National Student Advertising Competition: Mary Kay

Each year, the American Advertising Federation sponsors the National Student Advertising Competition. A corporate sponsor provides a case study and students across the country pitch an integrated communications campaign to the client.

For the 2014 NSAC, I worked with a group of 26 students and served on the strategy team. The strategy team worked day and night to understand the target consumer’s perceptions of beauty, Mary Kay, and the Mary Kay selling model. We synthesized our research into a creative brief and big idea that set the tone for creative, media strategy, and brand activation.

I worked with another team member to conduct an ethnographic study. We used a five-day beauty journal to understand the target consumer’s attitudes towards Mary Kay before and after sampling the product.

We developed a 27 page plan book and 20 minute pitch presentation for representatives of Mary Kay and New York advertising agencies. Screenshots of the research section of the plan book, which was designed by the production team, are below.

Research Overview

Perceptions of Beauty Perceptions of Mary Kay Perceptions of IBCs Meet the Redefiners The Big Idea


03. May 2014 by Leonard Slutsky
Categories: classwork, experience | Leave a comment

My Los Angeles Discoveries

View of Los Angeles from behind the Hollywood SignBefore I studied away in Los Angeles, my friends shared their LA bucket lists, which were helpful in shaping my trip. After living in the city for 4 months, I’ve put together my own practical guide to travel, TV tapings, things to do, and places to eat. I hope you find this helpful while planning your semester.

Did I forget something? Leave a comment below. Things may have changed, so please check before traveling and please let me know if you have any questions or updates. Continue Reading →

24. December 2013 by Leonard Slutsky
Categories: internships, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 comments

Recognition from The Advertising Club of New York

Leonard Slutsky and Steve Pacheco at the Dream Hotel in New York

I was delighted to learn that I was chosen for the Steve Pacheco scholarship from The Advertising Club of New York. Pacheco (Director of Advertising at FedEx) was named Advertising Person of the Year and this scholarship was presented at the award ceremony in his honor.

Before the ceremony, Pacheco spoke with a small group of young professionals. I enjoyed learning about his vision (to be creative, inspiring, and generous) and what he looks for in prospective hires (big brains, serious talent, unparalleled passion, and constant curiosity). Following the conversation was next was the networking portion of the evening. It was thrilling to meet and connect with professionals across the advertising spectrum in New York. I hope to participate in more Ad Club programs in the future.

21. November 2013 by Leonard Slutsky
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A Different Trailer Park

As part of my semester away in Los Angeles, I am interning in Trailer Park. It’s not a gathering of mobile homes–it’s the Hollywood-based entertainment marketing and content agency for entertainment studios, networks, an brands. To help win new business, I dive deep into target audiences and competitive industries. Furthermore, As a member of the integrated planning team, I also support work for clients in the digital space.

Trailer Park



29. September 2013 by Leonard Slutsky
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Hooray for Hollywood!

Hollywood Sign

I am spending the fall semester in Los Angeles for the Ithaca College LA program. On Tuesday, we climbed Mount Lee to see the Hollywood Sign (see picture above) and last night we sat in on the taping of NBC’s Undatable at Warner Brother Studios. I’ll post another update once I secure an internship, but please let me know if you have any advice for my time in California!

22. August 2013 by Leonard Slutsky
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My Summer at Weber Shandwick Southwest

Big Things are Happening in Dallas

They say big things are happening in Dallas.

In June, I relocated to Dallas, Texas for an internship in the Weber Shandwick Southwest digital practice. So far, I have worked on the American Airlines, Radio Shack, Big Ten Conference, Essilor of America, and new business accounts. I also published two articles on the company blog.

13. July 2013 by Leonard Slutsky
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Point of View: Instagram Video

Instagram video is an opportunity for brands to share stories through a new lens. As part of my internship at Weber Shandwick Southwest, I shared some best practices on their blog.

Content should be creative and brands should be willing to take risks. Instead of repurposing 15-second TV ads for the Instagram platform, brands should develop content that exemplifies the strengths of the platform.

Read the full article >> 

28. June 2013 by Leonard Slutsky
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Point of View: Brands on Snapchat

Is there a place for brands on Snapchat? As part of my internship at Weber Shandwick Southwest, I explored that question on their blog.

Snapchat is a smartphone application that allows users to share pictures and short videos, called “snaps,” that self-destructs after 10 seconds. A few brands have experimented with Snapchat to preview new products and share coupons. Brands should use caution when sharing content on Snapchat because it is perceived as a personal social network.

Read the full article >>

27. June 2013 by Leonard Slutsky
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4.5 hours to design an app for social good

Can a mobile app educate people about the global food crisis?  In the course of only a few hours, I worked with a team of two others to conceptualize an answer to that question.

The theme for this year’s Media for Social Responsibility Mini Course was the global food crisis. The course began with a keynote presentation from Joy Bauer, the nutrition consultant for NBC’s The Today Show. The course continued with live Skype case studies from industry experts, including the President of the Food Network, a public policy professor at Cornell University, the Director of Consumer Safety for Consumer Union, the North America Chief Spokesperson for the World Food Programme, and the author of The Coming Famine.

The course ended with the challenge: to come up with a comprehensive app idea with a team of people I didn’t know in 4.5 hours. At the end of the challenge, we had 5 minutes to pitch our idea to a group of app developers and food experts.

Our app idea, named APPetite, has two functions: to gamify eating healthy through a social network, and to educate users about the global impact of their diet. The app encourages users to eat less meat, eat more at home, and buy locally.

We identified a target demographic that includes people 20-30, mostly college students and recent graduates. Our research showed that these people want to eat inexpensive, healthy, and convenient food, but sometimes have trouble doing so. Perhaps they do not have much cooking experience or have developed poor eating habits in college.

I (quickly) designed wireframes using Balsamiq, which you can see in the slides.

After all of the groups presented, we learned that our app won the idea competition. One judge said, I love the ‘did you know’ comparisons–it gives the user something to talk about with his/her peers. I like the badges concept very very much.”

25. April 2013 by Leonard Slutsky
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Giving away free books

In partnership with World Book Night US, I gave away 20 copies of Tina Fey’s biography Bossypants to students at Ithaca College on April 23. For World Book Night, thousands of volunteers distribute half a million free books. Volunteers choose a title from a list of 32 books, pick up the special edition books from a local bookstore, and distribute the books to light and non-readers. I chose Bossypants because I thought students in the Park School of Communication would find Fey’s story inspiring.

The giveaway went very well–and I’m looking forward to volunteering again next year. Thanks to Dave Cameron for telling me about this organization.

Bossypants by Tina Fey

24. April 2013 by Leonard Slutsky
Categories: community service | Leave a comment

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