REBUS St. Louis

What Our January Hosts Say About REBUS by danielelchert
January 29, 2010, 2:50 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

“We fully enjoyed our experience with Rebus. It was a pleasure opening up our doors and showing others what McGowan Crain is all about. Both of us were thrilled with the turnout. Meeting some of the young professionals has allowed us to look at some great portfolios and hopefully bring some bright, creative minds into our company.”

Todd McGowan/Ben Crain
McGowan Crain


NEXT STOP: Meoli Studio, Tuesday Feb. 16th by danielelchert
January 29, 2010, 2:48 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

Yeah, we know it’s Tuesday and Idol’s on, but come on!

GET A LIFE! Come see all the cool stuff our photographers and digital artists have been creating. You might even see examples of your own incredible art direction! If you don’t, we’ll put you in touch with our reps to make sure your talented work is soon a part of our portfolio.

As always, Meoli Studio is here to make YOU look GOOD.

Eat, drink, talk to friends you haven’t seen in a while and meet new ones. In other words, network under the influence of alcohol-it’s so much more effective!


Meoli Studio
5550 Fyler Ave.
Free Parking in our lot and on the street. All very well lit.

PLEASE NOTE: February’s event will take place on the THIRD Tuesday of the month.

How much does it cost?

Free for paid Ad Club members
Non Ad Club members $10 at the door
Must be 21 years of age or older

Please RSVP to:

If you are interested in volunteering with REBUS or would like more information about the organization, contact Kirsten Sanders ( or Danny Elchert (

4-Link Sausage Friday by REBUS
January 29, 2010, 1:14 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

This is the weekly REBUS link dump. Each week a staff writer will give you 4 delicious links to fatten up your advertising knowledge and clog your work-flow.

This week: Daniel Cady

Makin’ Ads

If you’re a creative (or aspiring creative), this is a great site to visit for advice and words of wisdom. Interesting and really helpful.

Modern Copywriter

Want to see the portfolios of some of the best copywriters in the nation? Want to feel like a complete hack? Look no further.

FearLess Q+A

Alex Bogusky and other random CPB people answer questions that you tweet to them. It’s on live, so you can ask them as they’re talking or you can always just watch it later.


Cool articles, agency profiles, interesting interviews and a bunch of other stuff.

The Art of Landing an Ad Gig. Step 1: Do Something Interesting by Michael Buffa
January 26, 2010, 3:22 pm
Filed under: Advertising, Job Search | Tags:

A lot of people wonder what it takes to get into advertising.  Hell, that’s something I’ve been asking myself for the past two years.  It seems to have dawned on me that networking groups such as Advertising Club St. Louis, Rebus, the American Marketing Association, and the St. Louis Social Media Club all have one thing in common – a good portion of their target audience is unemployed.

I’ve often been quoted saying, “Searching for a job, in and of itself, is a full time job.”  I still stand by that philosophy, but I’ve taken a slightly different stance in terms of how to approach it.

I just watched a documentary called, “Lemonade.”  It was filmed by creatives who lost their jobs during the down economy.  The tagline? “It’s not a pink slip, it’s a blank page.”  One individual who shared her story drastically changed my perspective on unemployment.  She stated, “Don’t be the person out there looking for a job, be the person out there doing something interesting.”

It made me think a lot about advertising and what it takes to make it in the industry.  For the recent graduates looking to find an in, checking a website every day isn’t going to get your foot in the door.  For the most part, you’re just another blinking light on someone’s voicemail or another trashed message in someone’s inbox.  In order to get noticed, you’ve got to do something worth noticing.

If you’re a writer, write something.  If you’re an art director, create.  If you’re a designer, design.  The goal of networking at events shouldn’t be to hand out cards and hope for interviews, it should about creating an interest in yourself and the projects you’re working on.  It’s not about going to meet people, it’s about people wanting to meet you.

So pour your heart into something you love.  If you’re passionate about it, if it gets the attention of others, and if it creates an interest in potential employers, your chances of landing a gig are greatly increased. In the end, advertising is all about creating interest through branded action, and what better client to start with than yourself.

