Project Pitch: Advertising Storylines

Retrieved from: https://www.danodonnell.me/884688365675/

Today’s pitching session was definitely more challenging that I expected; it was one thing to write all my ideas down on paper, but it was an entirely new experience trying to verbalize them to my peers. Part of the problem, I think, was because I wasn’t fully sold on any of my ideas myself. Of course, at the time they were conceived, I thought they were interesting, but the more I tried to plan their actual execution, the more I began to second guess myself. This isn’t a new feeling, however; I think any writer can sympathize with me when I say that the more you try to write, the harder it gets.

Beyond questioning my production plan, I was primarily concerned that other people wouldn’t find my ideas interesting enough. For this reason, I was shocked by the outpouring of enthusiasm and support I received after sharing, specifically towards my commercial-based idea. To be honest, I was completely winging it on that idea; writing storylines for commercials and advertisements has always been a hobby of mine, but I never thought anyone would actually hear my ideas unless I was asked to pitch them in an interview.

Moreover, hearing everyone’s feedback reinvigorated my excitement about this project, and made me feel significantly more confident in my work. It’s funny because my second idea was to write a personal narrative — which in theory should be much more difficult because it requires a great deal of honesty and vulnerability — but it was actually more nerve-racking to present my commercial pitch instead. Maybe after years of writing personal narratives (even when they were never read by others) I’ve subconsciously become more comfortable and confident in that style of writing, even when I’ve written about things that are not so comfortable. It’s a weird paradigm to process.

Anyway, I’m really excited about pursuing my commercial idea further and to continue receiving feedback from the class; it’s amazing how just a few moments of conversation can spark so many new ideas. It’s hard to explain, but usually when I’m creating these storylines in the car I get tunnel vision almost — the adrenaline induced by my sudden influx of creativity blocks out everything else and I’m completely zoned in on creating the perfect pitch. By the end, I feel almost high with excitement, imagining it playing out on a big screen, and that same rush is exactly what I felt leaving class. I’m shocked because my parents and siblings have heard so many of these they’re almost numb to them, but to be encouraged by people who aren’t required to support me / tell me my ideas are good is an incredibly exciting feeling, so I can’t wait to see how this project turns out.

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye

As my final chapter in the Sweetland Minor in Writing comes to an end, I wanted to introduce to you all what has been one of the most exciting projects I have ever had the opportunity to work on: Ad Evolution.

About the Site –

“Coming into this semester, I envisioned a sociohistorical analysis based project on advertising and with countless hours of research and help from professionals in the industry, I had the opportunity to follow that vision all the way through. Particularly, I wanted to understand the changes that advertising has undergone over the years. By analyzing a series of advertisements that were released over the years, I began to notice a pattern. The advertisements were not just staying the same, but they were instead evolving to correspond with the changing technology. With each new decade came bigger and better advertisements that responded to culture of the time. From the newspaper advertisements, to the Internet advertisements and everything in between, it was incredible to see how the course of history changed since advertising first began. I began to think of the industry as some sort of advertising evolution.

Ad Evolution was designed with these thoughts in mind. I had intended to both introduce audiences unfamiliar with advertising to the industry and to build upon the knowledge of those who already have experience with it. By combining two central ideas, the history of advertising and the creation of advertisements, I hoped that Ad Evolution would mimic the advertising website AdWeek, which more broadly touches on similar themes. I bounced ideas around that I found from navigating other popular sites like Ad Age and BusinessInsider, which helped me ground much of the information I present through the site. It is through this multimedia project that my questions were answered. Advertising is complex and is an industry that will constantly be evolving to respond to human behavior. Hopefully your questions will be answered through Ad Evolution too.”

The Sweetland Minor in Writing has truly been one of the most rewarding experiences that the University of Michigan has offered me. If you have any questions regarding the Capstone Course, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

LATEST NEWS: It’s All Coming Together

Now, over halfway through the semester, I can confidently say that my capstone project is comingtogether and I could not be happier about it. With my production plan always at the back of my mind, I have somehow managed to surpass the timeline I had estimated for producing the content for my website. As of today, I have completed what I expect to be the final blog post on advertising campaigns, as well as the formatting and layout of my site. Once I got moving on the first post, the others came naturally. Thankfully, I am researching a topic I am so passionate about that I never grew tired of the content I was reading, even if that meant spending a whole Sunday researching advertising from different brands.

