Author Archives: daniellesutphen

Traditional Media: Remixed

Within our ever changing media world it is a challenge sometimes to keep up with the latest advertising platforms. It seems as if every week there is a new app, digital medium etc. to research, digest and see if it would best fit your client. This is an exciting time for buyers, slowly going are the days of traditional mediums across all buys. However, our traditional mediums are still relevant, successful and used in my day to day buying. With the amount of traditional buying that is still done we have to think of different ways to” beef up”, for example, a radio buy and really think about our audiences’ behaviors and how they are changing and consuming advertisements.

I recently read an article called, Why Marketers Need To Rethink Radio Audiences Now. The article really spoke more to the tasks I do daily for our clients. I still spend most of my time carefully creating TV, Radio and Print buys. However, we are constantly looking for ways to connect not only with our audience through a :60 radio spot but adding elements to “beef up” that spot and make it become more interactive since we live in a world where people are constantly moving and interacting.

In this article the author references how successful Dunkin’ Donuts was with a recent campaign that wanted to promote ticket giveaways for its “Caught Cold” concert series. They wanted to use radio and knew from research who, how and when they wanted to target them. However, it was not just: 60 radio spots but included a call to action from their DJ’s to utitlize DD’s website, play a game and enter to win tickets to one of the five concerts. Pre-roll promotional video, announcements via social media and call-to-action banner ads helped with the promotion. At the concert, there were many other assets that promoted the “Caught Cold” product.

With all of these elements that gave “legs” to their radio spot the campaign was an enormous success. The point is, in order to truly engage your radio audiences today we need to use those loyal listeners to then move between media — posting on Facebook, checking email, uploading photos to Instagram or Pinterest, and utilizing their cell phones. In conclusion clients that want to reach and engage their particular audience need to be all of these places.


Media Spotlight: Danielle Sutphen, Junior Media Buyer

Head shotEditor’s note: “Media Spotlight” is an ongoing series where we interview the wide range of professionals that make up our growing office. From the traditional media planners to our digital buyers, you’ll gain insight into the many levels that make up Media Works Ltd. This week we interview Junior Media Buyer, Danielle Sutphen.

Q: How long have you been working in media/ advertising?

After graduating from Towson with a Mass Communications degree I worked in the event production world for about a year and a half. Upon leaving there I took some time and figured out my next move. After spending a year in Thailand teaching English I came back to discover through a friend that Media Works was looking for someone to fulfill an assistant position. I knew this sounded like a good fit for me and quickly jumped on the opportunity to come in and interview. I am so happy I did because know I have learned and continue to learn so much about the media buying world!

Q: Can you describe a day in your life at Media Works?

When trying to describe my day to someone I find it hard to just make the explanation short. Our days are always different with new challenges around every corner. Some days I may be working on radio, cable or TV buys and the next could be a day of planning or brainstorming meetings. The fast pace and ever changing environment keeps my days and weeks interesting and exciting and pushes me to work harder and learn as much as I can.

Q: What are some of the challenges of your position?

As I stated above there isn’t a day or an account that is the same. Everything we work on is different and this means that you need to be ready to switch gears at any time. Learning each account and the processes takes time but it so important for the happiness of the client. Making sure that you are on top of everything can be challenging and difficult at times but in the end makes your life so much easier. When a new challenge arises, you are ready for it.

Q: What’s your all-time favorite ad campaign? What made it special?

One of my favorite ad campaigns is more recent. The ads are for the new Microsoft Surface computers. The advertisement has always caught my attention with its catchy music, colors and choreographed dancers. I love how they start the music off with the “click” sound of the computer and the musical domino effect it has from that point on. They have taken the ad to different locations and situations such as a board room and I am always excited to see the new dance routines that are put together.

Q: What advice would you offer to someone looking to get into the advertising industry?

For someone looking to get into the industry I would suggest to learn as much as you can about the digital advertising world. Traditional advertising dollars are slowly being allocated to new ways of advertising such as Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, Spotify etc. The more you know about these vehicles the further ahead you will be when accepting a position within an agency.