“I work better under pressure,” and nine other lies I tell myself. by jessenwabeke
January 18, 2010, 3:44 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags:

Well, 2010 is here. Another new year. Another New Year’s Resolution. My resolution this year? To stop procrastinating.

Oh, who am I kidding? I’m only writing about procrastination because, as I write this, I’m procrastinating. Hell, I’m probably procrastinating as you read this. And I, like many people, tend to justify it by saying, “I work better under pressure.”

That got me thinking … What else do I lie to myself about?

10 Lies I Tell Myself

Lie: I work better under pressure.

Truth: Complete crap. Sure, when something’s due really soon, I have less time to screw around, so I work a little quicker, but do I work better? No way. When I’m pressed for time, I don’t dig as deep as I’d usually want to because, well … I don’t have the time to. There’s also way less time spent editting.

Lie: I watch YouTube videos for inspiration.

Truth: I watch them because they’re funny and/or I’m bored. Telling myself that I’m doing it for inspiration helps me feel less guilty. Unless you’re my creative director, in which case, I really do watch them for inspiration.

Lie: My parents don’t get what I do for a living.

Truth: They don’t really care. Instead of wasting time explaining how unglamorous my job is, I let them think I make tons of commercials and go to shoots on South American beaches. Ignorance is bliss.

Lie: I can’t stand Taylor Swift.

Truth: If one of her songs comes on the radio, I roll up the windows and turn up the volume. What do I do when someone’s in the car with me? I scoff, change the channel and die a little on the inside.

Lie: Things would be better at a different agency.

Truth: Don’t get me wrong. I love my job. But I’d be lying if I said I never thought this to myself (or yelled it drunkenly at a bar) when I got frustrated. This is of course, a bold-faced lie. Every agency gets frustrating because you invest tons of time and energy making stuff. That’s part of why I like the business. If you never get frustrated, you either don’t care that much about what you do, have the perfect stress-free job or take a lot of drugs.

Lie: I brainstorm better at bars.

Truth: I drink at bars. Brainstorming may or may not actually occur.

Lie: I’d do better work if I had more time.

Truth: This is just the first reaction I usually have to a tight deadline. While in some cases it may be true, it’s mostly just a defense mechanism. After all, almost every deadline is tight. This is advertising. Get used to it.

Lie: I’m not good at presenting work.

Truth: Trust me, I’m not saying I’m good at presenting work. I’m just saying I’m probably not as bad as I think. When I’m actually enthusiastic about an idea, it shows, which is a good thing. Of course, there are those times when I present an idea I’m not terribly proud of, and that shows, too. So even though I should probably work on my presentation skills, I think the real takeaway here is that I should work harder to come up with more ideas that get me excited and not settle for some that “aren’t that bad.”

Lie: The next assignment will be better.

Truth: No it won’t. Whenever I start thinking that, it means I’ve conceded that the current project is a wash, so that project suffers. When you’re only motivation is the hope that your next project will be better than what you’re already working on. You’re screwed. The next project will probably be exactly the same.

Lie: Making lists is easy.

Truth: Couldn’t think of a 10th lie.

’09 in Review by thatgirl979
January 15, 2010, 11:16 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

To say 2009 was a good year is like saying Velveeta is real cheese. It was bland, chemically enhanced, and wobbly. However, it did spur an appetite for networking, ideas and fuel that solidified REBUS as a staple of STL AdClub.

People came in droves (which means many).  As more abandoned their Macs to talk with 3-dimensional people we found ourselves popular. And this influx of (semi) sober industry members connecting was so poignant, most became regulars and events became as social as the bar scene. (Added bonus we remember your name tomorrow…or, at least, your face.)

Popularity (shocker) demanded that dry monologues be replaced with entertaining, relevant content. Over and over hosting agencies triumphed over A.D.D. to engage, enlighten, or at least make us a little less dumb. Soon events were filled with useful nuggets like how to turn off annoying Mafia Wars updates.

However, no matter how thought-provoking the talk, the food always plays an important role. If the animals aren’t fed, retention levels drop. So thanks for every beer, pretzel, quesadilla, cookie and carrot stick thrown our way. After all, everyone knows nothing turns an industry event into a success faster than the smell of bacon.

