Agency brief: Pomp, circumstance and unasked for advice

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Graduation / commencement speeches
Graduation / commencement speeches Credit: Pexels

It's graduation season, and you know what that means: Bombarding every early twentysomething you can find with unsolicited career advice!

But today, dear agency readers, I'm pitching that advice over to you.

I got in the graduation mood this week watching a friend's ceremony at Columbia Journalism School, where Ira Glass gave a commencement address that was so Ira Glass.

He said he wasn't going to give advice. But then, of course, he did. And as corny as it is, it's always energizing to hear great advice about starting your career—even if that career is in full swing.

"It's traditional in this sort of speech to give advice. I will not do that," he said. "Except this: amuse yourself. ... Everything will be better if you're out for your own pleasure. Noticing what you're actually truly interested in, and curious about, and making your work about that."

Translates well to advertising, doesn't it?

Ed Mitzen, founder of Fingerpaint Marketing, whose son just graduated college and hopes to go into the ad industry, had some other advice for youngsters getting into the industry. My favorites: "Don't be afraid to say, 'I don't know—but I'll get you an answer ASAP.' It's OK (and often smart) to not have all the answers. It's not OK to not seek them." And, "if someone is being an ass, chances are it's them, not you. Don't take anything personally."

I also dug into the Ad Age archives and found some solid graduation advice from McKinney Chief Creative Officer Jonathan Cude: "Go in knowing it's going to be hard. That's the secret. And it's OK. There's going to be some pain, some rejection, some fear. We're human. It doesn't mean it isn't going to be fun, exciting and triumphant, too.

"But those who become jaded and negative, in my experience, have a hard time accepting that there's going to be some serious gut-checking in the course of this business."

OK, graduates, now time for this week's agency news.

It's On Us
Mekanism worked with the "It's on Us" campaign to create a 30-second video that illustrates a conversation between friends about a drunken sexual encounter. In it, one friend types and deletes messages like, "hooking up with that girl was messed up" or "that was sexual assault or whatever" or "you guys are part of the problem." The end of the video includes former VP Joe Biden, who calls on listeners to confront acquaintances who engage in sexual activities with someone who doesn't or can't consent.

They mowed down the competition
John Deere has named Greenville, South Carolina-based EP+Co as its new agency of record for its consumer equipment business, including brand, strategy, creative, content and social. John Deere plans an integrated brand campaign in 2019, with EP+Co helping to "adapt current work" for the rest of 2018.

On the move…
WPP-owned digital agency Wunderman announced today that Helder Santo has joined as president of its flagship New York office. Santo, who begins officially on June 18, will report to Seth Solomons, CEO of Wunderman North America. He was previously a VP and group managing director at R/GA. Santo replaces Jamie Gallo, who had been president of Wunderman New York since 2014 and who the company says left to pursue other opportunities.

The Marketing Store has hired Brian Barthelt as its managing director for U.S. Retail, responsible for leading strategic vision and management specifically for the McDonald's brand. He was previously a general manager of in-store digital at DCI Artform and SVP and director of digital technology at Leo Burnett/Arc, the company said.

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