Tuesday, November 18, 2008

3-minute interview with Amanda Valenzuela

Got this today on facebook:

Mr. Helm,

I am a current student at the University of Arizona taking an advertising management course. For this class, my professor has asked us to gather information about the advertising industry. Recently, I have seen some of the work you’ve done with Nike My Better campaign, which got me interested in learning about your experience as a creative director. There are a few questions that I would like to ask you; these questions are solely for my class and my own knowledge/benefit. I would appreciate the opportunity to get in contact with you, via the phone or email, and gain your insights. If you would like further information, feel free to contact me or my professor, Dr. Ed Ackerley (ackerley@email.arizona.edu, 520-621-7479).

1. How did you get started in advertising? What was it that made you want to be in advertising?

I went to Portfolio Center in Atlanta. My college department head recommended the business for me.

2. What is your definition of advertising?


As I understand it, you were the creative director for the Nike “My Better” commercial. If you can’t answer specifics about the next two questions, a general overview about your clients would be fine:

3. How did the Nike “My Better” commercial come about? What sort of needs did they have when your agency went to make it?

Promote SPARQ training.

4. What were some of their reservations about the project (if any)? How did you negotiate with them?

We had presented a tight script, but discovered the song in the editorial process, so we had to go back to the client and un-sell the original script and go with the music approach instead. It took patience.

5. On average, how long is the process of a project for your clients?

Too long. As long as two years. As short as 24 hours.

6. What is the most difficult aspect of being an advertiser? The best?

You get to learn about lots of different things. You get to use your noggin and creativity in order to solve problems. There's money, and excitement, and sanctioned idiocy. Lots of people see your work, sometimes.

The other side: the culture of superficiality, ego, individuality, narcissism, greed, materialism, ageism, sexism, obnoxiousness.

7. What is the importance of innovation in advertising?

Consumers move fast, habits change quickly, they are unpredictable and easily bored.

8. How do you measure the success of an ad?

If it's a success, everyone knows. If you have to measure it, it's probably not a success.

9. Where do you believe advertising will go in the future? Are there any upcoming trends in the industry?

Advertising as we know it is on its last leg. The days where creative guns-for-hire come up with a clever veneer so that people will like you, it's o v e r . Do you know anyone who likes/buys something because of advertising anymore? Really?

10. Is it necessary to be “creative” in order to be successful in advertising?


11. What do you believe makes you so successful?

Luck + enough interest in what I am doing that it doesn't feel like work.

12. What advice would you give to newcomers of the advertising business?

Enjoy the ride. Keep your head.

Thanks Amanda! Good luck!



stephen giem said...


John Helm said...

I hadn't seen the ad before - liked it and your explanation of the work involved in making it happen. Your responses to the questions were insightful for me as well. thanks

trh said...

I love that ad...IO could watch it al fuckin day long

gaeyia said...

Catch the concert when Saul came through town? It was the most fascinatingly diverse crowd I have ever seen.