For those who weren’t cool enough to be there (your dog died right?) … the highlights of ’09.

Best Spread:  Cannonball’s appetizer-worthy menu of veggies, cheeses, ravioli, quesadillas and hot wings–oh my.

Greatest Snack: Avatar ‘s bacon-wrapped shrimp  thing-a-ma-jiggers. People swooned, Really.

Best Bar: Hoffman-Lewis’s happy mini-kegs and wine to the degree that one wondered if God was in the back working some charm with the Aquafina.

Most Interesting: Firecracker Press for a killer space, a talk on the virtues of letterpress that made me want to sell my soul for one, and an on-site printing demo of jolly roger posters to proclaim your office pirate-ness. P.S. If you need a company pet I volunteer.

Best DIY Talks: Tie between Rob Grimm’s “How to go from drinking beer to photographing beer.”  and Cannonball’s “How to go from drinking beer to selling beer on TV.” Invaluable knowledge presented in a way that “Advertising for Dummies” would be proud of.

Most Motivational: TOKY’s inspiration on using advertising for good. One look at their book will grow some warm pro-bono fuzzies in anyones heart. Count me in.

Most Futuristic: Ngage for showcasing  a green office. With a focus on renewable clean energy and roots in interactive and digital media – green is definitely not a pms reference.

Best off the Duff: Habenero’s  live action simulation of networking in the old-timey days. Back when your parents were kids they had to get off their rears and go MEET people to get friends. Excellent way to point out the benefits and pitfalls of the fast growing social media phenomenon.

Most Surprising: Hoffman –Lewis’s reel which made us rethink STL’s amazingness, proved local clients can produce first rate work, and for bringing a real client to show-and-tell to prove good clients do exist.

McGowan-Crain & Mozaic Rivet REBUS by headhunterbob

I attended the first REBUS meeting for 2010 last evening, hosted by McGowan-Crain and Mozaic . . . what an event!  The 70+ attendees shattered previous REBUS attendance records and their enthusiasm was contagious!  Those attendees were entertained by Ben Crain and Todd McGowan’s informative presentation of several case studies of their agency’s work.  Ken Reece gave an overview of Mozaic’s capabilities and Bill Freeman helped with post presentation tours.  Brian Handrigan of Gramatter, wrapped the presentations with a case study of a direct marketing effort on behalf of Royal Canin.

Thanks to Modesto for being so kind as to provide the snacks for the evening.

Ben and Todd took turns presenting case studies on McGowan-Crain’s work, across a variety of channels.  They explained their internal process for understanding and delivering brand positioning and appropriate marketing communications solutions across channels. They explained their “Smart, Simple, Strategic” foundationing and approach to all their work.  From Rosa Mexicano, an upscale Mexican food franchise, to Black Velvet Whiskey, and highlights of their 14 year run with Corona beer, Ben and Todd gave an open presentation of how they work for and succeed with their national clients.

Networking in the Mozaic photo studio.

They showed a very interesting video about “How an idea evolves”.  The video does a wonderful job of showing how the addition resources of Mozaic (photography, pre-press and high end re-touching, online, and direct) can be utilized for their clients’ benefit.  Check out that video and click here.

Todd delivered a final case study on one of the agency’s pet projects, 1860s Genuine American Vodka.  The idea for the spirit was hatched in a local Soulard bar (1860 Saloon), when the owner told Todd that he’s always wanted to create “his own” vodka to sell.  The resulting story of the brand positioning, development and launch  was fascinating to hear.  Apparently it worked, as it’s now selling in six States, with more to come!

After the formal presentations members of the host staffs provided portfolio reviews for those interested.

This was the kind of event that REBUS strives for . . . An entertaining and educational presentation, presented in a very hospitable, creative atmosphere.  There’s plenty of time to network with friends and meet new ones.  It’s a unique opportunity to see what other agencies are doing, and what’s more important, how they do it and why they do what they do.

For those of you who attended, thanks!  For those of you who missed it, we’ll be announcing our next event on February 9th, very shortly.  For additional info, follow us on Facebook, or LinkedIn!

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