Ad Agency Adventure #3

As an incoming marketing intern, I felt that I had a basic understanding of the principles and general tasks of marketing. Only a couple weeks into my internship, I found myself continuously shocked by the complexities of the field and by how interconnected marketing is with so many other departments. Of these intertwined relationships, advertising is highly pertinent to the work of marketing. Because much of Allstate’s advertising work is completed by outside agencies, my only interactions with this sector occurred via conference calls and through occasional email exchanges. Luckily, the internship program arranged a field trip for the marketing interns to visit one of our agencies, and this day ended up being one of the most valuable experiences of my internship.

Arriving to Leo Burnett, I quickly sensed a vibe that was slightly different from Allstate’s marketing department. Allstate is located in a suburb of Chicago whereas Leo Burnett is directly downtown, so this environment was different off the bat. The space where we spent most our day had a modern and edgy design, and we saw several ping pong tables throughout the building. Women walked around the office in casual rompers and one of the senior vice presidents hosted a presentation wearing flip flops. Although my department at Allstate is very casual, this company gave a whole new definition of what it means to be a chill workplace.

Beyond these initial observations, the day was insightful in many other ways also. During our time at Leo Burnett, we spoke with 11 staff members who work on various different projects for Allstate. We were welcomed by an executive vice president that introduced us to the company and gave us an inspirational speech about the power of advertising. It was impactful to hear advice from someone who is so outwardly passionate about the work she does. Next, we spoke to several people involved in the production of commercials. We learned about the process of casting, picking locations, filming, and other important details that are considered. We were able to tour the agency’s in-house production studio, Greenhouse, and see how sound is recorded, animations are created, and more. Throughout the rest of the day, we learned about the thought process behind many campaign advertisements that Leo Burnett has produced for Allstate, including Mayhem, Purple Purse, and Worth It. The day concluded with a tour of several areas of the building- all of which had breathtaking views of the city and the Chicago River.

Altogether, the day was very insightful. It was definitely beneficial to see what goes on behind the scenes when Allstate sends a new ad request off to an agency. I now feel a greater sense of understanding about Allstate’s overall business structure from seeing a more holistic view of the relationship between marketing and advertising. The field trip not only helped me gain useful knowledge that I can utilize in my current position, but also opened up my eyes to a career path that I had not previously considered.

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