Q: What’s something that no one knows about you?

While spending my year abroad in Thailand it was quickly discovered that we would be dining on many different cuisines. To our surprise carts of fried insects were a common, cheap and a quick snack for Thai people. So, in the mindset of “When in Rome” my friends and I decided we might as well give it a try and purchased some insect snacks. I have to admit with a squirt of soy sauce they really aren’t all that bad!

Travel Tuesday: Southeast Asia

Where in the world has Media Works been?

This Travel Tuesday, Danielle is personally taking you across the world to Southeast Asia!

Just over a year has passed since I spent 12 months living and working in Bangkok, Thailand and ultimately loving what is often called, “The Land of Smiles.” During my time abroad I worked as an English teacher at an all-boys private school. This was by far one of the most exciting, challenging, and unforgettable experiences of my life. Not only did I explore Thailand, but also traveled to other “exotic” destinations such as Vietnam and Laos. If you ever get the chance to travel to Southeast Asia, below are some “must-see” places and things to do. I encourage everyone to visit these unbelievable countries at least once in their lifetime.

Bangkok, Thailand

There was nothing that could have prepared me for my travels onto the streets of Bangkok. The city is constantly buzzing and much like New York City, it appears as if it never sleeps. Street vendors line the sidewalks, all cooking and selling authentic Thai dishes. Cabs, buses, cars, motorbikes or “motos”, and tuk-tuks (open air trucks) zip in and out of traffic. The sights, smells, and sounds are all intoxicating and grab your attention. Bangkok is full of culture and history that the locals are proud of and often celebrate. Below is a picture of a “Wat” or temple that we visited on one of our days of exploring through the city.

Another high traffic area of Bangkok is Khao San Road, also known as the “Backpackers Road”. You may recognize this name if you have seen the movie “The Beach”, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. This area is a central hub for travelers who are exploring South East Asia. Whether you are just passing through, or staying for months, you won’t be disappointed. The street is lined with vendors selling everything from knock-off Ray Ban sunglasses to edible scorpions, which is not advised for consumption. There are guest houses everywhere you turn with the friendliest Thai people ready and willing to accommodate you. Travel agencies are eager to book an exciting adventure worth every “baht” (Thai currency). Below is a look at one of the many street performers on Khao San Road.

Chang Mai, Thailand

This northern part of Thailand is quiet with breathtaking landscapes. Rice fields go on for what seems like forever and although it is just a days’ worth of traveling from Bangkok, its feels as if you have been transported to another land. While there, we stayed at a B&B called “The Secret Garden”, which was the perfect place to relax. The streets are quiet with many people traveling on bikes. The open air markets offer many opportunities to try new foods as well as purchase interesting souvenirs. Chang Mai is best known for their love and care for Elephants, which is the symbol of the nation. While there I was lucky enough to visit an Elephant Conservation Center. At the center we spent time getting to know the elephants by training, riding, and even bathing them at the end of the day. It was an exciting and unforgettable experience!

Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

If you’re looking for paradise, this may just be it! Located amongst the Southern Islands of Thailand, the beauty of this island is magnificent. Easy to travel to and from Bangkok either by bus, plane, or train, it was well worth the trip. With crystal blue waters, tropical huts, white sands and pure tranquility, this location must be added to your bucket list. We were fortunate enough to spend two weeks there and every moment was memorable. Most days were often spent on the beach, swimming, snorkeling, sun-bathing. The nights were filled with beach parties going into the early morning hours. As mentioned above, “The Beach” was filmed at this location and probably gave Maya Bay its notoriety. It has become quite the tourist spot but still has not lost its beauty.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

October of 2010 was a month I spent traveling up the coast of Vietnam. We began our travels into Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city in Vietnam. Only spending a few days there we decided to go sight see and explore. We visited the Vietnam War Museum which gave us look into another view of our history. The exhibits were extremely moving and emotional. We also booked a trip to take a river boat down the Mekong Delta, which has so much history it was an eye-opening experience. We then visited Vietnamese communities that live along the river selling unique jewelry, pottery, and food. Eventually we took a bike tour and then also a guided tour through the small canals in what could be described as a canoe.

