MHB WEEKLY: By the students, for the world

Speaker Series: John Carlisle | March 4, 2011

Each Friday, the MHB program hosts an industry pro with insight into career opportunities, marketplace trends and new ideas who engages students for two hours of class time. On February 25th, 2011, the speaker series featured Mr. John Carlisle, an Account Director at Ignited L.A., an El Segundo-based marketing innovations agency.

Mr. Carlisle spoke about his role in the Los Angeles office of his global digital ad agency. A digital agency, as opposed to a traditional ad agency, is focused on measuring and quantifying success. It is able to keep track of everything from impressions to click-throughs, which is important in the rapidly-changing world of communication — where everything is available on the internet. Ignited is able to provide data needed to calculate the return of investment (ROI) on these new forms of media.

Mr. Carlisle illustrated some of the work he has done at Ignited, including his work with the U.S. Army to revamp a brand that suffers from distorted perceptions on the part of potential recruits about the reality of joining the service. He explained that the goals were the same for each marketing strategy implemented: to change the perception of a life in the military, to increase the number of recruits, and to collect relevant data. There is also a focus on transparency, or ensuring that the Army is providing a genuine look at service — and if they like what they see, potential recruits are invited to learn more. (If the “inside look” is enough and they want no more to do with the army, meanwhile, that’s fine too; the Army does not want the image of forcing the hand of unwilling participants.) All of these efforts are an attempt to restore the credibility of recruiters, who have earned a negative reputation over the years as not being transparent.

Continue reading for more about Ignited’s work with the Army, including its interactive nationwide tour and its state-of-the-art video game.


Ignited has helped the Army reach its recruitment goal by creating the America’s Army video game, the Virtual Army Experience and the Army Experience Center. Each of these three marketing strategies focused on engaging customers in “Edutainment,” where they were learning about the army while simultaneously being entertained. Mr. Carlisle emphasized that games can be an effective form of brand communication; he cautioned, however, that the game must be relevant to the brand and fit the audience in order to work. Mr. Carlisle provided an essential look into the digital advertising world, as well as indispensable knowledge of how to market appropriately across ever-changing technology platforms.

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    Established in 2009 at USC, the Master's of Science in Human Behavior is designed to equip students with knowledge of consumer psychology, social media and market analysis skills. This is our blog. Subscribe

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