A Look Back on 2011

As the end of the year approaches, it seems that most of the articles are reflecting on the last year. Journalists write about the best campaigns of the year, and the worst campaigns of the year.  They write about the most memorable parts of the year, and the most painful moments of the year.  Last year I wrote a post called the Final Post of the Year that went month by month through the best parts of 2010.  I really enjoyed writing that post and looking back on my past year so I figured I would do the same thing for 2011.

January

In January, I went to the Dolphins/Patriots game in Foxboro which is something I have wanted to do since I moved to Boston.  The Dolphins obviously got killed, but it was still a great time.

I also started my last semester of college at Boston University.  They had a few celebrations for seniors.

With Dean Elmore and John Battaglino

February

I had some exciting trips in February.  First, I went to Chicago for the first time.  I went to DePaul University’s PRSSA conference.  I wrote about it on an older blog post.  Then I spent the rest of the weekend exploring the city with my awesome tour guide, Nick Lucido!

Sky Deck!

The Bean

Deep dish pizza!

A week later I went skiing for the first time at Mont Tremblant.  It was definitely scary learning how to ski at first, but by the end of the weekend I was getting the hang of it.  But I have heard that your first time skiing should not be on this mountain.

March

In March I did something I had been looking forward to since I heard it opened.  HARRY POTTER WORLD!

April

This month started off bittersweet.  I went to Seattle for the PRSSA National Assembly.  I always looked forward to my PRSSA trips, and this one was my last.  The next committee was elected, and I was so excited and proud of them.  But it was also (potentially) the last time I was with everyone in my committee at the same time.  PRSSA continues to mean the world to me and truly made a huge difference in my life and my career.  I was also awarded with the Elaine Averick Outstanding National Committee Member Award.  Oh, and I caught a fish in the Seattle fish market!

The 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 PRSSA National Committees

The 2010-2011 PRSSA National Committee Saying Goodbye

Elaine Averick Outstanding National Committee Member Award

May

In May, I graduated from Boston University with a degree in Public Relations from the College of Communication and a degree in Business Administration from the School of Management.  I also received the Gerald Powers PR Scholarship, Blue Chip Award and Scarlet Key.

Scarlet Key

Blue Chip Ceremony

June

Even though I officially starting working on May 31, my new hire training at HubSpot started on June 6.  After six months of working, I can still say I love my job!

July

In July I spent a lot of time working and a lot of time enjoying Boston and getting together with friends.

BSMA Brunch

August

In mid-August, I co-founded a Young Professionals Network for the Public Relations Society of America in Boston.  Then at the end of August, Dreamforce, Salesforce.com’s annual conference that included 45,000 people this year, began.  My responsibilities at HubSpot all summer consisted of working on our presence at Dreamforce and planning for our HubSpot User Group Summit.  David Kirkpatrick of MarketingSherpa wrote a case study about our presence there.  It was memorable, exciting and turned out very well despite Hurricane Irene’s attempt to keep the HubSpot team in Massachusetts.

September

September was the HubSpot User Group Summit (HUGS) in Boston with 1,000 customers.  It was inspiring hearing many of the HubSpot customer stories and seeing how excited the customers and HubSpotters were to meet each other and learn from one another.  And I cannot leave out the balloon sprocket at the opening reception.  I had honestly wanted to do this since my first day at HubSpot!

October

October started off by going to Maine for the first time!  I have wanted to see more of New England since I decided to stay in Boston after graduation, and this was the first step.  I also had lobster for the first time.

Then all my dreams came true, and I FINALLY got the Verizon iPhone!

And I, of course, had to highlight it on my Facebook Timeline:

November

This month was busy, but at the end of the month, I went with HubSpot to Cloudforce.  It was great to see everyone who I had worked closely with all summer for Dreamforce.  And it is always fun to meet HubSpot customers and talk to other people about the company!


December

At HubSpot, not only are we around some of the greatest marketing professionals in the industry, but they constantly take the opportunity to teach us as well.  HubSpot, therefore, set up a program called HubSpot Fellows.  The CEO and co-founder of HubSpot, Brian Halligan, teaches a bunch of classes on leadership and helps us become better leaders at HubSpot.  It is an awesome chance to learn from Brian but also interact with other HubSpotters who are part of the program.

Happy New Year to everyone!

Super Bowl 2011 Advertisements

The entertainment during this year’s Super Bowl may have been unsuccessful, but at least the advertisements were great (well some of them)!  Between Christina Aguilera forgetting the words to the National Anthem and the Black Eyed Peas having a total fail for a performance, the advertisements may have saved the Super Bowl (not including the actual game, of course).  Below are my thoughts/reactions to some of the commercials that stood out (either positively or negatively).

First Quarter:

Bud Light: I usually don’t enjoy the Bud Light commercials.  They are normally the same thing: Person 1 is just SO excited that they have a Bud Light, and their entire LIFE is now better.  It is always the same exact thing.  The first commercial was the same theme as well.  BUT the second Bud Light commercial was a change from before AND for the better!  Bluntly incorporating product placement into Super Bowl ads, one of the biggest opportunities for product placement was genius and funny too.  Having a medieval play with random Bud Light product placements…genius…just genius.

Doritos: The first Doritos commercial was pretty elementary, but they definitely made up for it as the commercials continued.  The third commercial with the chip’s crumbs bringing everything back to life was pretty entertaining, and kind of creepy when it brought the kid’s grandfather back to life.  But still a bit more creative than the usual “DORITOS ARE JUST THE BEST” mentality.