Looking forward, there are three main components I still plan to add to my site, all of which will be found under the “About” tab located at the top of the page. The components are as follows: “About the Site,” “About the Author,” and “About a Professional.” The content for “About the Site” and “About the Author” will come from my introductory essay, once it is written. Here, I plan to detail how my project came to be and how my interest in advertising was initially sparked. This will give the site context, as well as credibility, as I do have experience in the industry. The “About a Profession” content will most likely be formatted as a question and answer sort of layout, as I plan to conduct an interview with my mentor when we meet. As a professor, Head of Social Engagement at an agency, TEDx Speaker and Cannes Lions Speaker, I expect my mentor’s experience with advertising and engagement to be extremely beneficial for aspects of this project.

Overall, my capstone project is headed in a positive direction. Once I receive feedback from my class during class workshop, and make any edits to my already existing content I think I will be in a very good place. I am looking forward to finishing out this semester strong and having a digital project to show for it.

THIS WEEK’S ISSUE: Ad Evolution in the Making

As we move into week six of the semester, my capstone project is in the works, but with so much leftto be done. After project pitches and project proposals, I have settled on formatting my project based off of the design of the website Ad Week, a site I spend far too much time on. Though the content of my site will be entirely different than that of Ad Week, the blog style format with a navigation menu both at the top and right side of the site will organize the points of my capstone project in a clear, cohesive way.

Originally, when I proposed the idea of researching the evolution of advertising, I had planned to organize my site into four distinct pages: “History,” “Departments,” “Evolution” and “About.” After sitting down with my professor to discuss the aspects of my project, we came across the conclusion that the “History” and “Evolution” of advertising pages would become too similar in research and that the “Departments” of an advertising agency page would become a separate project in itself. After some thought, I have decided to remove the “Departments” and “Evolution” pages and go with a different approach.

Though I still plan to keep the “History” and “About” pages for context, upon entering my site, readers will be directed to a series of advertisements (in the blog format) on the landing page. If they click to “read more,” the advertisement will open, explaining specifically how that particular advertisement has progressed in its advertisements over the years. This, for example, could feature a Coca-Cola print advertisement from 1917 and a Coca-Cola digital advertisement from 2017 and explain how it has changed over the years, both in terms of creation and format.

Though these ideas are still very much so up in the air, this should allow me to fully engage with the pages of my site, making it more interactive for my readers by avoiding repetition and overwhelming content.

Extra! Extra! Read All About It: My Capstone Project Pitch

It feels good to be back. As a Communications Major and Writing Minor, I thought about what ideas would interest me the most to spend a semester researching and developing for my capstone project. After reminiscing on the past summer I spent interning at an advertising agency where I wrote and published articles for the company website, I was initially drawn to a capstone project on advertising. In addition to the writing I was assigned this summer, I had the opportunity to engage with media industries in an elective course for my major. The class required us to study the operation of media industries and eventually write a final paper on what we had learned. I ended the semester of that class writing a paper from the perspective of a professional at an agency, which is first how I became interested in this field.

For my capstone project, I pitched four ideas that were all variations of a topic within advertising. While none directly correlate with the paper I had written for my elective class or the writing I produced this summer, this work motivated me to pitch ideas in the same vein. After hearing feedback from my professor and classmates, I think I have a solid plan moving forward in my project. Ideally, I will walk viewers through an online site where I have created my own advertisement. It will begin with a client coming to an advertising agency and explaining what they are looking for, and it will end with the finished advertisement shared either online or in print – whichever works the best for my site. As of now, the only challenge I can see is with creating the advertisement. Since I have never created my own before from start to finish, I will need to do extensive research to make my capstone project the best it can be. I am looking forward to diving in.