My Top 3 Super Bowl Ads

Doritos: The Best Part

While the Doritos: House Sitting ad was very good, there was something about this one that just made me laugh. Perhaps it was the absurdity of it all? As a person who licks the bottom of her ice cream bowl when no one's looking, I could certainly relate.

Volkswagon: The Force

Maybe it's just because I'm dating a geek, but I thought this ad was adorable as well as effective. My boyfriend doesn't care much for advertising, but the sometime in the next 5-10 years Dad related to this ad. And so did I.

Chrysler: Imported From Detroit

What a wonderful ad for Detroit, and Chrysler, too. Even though I've never been to Detroit, I've had a tendency to view it as a broken, blue collar city with a high crime rate. That said, you have to admire the pride that this ad inspires. If I was in the market for a car, it would make me take a look at Chrysler. And it certainly made me hope for Detroit.

Honorable Mentions:
NFL Super Bowl Celebration
Pepsi: Love Hurts

This past Thursday I returned from my first and one of the biggest trade shows: SEMA. SEMA, otherwise known as the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association, is held each year in Las Vegas. As the biggest show for the auto aftermarket industry, I have helped clients prepare but have never been able to attend.

Getting ready for the show was a bit stressful as I wasn’t sure how to pack or what to expect. I’m here to pass on my wisdom (little as it may be), so you can be a bit more prepared for your first trade show.

  1. Bring a backpack or some type of bag on wheels
    I thought I was covered by bringing a large purse that could hold my laptop. I was wrong. When you’re at a trade show you’ll likely need to carry your laptop, laptop charger, cell and cell charger, briefing binder, print outs, etc. No matter how big the purse, you’ll want to have something else with you, if for no other reason than to save your shoulders.

  2. Bring appropriate colored tennis shoes
    We were told to wear black shoes in our booth. I brought a pair of black flats that I survived in, but when you’re standing for eight or more hours a day tennis shoes are your safest bet. Don’t worry if they don’t go the best with your outfit. Everyone who’s been to a trade show knows the drill, and they won’t think you’re underdressed.

  3. Always carry water
    Perhaps part of it was Vegas, but those huge convention halls are really dry. Add that to the fact that you’ll be doing a lot more talking than you’re used to, and you’re bound to get a bit horse. You probably won’t be allowed to eat and drink in the booth, but having a bottle of water stashed in your backpack will allow you to sneak a drink every so often. Trust me, it helps.

  4. Keep your cell phone charger with you, you never know when you’ll get a chance to plug in
    There are a lot of logistics to keep track of while you’re on the floor. Chances are you’ll be using your phone. A lot. If you have an iPhone like me, you know how fast the battery drains. Always bring your charger. There will most likely be somewhere in the booth where you can plug-in for a couple minutes. If you can’t find an outlet, you can always use your laptop.

  5. When in doubt, fly in a day early
    Originally I was going to fly in the afternoon before the show started. I’m really glad we decided to fly in a night earlier. There are always last minute adjustments and fires to put out, and it’s better to have extra time as opposed to running around like crazy the first day of the show.

  6. Ship everything to the business center and keep your tracking numbers!
    Not only will this save you tons of money in bag fees at the airport, but it makes things so much easier! If you’re staying at a hotel that deals with conventions they will be well equipped to handle last minute requests and packages. Just remember to keep your tracking numbers in case something goes wrong. It will also help you check off your list, to make sure you’ve received everything.

  7. Do whatever you can to print out materials in advance
    This is something I could have done a better job of. There’s nothing worse than running to the business center at 8 a.m. to e-mail and print off 50 copies of your news release 30 minutes before your press conference. Save yourself the headache, and try to do as much of that as possible at the office. Remember, you can always ship it to the hotel.

  8. Bring transitional clothing
    One of the hardest parts was figuring out what to pack. My advice: pack clothing that you can mix and match. You need to be able to go from work to client dinner to drinks pretty seamlessly. When in doubt, a lot of black pieces are always a safe bet. And, of course, it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.

  9. Have fun, but not too much fun
    You’re in Vegas, baby, or some other fun city. You should try to go out and enjoy it. Chances are you’ll probably be taking clients out at least one night. Have fun, but keep it professional and don’t overdo it with drinks. Some people will tell you not to drink at all. I think that’s silly. By now you’re a grown up. You know your limits and when you’re feeling tipsy. Pace yourself and stop drinking if you think you’re getting to the breaking point. There’s no shame in ordering a diet Coke. It’s OK for a client to show up hung over the next day. It’s not OK for you.

  10. Sleep as much as possible
    From my experience, there’s one thing missing from trade shows. Sleep. You have to wake up early in the morning, stay on your feet all day and often don’t get to bed until late. So, if you have an opportunity to go to bed at a reasonable hour, take it. You’ll thank yourself as the week wears on.

That’s it. Good luck! And happy trade show going.

Why, hello there. It's been awhile. A lot has happened since we last spoke. In the last couple of months I have moved to Chicago, started a new job and sold my car. The change has been fantastic.

Don't get me wrong, I was leading a good life in Milwaukee, but I was beginning to feel stagnant. Now, I didn't exactly sell all my worldly possessions and move half way around the world, but I think we can all agree that I've had an exciting couple of months.

This brings me to the topic of this post. While all of these changes have been wonderful, it has left me with much less time to focus on other things like this blog and even, gasp!, Twitter.

You see, now that I've made these changes, I want to take some time to revel in them. I want to concentrate on my new position, explore the city and spend some time with friends I haven't seen much of the last couple of years.

I hope you'll forgive me while I'm away. My intent is to start blogging regularly again in the summer. However, that is not to say that I won't post throughout the year when the mood strikes.

Here's hoping you're able to tell me about your own big life changes the next time we chat.


I came across a very interesting piece of travel-related information via my Twitter feed this morning. While most airlines have been making drastic cuts and passing many costs to consumers, it appears Spirit Airlines is taking it to a whole new level.

According to Travel + Leisure, Spirit Airlines began charging $45 for carry-on bags Aug. 1. Yikes. How much do they charge to check? But wait, it gets worse. The airline is also considering charging customers to talk to a Spirit Airlines employee at the check-in counter.

I hope Spirit Airlines does not decide to move forward with this idea. While more and more people are becoming increasingly comfortable with technology and operating self-check kiosks at grocery stores and airports, there is still a need for face-to-face interaction.

What happens if your check-in kiosk breaks down or malfunctions? Will you still have to pay an outrageous fee to talk to someone behind the counter?

While technology can certainly be very helpful and speedy nothing can replace a quality employee. Strong, positive interactions between Spirit Airlines’ employees and customers will help strengthen the brand and keep it from becoming a faceless, low-budget airline.

What are your thoughts? Is Spirit Airlines simply adjusting to the new economic climate? Or are they damaging their brand and reputation by being ballsy enough to charge people for talking to them?

In an effort to keep this blog updated more regularly, I have decided to share insightful and relevant content from other sites from time to time. Let me know if you like it, love it or think I'm a cop-out for not writing all my own content.

Today Mashable posted one of the best case studies I've seen about the Old Spice campaign. (Hey, maybe this blog post will get me my own Old Spice video!)

So here it is: The Old Spice Social Media Campaign by the Numbers.


Facebook: Then and Now

Remember when Facebook was hip and cool? When only you and your 10 best college friends from that Fourth of July kegger had access? Yeah, me too...

Video is courtesy of AgencySpy.

A link to the article I wrote for the latest Boelter + Lincoln newsletter. Keep in mind that this piece was written for Milwaukee area businesses that have varying levels of social media knowledge. Enjoy.

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