Ant Q&A: Audrey Chambers

Audrey Chambers
Account Supervisor

Trace your work history leading up to your employment at AcrobatAnt.
I started working when I was 15 years old and really haven’t stopped. After graduating from Oklahoma State University, I accepted a position in Human Resources at the Walmart home office in Bentonville, Arkansas. I later moved to Recruiting and ended my time there in Marketing. It was an amazing learning experience, but I knew I didn’t want to stay there forever, so I took a job as an advertising agency account director and stayed there for a few years. I was in northwest Arkansas for a total of seven years before I made my way back home to Oklahoma. I’ve been at the Ant farm since 2011.

How would you describe your job?
I used to say I see my job as relationship-building, which is still a very important aspect, but it’s not the only piece of the puzzle. I now realize a large part of my job is to make everyone’s lives easier, which I do in many ways—mostly in how I communicate, both internally and externally. I feel it’s my responsibility to take stress off of my clients by delivering great work and being strategic. I try to do the same for the creative team by clearly communicating objectives so we can find the best solution together. I’m the middle-man, the last line of defense, the one held accountable for everything, and I don’t take this responsibility lightly. It’s a delicate balance of organization and remaining calm for the immediate needs, but also looking ahead to see how those things will affect the future. I have to be adaptable and ready for anything!

Why did you get into advertising?
I like the thrill of it, the variety of work and the things I get to do on a daily basis. I also feel like it is a field that helps me utilize some of my strengths. Plus, I get to work with some really amazing people. I’ve learned so much over the years and I enjoy that growth. It’s still work, but it’s a fun industry to be a part of, for sure.

What inspires you at work?
I love having an idea and seeing it brought to life in a very tangible, creative way. I am particularly inspired by the people we interview for the Saint Francis Health System account. We have the opportunity to feature real doctors, nurses, volunteers and patients in ads, and their stories are incredible. I feel so fortunate just to visit with them and learn about life. These people have shared some really special moments with us—why a doctor or nurse chooses the medical profession, what it’s like for a mother to see her child suffer with an illness. Their stories move me and make me proud to work on the account.

What inspires you outside of work?
Life! I am a lover of life, food, adventure and my people. I really enjoy traveling to see new things and opening my mind to the big, beautiful world out there. I plan all of my vacations (and my life schedule in general) around good food, and my husband loves it, too. I love my amazing friends and family who challenge me to be better, laugh with me and help me keep everything in perspective. And my kids, Nola and Kai, inspire me on a regular basis. At the end of it all, I’m just trying to make a positive difference.

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AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising 
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Ant Q&A: Matt O’Meilia

MattOmeilia

Matt O’Meilia
Senior Copywriter

How would you describe your job?
My job is fast-paced, demanding and challenging. On any given day, I change gears frequently to adjust to the unique brand personality of each client. So, there’s a lot of variety, both in the types of clients and the things each client needs: ads, brochures, web copy, direct mail, TV and radio copy, short copy, long copy, clever copy, serious copy. Whatever it is, about 99 percent of the time it is HOT copy.

What projects/activities do you pursue outside of agency work?
I play drums in a couple of bands, play guitar when I have time and try to keep in shape by walking, running, biking, and playing golf and tennis.

What kind of music do you like best?
I grew up playing rock and roll, mostly, but I’ve grown to love playing any music that is good, whether it’s rock, jazz, blues, country, folk—any music played with actual musical instruments. I prefer to listen to and play a wide variety of stuff, and the people I tend to play with have similarly varied tastes.
Why did you get into advertising?

With two degrees and seven years of college under my belt, I was ready to become the greatest English teacher in the world, moonlighting as a bestselling author. Eventually I lowered my sights to any job that would enable me to move out of my parents’ house. A friend told me about an ad agency looking for someone with an English degree to be a copywriter. I didn’t know what a copywriter was, but I had an English degree. I applied and got the job. This was in September 1988, when we were still using typewriters and Wite-Out. Now I know what a copywriter is.

How is copywriting different than other types of writing, and what do you like about it?
As I see it, copywriting has three objectives, in this order: get the reader to feel something, learn something and then do something, e.g., make a call, visit a website, order now. Any other writing I do outside of work—letters, songs, books—typically has only the first two objectives. What I like about copywriting is that it challenges me to quickly process a lot of information and boil it down to a simple message containing the fewest words possible. It’s great exercise for any writer. I can make a living as a copywriter, too, which is another thing I like about it.

What do you wish every client knew about copywriting?
The time it takes to compose thoughts and the time it takes to physically type those thoughts on the page/screen are two radically different things.

Anything you want to add about your job or yourself?
I’ve already revealed far more than the world needs to know.

