Seattle Part 3 - Wong Doody

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

This last week I went on a school sponsored internship trip to Seattle to visit companies in the area. We visited a wide range of companies that work in Advertising, PR, and Digital Filmmaking. Over the next days I am going to spotlight each company we went to and what I learned from them.

Photo courtesy of Sheldon Photography
Wong Doody was the first advertising agency that we went to on the trip. I knew they meant business when we walked in their conference room and saw a table filled with trophies. I made sure to pay attention to what they had to say.

One of the creative directors came in and began to explain how Wong Doody does advertising. The first thing he told us that we needed to know about advertising and design was:

*"Mess it up or get out of the way"

He explained what he meant by that. He showed us a campaign that Wong Doody did for the Seattle Sonics.

They decided to make a campaign based on old 80's "fire sales." Instead of making sure it looked good they decided to make it look as bad as they could. This included getting old software and computers in order to get the graphics they wanted. When you look at it you can understand what he meant by mess it up.

Another campaign they did was for WGU Washington. For this campaign they wanted to make sure that everybody knew that WGN Washington was Washington's only state-endorsed all online non profit school. For that they wanted to show an ad that explained that and also focused that they didn't spend a lot of their students money on advertising. So they put up a billboard in the middle of the state and and filmed it for 30 seconds and said exactly that. This was their example of getting out of the way.

Overall Wong Doody was a great place to visit and I was able to learn about advertising and design.

Key Points I learned from Wong Doody

  • Don't get your hand prints on the advertising
  • Run away from your comfort zone
  • Whichever way you go - commit to it
  • Think strategically and with a different perspective than everybody else
  • Our job is to make the client uncomfortable with our crazy idea and then make a bridge so they come over and join our ideas
  • *Mess it up or get out of the way
*The actual phrase was f*** it up or get the f*** out of the way but was changed on this blog.


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