By Carissa Brzezinski (@CJBrzezinski)
Journalism department alumnus, Rene Delgado, is the recipient of this year’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award. Delgado was awarded this honor for his work as Associate Creative Director at Leo Burnett. Delgado took time to speak with students and faculty about advertising, originality, and the Super Bowl. The top five insights:
- Go with your gut
Know when to speak up when you have an idea. Delgado was the mind behind the “In Bed Tagger” app, a twist on the old fortune cookie joke, which allowed users to add an “In Bed” image to pictures they took. This app was a part of a campaign for Sealy mattresses. Delgado said this app almost didn’t get made because he and his colleague almost didn’t pitch it. The last pitch of the meeting, turned out to be the best idea of the day.
Not only should you speak up, but don’t be afraid to trust your first idea as well. Delgado said his first idea for a localized McDonald’s ad supporting the Chicago Blackhawks ended up being the idea that got made.
- You are going to fail
“You are going to fail a lot, and that’s OK,” Delgado said. “So, do what you like to do, and do it a lot.” You need to be willing to work for what you want because…
- Hard work pays off
Most of the time you will be working on basic projects, the ones that do not have a large budget and fill the day-to-day workweek. Eventually you get to work on the big projects. For example, a big project for Delgado was the Super Bowl. One of Leo Burnett’s clients is esurance. Delgado was a part of esurance’s national campaign “Sorta You Isn’t You” which debuted at the 2015 Super Bowl with ads starring Bryan Cranston and Lindsay Lohan.
- Pursue your passion
Bring that passion to your job because it can result in memorable experiences. Some projects are going to mean more to you and your passion is going to be what makes those projects successful. Delgado showed two recent projects that meant a lot to him. The first was an ad titled “#EqualDreams” for esurance in support of the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling. The second is a new campaign entitled “Put The Guns Down” for Chicago Ideas with the hopes to prevent gun violence through music.
- Be memorable
For those graduating, one of Delgado’s key pieces of advice is to be memorable. “You realize you are a brand.” Delgado said.
The way you present yourself to prospective employers can determine whether you get the job.