By Rubén Terrazas, Copy Editor
The democratization of knowledge is one of the greatest things to have happened to humanity. No longer is knowledge the domain of a few notables or academics. Now, access to information is open to almost everyone, everywhere, at all times. The printing press led the way, followed by public libraries and mass media; and after the internet, the floodgates opened and there has been no looking back ever since. But even with all the technology available at our fingertips, good old-fashioned word of mouth and face-to-face interaction are sometimes the best ways to disseminate information.
And that’s precisely what we set out to do, at the invitation of its principal, María Yoshiko Totsuka and its counselor, Samira González, a group of Diestenites visited John Quincy Adams Elementary School, a Dallas public elementary school, as part of their Career Day activities earlier this month.
There are very few opportunities for schoolchildren to learn firsthand what people, other than those in their immediate vicinity, do for a living, particularly in South Dallas and similar areas throughout the country, so we jumped at the chance to share our views about the importance of creativity, imagination, hard work, organization, and teamwork.
Not only did this experience impact the students, but those of us who presented as well. Below are a few of the things my fellow Dieste colleagues had to say about the visit.
Gustavo ‘Zeta’ Zapata – Head of Art
“I was nervous! I wanted to prepare so many things to show kids what we do. When the kids welcomed us at the door, when the people at the school were so warm and friendly, all that helped the nerves go away. Each class has its own personality. Some were more restless, some more quiet.
I tried to transmit that I have fun doing what I do. And also stressed that creativity should be in everything we do; be it advertising, writing, teaching, math, whatever.”
Gayle Vaughan – Group Project Manager
“The students were polite, inquisitive, and engaged. Teachers were helpful and encouraging. Zeta really showed them how fun advertising could be with his wonderful and inspiring Keynote presentation. And I believe all the presenters that day tried to show the students that they have options, and that the work they were doing even today was important to their future.
As their school’s namesake said: If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. I met many leaders that day.”
Rocío Ramírez – Art Director
“What we do, advertising, is a bit difficult to explain, but I simplified by talking to them about the Super Bowl and the commercials that play during it. I also showed some work I had done for Goya and a kid knew it word for word. That, like, made my life.”
Randy Cantú – Copywriter
“I was excited just to be presented with the opportunity, especially with young kids who don’t know much about our industry. I stressed that what I do is fun and emphasized the importance of reading and writing.
I was very glad we were able to show them the whole creative process, from the moment we think out the idea, to the copy deck, to running the ad.”
Diego Lastra – Associate Media Director
“We enjoyed sharing the great things about advertising with the kids. There were two classrooms in particular where the kids were incredible, engaged, contributed ideas and had a great time.”
Anna Hickok – Assistant Account Executive
“I was surprised walking into the first class and hearing the teacher speaking only Spanish. After noticing that, I looked around and saw that the materials on the wall were in Spanish as well. That forced me to think on my feet and get out of my comfort zone of speaking English all the time.
We went in the class with the goal of getting the kids excited about creativity. We asked them questions and kept them engaged instead of presenting a deck to them. I think it worked because the kids were so little, and it allowed us to be playful with them. They loved when we asked them what ideas they had for a make-believe campaign and were eager to answer questions.”
Our goal at Dieste is to build connections between cultures and the brands we work on every day. But, we also believe in giving back to the community and building connections between people – from Gen Z to Boomers and beyond. Judging from the excitement and curiosity displayed by the students, and the fact that they quickly and vividly remembered our visit last year, it seems our goal has been successful. If broadening the future generations’ horizon was the aim, we are right on target. Kids can’t get enough of listening to how they can grow up and not only use the skills they learn daily at school, but get paid to do it. The writers, readers, artists, organizers, and people-persons know there’s something out there waiting for them. Our hope is that in 10-15 years they’ll be the ones inspiring a brand new batch of eager learners.
Get in touch
Whether in person or otherwise, we at Dieste are ready to help with your questions about creativity, imagination, organization, and teamwork.
Dieste, Inc. (www.dieste.com) is a Dallas- and New York-based company with a mission to pioneer the future of how brands and cultures connect. Through our partnerships and the deployment of proprietary consumer data, algorithms and human cultural intel, combined with insightful creativity, we are able to sync brands with consumer subcultures and create successful outcomes for our clients. Dieste has won multiple Cannes Lions for their work and has been named Ad Age’s “A-list,” “Agency to Watch” and “Multicultural Agency of the Year” numerous times. Dieste is part of Omnicom’s (NYSE: OMC) DAS Global network.