Dr. Tracy Tutenis an associate professor of marketing at East Carolina University, where she teaches advertising and social media marketing. Tuten is the author ofAdvertising 2.0: Social Media Marketing in a Web 2.0 Worldand coauthor of the textbookSocial … see full wiki
Through a friend of a friend, I was asked if I'd be interested in reading Advertisers at Work by Dr. Tracy Tuten. That wouldn't be my normal reading area of interest, but I've been called an "eclectic reader" more than once. :) What I got was far more than I expected, even if I'm not in the advertising field. This was a valuable read for me on a number of levels.
Contents: Introduction; Chris Raih, Co-founder and Managing Director, Zambezi; Kristen Cavallo, Chief Strategy Officer, Mullen; Luke Sullivan, Former Creative Director, GSD&M Idea City; Mike Hughes, President, The Martin Agency; Susan Credle, Chief Creative Officer, Leo Burnett North America; Marshall Ross, Chief Creative Officer, Cramer-Krasselt; Edward Boches, Chief Innovation Officer, Mullen; Doug Fidoten, President, Dentsu America; David Oakley, Creative Director, BooneOakley; Anne Bologna, Managing Director, MDC Partners; Jayanta Jenkins, Global Creative Director; TBWA/Chiat/Day; Eric Kallman, Creative Director, Barton F. Graf 9000; Craig Allen, Creative Director, Wieden+Kennedy; Ryan O'Hara Theisen and Jonathan Rosen, Founders, Lucky Branded Entertainment; John Zhao, Independent Filmmaker; Ellen Steinberg and Jim Russell, Group Creative Director/EVP and Chief Innovation Officer, McKinney
Dr. Tuten teaches advertising and social media marketing, and she takes her background and insights into a series of interviews with a number of influential people in the industry. She explores a range of topics based on the areas of focus of whoever she is interviewing. While everyone gets the normal "how did you get into advertising" question, other questions hone in on specifics, such as why they decided to open their own agency as opposed to continuing with one of the giants, or how is branded entertainment changing the advertising landscape. As a result, every chapter and interview is distinctly different, which leads to a much more readable book.
As I mentioned at the top, I'm not in advertising. Regardless, I got a lot of value from Advertisers at Work. For one, it's interesting to see how people got into an industry that is driven by creativity and passion. I can take that and compare it to how other successful people ended up doing what they love. More important to me as a writer was studying how Dr. Tuten did her interviewing. These types of books can easily become "answer these ten questions and give me some good material please". Not so with Dr. Tuten. She has some basic questions which are important, but she allows the interviews to go off in interesting directions. It's also evident that she was having pleasant conversations with her interviewees, and she was involved in what they were talking about. The back-and-forth isn't whitewashed or filtered out, so it made it feel like I was sitting with them, shooting the breeze over a drink.
If you're at all involved or interested in advertising, Advertisers at Work is a recommended read. However, if you're a writer and want to see how an interview should work and appear in print, this is a great example.