim Leslie Memorial Scholarship Recipient

Karissa Walsworth

Congrats to Mary DeMarigny, a Digital Arts student at Louisiana State University in Shreveport for being selected as the Jim Leslie Memorial Scholarship recipient for 2017! Mary will receive $2500 toward tuition and books for the upcoming school year.

The Jim Leslie Memorial Scholarship memorializes the late Jim Leslie, who began his career as a young reporter with The Shreveport Times and later worked in the public information department at the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce before opening his own advertising agency.

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.