My Life of What Ifs

Thursday, February 25, 2010


The goodbyes get easier, the ideas get fewer and the state of the advertising industry in Detroit just isn’t the same compared to other major advertising cities in the U.S.
Those in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago have experienced downsizing, years without raises and the decline of television ad dollars in favor of email pushes and viral ads. But none of those cities have felt the sting of the decline like the Motor City.

Motown advertising and its undeniable dependency on the Big 3 for billings spent the first decade of the 21st century on edge.

The end of the 20th century saw Ford move its national Lincoln and Mercury business from Young & Rubicam in Detroit to the Y&R offices in Irvine and San Francisco. Those that were willing to relocate could interview for their jobs positioned out West. If leaving Michigan wasn’t an option then they found themselves unemployed.

In 2001, DaimlerChrysler consolidated its advertising services to one agency. This movement gave birth to a new entity, briefly called Pentamark, and it marked the end of the Detroit chapter of Foote, Cone & Belding. While Pentamark was supposed to be a merger of FCB and BBDO, the foreign nature of the name left many vendors dazed and confused and before long BBDO Detroit had made a return.

Half way through the Decade of the Aughts Ford moved its Lincoln Mercury business back to Detroit and BBDO, with DaimlerChrysler’s help, began its descent from over 2000 employees to just over 400 before it closed its doors in January 2010.

Layoffs in masses, and the wildfire-like spreading of the news has taken its mental toll on Detroit and morale has gotten lower and lower. The tumultuous decade saw the Detroit office of D’Arcy change their name to Chemistri, and then to Leo Burnett. J. Walter Thompson, Young & Rubicam and Ogilvy & Mather, “Pentamarked” themselves into Team Detroit; and finally, the third owner of “Chrysler” decided that not one, not two, but four agencies would suffice to handle their national advertising, only one of which is in Detroit. The doing was undone, and redone, and so on, and so on.

The advertising industry, as shown in AMC’s hit series Mad Men, had its heyday, and it was worthy of every “remember when” it receives. But the decline of the U.S. economy and the greed of others have prompted the best to work for less, and the need for their expertise to become obsolete. The Creative Directors and Account Managers aren’t making the decisions and their ground breaking ideas are being ignored. The clients have taken over, and it doesn’t take a Harvard MBA to see how that’s working for them.

It’s sad. Unemployment is unbelievable in the Detroit ad community. If you’re on the creative side and you can’t leave the state, the jobs that are available won’t compare to what “you used to do”. But there’s still a longing, a longing for what used to be. For what once was, and there’s hope. Somewhere at an intersection between Auburn Hills, Dearborn and the Renaissance Center in downtown, there is a glimmer of Hope that someday they will all work together once again.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A door can open with every blog, tweet, and facebook status

Every day I am more amazed by the world of social media.  A world where 140 characters that include a trending topic and a hashtag can help you converse with others whose interests you share- more so than the people that live in your neighborhood.  A world where you either love it or hate it.  Get it or don't.  Start your own marketing blog or struggle to figure out what exactly a blog is.

I started a blog two years ago because I felt I had things to share and I longed to return to writing.  The opportunities my blog has brought to me are insane.  My blogs have helped me secure freelance writing jobs, allowed me to offer my opinion on cool new products, and enabled me to become a Brand Ambassador for The View.  Those things would not have happened if I had been simply reading the classifieds to find work.

When I started tweeting earlier last year I came across another blogger from Detroit.  We exchanged tweets and lo-and-behold she was starting a website called  She invited me to contribute covering my county and I have been posting there ever since.

Through the magic of Facebook I have reconnected with some amazing friends, stayed in touch with colleagues from my years in advertising, and made a few new friends as well.  I feel my life is richer because of all of these things.  I feel that my life has taken a direction it would not have taken otherwise, and I owe it all to my own initiative- and social media.

The beauty of all of these things is that they are not the end of the line.  Everyday something new arrives on the social media scale.  Inventions that help you find work, polish a skill, enjoy a hobby, and promote yourself so all of the previous continue to occur.  It's baffling, it's amazing, it's beautiful.  It's my life, and I hope it continues so I can blog, tweet, and tell you what's on my mind for years to come.

Music Memory Monday

Against the Wind

Let's get back to basics.  Another memory from my JamsBio vault.

You Remember Uncle Joe

I'm from Michigan and I love Bob Seger. Growing up in the 70's &
80's Bob Seger was huge in our house. My parents belonged to a 4-wheel drive club and I vividly remember hearing Against the Wind on 8 track. A lot.

Honestly as a kid I didn't give Bob Seger much thought. I'm not sure why. I loved music but Seger didn't really resonate with me until my senior year. Every other weekend my Aunt and Uncle played in a Euchre club and I used to babysit for my cousins. My Uncle owned a bar and had recently replaced the bar's jukebox with a newer model. He brought the old one home and put it in his basement. It was an awesome finished basement with a big screen TV and stereo speakers all around, quite innovative for 1989. Once the kids were in bed I would go down there and play song after song on that jukebox, but the one I always came back to was Fire Lake. The guitar strumming at the beginning gives me chills. I feel like it tells a story similar to those long days out with my parents and their friends with their trucks on the beach, everyone always seemed to be having the best time.

