Advertising guest lecturer on connecting with new generations

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An award-winning advertiser said that the new generation of consumers wants a “belief-driven” brand at the Angelika Film Center in Mockingbird Station Feb. 6.

David Baldwin, founder of advertising agency Baldwin&, spoke to about 100 attendees, which included SMU students, professors, alumni and industry professionals as a part of the ExxonMobil lecture series. Baldwin takes a special approach to advertising and focuses on the company’s commendable projects as the selling point.

“I’m not here to replace advertising and marketing, but to do a little more with it-make a difference,” Baldwin said.

The lecture focused on how to connect with millennials, who are socially responsible and want ethical business practices from their favorite brands. It was an interactive experience, and Baldwin wanted to create an intimate atmosphere by suggesting that the audience ask questions during the lecture. He shared his experiences and motives for his work, which made the lecture even more personal. Baldwin shared how his children are the reason behind his belief that people should not be called consumers, but rather human beings with wants and needs.

“When you have your kid and you are in the hospital room and the baby is placed in your hands and you look down… you don’t go ‘oh you little consumer!” Baldwin said.

An SMU alumna and Dallas Mavericks graphic designer, Jena Jessen, said she looked forward to gaining perspective from someone as wise as Baldwin.

Student Wyatt Welch, a junior in the advertising program, decided to attend the event after being encouraged by his professor. He said he witnessed professionals enthusiastically accept the same invitation from his professor while taking tours at advertising agencies. Welch said he believed that if these professionals knew who Baldwin was and admired him, then the lecture was something worth listening to.

Dr. Stephen Edwards, Director of the Temerlin Advertising Institute said that they try to always choose a lecturer that speaks on ethical and responsible business practices.

“We are trying to influence the advertising community in thinking about better business practices in a broad sense,” Dr. Edwards said.

Dr. Edwards encouraged students interested in advertising to become more involved by attending events and joining the SMU Ad Club. Through the club, students are given the opportunity to take tours of ad agencies, listen to guest speakers and network.

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