Posts tagged ‘Zag IMC’

Zag’s One Year Anniversary

On May 11, 2009, Zag IMC officially opened its doors, operating with myself, four interns and three clients.

As GCG Marketing’s sister agency, Zag IMC was created to be a full-service, professionally managed integrated marketing communications agency that employs up-and-coming talent (a.k.a. interns) for the execution of various projects.

The purpose behind Zag was to have the opportunity to reach out to small and mid-size businesses, as well as non-profits in the DFW community, that have a need for marketing. In many cases, these types of businesses don’t have a need (or budget) for a traditional agency like GCG. However, we are able to offer competitive rates for these smaller businesses by relying on student talent to execute the work.

I like to think of Zag as an incubator of sorts, not only for our interns, but also for our clients. The goal is to have our interns become familiar with agency life and gain real-world experience that may later help them in choosing the best career path. As for clients, the basis of marketing is to grow a business. Theoretically then, if Zag does its job well, those clients will one day become GCG clients.

At the onset of creating the business plan we didn’t want to have a specific niche. For example, GCG Marketing has many accounts in the healthcare industry as well as in oil and gas. I must say though, we’ve tried very hard to maintain a diverse group of clients, and the primary reason behind that is to give our interns as much varied experience as possible.

In order to emphasize the diversification of our client base, I’d like to introduce a few of our clients: Equine Sports Medicine and Surgery, an equine hospital in Weatherford; McKinley’s Bakery and Café; DKJ Tool Grinding; Little Jack Horner’s, a furniture restoration/custom fabrication shop; Kincaid’s Hamburgers; ECX Team, an energy-commissioning company; A & D Pharma, a custom labeling firm and Chadra Mezza and Grill. All of our clients have been an absolute blessing due to their trust and readiness to try new things. We couldn’t have done it without them!

Now, a year later, we have grown into an agency, with more than 19 clients and nine interns, we are still chugging along and enjoying every minute.

Thank you GCG for giving us the space to learn and experience all of the amazing things this industry has to offer!

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06/02/2010 at 11:04 AM Leave a comment

A note for our readers

If you are one of our six regular readers, you might have noticed that the post count has been lacking lately, but we have an excuse. Fortunately for us, all of us here at Zag have been working our tails off on other projects. And as the Blog’s manager, there are some things I have to deal with outside of the office, like attempting to pass my classes so that I can actually graduate in 17 days. I digress.

Like we were saying, Zag has been busy, so unfortunately for you, the blog will enter a short hiatus. Don’t fret; we will be back in a few weeks, after things settle down.

On another, slightly somber note, Collin, Ligia and I will not be returning to Zag in the summer. Each of us will send our regards during the hiatus through X.Y.Zag and Facebook, so keep checking back here to see what we have to say about our experience at Zag.

After the hiatus, expect to see some fresh faces. The new staff, along with Elisa and Kelsey, will continue to update you, the reader/blog stalker, about the agency’s happenings as well as their own views on the marketing world around them.

I’ll go into more detail when it’s my turn to spill my guts, but I would like to say it’s been an honor to be a member of this staff, and I simply wish the best to the incoming Zag class.

04/22/2010 at 2:14 PM Leave a comment

Web Developer Needed

I am sad to say that this will be my last post at X.Y.Zag—starting next week, I will begin a new adventure in Houston. Because this is my last post, I thought it would be appropriate to write about my experiences at Zag IMC and encourage Web designers who are just starting out and looking for experience to try and join the Zag team.

When Zag first opened its doors in May, I presumed my time here would be spent in the stereotypical intern manner—fetching coffee, making copies, running errands, etc. I was caught off-guard when I came to my first day of work and immediately began working on our Web site. From that day on, I realized that Zag is a gold mine when it comes to internships.

To be honest, I wouldn’t even call this opportunity an internship; working at Zag gives you real-world experience first and foremost while also allowing you to learn in the process. A lot is expected of you, but you also have the opportunity to be guided by wonderful the people at GCG and Site Smart Interactive.

As an Interactive/Web Designer for Zag, I have developed seven Web sites. That’s seven Web sites for my portfolio, and that’s not including the many other projects I’ve worked on. When you are starting out in this business, that’s exactly what you need, experience and portfolio items. 