I guess to certain ears there is nothing spectacular about Seger, but the way he sings a story reminds me so much of my childhood. I wouldn't trade those memories for anything.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I'm a Brand Ambassador for The View!

I love The View.  I gave birth during The View.  How many people can say that?  The View is the ONE daytime show I will allow myself to watch and it's only because I feel I get an equal amount of celebrity gossip and fluff, and up-to-the-minute current events.

So, when I had the opportunity to apply to be a Brand Ambassador for the show that appeared on the tiny hospital TV in the corner as I pushed my nine pound, five ounce bundle of joy out of my body, I had to at least try!  And guess what?  They picked me!
I'm not sure how long prior to that February morning in 2004 that I had been a View viewer.  And yes, there were times when I was employed full-time out of the house that it just wasn't possible to tune in every day.  But now I can, and I usually do.  Today we heard more proof of John Mayer's toolness, and how freaky "sexting" can be- with life long consequences.  All that followed by Dr. Bailey herself!  Even my darling hubby watched along with me, and he feels Whoopi is doing a fantastic job.

On Wednesday, Posh... err.... Victoria Beckham is co-hosting.  The ladies will welcome Oscar nominee James Cameron.  I'll be watching, I don't plan on having any more babies during the broadcast, but I'll be watching. 

The View Brand Ambassador program is facilitated by Mom Central, and through February 28 you can enter Mom Central's sweepstakes where one lucky winner will be randomly selected to receive a trip to New York City to watch a taping of The View!  Click here for your chance to win!

I am a participant in a Mom Central campaign for ABC Daytime and will receive a tote bag or other The View branded items to facilitate my review.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Self Inflicted Exhaustion

Isn't it crazy that the things we love to do the most are the things that are most often neglected or completely ignored. Like, this blog.

I love writing here, and I am so proud of this blog, and yet when I get busy with life it's the first thing to go by the wayside. (What does that mean anyway, go by the wayside? The Wayside is a bar in Mt. Pleasant that I spent a lot of time in a lifetime ago.)

It seems impossible that a balance may be maintained across all avenues. If the house is clean, no writing gets done. If writing is accomplished then you can not find a clean sock or the kitchen sink.

We endured the great furniture swap of 2010 to make room for a pool table, and in the process my husband completely cleaned out a storage area in the basement so that I can finally have my own office space. Have I made any progress in created said space? Nope. I went from losing sleep because I was giddy with ideas of how to decorate my office and to now, weeks later and nothing has been done.

I've had all week to get ready for girl scout camp this weekend, and yet because I can't say no, I will spend all day tomorrow rushing to help at the flowershop to help at the school, making a mad dash to the council shop and then home to pack in a fast fury. Really? What is wrong with me?

The opportunities are really starting to come in, but if I don't organize myself and come up with some kind of schedule then I am going to ruin everything. Oh and did I mention that I was sick, then Jayden was sick, and then there was a snow day? And car issues?

God grant me the serenity... make it through the day tomorrow and accomplish all I need to. enjoy Girl Scout Valentine Camp. rest and recover from camp on Sunday afternoon. use my Monday wisely. sign up for next Saturday's Writers Workshop. learn to say no! get off the computer and go to bed.

Monday, February 8, 2010

If you blinked

you may have missed it.  But here is my favorite ad from the Superbowl.  Ok, it's more of an ad-ette, and Boost Mobile's Superbowl Shuffle was classic, but I love me some Dave, and Oprah, and ok Jay can come to this party too.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Things I likeeeeeeeee

What is it with kids today?  Why do all of their facebook statuses have so many extra "E"'s at the end of everything?  What grammar class did I miss that explained this phenomena?  Seriously?  I shouldn't even say "kids" because my mother does it too.  I do wonder if she knows why she does it?

Anywho... I found some cool stuff on Etsy and I wanted to share.  As some of you know I am a coupon fanatic and coupon organizers don't usually survive me for more than about six months.  They either fall apart or they just don't have enough sections and I get pissed off and chuck the whole thing.

In a recent issue of ShopSmart magazine they had a couple of cute ones and referenced Etsy as the place to find them.  Well, as it happens I wasn't crazy about the coupon organizers they featured but I did find this shop, and this organizer.

And I don't just like this organizer, I loveeeeee it.

It's very well made, and has 20 dividers.  Plus it comes with every label you can possibly think of, and it will attach to your shopping cart.  Excuse me for a second, I have to wipe a tear.  Awesome.

Best of all is the $12.00 price tag.  Thank you so much Glowgirl.  I mean Glowgirllllllll.

The second thing I bought, and this one goes along with my loveeeeee of words, is this sign for my new office.

The Homespun Raven not only deserves kudos for this awesome sign that I ordered in dark purple, but she also gets them for her Etsy shop and her website.

Oh, and I did I mention she is in Michigannnnnnnn?

I saw so many signs on her website that I covet, including this oneeeeee.

I plan to order that one very soon.  Especially since she clearly had meeeee in mind when she created it.

Didn't sheeeeeeeeeeee?

I bought these things with my own dollars and loved them so much I had to shareeeeeeeeee.