Pepsi Max: Now I’m not a huge Pepsi fan (which would normally mean I wouldn’t write about it on my blog), but I have to mention the Pepsi Max commercial with the geek being made fun of by the “pretty, popular kids.”  Definitely entertaining watching the kids get shown up by the geek and his cool gadgets/toys.  Ya gotta love how nerdiness is the new “cool.”

Bridgestone: Kudos to Bridgestone!  I think you tapped into every person’s fear of hitting “Reply All” by accident and sending an e-mail out to many people who were not supposed to read it.  I’m sure everyone has done that once or twice.  Granted, Gmail has an “Undo” button now, but what about those e-mails you don’t realize you sent for awhile?  But anyway, Bridgestone just related to EVERY person who has ever sent an e-mail.  Great job, great ad.

Go Daddy: When I first started my blog, I used Go Daddy.  That year when I saw the Super Bowl commercials, I was so excited because not only did I use this service, but their commercials were so creative!  That being said, that time has certainly passed with the abysmal showing from them on this year’s ad.

Second Quarter:

Coca-Cola: Everyone expects the polar bear in these commercials, especially if the commercial isn’t going to be something unique.  I hate to say it because I am TOTALLY brand loyal to Coke, but this commercial was lame.  It was the same commercial they have ALWAYS had but with dragons, warriors, whatever they were.  I was hoping for something at LEAST as creative as their “Open Happiness” campaign.  I hope they bring something better a bit later.

Volkswagen: This ad was great.  The little boy trying to have Star Wars powers was absolutely ADORABLE.  I have nothing much to say besides good job, Volkswagen.  You got everyone’s attention in a positive way.  No complaints here, and I haven’t even heard any complaints on Twitter (which is even more impressive)!

Snickers: What was that?  Like seriously…you went from Betty White to that?  It wasn’t funny this year, and I stopped watching before I even knew it was a Snickers commercial (I only saw people tweeting that it was a Snickers commercial).  Not impressed.

Chevy: If you wanted to get the attention of any advertising and PR people, well you did it.  There are no complaints from this group as Facebook is more than an addiction – it is a way of life.  The tweets after this commercial were beyond excited as they saw the best possible scenario: driving AND having Facebook statuses read aloud.  Great job, Chevy.

Carmax: This was a commercial that definitely got an “LOL” out of me.  I had never even heard of Carmax before, but it definitely made a lasting impression on me.  Very catchy commercial, and definitely kept my attention the entire time.  “I feel like a kid in a candy store…”  Beautiful start!

Staples: When you think of Staples, you think of the “easy” button and the silly “That was easy” line.  I think Staples did a really great job of showing their products while still maintaining their brand image with the easy button.  Very nicely done.

Third Quarter:

Etrade: Let’s just put it this way, you can never go wrong with a talking baby.  They will be funny no matter what.

Best Buy: Great line: “What’s a Bieber?”  I have nothing against Justin Bieber.  Personally, I think he is a great kid and very talented.  BUT it was a great way to get some attention for Best Buy by making fun of him.

Groupon: I am a big fan of Groupon.  Love the company, love the deals, love just about everything.  But I think they could have been a bit more creative with these advertisements.  They seem to be making light of serious situations around the world.  And while I sort of see their point, I just think they could have been more creative.

Chrysler: Using Eminem in this commercial was perfect.  “Lose Yourself” playing in the background was a great addition.  The brand was prominent, everyone’s eyes were interested in Eminem (especially since his appearance in the Brisk commercial wasn’t too exciting) and Chrysler got their message across.  Their cars were branded as cool, luxurious and made for a star.

BMW: Who doesn’t like game shows?  And who doesn’t love FUNNY game shows?  “Cram It In The Boot?”  Who thinks of something like that?  But it was complete genius.  It was funny, got the attention of America who loves game shows and showed the purpose behind the commercial: the fact that this car has more trunk space and can really fit all your possessions.  Great use of strategy and humor.

NFL: This was one of the greatest ads I have ever seen.  It may not have been the funniest or best at promoting a product, but it was certainly the greatest ad of the night.  Watching all of the different shows celebrate the Super Bowl was fantastic and so nostalgic.  From the older shows like Happy Days, Full House and Seinfeld to most modern shows like Friends and Family Guy, this compilation of shows was truly top notch.

Fourth Quarter:

Bridgestone: Bridgestone has done a great job tonight.  First with the Reply All and then with the beaver commercial.  Great use of a cute animal to get your point across (kinda brings me back to the Geico commercials that I used to look forward to).  But not only is the commercial cute and well received (at least on Twitter), but it really incorporates the car well.  A lot of commercials are cute and use animals that don’t relate as much to the product they are selling, but Bridgestone is able to do both.

Verizon iPhone: I could probably write a full post on this advertisement.  In fact, I will probably end up writing a post about the Verizon and AT&T ads that have been produced since the iPhone was announced on Verizon.  But tonight…tonight this single ad has made my ENTIRE NIGHT.  Not only does it show the sleek, magnificent iPhone, but VERIZON BROUGHT BACK THE “CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW” GUY!  That basically makes all my hopes and dreams come true.  Definitely the best ad of the night.  Perfect advertisement for the Verizon iPhone and PERFECT way and reason to bring back the original face of Verizon with the “Can you hear me now” actor.

And that’s that for this year’s Super Bowl ads.  Congratulations to the Green Bay Packers!  (And me, for picking them to win tonight!)