//Reflections

Finding Balance as a Mom

This Mother’s Day will mark the fourth year I am celebrating the holiday as a mommy, and I thought it would be the perfect time to reflect on the challenges and triumphs that come along with being a mom.

Finding the right balance in life can be a constant but important struggle in order to be the best version of myself, whether that is creating a marketing plan for a client or playing Barbie dolls with my 4-year-old daughter. While there are days I feel like I am struggling and everything is spiraling out of control, those are balanced with days where I am incredibly productive and proud of my abilities both in the workplace and as an engaged mom. When I begin to feel overwhelmed and question the amount of time I am away from my kids during the workweek, I remind myself that I am working not just for me, but for my little “me”s. I am being a role model for them, striving to set the example that they can accomplish anything they put their minds to. Even though I may have occasional doubts, I know I am modeling strength, passion, and determination.

The Wendt Agency - Thanks MomI can honestly say I find joy daily in both areas of my life – work and home. I feel energized and ambitious in the office, where I am surrounded by people I have a huge amount of respect for, as we collaborate and create solutions and strategies together. After a full day’s work, I can feel drained from all the mental stimuli and problem solving, but as I pull into the driveway to pick up my kids and see them jumping up and down waving out the window, it gives me the energy I need to give 100% of myself to the people who love me most.

I believe motherhood has made me a better leader and employee and, vice versa, my career has given me tools to be a better mom. Problem solving, patience, multitasking, confidence, perspective, adaptability, empathy, and resilience – these are all traits that I practice daily in all areas of my life. It takes perspective and patience to manage my 4-year-old’s meltdown when I give her a pink cup instead of a green one, just as it takes adaptability and confidence to put together a new-business presentation for a piece of business Wendt is pitching. Practice makes perfect! Well, OK maybe not perfect, but practice helps.

I would be remiss to not give credit to those around me who constantly provide the love and support I need to be a productive and happy mom.

My incredible mother is on speed dial daily. She instilled in me hard work and dedication, working two jobs during my childhood, but was there for me always. My loving and supportive husband is an amazing hands-on dad who sets the perfect example for our kids. I am thankful Wendt is an awesome, supportive workplace that encourages home/work balance. I also draw strength from all the other women in my life who play a role in providing support and love as amazing grandmothers to my children as well as my other mom friends who can relate to the daily challenges.

Plus, there is a vast amount of social posts and blogs about the craziness and pressures of motherhood that has provided me with great insight as I continue to practice being the best employee and mommy I can be. Below are a few of my favorite blogs.

http://www.workingmommagic.com/

https://www.mother.ly/work/

https://www.today.com/parents

So here’s to all the moms out there trying to find balance. You should be proud of everything you do!

Say Thanks to your Mom with a custom Facebook frame

To use the frame, launch your Facebook app and select the camera. Before or after you take a photo, tap on the wand located at the bottom left of your screen. Click frame image on lower right, and it will show you a list of frames. You can also use it as a profile photo. To do so, hover over your profile photo and click “update profile photo” and select “add frame.”

ADD FRAME

MEET OUR MOMS

By Jennifer Fritz, Client Services Director

2018-05-12T07:02:23-06:00May 11th, 2018|Reflections, Uncategorized|1 Comment

PR – What They Teach You and What They Can’t

PR, Public Relations - The Wendt Agency

Let’s get one thing straight. Public relations isn’t marketing, it’s not advertising, and it’s not social media. It’s not all about media relations and it’s not just for businesses. The PR I practice is all of these and not just one. The PR I practice is not spin, but is truth and honesty in a truly transparent manner. The PR I practice is both everything and nothing like I was taught.

You go to college for four years, or more, expecting to learn it all — how to write, how to speak, what to say, what not to say, how to reach the media, how to write a press release … you get the idea. And in some ways you do learn it all, and in some ways you don’t, you can’t. Here’s the breakdown.

We write; it’s what we do. It’s what we were taught to do. No matter how good the story, or pitch, or topic, if you can’t write it, what’s the use? That much is true and always will be. What we’re not taught is how to write well outside of class. All the time. 24/7. PR, as a profession, is not just a 90-minute class with a take-home writing assignment. It’s your job, for eight hours, every day. My advice: find your zone, get in it, and never leave.

