Doe-Anderson Blames the Intern for Something Big

Doe-Anderson Blames the Intern for Something Big

The following article originally appeared in Louisville Business First.

Interns get blamed for a lot, and Taylor Heck‘s experience was no different.

But fortunately for Heck, she didn’t screw up a report or miss a deadline. Fingers were pointed at her for her role in helping Louisville advertising firm Doe-Anderson Inc. land an agency of record title with PetFirst Healthcare LLC, a Jeffersonville-based pet health insurance company.

As an internship project, she and five others worked as a team to come up with and pitch a campaign to the company, which agreed in advance to be part of the program. PetFirst was impressed with the interns’ presentation, and the experience “helped us decide to name Doe-Anderson our agency of record,” PetFirst CEO Katie Blakeley said in a release.

That was a big win for the agency, but it also landed Heck a full-time job there as an assistant media strategist, where she helps handle several accounts, including PetFirst. She was fresh from earning her bachelor’s degree at the University of Louisville. The other interns did not land jobs with Doe-Anderson; they were still in school at the time.

“It’s cool, because I’ve been with (the PetFirst account) from the beginning,” she said in an interview.

Each intern took a different job for the pitch project — copywriting, art direction, account management, public relations, media planning, and account planning and analytics. They worked under the supervision of agency leaders to develop a comprehensive campaign and strategic positioning plan: everything from a slogan to banners to digital media advertising.

The campaign centered on the slogan: “Love is simple. So is PetFirst.” So, everything they did had to be simple — simple lines and colors, and making it simple for people to buy PetFirst products online.

Heck said she has a “feeling of success and pride” in knowing that the campaign is now live and using the work she did as an intern. “I didn’t expect that it would end up this big.”

Doe-Anderson chooses interns based on their personality and how they might work together as a cross-functional team. “We spend months selecting young talent from the best schools, then foster that talent by assigning real client work and guiding the team through the stages of discovery, planning, execution and deliverables,” chief marketing officer Michael Littman said in a release.

The agency currently is taking applications for spring 2016 interns, who will work on a campaign for Loudon, Tenn.-based recreational boat manufacturer Malibu Boats (NASDAQ: MBUU ).

Doe-Anderson chooses companies for internship projects “that we would enjoy working with” as an agency, Edwards said. The companies know ahead of time that they’ll be working with interns.

Doe-Anderson ranks third on Louisville Business First’s most recent list of the area’s largest advertising agencies, ranked by 2014 gross income. That number was $14.74 million, up from $9.78 million the prior year.

Read the original article.