Let’s hear it for New York: Advertising Week 2010

Last spring, the SDSU Advertising Club won a nationwide contest put on by 5 Hour Energy drink. The rules of the contest were simple: Create the best 30-second commercial representing 5 Hour Energy and win $11 thousand dollars.

The Ad Club went up against hundreds of other schools, and, to the surprise of many of them, they won! The money helped fund their trip to New York City last week for the annual Advertising Week convention. I was lucky enough to be part of the 5 Hour Energy campaign.

This post contains a log of my experiences in New York.

Monday, Sep. 27

It’s 3:30 in the morning, and I haven’t slept yet. Anticipation, last-minute packing and homework have kept me up. I’m finally laying down for a cat nap. Sleep doesn’t come, and less than an hour later, I’m forced out of bed again by my obnoxious mother phoning me to make sure I don’t miss the bus. Shower, coffee, 4-hour drive to Omaha, connecting flight in Milwaukee, and eventually my advertising crew and I are standing like zombies at baggage claim in New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

Tuesday, Sep. 28

Still jet-lagged, I button up my grown-up shirt and tie my neck tie just perfectly. After walking 20 blocks to our first speaker, I’m wishing I had left the tie behind. We walk through Times Square between speakers looking for something to eat, until a young lady approaches us wondering if we would like to win tickets to the David Letterman Show- I still think she came up to us because we were all done up in our jackets and ties. We answer the trivia questions with ease and get our free tickets to the show! Just 30 minutes later we are back at the conference getting our picture taken with Mike Rowe, the host of Dirty Jobs on the Discovery Channel. Mike was the guest speaker for a presentation on celebrity branding. Come to find out, he’s never done a show in South Dakota. I think we talked him into paying John Morrel a visit.

Wednesday, Sep. 29

I think I’ve finally adjusted to the East Coast time zone, or maybe I’m just pumped about our agency tour this morning. Either way, the sun is shining and I’m ready to see what the city looks like under a cloudless sky. The StrawberryFrog office is spectacular! They do such good work and now I’m inspired to change the world through advertising, but first I’m going to enjoy a Mets game at Citi Field tonight!

Thursday, Sep. 30

I wake up a little fuzzy from the Mets game last night. Who won that game anyways? Oh well, it doesn’t matter because my group is off to a tour of Alloy Marketing + Media. Wait, this is weird—one of the presenters at Alloy is holding last week’s issue of The Collegian! They do advertising and marketing for college newspapers. I think this is something I could see myself doing! After stuffing my face at the famous Carnegie Diner, we take a stroll through Central Park. As it turns out, Central Park is a black hole for cell phone reception. But we manage to find a wireless connection and my group gets reserved tickets to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The 30-block walk followed by a two-hour wait in line proves to be worth the wait. But I was surprised to find out that Jon’s special guest, Justin Timberlake, considers himself to be a mediocre guy.

Friday, Oct. 1

The big city has taken its toll on me. But we still have one day left of fun-filled adventures. I’m on a quest for the Foursquare office in downtown NYC. Today my trip was made complete by meeting Foursquare’s founder and CEO, Dennis Crowley. It’s the last night in town, so I celebrate by staying out entirely too late, including a trip to the Brooklyn Bridge at five in the morning! The city is so calm at this early hour. The walk across the bridge is one of the most surreal moments of my life!

Saturday, Oct. 2

With less than an hour to pack, I frantically stuff away all my weekly possessions. The hotel shuttle van to the airport is silent, but in a good way. Most of the group sleeps on the plane ride home. Almost zero turbulence makes the ride less unpleasant, aside from tossing and turning in the airplane seat trying not to disturb the person next to me and get comfy at the same time. After spending most of the day traveling, I’m sitting in apartment 23 back in Brookings, SD. Finally it all settles in, and I am depressed to be back. Visiting New York wasn’t just a vacation, it was a journey. It’s something that cannot be written in a journal or blogged about. Pictures of the crooked toothed New York City skyline don’t do justice to wrenching my neck 100 stories to see the giant spectacles. Raise your glass, New York—cheers to meeting again soon.