Now let’s talk style. Where I come from, it was AP Stylebook do or die. Where I currently reside, it’s AP Stylebook do or don’t die, depending on the client, plus or minus a few things. Do I still reference the AP Stylebook almost every day? Absolutely. Do I experience inner conflict every time I have to go against it? It would be wrong not to. But at the end of the day, I was forced to learn one giant lesson: we all have to make sacrifices. And yes, unfortunately, that sometimes means using the Oxford comma (cringe).

Now we get to transparency, the characteristic that seems to get in everyone’s way, but which is really the simplest of them all. During my four years as a PR major, every PR class promised three things: an ice breaker, a mock campaign, and a lesson on transparency. What I could never figure out is why transparency, the most important characteristic, was also presented as the hardest. Don’t get me wrong, the correlation between the two is certainly not lost, but there’s a reason they call it lying between your teeth — because it’s hard, or at least it should be. Okay, so that’s not the reason, but the logic isn’t bad. Look around and you’ll find that the most confident speakers are those who know what they are talking about. When it’s the truth you’re speaking, there’s no lies to remember or stories to cover up. Just facts. Confronting the truth may be hard, but speaking it will be the easiest thing you’ve ever done.

The biggest thing they don’t teach you is that school is never over. No matter your education, there are always going to be lessons that are left out or can’t be taught. These are the lessons that you must seek, find, and hold onto for dear life.

By: Caitlin Lindsay, Publicity Coordinator

Caitlin Lindsay - PR The Wendt Agency

 

 

 

 

 

Article originally appeared in the Great Falls Tribune.

2017-11-16T09:58:58-06:00November 16th, 2017|Reflections, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Exercise in Leadership

Wendt Agency Leadership Montana

Here at the Wendt Agency, we are dedicated to improving ourselves, company, community and state. That’s a certainly a tall order but, one thing which always helps – Leadership Montana.

The state’s premiere leadership development program, Leadership Montana is constantly working to help members grow and embrace the change which surrounds us to create an empowered future.

Recently, several members of the Wendt team attended the annual Confluence event. It was held in Butte and featured a thought-provoking leadership exercise created by the PEAK, a local Butte business. The group was divided into teams and given one of six survival scenarios (plane crashed in the desert; stranded on a snowy mountain; shipwrecked at sea, etc.).  We had to visit 12 Uptown Butte businesses and answer a trivia question to receive a clue. After correctly answering, we blindly selected an “asset,” (such as the Peruvian bat featured in the photo). After collecting 12 assets, we reconvened back at the conference room to craft our story of survival and negotiate with other teams to gain more helpful assets (if you have snow shoes but are lost at sea…maybe you want to trade that asset for something more helpful…like a desalination kit). Once our story was crafted, we were pitted against another team with the same survival scenario to “sell our story” of survival to the group. The group selected the winner based on use of assets and feasibility of survival. That team “survived” and the other team “did not.” The lessons were in leadership, problem solving, negotiating, time management, emotional preparedness, etc.

While not everyone from Wendt “survived” the exercise, we did all learn a lot about making the best use out of any and all resources, even or especially when that required seeing the asset in a completely different light.

Next year’s Confluence will be in Miles City and we cannot wait to see whatwill happen there!

2016-10-26T09:28:53-06:00September 27th, 2016|Reflections|0 Comments

WENDT’S CREATIVE DIRECTOR IS RETIRING AFTER 26 YEARS: PART III

Farewell, Joe, and Thanks for the Memories

Joe has officially retired, and after 26 incredible and creative years at Wendt, we have a lot to reflect on!

From driving all over the state, to company retreats, to weddings and births, Joe has shared countless life experiences with us, not to mention all the award-winning work he created for our clients.

