This morning we didn’t have to meet in the lobby until 11:15AM so I let my roommates sleep in and I piddled around the hotel room and made a quick exploratory run to the corner market to get an apple – pretty adventurous if I say so myself. We met in the lobby at the appointed time and set off for the “Manhattan Penthouse” to watch the student client pitch competition. This year’s client for the OneShow student competition was City Harvest, a non-profit organization devoted to feeding NYC’s hungry. My professor had made the decision not to require us to participate because the client’s specific location meant that New York schools had an upper-hand (they could take photos of the city, meet with the client, etc.). Despite our lack of participation in the competition, we decided to watch part of the pitch to get a feel for it. Basically, the schools involved had to present their campaign to a panel of judges, pitching to them. The winner was chosen based on how successfully they presented the campaign and not necessarily on how good their ideas were. We stayed for the first three, which were okay. UT’s campaign idea was pretty solid, though their presentation skills needed some work. It was basically like the ad-world’s Toast Masters.
Leaving the Penthouse (it was the 17th floor) and we discovered that New Yorkers insist on cramming as many people as possible inside of their elevators. We almost stopped on every floor and each time we’d tell them we didn’t have room and the person decided to prove us wrong… which they did because we ended up nearly flush against the wall by the time we arrived in the lobby. I felt like a sardine. We had a good laugh about it afterward.
From there we had a break for lunch and then went to the Art Director’s Club to see the display of their student competition (which we actually did enter) for Popcorn, Indiana popcorn. Once again, we knew none of us were finalists but we just wanted to see who had actually one. Having produced nearly 15 different campaigns for the product I was interested to know what a winning one looked like. Turned out that only one – ONE – print campaign won. And it wasn’t anything spectacular at all. Also, the commercials that won were really cheesy and kitschy. Oh well, judges (and clients) are confusing sometimes.
After looking at the rest of the stuff the Art Director’s Club had on display, were were given four hours to do with what we wanted, so I took my friends on a subway ride uptown where we visited FAO Shwartz and walked through Central Park. It was the first time I had really taken the time to walk through the park and it was a gorgeous day. We walked for a half hour only to discover we had barely walked a third of the way from one end to the other. That park is HUGE. So we walked back and took the subway to the area near our hotel where we grabbed a quick bite and then headed back toward the Penthouse for the student award ceremony/party. Once again, the awards were for campaigns for City Harvest and thus we were not directly involved, although it was cool to see some of the stuff the other schools produced. There’s this kind of unspoken feud between university advertising programs and portfolio schools (see Miami Ad School and Creative Circus for examples) and mostly we like to pick the ad school stuff apart – or at least I do. Anyway, it was an interesting event to say the least. They spent all their budget on location and booze instead of chairs. Well, I’m sure they didn’t, but that’s what I’d like to think since there was more alcohol than furniture. The host was a hoot though. Apparently he was semi-famous and looked a little like Russel Brand (same crazy hair). I stayed for the pre-party and part of the ceremony, then left to head back to the hotel where I am sitting cozily in my bed.
Tomorrow is my last day and I’m looking forward to it – because of the itinerary and the fact that it means I’m almost home. It’s not that I’m home sick (amazingly I’m not at all), I’m just ready to get out of the city and back into my routine. New York is a truly amazing city but I don’t think I could ever live here or, if I did, at least not for very long. I’m also ready to be alone. I realized today that the only time I’m ever alone is in the mornings since I wake up two hours before everyone else (don’t make fun). Sometimes I forget how precious my alone-time is and how much I need it to recharge. That being said, I really have enjoyed my time here though and I am definitely glad that I could come – I’ve learned a lot about my strengths and weaknesses copywriting-wise and got a better idea of what I want from an advertising career in the future. Tomorrow we visit three agencies – Walrus, Ogilvy, and R/GA – I get to see a Broadway show courtesy of Nana, and I get to see my lovely friend Dyana in her homeland. I’m looking forward to it!