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Part museum. Part zoo. All fun.

IQ team members earned bronze at the Adobe Creative Jam in Atlanta.

IQ entry Adobe Creative Jam

Two IQ team members, ACD Carol Montoto and Designer Aleena Khan, represented IQ at the Adobe Creative Jam last Thursday in Atlanta. The ‘Jam invited designers, illustrators and students from around Atlanta to go head-to-head in a competition to make something amazing using Adobe products. It also gathered a crowd of enthusiastic spectators who enjoyed snacks, drinks and speakers while the teamed worked.

Four speakers took the stage, including Aleena who shared some of her work done for the Museum of Design Atlanta. Guests were also invited to watch the teams as they worked in an open space. With floor-length glass windows, spectators could walk by and watch the teams work. Carol described the process as something between a zoo and a museum, in the funniest and best way.

To learn a little more about the experience, we sat down with Carol and Aleena with a few questions.

What was your favorite part of the ‘Jam?

ALEENA: Probably the peanut M&M’s. Also, meeting Adobe evangelists Paul Trani and Terry White, both of who create awesome and in-depth tutorials on Adobe products. (Everything I know I about InDesign I learned from Terry.)

You ended up designing a hilarious banana-themed wallpaper. Why?

CAROL: We were asked to use a Dr. Seuss quote about standing out as inspiration. From the quote about fitting in we saw people walking in the same direction, something redundant, like clones, like a pattern. So we thought, what has a pattern? Immediately, wallpaper came to mind. It wasn’t interesting to us to do a design without a function, so we decided to give it a function and made wallpaper. That spiraled and we took it one step further and just stuck it in ad for IKEA.

You were one of two teams who ended up with an advertisement. What’s the logic behind that?

ALEENA: We’re in advertising! And it only makes sense to do what we do best. We loved the idea of creating something useful, and a product for designers seemed like a great way to do that. Also we did whatever we had to do to incorporate bananas because why the hell not?

What team’s work did you admire most?

CAROL: The Moxie team that won did an amazing job with their illustrations. I was really impressed.

ALEENA: 22squared really put something amazing together, and it was clear they were both very talented at creating conceptual photo manipulations. The team was made up of Louie Zuniga and Mark Damiano.

How would you like to see Adobe’s Creative Jams grow?

ALEENA: To be honest, host it in the morning! When we’re all fresh.

CAROL: I would love to see them actually include writers. Even though they’re not using Photoshop, their work isn’t really possible without the Adobe products. They always work with a designer and art director. Aleena and I brainstormed a lot and it would have been wonderful to have a copywriter in brainstorm, because that’s not exclusive to just designers. It would have been fun to see how clever the stuff could have been. Pushing it beyond just the visual approach. Or for a different visual approach, they could invite photographers and retouchers. Really, it’s just great to see people from different fields get involved in the creative process.

 

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IQ Spotlight: Courtney Kelly, Project Manager

Inspiring an Atmosphere of #IntelligenceAtPlay in my Projects

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Simplify your life with #IQtoolbox web tools

Kicking off #IQtoolbox

This month at IQ we’re thinking about some of our favorite ways to use the internet to make our lives simpler, in and out of the office. Whether it’s a tool that gives you cool ambient sound to keep you focused on the task at hand or a better way to organize your office or home to-do lists, online tools can do so much for you. So this month we’re sharing tools IQ-ers use everyday, tools that make up the #IQtoolbox.

We will be sharing original articles here and in our other social media channels (TwitterFacebookTumblr, and LinkedIn). We’ll also be sharing other articles and links that inspire us and engage our minds in a playful way.

So keep an eye out for the #IQtoolbox hashtag as we share our favorite tools. And maybe you can share your favorites with us, too!