Joe Create Success

Here are some highlights from our reminiscing:

“Joe has been an incredibly patient and dedicated mentor to me from the start at Wendt. He has allowed me the freedom to grow, while still teaching me the ins and outs of the business. I am so grateful!” -Kara

Joe and Kara
Burke Ranch

“My favorite logo that Joe designed was for Burke Ranch Outfitters. It was the perfect storm of a really cool, open client and subject matter that Joe was passionate about. Because the client lived in Glasgow, we met in Havre to present designs. At first the client was unsure of the design, but eventually we won them over and the client still talks about that meeting today. The logo is brilliant and everyone really responds to its genius.” -Johna

“It was my first Wendt strategic planning session in Whitefish. We all went to dinner one night at the Whitefish Golf Course…fancy food, fancy drinks. Joe and I started balancing spoons on our noses. The CEO of Wendt at the time was not amused!” -Brenda

Joe Brenda spoons

“I so appreciate Joe’s easy-going nature and willingness to not only put up with 13 women, but handle it all with grace and respect. I would assume he raised all girls because of how well he works with us, but he had 3 boys! Incredible!” -Alyse

Joe and girls

“One of my favorite memories is of Joe as our Grillmaster–you always know it is a good day at Wendt when Joe breaks out the grill and starts cooking!” -Carol

Joe grillmaster

“Joe and I spent many hours together tweaking banner ads when I first started, but it definitely made me a better designer. Thanks for all of your guidance and leadership, Joe!” -Katie

Joe and Katie

“I am going to miss Joe greatly. He is so wonderful to work with, very talented, and easy to be around. I love his easy-going approach and casual attitude. Of course there are times when he would get heated up, but in general he is as laid back as they come. And without sacrificing any quality in his amazing work.” -Jen

Joe Jen Kara

We could go on and on, but then the mascara would begin to run.

Joe, we will miss you! Congratulations on your retirement!

 

2016-10-26T09:28:53-06:00September 1st, 2016|Culture, Reflections, Wendt Buzz|0 Comments

WENDT’S CREATIVE DIRECTOR IS RETIRING AFTER 26 YEARS: PART II

An interview with Joe: career reflections and retirement plans

With 26 years at Wendt and 41 years in the advertising industry, Creative Director Joe Stein has loads of wisdom to share. He’s also looking forward to retiring in Lincoln, Montana, for several reasons. Take a look at what we found out from Joe.

Retiring Joe baby group

Q: What will you miss most about your job and The Wendt Agency?
Joe: I’ll miss the diversity of projects to work on while creating success for our clients. The people, the work environment, and the culture at Wendt. We have a great crew of people, the office space is awesome, and the company’s management team is very progressive and forward-thinking. I love my job at Wendt and will definitely miss it, but I’m ready for a new episode and adventure in life.

Wendt retreat

Q: What were the most exciting changes and biggest surprises you saw during your career?
J: The quick advancement of computers, cameras (still & video), phones, and software technology were all exciting. Plus they make our jobs easier, faster, and more efficient. While the advancement of computers, software, and camera technology was amazing to witness, the impact and growth of the internet and social media environment was huge.

Joe Film

Q: What were some of the most memorable moments during your career?
J: Too many to count, but a few that stick out include

  1. Having the opportunity to travel the state for various clients capturing the beauty of Montana and its people on stills, film, and video.
  2. Seeing people grow professionally and really come into their own by mentoring them.
  3. Being recognized for my work in design and broadcast from various local, regional, and national organizations.
  4. Once, on a shoot in Spokane, we used a crane to drop a baby grand piano on the sidewalk, and we only had one chance to get it! We got the shot, but the crane broke through the old sidewalk.
Piano drop

Right before the piano drop

Q: What are you most looking forward to in retirement?
J: Spending more time with our kids and grandkids, more time for hunting, fishing, and traveling—a totally different focus and pace based upon our schedule. My wife, Cindy, and I will also enjoy traveling around the country, visiting friends and family.

Stein family hike

Q: What do you love about Lincoln, where you’ll be retiring to?
J: Cindy and I had started going up there years ago camping and four-wheeling with friends and really liked the area. So we started looking for property and found some that we really liked about 3.5 miles from town. In 10 minutes, I can be bow hunting to the north of our place. After just a 10-minute drive on a four-wheeler behind our place, I’ll be fly-fishing on the Blackfoot River.

Joe hunting

Q: What words of wisdom would you give to someone who is just starting their career in the creative field?
J: You need to have a certain amount of creative ability regardless of the discipline you’re pursuing: conceptual, writing, design, illustration, or production. You need to have the drive, the passion, and the willingness to put in the extra hours when necessary to make sure your work is the best it can be. You can’t be thin-skinned with criticism of your work and be willing to compromise (to a point) without compromising the creative.

