AAF Most Promising Multicultural Student Program 2016

By: Taylor Moore, UCF Ad Club & AAF MPMS class of 2016


“I could just run away,” I thought as I sat in a plush armchair at the Roosevelt Hotel lobby. It was an hour into the career fair, and I had left the ballroom in a flurry of anxiety and panic.

This wasn’t working. These recruiters don’t like me, I thought. I was being too awkward, too passive. Ogilvy, Publicis, Omnicom, BBDO, DDB, TBWA—what does it all mean?

I’m not prepared enough. I’m not qualified enough. I’m not confident enough. Should I have made a portfolio? Why was I pursuing a discipline with few entry-level jobs? What was I even doing there? To calm myself, I checked my phone—Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, as if it all mattered. I tried to look busy to any casual onlookers. I contemplated staying in my hotel room until the next event. I contemplated jobs, prestige, the necessity of chairs with comfortable arms, and oblivion.

25164973931_f6cc651249_kA couple weeks ago, I was honored to be a part of the American Advertising Federation’s 2016 Most Promising Multicultural Students program in New York.

MPMS is an industry immersion and recruiting program for the nation’s top 50 minority college seniors. With the goal of promoting diversity within the field, we embarked on four packed days of agency visits, speaker panels, and workshops, which ultimately led up to a career fair and an awards luncheon. AAF selected me for their class of 2016 after a rigorous application that involved several essays and a nomination that I had received because of my involvement in Ad Club UCF.

On February 15, with high expectations, I flew to the Big Apple. Graduating this spring, I want to pursue a career in digital media and strategy, and New York is the place to be. This was the opportunity of a lifetime, and I didn’t want to waste it.

I sat in that comically ornate, godforsaken chair for 45 minutes. Staring at my notes but not reading. Sketching out detailed escape plans in my mind as if I were a prisoner and not the recipient of an astounding opportunity. Overanalyzing but—maybe—not analyzing enough.

In that moment in time, I was faced with myself, in this echo chamber of paralyzing self-doubt and than shame at that self-doubt. 24962411150_44584ea067_k

Then I did something I had never done before—I gave myself permission to fail miserably. I told myself to screw it and do the best that I could with all that I had. If New York chewed me up and spit me out, it was only one week in my life anyway.

And for that remaining hour of the fair, I killed it. I had a lot of valuable conversations with recruiters, and I learned so much more than if I had skipped town, as I had hilariously considered just 30 minutes earlier.

And from there, I had an incredible week. Our group visited General Mills, where we were met with a cereal bar and given boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios with our names on them. I got to sit at the news desk at CNN during our tour of Turner Broadcasting’s headquarters, where unfortunately I didn’t get my start as their newest anchor, but I had a fun time anyway. And at the awards luncheon, I got up on stage in front of hundreds of people and didn’t trip—not even once.

In those four days, I learned so much about the industry and my place in it, and I’m eternally grateful to the American Advertising Federation for bringing me that much closer to my dreams. I’ve also gained 49 brilliant, talented friends who are just as excited about the industry as I am, and the value of that is immeasurable.

And, perhaps most importantly, I discovered that you can’t run away from yourself. Your insecurities will follow wherever you ago, keeping you from doing what you want to do and what you need to do. They don’t scurry off when you board the plane.

So the next time you find yourself with a seemingly insurmountable challenge and voices in the back of your mind saying that you’re not good enough, tell them to shove it. You’re too busy for that crap. You’ve got somewhere to be. 25231816486_12b22e16a1_k

Diversity in Advertising

First I’d like to introduce myself and give you a little background information. My name is Fawaz Zakir, I am your Ad 2 Diversity Chair for the 2013-14 board year. I was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to Pakistani parents and moved to Orlando, FL at the age of two. Growing up I was never exposed to advertising as a career, I did not know my fondness of commercials and the message they expressed could actually be a profession until I reached college. Why is that? It could be my roots in South East Asian culture that mostly encourage health/ technology related fields. Although still I was brought up in an American school systems where I still do not recollect ever being taught of the creative field of advertising.

In the Advertising field we have come to understand the beauty of relaying an idea to the masses. Now more than ever we have seen advertising expand to include nearly every aspect of our life. It was not until fairly recently that advertising as a career was brought to pop culture thanks to the likes of AMC’s hit series Mad Men. Whether the show is a good representation of Advertising or not we may disagree on but i’m certain we can all agree that Advertising lacks diversity within it’s foundation. In a field that is based on creativity and the power of an idea more than race or sex why is it still so far behind in representing minorities and majorities alike? The video below is a great look at  Advertising and Diversity.


“85% of all advertising and marketing messages are aimed at women, 90% of all communications campaigns are created by men.”   This is why programs such as Ad 2 and AAF are so vital. To display the art of advertising to the masses and create an open discussion to those who already call it “work”. I look forward to a great year with Ad2 Orlando and expanding the conversation started by my predecessor Joel A. Montilla on such an important issue.


