Ready to Shine: Alaina Woodhull

03: ready to shine, ready to shine



How would you explain your future job to family or friends who don’t know anything about the advertising industry?
“It’s not like the movies and I’ll probably never be glamorous or rich. I will also be gone at odd hours of the day and night, cancel random dinner dates and appear crazed as I stand in the kitchen at 3 in the morning brewing ungodly-strong coffee while scribbling on a notepad. But I’ll get to create things, provoke people to take action or think about something in a new way, and unlike an unfortunate number of people, I’ll be doing something I actually like. ”

If you could only pick one, which is your favorite advertising medium to work with?
“Probably macaroni noodles- both an expressive medium and a tasty one. Next to that, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with primarily digital materials lately. It’s intriguing not only because of the potential to engage in numerous ways, but the ability to track interactions and responses and adjust different components to see how they change those interactions.”

Tell us about the most unusual job you ever had.
“When I was 19 I worked as a security guard in a gated community (I guess they were pretty desperate). I had a clipboard and a patrol route and everything. Not sure what I would have done if I had needed to apprehend anyone since they didn’t give us handcuffs or mace. Also, those pants are not designed for women. ”

Which challenge would interest you more and why: doing groundbreaking work on a brand not known for good campaigns, or trying to top award-winning work for a brand renowned for phenomenal campaigns?
“I love the underdog. If they’ve never had a good campaign, there’s a chance you have a lot more room to reinvent their image, voice and purpose. In my little experience and a lot of observation, when there is nowhere to go but up, the client is often more willing to let you take chances. Starting from scratch is one of the scariest and most exhilarating parts of this industry.”

What single ad or campaign in your portfolio are you most proud of? (URL, if possible)
“This was a school campaign that aimed to promote tourism to Texas vineyards and wineries. As a writer I love the big headlines, and the fact that we could weave in a little bit of Texas stereotype while trying to change the misconception that we can’t make good wines. Of course this campaign required lots of “product research”…

Do you prefer to think things out with a pen and paper or on a computer? Why?
“I love, love, love pens. I start brainstorming by making lists or word webs and there’s something conceptually cathartic about crossing out bad ideas, circling good ones and trying to horribly doodle an idea for my art director (like draw something but I can actually see them looking at me pityingly). You lose a huge portion of that magic when you just type things up. That said, I never count on anyone’s ability to read my handwriting so I’ll type things up before a meeting.”

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