Q: If you weren’t the creative director at Wendt, what would you have done instead?
J: Professional fisherman in the walleye circuit.

Joe fish

2016-10-26T09:28:53-06:00August 30th, 2016|Culture, Reflections, Wendt Buzz|0 Comments

Wendt’s Creative Director is Retiring After 26 Years: Part I

The Mountains Are Calling, and Joe Baby Must Go

After 26 dedicated years at The Wendt Agency, our amazingly talented Creative Director, Joe Stein, is retiring!

Joe Stein: Wendt's Creative Director

Joe’s incredible career has spanned 41 years. He joined Wendt in 1990 as the senior art director and has also served as design group director and broadcast director.

Young Joe Stein: Wendt's Creative Director

Here are just a few highlights from Joe’s impressive resume:

Creative Director Joe Stein travels

Joe’s attention to detail has transformed our clients’ products and messages into award-winning creative elements.

Creative Director Joe Stein awards

Throughout his tenure at Wendt, Joe has shared his expertise of combining strategic insights, market research, cutting-edge technical skill, and a comprehensive understanding of print, TV, radio, and digital design elements to create effective creative solutions for a variety of clients.

Wendt has been incredibly lucky to  benefit from Joe’s expertise for almost three decades. But now the mountains are calling, and Joe must go.

Joe’s last day at Wendt is August 31, 2016—check back as we celebrate everything Joe before we say goodbye!

 

2016-10-26T09:28:53-06:00August 26th, 2016|Culture, Reflections, Wendt Buzz|0 Comments

Dedicated to the Red, White, and Blue

by Alyse Considine


USA fan
My passion and dedication to cheering for Team USA and watching as much Olympics coverage as humanly possible borders on the line of obsession.

I remember being in awe of the Magnificent Seven at the 1996 Atlanta games. My sister and I would run outside to do cartwheels and pretend to execute the balance beam on our deck.

Eight years ago, I scored the perfect summer job while a student at the University of Montana: front desk clerk at a hotel that had JUST renovated their lobby to include new flat screen TVs. I saw Michael Phelps win all eight of his gold medals in Beijing.

Four years ago, I was in the middle of moving to Great Falls for a new job, and I made sure to take a few extra days off before starting work so I could watch more of the London Olympics.

USANow, I am grateful to work at an agency that encourages everyone to pursue their passions, and thankfully, they also embrace my quirks–not to mention the dark circles under my eyes each morning as a result of staying up way past my bedtime to watch my favorite athletes win gold.

The Rio Olympic games have not disappointed. The fastest man to ever live, the greatest woman gymnast of all time, the greatest swimmer and most decorated Olympian in the world…it’s all so exciting, I can barely stand it! I am Montana’s Leslie Jones.

Once these games conclude and the 4-year long deep void in my life returns, I’ll be anxiously awaiting Tokyo 2020. I guess deep down I’ll always be the little girl that is in complete wonderment of the amazing athletic feats, heart-wrenching personal stories, and dazzling grand-scale productions, forever cheering for the red, white, and blue.

 

2017-02-22T10:42:23-06:00August 19th, 2016|Culture, Reflections|0 Comments

Why the Montana Way of Life Is Good for Business

Montana_BlogPost_wendt-1

There are a lot of benefits to working with an ad agency: you can save time, money, and effort while getting access to the best industry research, customized marketing strategies, expert branding advice, deep media discounts, and high-end creative. That’s all good news for your business. But did you know there are some additional, specific benefits to working with a MONTANA ad agency? Let’s take a look at a few of them:

1. MONTANA’S BREATHTAKING SCENERY IS INSPIRING.
Those of us lucky enough to live and work in this amazing state can replenish our creativity by immersing ourselves in the landscape surrounding us as we hike, float, or even take road trips to business meetings!

2. TEAMWORK IS A WAY OF LIFE HERE.
Whether you’re branding cattle or branding a business, anyone who lives in Montana knows bringing people together as true partners produces the best results.

3. OUR ROOTS RUN DEEP IN MONTANA AND ARE GROUNDED IN HARD WORK AND DEDICATION.
We’re not looking for the easy answer or the short-term solution, we’re looking for the best solution to create success.

4. HIGH-QUALITY OF LIFE ATTRACTS HIGH-QUALITY PEOPLE.
Farmers markets, hiking and biking trails, blue-ribbon trout streams, art galleries, local microbrews, and more all help keep us balanced while creating a high-quality of life, which attracts high-quality people.