If you already know how to build basic Web sites and are looking for an opportunity to learn and grow, I encourage you to apply to Zag IMC. Working here has been one of the best experiences of my life. I cannot stress to you enough what a great opportunity this is and you’ll get a chance to work with fun, ambitious people who will only make you better.

Read the following job description and if you, or anybody you know, are interested, contact Kelsey Mize at 817-529-5558 or email us at hello@zagimc.com.

Looking for a hard-working, talented individual with an interest in Web design and development. Must be a junior- to senior-level student with all of the basic skill sets required for the Web (i.e. Adobe Dreamweaver and Flash, HTML, CSS, FTP, basic JavaScript, etc.). Will be responsible for outlining a Web site’s structural content, creating/editing images for Web use, determining all coding requirements for site creation, coding Web sites using HTML, posting completed Web sites to an internet server using FTP software, etc. You must be able to work a minimum of 15 hours per week. Please contact Kelsey Mize at 817-529-5558 with any questions.

 P.S. Become a fan of Zag IMC on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter.

03/23/2010 at 3:13 PM Leave a comment

Winning an ADDY: Crossing another goal off our list


Exactly eight months and 19 days ago, Zag IMC opened its doors. As one of the founding five, I remember all of us sitting down and writing out our goals for the agency. One thing that was said was, “We are winning an ADDY this year.” It was definitely a noble goal for an agency who (at the time) had no clients and the oldest member of the office was 22. Well, this past Saturday we achieved our goal by taking home a silver ADDY award for the full-page advertisement we designed for McKinley’s Fine Bakery and Café.

For those who haven’t been to the ADDY’s, there are no acceptance speeches because there are a lot of submission categories. And honestly, with how people in this business love to talk, we would still be there. With that said, here is a good idea of what I would’ve said if they did allow speeches:

In order to get this place off the ground, a lot of hard work had to be put in by everyone, so it’s nice to be recognized for that.

What was great about this particular project was how everyone seemed to have a hand in its creation. Alex created the concept and copy that we worked with; Ligia acted as our impromptu make up manager (and did quite well, that frosting didn’t want to stay on); I handled pretty much all logistics of putting our photo shoot together and Rolando designed the ad and modeled for it as well. However, if it wasn’t for our awesome leader Kelsey, I wouldn’t be writing this post, because none of what I described above would’ve happened.

As far as shout-outs go, the first and biggest has to be to our parent company GCG Marketing, whose patience and guidance have been absolutely invaluable to all of us. GCG did extremely well at the ADDY’s with 33 awards, so great job guys.

Second goes to Doug Mangold, who we jokingly refer to as our dad. Not only did he do the photography for the ad, he has never turned us away when we have asked him for help. Doug truly does put people like Chuck Norris and Bear Grylls to shame.

Third shout-out goes to the Fort Worth chapter of the American Advertising Federation. Thank you for your continued support of up-and-coming talent, and man you guys can throw a party.

I want to add one final shout-out to The Balcom Agency for coming up with the theme and accompanying creative for this year’s ADDY awards gala—it was great.

Now it’s time to get back to work and drum up (hopefully) more award-winning ideas.

03/02/2010 at 2:03 PM 1 comment

My first rodeo experience

It was off to the rodeo for me last night, and man was it fun! It was my first time there, and I was impressed. When I first walked in to the stands at Will Rogers Coliseum, it was dark, but loud, with the sound of the MC echoing throughout. It was a major production – there were lights, fireworks and even a woman from Canada doing a handstand on her horse as it trotted along.

I immediately wondered – where do they get the money to put on this show? Granted, our seats were $22 a piece, but then I realized sponsor logos were all over the place. XTO Energy, Lone Star Ag Credit (a GCG client), Justin Boots and Harris Methodist seemed to be the primary sponsors for the night. So, of course, I had to weigh the pros and cons of this marketing strategy, and I decided to share them with you.

1. Awareness, awareness, awareness! The amount of people that see and hear each company’s name is remarkable (I’m assuming the sponsors remain for the entire rodeo.)

2.  Targeted marketing – this one can be a pro and con because on one hand you’re able to reach your target market all in one place (i.e. Justin Boots and Lone Star Ag Credit), but on the other hand you could be spending a lot of money simply to be reaching one of your target markets (i.e. XTO Energy and Harris Methodist).