Want to know more about IQ? Contact Us

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IQ Spotlight: Courtney Kelly, Project Manager

Inspiring an Atmosphere of #IntelligenceAtPlay in my Projects

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IQ Spotlight: Courtney Kelly, Project Manager

IQ Spotlight Courtney

IQ is made up of a bunch of rockstars that make incredible work for our clients everyday. We want to give you a glimpse of what it’s like to work in IQ, so every other Friday we’re going to interview an IQ-er and let you get to know them better.

For the official record, what is your name and your title at IQ?

My name is Courtney Kelly and I’m a Project Manager.

What is your favorite thing about working with a new client?

I really like the initial “getting to know you” phase. Everyone is so enthusiastic about what you’re going to be doing, and both sides are really open to all the possibilities, and it’s just an exciting time.

What is your favorite project you’ve worked on or managed?

I would say the Hot Spring Spas site redesign. It was my first time working on a full website redesign and the team was really excited to be working on it. It was just a fun experience that ended with some amazing work.

What does “Creative Intelligence” mean to you?

The result of bringing research and collaboration together to deliver an end product that’s impactful and easy for people to take in–something that has a nice, friendly, unassuming exterior, but also has depth and purpose behind every single element.

Tell me about the moment you knew this was the direction you wanted to pursue professionally.

I majored in Mass Communication with a concentration in Advertising, because even then Advertising was where I saw myself going. I had heard really great things about the culture and atmosphere in agencies, so I was set on wanting to work in one. I wanted to be involved in the creative process somehow, but I didn’t really want to go back to school, and the more I learned about Project Management, the more it seemed like a great fit. So I got a PM internship, and then I was a Project Coordinator, and now I’m a PM here at IQ.

Describe your approach or process to a new project.

I like to list out absolutely everything I know about a project. What the client wants, where the files are stored, who’s on the team, just anything and everything. Because as a PM, you’re the only person between the client and the resources, so if the resources don’t know the expectations or where to find something, they won’t do it—they’re not mind readers. So I like to get all of that together first, and then I can move onto next steps.

Quickfire:

Sun or Moon?

Sun.

Wine or Whiskey?

Whiskey.

Ninjas or Pirates?

Pirates.

Waffles or Pancakes?

Pancakes.

Ocean or Pool?

Pool.

Now you know a little more about Courtney Kelly!

Want to know more about IQ? Contact Us

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IQ Spotlight: Shari Benowich, Account Supervisor

Inspiring an Atmosphere of #IntelligenceAtPlay in my Projects

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Inspiring an Atmosphere of #IntelligenceAtPlay in my Projects

Marica #IntelligenceAtPlay

Wikipedia defines creative problem-solving as “… the mental process of searching for a new and novel creative solution to a problem…”, however; Noller’s Symbolic Formula for Understanding creativity states “Creativity is the function of Knowledge, Imagination, and Evaluation, reflecting an interpersonal attitude toward the beneficial and positive use of creativity (C = fa (K, I, E).”

Both are true and made me realize how one encourages creative problem solving is dependent upon their understanding of creative problem-solving AND that individual’s personality.

I consider myself to be laid back, fun-loving, and good spirited, so my encouragement for creative problem-solving is likely expressed in four ways:

I am humorous.

Working in an agency requires daily creative thinking and problem-solving, it often demands rigidity due to tight budgets or timelines and not true creativity.

I love sharing stories about my children with my team during downtime. Children have less knowledge, but more imagination than adults.  These stories may or may not contribute to better creative problem-solving, but making each other laugh not only tightens the bond of the team but relaxes you and opens your mind to new ideas.

I am supportive.

It takes a lot of courage to tell others your ideas, so I like to encourage expressing ideas, and respond enthusiastically and never make someone offering an idea feel foolish. This gives even the most apparently outlandish of ideas a chance to be aired and can sometimes lead to a breakthrough.

I am easygoing.

I believe a relaxed and flexible work environment increases productivity and further encourages team members to work together own their own without requiring me to micromanage.  This gives the impressions that I trust that their solutions are supported by one another.

I encourage breaks.