5. WE SEAL DEALS WITH A HANDSHAKE, AND THAT’S NO JOKE.
Our word is our bond and that handshake signals a steadfast commitment to the partnership, the project, and everyone’s success.

ideas marketing montana wendtThese are just a few of the reasons this Montana agency might be the right agency for your business. A tour of our website will give you an even deeper understanding of our company, people, and work. So take a moment to look around, and then let us know what your marketing challenges are. We’d love to help!

 

 

2016-10-26T09:28:54-06:00April 8th, 2016|Industry Trends, Reflections|2 Comments

Remembering my roots on National Ag Day

by Carol Kruger
March 15, 2016

Growing up on a small ranch in central Montana, I never really gave agriculture much thought. It was just part of my day-to-day life. Everyone I knew was involved in farming. We all grew wheat or hay and raised cows or pigs or chickens or all of them. Didn’t everyone?

Clouds over the prairie

Clouds over the prairie

Eventually I realized that, in fact, everyone was not working in agriculture on a daily basis. Most people never worried about late season rain, or who would feed the cows twice a day if you wanted to take a vacation, or any of the hundreds of things farmers and ranchers think about all the time.

At the same time, I realized that everyone actually is involved with agriculture every day-at least everyone who eats is! We just don’t remember that.

In 1973, the Agriculture Council of America (ACA) decided March 15 was a good day for us to remember this and designated it “a day to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture.” Actually, it’s part of National Ag Week, March 13-19, 2016.

While I don’t live or work on a family farm anymore, I do have the privilege of working with some wonderful members of the Montana ag community: Country Pasta (there is always a bag of their amazing egg noodles in my pantry) and Mountain View Co-op (not only do they support hundreds of north central Montana farmers, they have seriously good coffee at their convenience stores).

So, in honor of both my farming past and Montana’s farming present, I am going to spend at least a few minutes today thinking about how my food actually ends up on my table. How about you? How does ag fit into your life, and do you ever think about it? Let me know-I’d love to hear your ag story!

 

2016-10-26T09:28:54-06:00March 15th, 2016|Reflections|0 Comments

Puppy Bowl XII

Puppy playerFebruary 4, 2016

It’s time to pick sides in the most anticipated adorable game of the year—Team Ruff or Team Fluff.

Animal Planet will air its wildly popular Puppy Bowl on February 7 at 3 p.m./2 p.m. Central, a Sunday afternoon made fairly famous for a different game.

What began as a funny idea for counter-programming to the Super Bowl twelve years ago has become a full-scale production with support from the White House and first lady Michelle Obama, and literally millions of viewers: 10.4 million in 2015 and 13 million in 2014.

The Puppy Bowl boasts national sponsors like Pedigree foods, Bissell vacuums, Geico, and Subaru, and has a big advertising budget to share their heart-warming creative.

If you haven’t tuned in for a few years, Puppy Bowl now features puppy tailgaters, goat cheerleaders, sideline reporter “Meep the Bird” who tweets live updates, a hamster wheel that powers the scoreboard, a hall of fame, and of course my favorite, the kitten halftime show.

kitten TerriCuteness aside, Puppy Bowl shines light on a noble cause and partners each year with the American Humane Association—they only feature adoptable puppies in the game.

In 2014, more than 300 animals were adopted through Puppy Bowl, and more than 1,000 people attended the event.

At Wendt, we love our pups and celebrate “bring your dog to work day” several times throughout the year, so you can bet we will be watching on Sunday. If you find that your Super Bowl viewing party is getting over-aggressive and loud, I encourage you to switch over to the Puppy Bowl for a couple minutes to relax a bit and perhaps put things into perspective.

pups in geico stadiumBecause in this game it really doesn’t matter who you root for. Melted hearts and adopted pups means everyone wins.

To see the starting line-up, click here.

2016-10-26T09:28:54-06:00February 4th, 2016|Reflections|0 Comments

#OscarforLeo

Leo Dicaprio Oscar Meme

by Alyse Considine
January 15, 2016

I have stars in my eyes because it’s one of my favorite times of the year­­­­—Awards Season!!