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AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Ant Q&A: Dell Chambers

Dell_Chambers

Dell Chambers
Senior Art Director

How long have you worked at AcrobatAnt?
Six wonderful years.

How would you describe your job?
Challenging, interesting and ever-evolving. I take input from clients and come up with a compelling and clean design to achieve their goals. It’s kind of like a puzzle, figuring out what goes where, and it’s very rewarding to see the final picture come together.

What projects and activities do you pursue outside of agency work?
Painting is something I thoroughly enjoy, along with trying new foods and health/fitness. Some employees have actually hired me to do their weekly lunches; they call it the Dell Plan.

What’s your favorite artistic medium? Why?
Acrylic paints. They dry quickly and I can blend them well. I started my illustration work early on with colored pencils (which have no drying time) and I feel like they were a great base for my knowledge of color blending. It carried into my use of acrylic paint almost seamlessly.

What do you wish every client knew about design?
When there is some space around elements and they are allowed to breathe, a layout can convey a message more succinctly and powerfully. This is the ultimate goal I have for everything I design.

Share a cool experience you’ve had recently.
I did a West Coast tour in June to celebrate my 7th wedding anniversary. We flew to San Diego, CA, drove to Sedona, AZ, then to the Grand Canyon. On the 7th and 8th day of the trip, we stayed in Las Vegas. The experience was great for the senses. We ate amazing food and also got to enjoy breathtakingly beautiful scenery. It was an amazing trip!

Some of Dell’s Paintings are below… great job, Dell! 

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AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising 
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Ant Q&A: Donna Keffer

Donna_Keffer_Fun

Donna Keffer
Account Manager

How would you describe your job?
Relationship Builder. My job is to make sure my clients are happy and help them look good by reaching their goals. I try to know as much as possible about them and their business as possible. I manage Mountain States Hospital System and St. Luke’s Health System, which both do things very differently. It is challenging and fun to find ways to manage those unique relationships and keep both clients happy—both with me and the work that we create on their behalf.

What inspires you?
Giving back. Empathy. I love opportunities to give back to my community. I want to make sure my kids look around and see the world and how blessed we are, and never think twice to stick out their hand to help someone else up. It has become so easy to say and do things and never feel or understand the repercussions of our actions. That hurts my heart. Take a second when no one is looking to go out of your way to make someone else’s day.

What projects/activities do you pursue outside of agency work?
I am married and have two very active children. When I am not working, I am usually carpooling to dance or soccer. Both of my children attend a Spanish immersion school, and my 10-year-old will spend eight weeks in Madrid this fall. We are currently spending a lot of time focused on getting her ready for that adventure.

 Why did you get into advertising?
I worked in the hospitality business as a director of sales and marketing for 15 years before I joined AcrobatAnt. After having my second child, I wanted to slow down a little. AcrobatAnt was looking for someone to manage a region of hospitals, and my hospitality marketing experience parlayed nicely to the healthcare industry as it becomes more retail oriented. It has been a relatively easy to transition this knowledge and skill set from one market to the other.

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AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising 
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Ant Q&A: Bryan Cooper

Bryan Cooper
Associate Creative Director

How would you describe your job?
When you break my job down to its basics, I’m taking a thought from one human and translating it into something visually compelling enough to get the attention of another human.

What inspires you?
Evel Knievel, vintage photography, Cracker Jack toys and working with people who know how to turn work into fun.

What creative projects do you pursue outside of agency work?
My favorite medium is clay. There’s something primal about working with clay that you can’t quite get with other mediums. One of the reasons I love it is because there are no tools: just you, your hands and the clay, and it gets messy.

What other creative talents do you have?
I also love photography. If I’m not shooting photos of family or friends, I’m shooting small clay figures that I create. You can check it out at BCillustography.com.

Why did you get into advertising?
I was in a band and needed a secondary job that would allow me to keep my long hair. Advertising fit the bill. It turns out that my favorite part of being in a band was designing our T-shirts and CD covers. So, I quit my band, cut my hair and joined the advertising world. But I still think about growing my hair back out.

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AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Ant Q&A: Amy Smith

Amy Smith
Senior Interactive Designer

SeriousAmyHow would you describe your job? 

I specialize in design and front end development of websites, email campaigns and online ads.

How did you get into online work? What was the attraction?

I started writing HTML when I was 12. I got my first AOL screen name when I was 9. I figured out how to set up a profile with my name and basic information, and how to put basic HTML tags in the profile to style it, change colors, etc. Then, I was like, “Oh, this is how whole websites are built!” I wish I could remember the website I went to to teach myself. It was a site that was geared toward teaching kids code—built by another kid. And that’s where I started.