Having a break from the day to day grind and 50 hr. weeks is critical to remaining fresh for continued creative problem-solving. We all need R&R for a healthy work/life balance.  If not we don’t produce our highest quality work and it’s as simple as that.

Resources referenced: Wikipedia: Creative Problem Solving, Marketing Donut: 10 ways to encourage creative problem solving, Forbes: 6 ideas to promote innovation in your workplace this year, CreativeProblemSolving.orghttp://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/32693_Chapter1.pdf (page 5).

 

Want to know more about IQ? Contact Us

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How IQ Built a Culture of #IntelligenceAtPlay

IQ Spotlight: Shari Benowich, Account Supervisor

Intelligence At Play

 

 

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  • 02.18.15

How IQ built a culture of #IntelligenceAtPlay

IQ Culture

“Culture cannot be created – it forms organically.” This statement is true in many respects however, the manner in which an agency fosters this organic formation is key. At IQ we take many opportunities to foster a healthy agency culture but it’s not all about Ping-Pong tables and Beer Fridays.

IQ Waffle Friday menu

Waffle menu from IQ’s monthly Waffle Friday.

In order to foster a best-in-class agency culture, you must first start with a collaborative environment. Having the ability to ideate in real time with likeminded colleagues is crucial to culture. In our offices, many times you may walk into a room and think that A Beautiful Mind was filmed here. The sheer amount of mind-mapping on the walls can be seen as a direct corollary to the creative and intelligent output of the agency. Having ample collaborative work spaces, war rooms and think tanks is key to developing great work; which is in turn key to having a great culture.

IQ Collaboration

One of IQ’s collaborative brainstorming spaces.

Secondly, the way in which we work shapes culture. People tackle work and challenges differently. Giving employees the freedom and flexibility to do their jobs in a manner which is suitable to their strengths and personality, without fear of micromanagement, creates a positive agency culture. When employees feel empowered and have a sense of ownership in their work, the end result is boost for the agency and in turn, the culture.

IQ Culture Fun

Foosball and Nerf fun at an IQ Rockstar’s desk.

Lastly, the final piece to agency culture is allowing ourselves to have fun. One of the main differentiators between the ad industry and others is the playful nature of the creative environment. Whether it’s having regular group outings, pot-luck lunches in the office or just winding down with a coworker at the end of a long day over a game of darts and a beer, fostering a fun and laidback workplace is a must have for a great agency culture.

 

Want to know more about IQ? Contact Us

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IQ Spotlight: Shari Benowich, Account Supervisor

Intelligence At Play

Danger: Good Times Ahead

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IQ Spotlight: Shari Benowich, Account Supervisor

IQ Spotlight Shari Benowich

IQ is made up of a bunch of rockstars that make incredible work for our clients everyday. We want to give you a glimpse of what it’s like to work in IQ, so every other Friday we’re going to interview an IQ-er and let you get to know them better.

For the official record, what is your name and your title at IQ?

My name is Shari Benowich and I’m an Account Supervisor.

What is one thing you can’t leave home without?

I know it’s really cliché, but I’d have to say my cell phone.

What is your role in building the client/agency relationship?

That is really what I do everyday here: nurture relationships with our clients. I get to know their business and having a good idea of what would help them grow, even if it’s not what they initially approached us for. And I also make sure they’re happy with the work we produce for them.

What gets you “in the zone” for your daily work?

I have a long commute to the office, so a combination of a lot of coffee and belting out with some awesome music, whatever playlist I feel fits my mood each morning. And I wind down and listen to audiobooks on my way home.

Tell me about the moment you knew this was the direction you wanted to pursue professionally.

Where I did undergrad they have a co-op program where you get to do three internships, where you don’t take classes, you just work. The first two I did weren’t really a good fit on my end, so I had an idea of what I didn’t want to do, which is always useful. My third one I worked at an advertising agency, and I fell in love with the tangible aspect of advertising and the process from start to finish. And I always wanted to be a creative person, but I don’t really have a lot of creative ability, so here I get to be around creativity and be a part of the process.