I love so many things about the big award shows: the interviews and designer dresses on the red carpet, the (hopefully) funny host who takes jabs at all the celebrities, the live musical numbers, the surprise winners, and the review of the best movies from the year (many of which I usually have yet to watch).

My sister and I have a tradition of live texting or Facebook chatting throughout the multiple hour shenanigans to comment on our favorite outfits, inspiring acceptance speeches, or disappointment that our pick had lost out on the golden statue.

Apart from all the razzle-dazzle, what I love the most is that award shows are a shared experience—the Oscars have been televised internationally since 1969—that celebrate art and entertainment. We can leave our differences aside to come together and honor the outstanding movies, music, and performances that provoked thought and change, or deeply moved us, over the past year.

So cheers to the excitement of Hollywood! I can’t wait to see what this awards season brings—hopefully fewer name pronunciation flubs, speech bleeps, and wardrobe malfunctions (although, those can be pretty funny) and more historic wins for the record books!

I’m betting the Internet will explode once Leo wins his long-overdue Oscar!  Go, Leo, go!

2016-10-26T09:28:54-06:00January 15th, 2016|Reflections|1 Comment

Carol’s Coffee Cup Count

coffee-spill-V2by Carol Kruger
January 6, 2016

It’s no secret that I enjoy my coffee. Depending on the day, the weather, and my mood, I sometimes fill up my coffee cup before I even take off my coat. It’s the magical elixir that starts my day and focuses my mind. But I’ve never really paid any attention to how much coffee I have every day. I mean, I know it’s more than a couple of cups, but…three cups? Five cups? Eight cups? When not one, but two of my lovely coworkers asked me just how much coffee I drink in a day, I had no answer. So, I created Carol’s Coffee Cup Count to find out.

The rules were simple: for five days I counted every cup of coffee I drank, keeping track on a sheet I posted right above the coffee pot. The result – I am above average! The National Coffee Association stats show the average American drinks three 8-ounce cups of coffee per day. I averaged just more than four cups (4.3 to be exact). That’s still probably more than anyone else at The Wendt Agency, but not nearly enough to be cause for alarm.

But, national stats will only get you so far. I am curious to know how I stack up against other groups. Am I still an above average coffee drinker if I compare myself against Montanans? Ad agency employees? People of Scandinavian descent? Readers of The Wendt Agency blog?

Take the Coffee Cup Count Challenge yourself and, please, let me know your number!

2016-10-26T09:28:54-06:00January 6th, 2016|Reflections|0 Comments

Who needs an excuse to eat spaghetti?

Country Pastaby Jennifer Fritz
January 4, 2016

Whether you prefer it served with meatballs or a vegetarian marinara, I think we can all agree that spaghetti is one of the most popular and enjoyable meals there is. Whether you top your dish with fresh basil or simply some grated Parmesan cheese, it is a meal that often brings families together. In fact, did you know that in the year 2000, 1.3 million pounds of spaghetti were sold in American grocery stores? That is enough to circle the earth 9 times!

While spaghetti is a regular dish in our household (at least once a week), the special ingredient that makes it stand out is really the pasta I use. This brings me to a wonderful client Wendt has a great partnership with-Country Pasta. Country Pasta celebrated their 25th year in 2015 and we helped to promote this milestone through their social media channels. I love Country Pasta because their pasta is made with just four ingredients: 100% durum semolina, farm fresh eggs, clean mountain water, and natural sea salt. As if that isn’t enough to be brand loyal, in 2015, Country Pasta performed 25 Acts of Kindness. These efforts were incredibly fun to share on social media and included things like giving away bags of pasta to Glacier National Park visitors, donations of pasta to food banks, firefighters, and local senior centers, surprising shoppers by purchasing their cart of groceries, and giving away a week-long vacation to Montana!

Even though it is an unofficial holiday, National Spaghetti Day is one that deserves celebration! I know I look forward to the bowl I will eat tonight, and I may even clink my wine glass to cheers all the other spaghetti lovers around the world.

