Sarah Kavanagh's Blog

Web Design- Professional Topics Lectures!

Inspiring Speaker John Alabaszowski, V.P. Creative Director, at MacLaren McCann


I really enjoyed hearing what John had to tell our class, I definitely agree with when he said the biggest challenge is staying on top of technology. Also when a lot of our communication is through technology then how do we make things engaging for the audience? It is very true that social media is now super important for making yourself known or even just keeping in touch with someone.

From our marketing class, the exact same message was stressed for marketing as a whole – you need to drive or satisfy what customers and users want! And this is one of the many aspects John, V.P. Creative Director, develops at MacLaren McCann.  For instance he has looked after (vehicles), the Truck Owners Network and would also make sure the mobile design is streamline, simple and utility based. He is also a big part behind Wendy’s Poutition which was meant to bring up the popularity of the poutine as Canada’s  ‘food’. Of course Wendy’s popularity skyrocketed and people became much more engaged – this points to the fact that marketing is key.

He made an interesting and very true point that “the lines are blurred between the creative department and digital components.” It takes more thought to build a whole user experience.

I thought the Barbershop quartet was pretty funny between two rivalry teams, the leafs and habs. An interesting yet humorous way to promote hockey.

I believe the Annual Fundraiser campaign for children with cancer was done in such a nice way overall. Design wise was beautiful and had a very innovative idea of holding a large Gala. This campaign was pushing the boundaries of digital marketing yet still kept print, postcards etc.. (because receiving an invitation or piece of mail is sometimes more personal and engaging then something on the computer)

It was very beneficial when John told us what we should include in our portfolios after this program:

  • Ideally a website portraying your work
  • Don’t include too much content
  • Keep it short and sweet
  • Be clear in what role you play

And during your interview:

  • How much you believe in your work
  • Sell your work confidently
  • Have it loaded and ready to go
  • Bring your laptop!
  • Show your willingness to learn
  • Show what a great person you are
  • Stand out and be unique!

“Don’t take yourself too seriously!”


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This entry was posted on October 31, 2013 by .
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