|Life at smaller agency keeps Smriga busy, happy
Emily Smriga addresses a communication class
A Purdue alumna was a driving force behind the successful Boilermaker Barbershop campaign for the Purdue Athletic Department.
Emily Smriga, B.A., 2003, is a copywriter for Haan Marketing+Communications in Lafayette. Smriga works on TV and radio commercials, newsletters, brochures, marketing plans, Web sites and other means of communication.
The Boilermaker Barbershop campaign earned Smriga an ADDY award at the area level from the American Advertising Federation. The five-commercial campaign garnered the "Best in Show" award.
Smriga said the idea for the barbershop campaign came from a commercial, also set in a barbershop, for the Chicago Bulls. Then, Haan adopted its own feel for the Purdue commercials. Set in a barbershop, actors humorously discussed Purdue sports, and well-known faces such as coach Joe Tiller, coach Matt Painter, former football standout Leroy Keyes, and current players would drop in.
Actors were interviewed and hired. A real local barbershop willing to close down for a few days for shoots was found. The Purdue athletic archives was raided for memorabilia to decorate the barbershop with.
"It takes a lot of time to do an entire campaign," Smriga said.
Smriga said about 75 percent of her time is spent doing research and 25 percent of her time writing campaigns. That was one aspect of advertising that appealed to her, she said. There is no monotony.
Haan's clients include Purdue's revenue sports, St. Clare Medical Center, Pepsi and Greater Lafayette Health Services.
If you're not a huge name in the community, don't worry. Haan accepts projects of all shapes and sizes. According to Smriga, she's done campaigns ranging from organizing a Facebook site to posting ads above urinals to writing radio spots.
"It's very important to try to steer your client away from traditional," she said.
For example, Haan launched the 866-I-LUV-COACH ad campaign where Purdue fans can leave voicemails for coaches Tiller, Painter and Sharon Versyp. The hotline is one of the first examples of consumer-generated marketing in sports and has garnered national attention on blogs such as adfreak.com.
Smriga said Haan is very interested in alternative means of advertising for its clients, including through social networking sites like MySpace.com or podcasts.
She also enjoys life at a smaller agency, she said. "I love that I can get my feet wet with many different projects at once and have more responsibilities outside of the basic copywriter job description," she said.
Smriga also has used her talents to take on the role of instructor at Purdue. She teaches a course on problems in advertising.
Her hard work has not gone unnoticed. She was recently chosen as a "Top 40 under 40" individual in the Lafayette area.