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By Jeremy Chau, Talent Specialist at RPA

Like everything else in 2020, internships have been affected by COVID-19. The typical internship experience is not so typical. While many internships have been canceled, many have also gone virtual. For interns, it can be nerve-racking starting a new internship, to begin with, without the added layer of understanding expectations while working remotely. For many employers, it can also be tricky knowing how to manage interns without face-to-face interaction and hands-on training.

Below are eight tips for succeeding at a virtual internship:


By Tim Taylor, VP, Strategic Planning Director at RPA

During this pandemic, brands have an opportunity to build future loyalty by being helpful. As anxiety remains high, curating content can be a way for brands to show that they get what people are going through, and to demonstrate cultural savvy.

Brands can create a virtual hearth by providing or helping people find content they’re interested in, facilitating escape, creating a sense of community, or offering a feeling of purposefulness. …


By Jim Helberg, EVP, Chief Media Officer at RPA

The COVID-19 shelter-in-place dynamic has compromised many business categories and nearly toppled others. The world of commerce has been forced to adapt ­and makeshift transaction methods have been fine-tuned in a matter of weeks. (To wit, it is now considered polite to have food left at our door without so much as a hello.)

Just a few months ago, the economy was firing on nearly all cylinders: low unemployment, aggressive credit allowances, shortened buying processes, known as the customer journey, all of which benefited the marketing world. On the other hand…


By Hillary Haley, SVP, Executive Director of Behavioral Science at RPA

Brands were right there with us during the first eight weeks of the coronavirus pandemic.

Telling us they cared and proving it. They repurposed factories. Made record donations. Secured employee protections. Set up thoughtful policies for vulnerable populations.

People noticed and appreciated it. It was a modern response for modern times.

But quickly, people got sick of coronavirus marketing too. Because it all started to feel like a big bad blur — distant, inauthentic, at times treacly.

Parodies cropped up on YouTube. E-mail “unsubscribes” rolled in. And then brands…


By Isadora Chesler, SVP, Director, Video Production at RPA

Right now, ad agencies are churning out creative ideas that lean into accessible means to produce new video content, within the restrictions of ‘social distancing’ and ‘Safer at Home’ protocols.

From graphic and animation-based approaches, to stock and existing footage + UGC, and hiring influencers — these are the available methods in our current video production toolkit.

The question now is how do we concept live action-based ideas, that we can “control” in a more intermediate step, back into live-action shoots?

As we move into more relaxed government policies around ‘social…


It took 10 years, but this RPA senior editor produced “The Honest Struggle,” a feature documentary. He shares his survival skills.

By Justin Mashouf, Senior Editor at RPA

To succeed at having a side hustle, you must have an unreasonable amount of passion. Especially if what you’re passionate about isn’t related to your career.

Fortunately for me, my passion aligns with my career. I’m a filmmaker and I have worked in post-production at RPA ad agency’s in-house production company for four years. I recently released a feature documentary called “The Honest Struggle,” which is about an ex-gang leader coming home…


Striking the balance between empathy and decisiveness

By Joe Baratelli, EVP, Chief Creative Officer at RPA

“They have very interesting minds,” Yale president Peter Salovey told me, speaking of creative professionals. I was excited to meet the founding expert in the field of “emotional intelligence.” He had been instrumental in developing the concept. He said this after I explained what I do: lead a large team of creative people, in a variety of disciplines, working to apply creativity in the service of our clients’ business goals. To be honest, I was expecting a bit more dialog. But we were in…


Especially in a period where there’s racist violence being lobbed at the community

By Paul Fung, Associate Creative Director at RPA

Asian representation in media has catapulted lately, for better — and for worse.

On the one hand, Asians are characterized as a “model minority” deserving of Oscar wins, crazy talented and “crazy rich,” with our own take on heartwarming family comedies. On the other hand, the very same communities are vilified and held at a distance as pandemic carriers, subject to xenophobia and even violence.

Both portraits of Asian Americans can be harmful, one more obviously so than the other. But what’s troubling about this is that our identity, instead of being…


By Mike Margolin, SVP, Chief Digital Officer at RPA

The other day I was at the gym, on one of those awkward-moving elliptical contraptions when a guy walked into the area with a proud smile on his face. He was wearing a black t-shirt with two words, stacked:

CREATIVE

DIRECTOR

I was intrigued by this. What would compel someone to put their job title on a t-shirt and then select said shirt to wear to an overpriced gym on a Saturday morning? Is he a freelance “creative” looking for work, thinking he’d do some quality networking from his treadmill?

And…


RPA’s Tyler Sweeney on why the practice of churning out teasers for campaigns should be consigned to the past

By Tyler Sweeney, Digital Strategy Supervisor, RPA

On almost every campaign, the collective sits down to plan out the launch of the work. And almost every time, someone says a variation of ‘Let’s make a teaser!’ To clarify, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a teaser is ‘advertising content or an experience intended to arouse interest or curiosity especially in something to follow’ — and therein lies the problem: ‘in something to follow’.

In the on-demand, I-want-it-now world we live in, it’s…

RPA

Ad agency & collective of nice people. We believe in People First. Here, we share thoughts on smart marketing, and how to stand out in a cluttered world.

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