Teamwork Makes the Ads Work

By Jordan Calef
  • 07.09.18
  • 8 Min Read

Volleyball has been a part of my life for almost 12 years now. When I decided to play in college, I hoped it would benefit me later on in life. I knew that the hard work ethic and discipline I developed was a great thing, but what I didn’t know was how the teamwork and collaboration on the court would help me in my future job.

If someone would have told me my college volleyball experience would be similar to my internship at L&S, I would have told them they were crazy. How is a marketing agency similar to a volleyball team? Well, it turns out they are very similar.

With the overall goal to win and be the best agency, each L&S discipline or “position” works together to create the final products for our clients. The team pushes each other to constantly get better or produce something new, not unlike a volleyball team.

Now for those of you who aren’t familiar with volleyball, there are different positions that make up the team. Each person on the team specializes in a certain area because each person has different capabilities. Let me break it down for you:

SETTER

This is the leader or “quarterback” of the team. They direct the team on what is coming next, where to go and how to beat the competitor. They are involved in almost every play and know how to calm down the chaos that can come along.

LIBERO

The reliable one on the team (and the player with the different colored jersey). They earn the spot by making sure everything that comes their way, no matter what state it is in, gets back to a controlled state and makes it easier for the team to move forward. They are the beginning of the play and the one who gets things rolling.

HITTER

The player that makes the final contact before the ball goes over. The other members of the team trust that this person knows the best place to go with the ball to score. There are different types of hitters who have different specialties, but they are all trying to achieve the same thing.

COACH

The mastermind behind what the public sees. They create the practices, lineup, everything that produces the final product. The coach is able to comprehend what others don’t.

Wow, volleyball is a lot more complex than most people might think. It takes a lot of time and effort to make a team or “strategy” successful. Without any of these positions, the team wouldn’t be able to function to its full ability. You have to bring your best every day to make sure you are outdoing your competitor.

So how does that relate to Lawrence & Schiller again? Here at L&S, we sit on teams based on clients. Each team is made up of different disciplines. We are almost like four mini agencies under one roof. And to get the best product, each teammate has to do their part. Let me break down our disciplines for you:

Compiling Assets | Teamwork Makes the Ads Work
Group Work | Teamwork Makes the Ads Work

ACCOUNT SERVICE

The team organizer. They handle the client relations whether that be getting briefs from clients, presenting the media strategy or keeping everyone on track with timelines. Every other discipline looks to them for guidance. If a problem were to arise, they find a solution.

CONSUMER INSIGHTS

The researcher. Each team here at L&S has one Consumer Insights (CI) person that helps start the process of producing a media strategy. They are the first person to dive into a new market, and we look to them to lead us in the right direction. The CI discipline has to make something out of nothing; it is their job to produce something the rest of the team can use.

MEDIA

The strategists. These are the people who take what CI and Account Service give them and turn it into a plan. Whether it be in the traditional media world or the digital media world, Media is the last point of contact before the work gets sent out for the public to see. They are smart about where they place the advertisements and know the right plan to make the message most effective.

CREATIVE

The master minds behind the ads. Whether it be copywriters or designers, these people are the ones who create the ads everyone sees. They can do things others in the agency can’t. They take the research from CI, the client expectations from Account Service and the strategy from Media to make the right message.

Weird. Those sound very similar to the positions on a volleyball team. The setter is like the Account Service: the organizers/director of the team. The libero could be CI: they are the first point of contact and have to lead us in the right direction. The hitters and Media/Digital Media: responsible for being smart with the “ball” or strategy and placing it to score. Lastly, the creative and the coach: the ones who put together what everyone sees.

So yes, a volleyball team and a marketing agency are a lot more similar than most people think. Once I heard that L&S was organized into teams, I knew I would feel comfortable here. It has shown me that the best ideas come from a group of people who all see the same task differently. Just like on a sports team, you can’t create the final product without everyone contributing. I never knew that volleyball would set me up for my future in more ways than one, but it’s exciting to say I found a new home besides on the volleyball court.