What does “Creative Intelligence” mean to you?

I think it’s how everyone works together. We have people who are experts in all different areas that come together and produce really well rounded work for our clients.

Quickfire:

Cake or Pie?

Cake.

Hike or Bike?

I don’t know how to ride a bike, so hiking.

Tea or Coffee?

Coffee.

Dawn or Dusk?

Dusk.

Unicorns or Narwhals?

Narwhals.

Now you know a little more about Shari Benowich!

Want to know more about IQ? Contact Us

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IQ Spotlight: Tanya Richburg, Sr. Analyst

Intelligence At Play

Danger: Good Times Ahead

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Intelligence At Play

Kickoff - Intelligence at play

This month at IQ we’re thinking about what makes truly great work. Well-rounded, happy people make great work. A company culture that fosters an environment of play (play = exploration and discovery through informal means) does a lot for creating great work. So this month we’re focusing on intelligence at play. We will be sharing original articles here and in our other social media channels (TwitterFacebookTumblr, and LinkedIn). We’ll also be sharing other articles and links that inspire us and engage our minds in a playful way.

So keep an eye out for the #IntelligenceAtPlay hashtag as we share things that expand our creative intelligence by engaging our playful side.

Want to know more about IQ? Contact Us

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IQ Spotlight: Tanya Richburg, Senior Analyst

Danger: Good Times Ahead

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IQ Spotlight: Tanya Richburg, Senior Analyst

Tanya IQ Spotlight

IQ is made up of a bunch of rockstars that make incredible work for our clients everyday. We want to give you a glimpse of what it’s like to work in IQ, so every other Friday we’re going to interview an IQ-er and let you get to know them better.

For the official record, what is your name and your title at IQ?

My name is Tanya Richburg and I’m a Senior Analyst at IQ.

What was the last book you read?

“More Than Conquerors.”

What do you enjoy most about working with a new client?

The process of the agency and the client building a connection and working together towards the clients various project goals.

What brings you the most joy in your day-to-day work?

Finding solutions. Whether it’s an issue our clients are facing, or just a challenge they’ve asked us to meet or a challenge I’ve given myself; I really find joy in creative problem solving.

Tell me about the moment you knew this was the direction you wanted to pursue professionally.

I started my career as a marketing researcher where I found myself more and more inquisitive about the human nature and complexities of the choices people make. Having the ability to look into those choices, see those trends and make informed projections for future behavior was really cool to me. This path led me into the online analytics world because it uses those same characteristics and strengths. And now being able to dig deeper than traditional research and getting to see what consumer behavior is and how it affects things in a digital space is something I love to be a part of.

What does “Creative Intelligence” mean to you?

Being proficient and efficient in innovative thinking and applying that to the creative process while understanding the way human beings think and react during that whole process.

What is something you’ve learned this week?

I have learned that I really am a creature of logic. Where there is logic there tends to structure, and I like structure far more than chaos.

Quickfire:

Caramel or Hot Fudge?

Caramel.

Kindle or Paperback?

Paperback.

Apple or Android?

I’m pretty indifferent there.

Bath or Shower?

For getting clean, shower. For relaxing, bath all the way.

Drama or Comedy?

Drama.

Now you know a little more about Tanya Richburg!

Want to know more about IQ? Contact Us

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IQ Spotlight: Nick Lentsch, Lead Developer

Danger: Good Times Ahead

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IQ Spotlight: Nick Lentsch, Lead Developer

IQ Spotlight Nick Lentsch

 

IQ is made up of a bunch of rockstars that make incredible work for our clients everyday. We want to give you a glimpse of what it’s like to work in IQ, so every other Friday we’re going to interview an IQ-er and let you get to know them better.

For the official record, what is your name and your title at IQ?

My name is Nick Lentsch, and I’m the Lead Developer at IQ.

What does your ideal workspace look like?

I like a simple and clean workspace. I wish I had more monitors, but what developer doesn’t? I also want to get some more pictures of my family at my desk, especially with our new addition.