2016-10-26T09:28:54-06:00January 4th, 2016|Clients, Reflections|1 Comment

The Simple Things

fritz-14-(ZF-2578-75349-1-005) copyby Jennifer Fritz
December 28, 2015

As the new year quickly approaches, I pause and reflect on this past year. It has been one filled with love, laughter, travel, challenges, heartache, new beginnings, and everlasting memories. It has also been one filled with many firsts as my daughter completed her first year of life: first smiles, first diaper blowouts, first time sleeping through the night, first laughs, first steps, and first words. So, as I reflect on Kate’s many firsts it made me think about the simple things that comprise her world and make her happy. And, as we live in a world that continues to move at a record pace, it is a good reminder that it is the simple things in life that sometimes matter the most.

Maybe this list of Kate’s favorite things that make her the happiest at this moment in her life will help to remind you of this:

  • Saying please, thank you, and bless you
  • Bananas
  • Opening and closing lids
  • Her daddy
  • Waving hello at herself in the mirror
  • Ring around the Rosie
  • Climbing
  • Reading
  • Butterfly kisses

What are some of the simple things in your life that make you the happiest?

2016-10-26T09:28:54-06:00December 28th, 2015|Reflections|1 Comment

Is this the best Christmas commercial of 2015?

December 20, 2015

The Wendt office email was buzzing a few days ago as we all started forwarding the link to this holiday commercial.

What could make us so interested in a TV spot for a British department store? Quite a few things, actually:

  • High production values
  • Integrated, but not overwhelming, product promotion
  • One of the most adorable little girls around
  • Emotionally affecting tone

Yes, the spot is a bit sweet and dripping with a combination of nostalgia and sentimentality, but it doesn’t go over the line. It manages to feel real, rather than fake. In short, it is charming and cozy and just perfect for the holidays. There’s no hard-sell here, this spot is all softness. John Lewis is a major department store chain selling everything from boots to frying pans to perfume, and yet….this ad is all about the power of a single, perfect gift.

The company is well-known in the United Kingdom for its holiday ads. Heck, The Telegraph has even put together a list of the top five John Lewis TV ads, in case you want to get all sentimental. Or, this being 2015, you can always use #manonthemoon to follow the conversation.

I’m still not sure if it is my personal favorite Christmas commercial for 2015, but it is certainly a strong contender. How would you vote? Is it THE spot, or is there another one you would nominate for the honor this year? Let me know in the comments section. I cannot wait to see what moves you this season.

2016-10-26T09:28:54-06:00December 20th, 2015|Industry Trends, Reflections|0 Comments

TV Commercial Flashback – Aaron Burr!

February 10, 2015

Some things just stick with you, don’t they? Like peanut butter to the roof of your mouth for example. Or the name of the person who shot Alexander Hamilton.

Some quick online research shows this was the very first Got Milk? ad, running on October 29, 1993. And it was directed by Michael Bay (hmmm…wonder what he is doing now). Of course it has won numerous awards (including being named one of the 10 Best Commericals of All Time by a USA Today poll in 2002), been parodied hundreds (if not millions) of times and is recognizable to this day.

Perhaps more importantly (at least for the purpose of this blog) it is one of my personal favorites. I love the care and attention which went into gathering the props and staging the apartment. I love the pitch perfect response of our fearless history buff when he proudly announces “Aaron Burr” only to realize no one understands him. I love the pace and precision of the editing. I love the strategy which allowed the product to be featured so fearlessly but also seamlessly.

And, it makes me smile every time I see it. Not bad for :60 seconds of TV.:)

2016-10-26T09:28:55-06:00February 10th, 2015|Industry Trends, Reflections|0 Comments

Ten songs you should listen to this Christmas

Christmas_9 by Carol Kruger
December 20, 2014

Christmas songs are called classics for a reason and I’m not going to try to persuade anyone that White Christmas by Bing Crosby or Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt doesn’t deserve a spot on their Christmas playlist. But, I firmly believe holiday music does not have to be the same-old-same-old. A playlist needs to grow and embrace some new songs. So, in no particular order, here are the ten songs I recommend you add to your Christmas playlist this year – Enjoy!

– Is Zat you Santa Claus by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
– Hey Santa! by Straight no Chaser
– Home for the Holidays by Emily the Great and Tim Wheeler
– Christmas Treat by Julian Casablancas
– I want an Alien for Christmas by Fountains of Wayne
– Christmas in Hollis by RUN-DMC
– Don’t Shoot Me Santa by the Killers
– Slept in through Christmas by Eyes Lips Eyes
– Little Drummer Boy by the Dandy Warhols
– Merry Christmas from the Family by Jill Sobule

All of these, excpet the Jill Sobule song, are available on Spotify and can be found on YouTube. Give them a listen and see if they don’t add some sparkle to your holidays!