Hanoi, Vietnam

Working our way north up the coast we stopped in Hanoi. This was much like the others cities we had seen, but our main reason to visit Hanoi was the chance to see Halong Bay. While researching what to do we constantly heard of the “Junk Boat” tour. After purchasing tickets we set off for a 2 day/3 night tour of Halong Bay. The bay was just as stunning as we had been told. We spent one night on the boat and the second night on an island in the middle of the bay called, “Castaway Island”. With no running water or electricity this was a jarring experience. Days were spent swimming, canoeing and boating. Niight swimming offered the chance to watch the water light up with glowing plankton. This is a sight I will never forget!

Fun Fact: The topography of Halong Bay was used to help James Cameron create the land of Avatar.

So Long 2011, Hello 2012!


With 2011 swiftly coming to a close I thought it would be an appropriate time to look back on a few trends of the year within our world of media.  While reading multiple articles on what was “hot” during the past 12 months it was often mentioned that 2011 was not a year of brand new innovations but a year of which these innovations grew and improved.

Social media has been gaining popularity for some time now. People of all ages are learning to utilize this form of communication and are waiting for what popular sites such a Facebook and Twitter will do next. How are they going to improve, what are they going to change and how will they impress us, yet again? Social media sites aren’t just about getting in touch with your long lost friend from Elementary school; they are being used for so much more, personally and professionally. Businesses not only have their own personal webpage but now also have a Facebook page, a Twitter account and a Linked In profile. Today, not embracing all of these forms of media outlets puts you behind the rest.

Another trend that also helped people become even more “connected” was the rise in the popularity of tablets. The days of sitting idle at a computer are gone and the mobile tablet has begun to take over. A person can connect to the world of media just about anywhere now. The tablets have allowed people to freely connect and communicate in all sorts of places and it is not just adults who have enthusiastically embraced them. Amazingly enough I have witnessed children as young as 3 years old navigate their way around an iPad better than I can.

Nevertheless, 2012 will be here within a few short weeks and with that comes more ideas, trends, and people who are set out to invent the next big thing. The possibilities seem to be endless and I know that I can’t wait to see what will be the “it” trends of the coming year.

Wacky Weather VS. Work Week

For most Marylanders weather is not an issue until the first big snowfall when Mother Nature dictates when and if you can make it to work. Everyone is prepared, they stock up on all the essentials i.e. Toilet paper, water, your favorite snacks and possibly your favorite alcoholic beverage, just to make your hibernation a bit more enjoyable and then you wait it out. This could range from an inch of snow to a foot but any way you cut we always handle the situation the same way. However, within the past month we have been visited by Mother Nature in a different form and although we have tried to prepare as best we can there seems to be surprises with each new day.

Within the past three weeks we have experienced an earthquake (a first for many), Hurricane Irene and now massive amounts of rain resulting in some serious flooding across Maryland. Now, as much as we all prepared in the fashion as mentioned above for our good friend Irene we could not have predicted the inconveniences she would cause the following week. The start of the 2011 school year began two to three days later than scheduled. While exciting for students and teachers trying to hold on to the last days of summer this couldn’t have inconvenienced parents schedules more. Within the workplace many went without power and internet and in today’s working world that is like heading to the pool to find it is empty. Many were left with work to be done but minimal ways to accomplish it.

Just as everyone was recovering from Irene we have been hit yet again with another weather surprise. We have all seen rain but normally not rain that hinders our daily travels. Getting to and from work has now become a well thought out plan, laying out your route in order to make it to your destination on time. People have been watching hourly to track the heaviest times of rainfall and thus planning their driving times accordingly. Once again, Mother Nature, has thrown us something else to affect our everyday routines. I think it is safe to say Marylanders are ready for a sunny and dry break.