Joe Elder: The man, the myth, the legend

Last semester, I did a personality profile on Joe Elder, an University of Wisconsin-Madison professor who recently celebrated his 50th teaching anniversary with the UW. Below is a magazine layout I did for my final story.

It was an absolute joy to interview and to get to know Joe Elder. He truly is a fantastic individual and he has amazing stories to tell. I would highly encourage anyone who finds themselves in the Sociology building to stop by his office: he always welcomes a good conversation. Students seem to really respond to his teaching style and his invitation for discussion, which can be evidenced by the long line of students waiting to meet with him during his office hours.




Press Release Swag

Here are two examples of my press release-writing talents. Both were created for (and used by) Madison Magazine, where I am currently interning. Madison Magazine has been an awesome experience and I’ve been really fortunate: they’ve really given me a lot of freedom to practice writing, to hone my organizational skills and to have a real input in the magazine.

First, here’s a press release for the upcoming Madison Magazine Spa and Salon Week, which takes place April 23-27:

The second was for Madison Magazine‘s Top Shelf Whiskey Taste event, for which I was the project manager. This event was my baby for the past few months and it was an awesome time!


Never Too Late for [brand] love

How adorable is this McDonalds commercial?  I saw it earlier today and I couldn’t help but smile. McDonalds usually goes for the emotional appeal- family time, little kids, etc. etc. But this one is pure gold.



While this commercial is great, McDonalds hasn’t had a lot of lucky lately.. especially in the emerging social media market. When McDonalds encouraged their followers to share their experience at the chain with the Twitter hashtag #McDStories, they just got a whole bunch of horror stories… yikes, talk about not thinking ahead. For every person that loves McDonalds, there’s another person that hates it… and it’s completely trend to bash on the brand.

Luckily, McDonald’s is learning from their mistakes. They introduced a new twitter campaign, with the new hashtag #Shamrocking. Costumers are encouraged to tweet pictures of themselves with the Shamrock shake. This gives people a little less opportunity to openly bash the brand, and it gives a visual of normal people enjoying their McDonalds experience.


Here’s a link to an article on McDonalds’ recent social media:



I love Pinterest. It’s so easy to start looking at a board or category only to find yourself still scrolling after half an hour. It’s a great way to find and to share information and inspiration. Here’s my “Pinterest Inspiration” board in less than a minute.

Image stills and credits can be found at:

Hire Me, Please!

As my college days come to a close, I am beginning to think more and more about where I should go when it’s all over. (To be totally honest, I’ve been freaking out about finding a post-graduation job since stepping foot on the UW campus) As such, I decided that I really needed to take a good, hard look at my weaknesses in case a potential employer asks me about them. Well, here goes nothing….


Das Auto Zwei

In my recent history class, entitled “Gender Through Mad Men” (Yes, Madmen the show. Yes, it is awesome. Yes, it’s a dream come true for an advertising/history/tv geek like myself), we talked about the evolution of the VW Beetle. VW has been featured on this blog before, and for good reason: They keep coming back for more. VW might just be the brand that never dies. A true underdog. They went from Nazi car to love bug, to super safe family-friendly vehicle. I absolutely love it. Take this quote from George Lois, who was assigned the Volkswagen account at DDB Advertising:

“It was hard to forget that Hitler himself was directly involved in designing the Volkswagen. Even though the Fuehrer was helped along by the Austrian car engineer… the cute Volkswagen in 1959 reminded lots of people about the ovens. Julian [Koenig, who wrote the first round of copy for the campaign] was Jewish and wouldn’t forget it.”*

So how did VW shake this bad rep? By advertising, of course! I think the VW advertisements are one of the most iconic sets of adverts of all time. Seriously. Not only do they not take themselves too seriously, but they also play on each other. The first round of advertisements look like this:

How awesome are these? This is why DDB can’t be forgotten. They completely ditched the advertising patterns of the 1950s, and did the exact opposite. And it worked. People forgot the connection with the Nazis, and instead associated the VW with those funny little ads.

To me, there’s one aspect of the 1960s ads that tops them all: I KNOW IT.

I’m a Generation Y kid. A Millennial Baby. Yet, I know these ads. These ads are so funny, so iconic, so against the grain, that even I, a 21 year-old college student knows them.

That’s amazing.

In the 90’s, they did the same thing. One advert read “”If you sold your soul in the ’80s, here’s your chance to buy it back.”

Awesome. Remind people of that camping trip they took in the VW bus in the 60s, when Dad came home with the funny-looking German car. In the 90s, VW took great advantage of their target consumer: Generation X. They grew up with the bug. They might have forgotten it, but remind them!

And finally, we come to the present time. This is my favorite:

They do nostalgia: It’s the exact same thing they did in the 90s, but in a different way.

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. I love this commercial and everything it represents.

* Frank, Thomas. The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism. Page 67. 

Why I LOVE Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Wisconsin and I have a love/hate relationship. Let’s be real. I love the people, I hate the snow. I really enjoy a deep-fried cheese curd, but I could do without the humid summers. Beer is okay… but Wisconsin sports have my heart.

Similarly, my hometown of MKE, WI has a few things I can’t live without…. as well as a few things I could leave behind.

So, when prompted to create a video about why I love Milwaukee, this is what I came up with. Enjoy!