3. There is a lack of messaging for each company. Thankfully these four companies are Fort Worth-based or so widely known that key messaging isn’t really needed, but if another company were to come in and sponsor, people may not recognize it.

Those are just a few things I noticed from the rodeo last night. If you haven’t gone yet or just want to go again, go online and see the schedule of events at www.fwssr.com. Have fun!

01/26/2010 at 12:05 PM Leave a comment

Mad Men in the real world

Have you ever watched AMC’s Mad Men? Well, I hadn’t before last Thursday night, but I’m definitely going to get it programmed into my DVR now. I had the opportunity to meet Matthew Weiner, the show’s creator, executive producer and head writer at an AAF event last week.

Mad Men is set in New York during the 1960s and follows the lives of “the ruthlessly competitive men and women of Madison Avenue advertising, an ego-driven world where key players make an art of the sell.”

The series recently won a Golden Globe and has a stable of stars, including Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss and John Slattery.

After listening to Weiner speak, I realized just how important, and similar, the creative process is in both the advertising and television. Weiner talked about how he gets his story ideas — it was simply through the experiences he and colleagues have in the world around them. That process is surprisingly familiar as I watch our graphic designers and copywriters come up with ideas.

I also caught another fascinating comment Weiner made — he said the TV show was more about life in general than it was advertising. I realized that, just like advertising, the message is 100 percent in the eye of the beholder. When one person sees one thing, another can see the exact opposite. That’s one of those anomalies that make advertising such an interesting industry – you’re always trying to send out a message that you hope at least one person will actually get.

Thanks Matthew for coming to Fort Worth. It was a real pleasure.

01/21/2010 at 5:02 PM Leave a comment

The future starts now?

Christmas has come and gone, so now it’s time to take our focus off Santa and Christmas lights and turn it towards confetti and falling disco balls.

However this December 31st, we will welcome in not only a new year, but a new decade — anyone who tells me the new decade doesn’t start until 2011 needs to be welcomed to the real world. This got me wondering how close are we to the future we have seen in the movies – more specifically, in regards to advertising. Filmmakers have given us plenty of examples of how they view the future of advertising, but how close are they? Lets take a look.

1) Back to the Future Part II – Jaws 19 holograph

You couldn’t possibly expect me to write about the future without including Marty McFly’s trip to 2015. In this future full of hoverboards, power laces and yet to be discovered Elijah Woods, Marty stumbles upon an interactive ad for Jaws 19. The shark rises from the marquee, music and all, and takes a harmless swipe at McFly (to his horror).

While I love this bit, I don’t see this trend really catching on. Movie marketing is using the Internet and guerilla tactics to set themselves apart today. Plus the holographic route seems a little 1980’s to me.

2) A.I. Artificial Intelligence/Children of Men – Motion billboards

The audience only gets a quick glimpse of the future of ads; you really have to look for it but I promise it’s there. The outdoor ads in these movies stood out to me because none of them were static. Billboards, bus wraps, you name it, it’s going to be moving.

This is actually not a far-fetched idea at all. With more billboards going digital and the introduction of “electric ink” that can move, it seems only a matter of time before moving ads are a reality.

3) Minority Report – Interactive and Customized ads

In order to make the movie more realistic, director Steven Spielberg brought together a “think-tank” comprised of MIT students and asked them to imagine what advertising would be like in 2054. Furthering the whole “people from MIT are smart” theory, the group was able to produce some very good ideas.

The ads in Minority Report would either be able to recognize you personally and identify your consumer patterns or they had the ability to be manipulated by the user. We are actually seeing this from cell phone newcomer Droid, which set up an interactive ad that can be controlled by anyone who has the ability to touch a screen. Overall, I think this movie did the best job in seeing the trend of marketing to the individual a good five years before it really took off.

4) Lots of movies – Using TV spots

Be it Robocop’s attempt to sell Sunblock 5000 or I, Robot’s commercial for the new robot models, apparently TV is still the best route to take as far as advertising goes in the future.

While it still holds sway, TV is definitely NOT getting more popular as an advertising medium. For a perfect example, take a look at Pepsi. They just recently announced they will not feature an ad in the upcoming Super Bowl– to put a little context on that, they have ran Super Bowl ads for the last 23 years . If that’s not a trend, I don’t know what is.

12/28/2009 at 4:12 PM Leave a comment

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