2016-10-26T09:28:55-06:00December 20th, 2014|Reflections|0 Comments

What’s your subject line?

bfakepeoplesucky Brenda Peterson
October 15, 2014

We recently acquired some new software that gathers all our junk email that is trying to break through our firewall and packages it up in a neat little daily email and shoots it into our inbox. This is a great tool so that we can be sure that we are not missing that very special email from any interested party. So every day I scan this little email…some days it is not so little.

I have found a tiny bit of enjoyment in the current round of junk email subject lines. Here are a few along with my first thoughts when I read them.

3 Sneaky Hormones that are Destroying your Metabolism
(I thought it was 4)

Lighten up a little with a Sun Room
(A good thing to say to someone who has their panties in a wad)

Shape up and save with the Genie Bra
(Great, I can stop going to the gym!)

This works to get women every time!
(Yikes)

Stack your Rack
(Insert your own personal comment here)

Bored off your Ass? Do a wood project.
(I can think of much better ways to eliminate boredom.)

Your Latino Love is Here.

(Didn’t know I was looking for him.)

Concrete, Steel and Wood Coating.
(Huh?)

Qjmrragkntzejusxcins.

(Must be a foreign language that I’m not familiar with.)

Fake People Suck.
(I agree!)

What crazy subject line have you seen lately?

2016-10-26T09:28:55-06:00October 15th, 2014|Reflections|0 Comments

Conquer the little things for confidence

Huh_3by Kara Mayernik-Smith
June 6, 2014

Third grade was a big year for my son but didn’t start the year the way I had hoped. He was timid. Unexcited. Daily butterflies in his stomach.

He cried that school was boring. He thought of any excuse to skip for the day. He walked in the doors of his school with his head down avoiding eye contact with adults or peers. We dealt with moody outbursts and a lot of tears in the evenings and mornings.

His personality has always been on the shy side… (same as his mom). But this was turning into a larger issue. One evening well into the school year he finally burst out with his deep, dark secret. He didn’t understand multiplication or division and he hadn’t since they began learning it many months earlier.

A half of year of tutoring has brought much more than an understanding of math for my son. It has brought pride. It has created a more socially outgoing 8-year-old. It has taught him that extra work pays off. It has brought a lot more smiles to our household. And, it has brought him self confidence I have never seen in him before.

Today is the last day of third grade for my son… He ended it exactly as I had hoped. Smiling with confidence.

What’s the real lesson? The simple understanding of math resulted in a huge transformation for my son beyond academics.

What is holding you back from being confident in your life or job? For me it has always been presenting my work to clients. It has taken years of practice and experiences (both positive and negative) to get to a point where I feel more comfortable with this aspect of my job. And, I can honestly say it has impacted my overall self-confidence both at work and on a personal level.

I challenge you to give it a try… What little things can you conquer to build self-confidence?

2016-10-26T09:28:55-06:00June 6th, 2014|Reflections|0 Comments

A little something to celebrate Earth Day

PaperBoyWines_Earth Dayby Sarah Ziska
April 22, 2014

It’s Earth Day and in celebration here is something that everyone can get behind…or at least if you love wine you can get behind!

There are many ways to celebrate Earth Day but how about making your celebratory efforts last for longer than a day? Try incorporating some green thinking more frequently into your daily habits and in this blog post’s case, your drinking habits.

As you may know, at Wendt we enjoy a glass of wine here and there. A while back Brenda, our CEO, showed up with Paperboy wine and I instantly fell in love. Boxed wine has been around forever, but Paperboy is something more. It is a delicious wine from Truett-Hurst Winery in California packaged into a compressed recycled bottle. Both pleasing to the taste buds and the eyes.

Bonus, not only is the bottle recyclable but 85% lighter than a glass bottle so it requires less fuel to shop!

Want to try some out? It’s available at Safeway grocery stores.

Let me know what you think!  I’ve only tried the red blend since I’m not a big fan of Chardonnay but I’m sure it’s delicious as well.

2016-10-26T09:28:55-06:00April 22nd, 2014|Reflections|0 Comments