“The Miami Ad School Students Are Our Secret Weapon”

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The Marketing Department at Irie Music Corporation shares their thoughts on working with our Innovation Team

An interview with Shobie Callaghan, Managing Director at Irie Music; Jason Kasten, Road Manager & Head of New Media; Jackie Maile-Grantham, Executive Producer of Irie Weekend

Irie Music Corporation asked Miami Ad School’s Innovation Team to brainstorm ideas for Irie’s latest collaboration with New Amsterdam Spirits. (This is the 4th collaboration between Irie Music Corporation and Miami Ad School.)

DJ Irie is a staple of Miami’s world-renowned party scene. He is the official DJ for the Miami Heat and one of Fortune Magazine’s 40 under 40. Irie has also built himself into a brand that collaborates with brands like Cadillac, Carnival Cruise Lines, Target and Grey Goose.

(Winning Team Members and Irie Music: Stephanie Huber, Kiran Carpenter, Shobie Callaghan, Jackie Maile-Grantham, Jason Kasten, Ricardo Varela)

Pippa: Twelve teams just presented over 100 ideas to you. Can you give us a little background on the project you had the students work on?

Shobie: One of our partners is Premier Beverages which distributes New Amsterdam Spirits. They thought having DJ Irie do a really unique college tour would be a good way to promote the brand. We have a great marketing team at Irie Music but we thought, “Why don’t we shop for some cool, fresh, new ideas.” So we came back to the Miami Ad School to brief the Innovation Team. We asked the students, “How should we market the tour and how are we going to execute that idea?”

What we really enjoyed seeing is how everything we asked the students to do was delivered back to us in a nice, neat package. What we looked for was a cohesive approach for all the elements we needed.

Pippa: Will you use any of their ideas?

Shobie: We just picked the winning team, but every pitch we saw had aspects we can utilize to support the concept we intend to use. Or perhaps we’ll use the other ideas at a different time. All of the students’ presentations were filled with incredibly useful information.

Jackie: We can use the ideas the students presented locally, and then we can expand upon and evolve the ideas and use them on a larger scale. The students made it easy for us to grow each concept.

Shobie: Their ideas are scalable.

Jason: They gave us new insight on how we can do what we have been doing for so long. We can turn these ideas around and tailor them for DJ Irie. We’re always going to brands with ideas that push the envelope. They look to us to create new, innovative and fun ideas that captivate their target audience.

Shobie: We know we need to use social media. This was a great way to put together a social media strategy and campaign for us to execute. Working with the students makes our job that much more effective and our work authentic.

Jason: We’re going to adjust and tweak little details in the ideas we saw today. There are directions that we never would have gotten to without this brainstorming process with the students.

Pippa: What did you think of the students’ pitches? In a couple months the 24 account planning students are graduating and will go off and work in companies all over the world doing for other brands what they did for you over the past few weeks. This has been a great experience for them.

Jackie: Today was a tough day. It was hard to pick one winning concept.

Jason There were a lot of amazing ideas.

Shobie: I think because I had the experience of working with the Innovation Team previously I was really prepared for nothing less than what we received today. What I really enjoy is being able to come back again and again but work with a new group of students each time. We’re always getting a fresh perspective, a fresh set of eyes and ideas. That’s very appealing. That’s why I keep coming back and giving the students more projects.

Jason: What was interesting for me to see was how some teams were more strategy and marketing oriented and some were heavier on activations. It’s an exciting stage for us to be at with all these fresh ideas to work with. We can see how they go together. Group 2’s idea works perfectly in group 12’s strategy. Just change this up a little bit and we have it!

Shobie: We are very, very happy to have made this alliance with Miami Ad School. I’m not ashamed to say that the Innovation Team is a brilliant resource for us. I’m going to be very honest. We find it hard to tell people about you guys. We can’t reveal our secret weapon!

Pippa: I promise we’ll only share this interview with a few thousand of our closest friends.

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