What do you wish every client knew about online?

Clients have recently been requesting WordPress specifically as a CMS (content management system). Usually, WordPress is fine, but when we talk to clients, we realize WordPress isn’t always the best option for their site. Rather than requesting WordPress by name, clients would be better off telling us their needs and wants, then letting us come up with the specific technology.

What have been the biggest changes in online?

Web design has definitely shifted over the last five years to a focus on content rather than gimmicky design. There’s also been a huge shift to viewing websites on mobile devices rather than the traditional desktop or laptop computer. That changes the design thinking.

You’re not the typical image of a house flipper. Where did those skills come from?

I certainly wouldn’t call myself handy, but I’m good with a paintbrush and decent at learning new things. My family combined our expertise and hired professionals where needed. I was best at organizing the projects, choosing all the finishes and the staging—basically the fun parts. Our realtor said several colleagues and clients asked who did the staging. Turns out I might be decent at this designing thing. (My own house was pretty empty of furniture and decor for the several months our houses were on the market.)

AmyShoes

How do you walk in those heels?

No one in my extended family is over six feet tall. We’re a short bunch. I never thought I’d break five feet tall. The day I did was a tremendous relief, but at 5′ 3″-ish (on a good day), I’m still much shorter than most people. I decided to level the playing field with shoes. Over the years, I’ve gradually increased the heel height. Practice, practice, practice. Now it’s nothing to walk in 6-inch stilettos. And truthfully, some of my least comfortable shoes have shorter heels. The secret is really to find comfortable ones and wear them every day. I hurt my calf muscles in boot camp because I never wear flats. My legs were sore until I put on heels.

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AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Graphic Artist has a flair for sports

With college football right around the corner, we thought it only fitting to mention the newest member of the Ant Farm, our resident Fantasy Football organizer,  Dell Chambers.

Dell (right) meets Darren McFadden, 2008

Dell is a native Tulsan who like many from this great state played sports for most of his life. His love of sports growing up was coupled by his love of visual arts, leading him to earn a degree in graphic arts.

With a unique sense of what makes an athlete great, Dell transforms his strong attention to detail and insight into amazing hand-illustrated portraits.

Recently, Dell donated his work to The Color of Hope Gala in Arkansas and all proceeds were donated to Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Dell’s Portrait was auctioned for $5,000.

Congratulations, Dell, you make a fine Ant and good luck with this year’s Fantasy Football League!

Are you a sports fan? Check out Dell’s work!

www.dellchambers.com

Acrobatic… Ants

All of us here at AcrobatAnt like to think we have a little ‘Acrobat’ in us. Compare us to these acrobat skills and traits and see for yourself.

Flexibility –So acrobats can put their feet behind their heads – so what?! We can ramp up a new project or halt one in a moment’s notice.  We can meet on the client’s terms – in person, online, via email or phone. Each client manager prides themselves on managing projects in a way that each unique client would expect.

Grip – Acrobats seem to have pretty good ‘grip’ – they can grab a moving bar and not let go while flinging themselves across an arena. Well, AcrobatAnts have a pretty good grip too. We manage to hold on to our clients and not let them slip through the cracks. Most of our clients have been our clients for over 5 years – and we plan to keep our new clients for at least that long and longer. When we enter a client relationship – we are in it for the long haul. We pride ourselves in our ability to hold fast to our client relationships.

No Fear – Acrobats aren’t really scared of heights, falling or a lot of other ‘scary’ things. We also welcome some ‘scary’ things like new tools, processes and ideas. The phrase, ‘But we haven’t done it that way before’ isn’t in the AcrobatAnt language. If there is an idea or tool that makes since for our client’s goals – let’s do it! No fear!

Friends – Acrobats have to count on their team to do their job. If you can’t trust the person on the other side of the trapeze, who can you trust? AcrobatAnts are a team and we’ve learned to trust each other. The variety of experience and expertise on our team makes us stronger and more flexible. One person’s strengths spread throughout the colony, increasing everyone’s performance. While, a person’s weaknesses are minimized by their coach and team members who help improve their technique and keep them from falling off the trapeze while they learn. Acrobats are team players and so are we.

Performance – Even if an acrobatic team puts on the best show of their life, what does it matter if no one watched to critique their performance? AcrobatAnts do their job, do it well and expect to be held accountable. We make our clients happy by not only performing amazing feats of marketing, but also helping them see how the performance helped their business objectives.

So, while you (probably) won’t see us flying through the air or doing amazing feats of balance – we pride ourselves in being acrobatic. If you want to see what AcrobatAnt can do for your business, contact us today at Info@AcrobatAnt.com.