-Fawaz Zakir, Diversity Chair


Source: Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) Report 2011


The Latino Vote

As we head into elections, we’re sure you’ve seen the intense advertising push by politicians who are desperately trying to gain your vote.

It comes as no surprise that understanding the diversity of specific demographics is important for advertising companies who work with these politicians to reach out to the important voters and influence their vote – one of which is the Latino (or Hispanic) vote.

We wanted to take this opportunity to provide a bit of stats in order for our profession (i.e. you) to better understand the approach and trends that surround us heading into elections.

The Latino Vote is described as the following: “The Latino vote or the Hispanic vote is a catchphrase that in American culture and American politics refers to the voting trends during elections in the United States by eligible voters of Latino or Hispanic background. This phrase is usually mentioned by the media as a way to label voters of this ethnicity, and to opine that this demographic group could potentially tilt the outcome of an election, and how candidates have pandered or not to that specific ethnic group.” -Wikipedia.org

“16 percent of all registered voters in Florida are Hispanic, just 6.79 percent of the total spent on local TV political ads has been on Spanish language media. And the Democrats have a huge edge: $4,260,740, compared to the Republican at  $2,118,750 on the President, U.S. Senate and U.S. House races. Nationally, in 10 large states, spending on Spanish-language ads totals just $16.4 million, or 4.57 percent of the nearly $359 million total spent on local political advertising in these races.” -Orlando Sentinel

As we wind down the final days before elections, take a look around and notice how advertisers and marketers are and are not taking on this challenge of reaching out to this demographic and let us learn from the successes and failures that continue to mold our future. For a trend that is described as “potentially tilting the outcome of the election,” the small percentages of overall advertising against this demo could still mostly be considered as ignored.  Our generation should be learning from this and continuing to demand that our profession better understand this culture and stress why it is so important to reach them.

Let us continue embracing the value in the diversity which makes us all who we are and who we will be.

This is our profession. This is Our Culture.


Joel A. Montilla – Ad 2 Orlando, Diversity Chair

2: http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/news_politics/2012/10/spending-on-spanish-language-ads-doesnt-track-rise-in-hispanic-registration.html

Getting Social with Latinos

My name is Joel A. Montilla, born to parents from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.   I serve as your Diversity Chair. This is who I am – this is my culture.

September 15th through October 15th is Hispanic Heritage Month – a time in which we celebrate the history, culture, and contributions of Hispanics and Latinos.

We’ve mentioned previously that Hispanics and Latinos have fast become an important consumer and so is a key objective for many companies, but tapping into this demographic has become a challenge.   (See last year’s blog on the growth rate and increased buying power of the Hispanic Consumer)

And yet still, understanding their behavior to better serve them can prove to be a valuable tool to any company.  Here are a couple of resources that will allow you to gain a competitive advantage:

#latism – Latinos in Social Media

#latism is described as: “a pioneering social media organization, Latinos in Social Media (LATISM) has been hailed as the most influential online movement in the new multicultural Web.”

This is the keyword that provides an inside look into these demographics in the online world. In addition, it serves as a great educational resource for anyone wanting to learn about this trend.

You’ll be seeing more of this hashtag in advertising publications and around you more and more as companies start to hone in on this powerful consumer.

Last, but not least, there’s a publication that Ad Age provides regarding Hispanic marketing and media which includes data and information that is critical to the success of any given advertising campaign aimed at this demographic: Hispanic Fact Pack. This publication contains information that serves as a helpful guide to any and all ad agencies, CMO’s, industry execs, and marketers looking to better understand this consumer.

We’d recommend picking up a copy.

Here’s the link: http://adage.com/trend-reports/

We hope you find the information we provide in the coming months rich in information regarding the overwhelming presence in diversity in our everyday lives, and more importantly, in our profession.

Joel A. Montilla, Ad 2 Diversity Chair

Diversity: Shake it Then Stir

Yoma Edwin
This will be the first in a series of posts that I will be bringing to you on my prospective on diversity in advertising for young professionals in Orlando.  This is also my official introduction as the new Diversity Chair of Ad 2 Orlando. I am honored that the board has chosen me for this awesome position.

Diversity for many is like an exotic drink that most would like to try but when it all comes down to it, they feel more comfortable with just a regular beer because that keeps them in their comfort zone. Take me for instance, I am a 6’3 220+ black guy that loves Coldplay, Pink Floyd and Ingrid Michaelson and still thinks Tupac is alive and living in Guam.  

However, unless you allow yourself to know me without first assuming that we may not have anything alike because of my color, your color, my BMW or your Prius, then you will fail to realize that we are all connected. The only reason we even have a Diversity committee and not a “Just People” committee is because we allow assumptions, culture, race and friends to dictate our ability to connect without first learning. If you would first learn a person no matter what their differences, it would allow you to become people diverse which would then be reflected in your advertising messages and networking. I challenge you to shake up the status quo; become diverse and befriend someone that is outside your usual network.

Smile & Always Think Positive!