Lexus. VW. Toyota. Honda. LA Auto Show? Not quite. These were some of the many advertising accounts represented at the highly anticipated thinkLA Schmooze Cruise.
This year, the Schmooze Cruise sold-out the first day tickets went on sale, a record, and huge accomplishment, for thinkLA (although to the dismay of some). This could be due to this years theme, Capture The Moment: Prom Night, or because, well, LA has a lot of love for advertising. We have the entertainment industry. We have sun and sand. But what many people don’t know is that LA is the home of some of the largest advertising agencies and accounts. Saatchi & Saatchi, Deutsch, TBWA/Chiat/Day, Team One, RPA, and even start-up agencies, such as Spark44, are all located in this beautiful place we are fortunate enough to call home. There were also many interactive and online advertising agencies present, such as Break Media, Radium One, and the #1 ranked search engine marketing firm.
Last Thursday 550 ad-men and ladies alike came out to support advertising, thinkLA, and spend time with friends who they most likely once worked with at one point during their advertising career. Guests lined up to board “The Entertainer” yacht in Marina Del Rey, and were greeted by thinkLA hosts with a corsage and boutonnière, as well as some non-traditional prom accessories, such as RayBan Wafer-esq sunglasses in nearly every color imaginable. Glasses of champagne in hand, guests were ready for Prom to begin.
As the sun began to set, The Entertainer left Fisherman’s Village creating a perfect background for the Prom King, Raj Patel (of BrightRoll) and Queen, Lindsay Skalar (of David & Goliath) to capture the moment. As the yacht began to cruise around the marina, guests began to schmooze. There was a lot of “It’s so great to see you! Where are you now?” and “What account do you work on?” talk, however, what I personally found most fascinating was the running into of former co-workers, and learning about their new roles. You know who I’m talking about; those who we once worked with when starting our advertising career, whether it be as a lowly Account Coordinator or Assistant Media Planner, who are now well-respected Managers, Media Supervisors and Account Directors. We can all look back and relate to many late nights in the office, looking at media plans that would make most eyes bleed, or receiving emails from a client at 10:07 PM, thinking, “when will I ‘make’ it” yet, in what seems like a blink of an eye, whether we realize it or not, we have made it. We are the adults. We simply don’t send a meeting notice; we now run those meetings. There is something truly endearing about watching your friends and colleagues of past and present, take these new opportunities and flourish in them, and Thursday night magnified just that.
thinkLA works relentlessly to promote Los Angeles as a leading center of creativity and innovation in media, marketing, and advertising, and the Schmooze Cruise was a true testament to that. There was networking, dancing, picture-snapping, and there definitely was drinking, but above all, there was a unified adoration for the advertising industry.