I know I told you alllll about the AMA conference I attended last weekend in my last post, but there was one takeaway that I just had to share. Peter Stern, president of Strategic Agency, was full of useful information on entering the marketing industry and what it really takes to become successful. He emphasized creativity and innovation as the way to win over clients and build a strong following for the future.

The most intriguing part of the conference (for me, at least) was when Stern showed us a case that his company has been working on lately to bring the infamous athletic Starter jackets back into popularity. Stern and the rest of Strategic Agency started pitching ideas to Starter and eventually  decided to bring the jackets to the Super Bowl: the ultimate athletic stage.

The creativity comes in when they decided to open up an ice cream shop on Bourbon Street in New Orleans and dub it “The Starter Parlor.” They represented every NFL team with its own flavor of ice cream: positively brilliant!! Coffee ice cream with java chips for the Seattle Seahawks. Gaga for Ghirardelli for the San Francisco 49ers. The combinations were endless.

And thus began the Starter jacket promotion. Celebrities, athletes, and Super Bowl fans lined up to have a scoop of their favorite team’s flavor. The jackets filled the parlor and models walked the runway wearing the latest designs.

Everything about this pop-up shop was great, but the metaphorical cherry-on-top (forgive me for the ice cream pun, I simply couldn’t resist) was when Mr. and Mrs. Harbaugh, the parents of the coaches in the Super Bowl, came to The Starter Parlor for a scoop or two of ice cream. What flavor would they pick? San Francisco or Baltimore? ESPN and other media outlets around the country waited for the answer. The idea of bringing in the mom and dad of the coaches facing each other in the biggest televised athletic event of the year is marketing genius. Starter gets its promotion and Strategic Agency looks really, really good.

This kind of creativity is what I aspire to. All it will take is a little persistence, a dash of luck, and a whole lot of hard work. I think I’m ready for it. How about you?

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