What are a few sites you visit at least once every week?

I like to check The Verge and get a daily dose of what’s new in tech around the world and I also check Quartz, which has more technical-specific industry news.

Tell me about the moment you knew this was the direction you wanted to pursue professionally.

I’ve really been into technology and gaming since I was a kid, and I just kept learning more. As I got older I started dabbling in different areas and liked development the most and just starting figuring out how I could make money doing what I loved to do. And here we are now.

What does “Creative Intelligence” mean to you?

To me it’s taking the newest technologies and using them the right way to integrate new ideas and creative problem solving and find great solutions to our client’s problems.

How has the recent addition of a new tiny human at home affected you and how you do work in the office?

I’m not getting that much sleep, so I just feel tired a lot of the time. Having two small kids at home is exponentially more difficult than just one. That’s for sure.

Quickfire:

Cake or Pie?

Cake.

Pizza or Spaghetti?

Pizza.

Marvel or DC?

Marvel.

Math or English?

Math.

Spring or Fall?

Fall.

Now you know a little more about Nick Lentsch!

Want to know more about IQ? Contact Us

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IQ Spotlight: Carol Montoto: Associate Creative Director

Danger: Good Times Ahead

Pushing Boundaries in a New Year

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Danger: Good Times Ahead

Danger: Good Times Ahead

In case you haven’t noticed there is a sea change happening in business. As companies go into 2015 they are more confident that their marketplace is solid than at any time in the last five plus years. This is very different from every January I can remember since the recession hit. If you recall, as we would roll into each New Year, brands would emerge extremely cautiously, prepared at any moment to run for cover as they watched their consumers crawl back into their shell. Of course they had reason to be gun-shy. Pretty much on schedule every year the promise of the economy turned to ashes usually around the second quarter. Budgets were cut, rosy forecasts trimmed and the rest of the year was usually a matter of subsistence marketing.

This year, however, is different. Confidence is brimming, because the fundamentals are finally, truly strong. More important, consumers feel the wind at the back of the economy for the first time in a long time. As a result brands are bullishly turning their attention to full force competition. That’s a big shift in mind-set. Planning to grow market share in the face of competitive pressure requires a different set of strategies and tactics to those required to just make it through the year.  This is made much more demanding when you consider that consumers have been trained by years of scarcity to be value conscious, sophisticated buyers. The upshot is the most challenging, competitive environment brands have probably ever seen.

The lean years have turned consumers into smart, careful shoppers. Buyers of all stripes have been provided with the tools, education and practice to become adept digital consumers armed with the skills required to make the best possible decisions every time. This has reshaped the buying process and redefined consumer expectations. Now there is really no choice for brands but to deliver enablement, transparency, quality and a superior experience. Anyway you look at it, it’s a tough nut to crack, but the companies that deliver on these expectations will earn a place in the consideration set.

All of this requires not only a different mind-set, but also a different tool kit to what brands used the last time they went out to do battle in a strong economic environment. Some forward thinking companies saw this coming, recognized that buying dynamics would forever be linked to new consumer expectations and put the pieces of a new kind of brand ecosystem in place. This ecosystem intelligently connects all of a brand’s touch-points throughout the consumer decision journey. With technology supplying consumer insights, and content keeping the consumer engaged, the new brand ecosystem has shifted to more science than art, and provides companies with more predictability even in the face of more complexity.

Today as we launch into the best environment in years, those brands that studied the new consumer and invested in the infrastructure and technology, find themselves ready to activate these sophisticated marketing ecosystems. Brands that did not do the work, however, are in a very different position. They will quickly find that they don’t have what they need and will be forced to not just change the tires on the bus at 60 mph, but to try and rebuild the whole bus without stopping.

Within the next few months the gap between the haves and have-nots will play out and for the first time the stark realities of marketing in the digital age will be plain for even the most hitherto blinkered to see.

Want to know more about IQ? Contact Us

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Pushing Boundaries in a New Year

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