MSU Media Sandbox

Hello everyone at the Media Sandbox!

Thanks to Professor Karl Gude for inviting me to speak at his Media Sandbox class. And thanks to the 400ish kids in the class that politely and kindly closed their laptops and listened. I know they listened because I opened with a story and then brought the whole thing back around to the conclusion of that story and got the ooh’s and aah’s I was hoping to get. I also got some laughs (and some groans) at my jokes. Only two kids walked out in the middle of the lecture (I hope they came back for the quiz). And I only spotted one laptop open at the very end of my lecture. Phew.

A few things …


Someone approached me after class (I think your name was Aja) and you asked about your friend having a Blog and how can he (she) “blow it up?” I said a Blog is nice, but you need to make sure you have something NEW on that Blog just about every day. And have an Instagram account, a Twitter account, a YouTube Page, and a Facebook Page, all with that same brand name. Let’s connect. Reach me at 


Two of you raised your hand and took a guess as to why the radio company Clear Channel had that name and what did it mean in radio terms. You’re guesses weren’t correct, and I’m sure you fell asleep half-way through my long and boring explanation of what “clear channel” means, but the $10 Starbucks cards I promised are in the mail to Professor Gude.


A main theme Professor Gude asked me to talk about was “problem-solving” and I said that advertising is nothing more than creative problem-solving. The problem will be increasing sales, creating brand awareness, or fixing some bad P.R. I told the story of a heating and cooling client that had a problem – their company name was Air Conditioning Engineers. Way back when they founded the company, the words “air conditioning” weren’t synonymous with cooling. Whether heating or cooling the air, it was all considered “conditioning the air.”  We’re in Michigan and the “heating” is more important and drives more sales than “cooling.”  The company knew the name made people skip right over them because they probably think, “oh, that’s an air conditioning business, but I need heat and a furnace.”

So I wrote a jingle, we wrote some clever scripts, and …well …you be the judge. Listen to this and tell me …what does this company do?

And here’s one with the polar bear:


I’m proud of this, too, not just because my daughter stars in it, but because a small Pediatric Dental practice called me and wanted to use radio. We thought about who their target was (young Moms), we picked a single radio station and a single daypart (morning drive on WKQI-FM 95.5 in Detroit) and created a cute ad. We created a series of them. They listened and were consistent with their advertising schedule. Week in and week out this commercial aired and now, five years later, they’ve expanded into a new facility and this was a big part of it.  Of course the biggest thing was their amazing team who answered the phones when people called and welcomed them with a friendly, “hello” when they came to the practice, and the main dentist is great at his job. But the radio ad got listener’s attention (in fact, one time someone called because her child heard the ad and said, “I want to go to that dentist.”)

And one of the originals…


I would love to hear from you. I can be reached or followed or stalked at any of the following (even though I know in 15 years we won’t be using any of these things anymore. You heard it here FIRST).

917.692.3967 mbl
Snapchat: donkowalewski


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