Favorite Super Bowl Ads of 2015

Let’s talk about the 2015 Ad Bowl. While most of the nation was watching TV for the sake of the game, we were watching to be amused by the advertising. Many companies put their best foot forward with this year’s ads, but here are the ones we liked most.

Budweiser “Lost Dog” Commercial

The adorable puppy in this commercial won the hearts of everyone. On top of that, we got to see this puppy being saved from the big bad wolf by all of his clydesdale friends. Adorable puppy + his horse-saving friends = #BestBuds. This year, Budweiser definitely learned that puppies win everything.

Coca-Cola #MakeItHappy

The Internet is a powerful tool – It can either spread happiness, or unfortunately spread hate. Coca-Cola taught us that no matter what you see floating around online, make sure you turn it into something positive. In their words, let’s #MakeItHappy!

Always #LikeAGirl

Always is aiming to make sure young girls going through puberty are confident, inside and out, by showing them that doing things “like a girl” is a great thing.

Dove #RealStrength Ad

Dove really tugged on our heart strings with this ad. Hoping to acknowledge the caring side of men, Dove wanted dads to show #RealStrength in a genuine way.

Other ads we loved were done by Squarespace, Fiat, and WeatherTech.

Everything You Need to Know About MACLYN’s Web Developer

IMG_8480MACLYN’s Web Developer, Jeff Calaway, tells us the ins and outs about his job – why he found home at MACLYN and what his biggest accomplishment is.

Q: How long have you been with MACLYN?

11 Months

Q: What’s your favorite thing about being an employee here?

Y’know, when you’re out there looking for a home, it’s pretty important that you land somewhere in good company. You tend to remember those accompanying moments the most—laughter, thoughtful discussion, encouraging support. Sometimes it’s even the little things that your coworkers do for you outside of the workspace, like sending your wife flowers while she’s recovering from surgery. This is what MACLYN is and continuously works at, and that’s what I like the most.

Q: What’s the most rewarding accomplishment you’ve experienced at MACLYN?

There’s one particular project that has truly been taxing both in and out of the office. It’s difficult to map out an extremely large and intricate website—with so many key components—and not run into a plethora of bugs and speed bumps. I’ve brought it home, thought about it in the car, problem solved just before bed, you name it. A true rollercoaster. But in the end, the efforts put into it have brought back so much fruit. It’s truly a great feeling to know that the long haul hasn’t been in vain, and the most rewarding part about all of it is what I’ve learned and accomplished during the journey to the finished product. And I get to step back—eventually—and just look at it, a reminder that our team at MACLYN can persevere through great and difficult strides.

Q: What’s the most difficult thing about being a web developer?

Web is not print. That’s the most difficult part. Web responds, shifts and changes according to a million variables. You can view it in a browser that makes it look pristine. You can view it in a browser that makes it look like junk—but it can never look like junk. You can view it on a computer, and it looks one way. But then you can view it on a phone, and it looks another way. Nothing is truly static, and so you don’t always have full control over design the moment you lay it down. It can quickly become 10% design, 40% problem solving and 50% crying in the bathroom [omit that last part].

Q: This position kind of lies in the shadows of almost any company. What’s one thing most people don’t know about being a web developer that they should know?

I think it goes back to the fact that web is so completely dynamic. That’s why problem solving is such a huge part of web development. When you’re developing from a design, you have to consider how each piece of the site will shift dynamically. Print is a lot more kind in that it lets you lay out whatever you imagine, and there’s comfort in knowing the end-user will see exactly what you intended. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that in web. You have no sure idea what the end-user is using to view your website—and, lucky for us developers, Bill Gates and Tim Cook over there are constantly cooking up something new with different parameters.

Don’t get me wrong; us developers love the web, that’s why we are where we are. But we also cower in fear of its all-encompassing power and might, and sometimes you can’t help but to cry in its presence. So if you see a web developer walking by, make sure you give them a hug! We’re working with a bipolar tempest that hits and screams in one moment and inspires in the next.

Q: What’s your dream career?

One day, I hope to become the celebrated media consultant that convinced Microsoft to scrap Internet Explorer, and I’ll begin that journey with this link.

Q: What advice can you give to young people who want to be a web developer?

Learn as much as you can, and prepare yourself to continue learning. This is a field that is constantly evolving. You’ll find that people who used to dabble in code will hit you with the “back in the day…” and there’s a reason for that. What the Internet was a couple years ago is not what it is today, and it likely won’t be just a few short years from now.

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Reading. When you’re working in the digital world, there’s nothing more relaxing than getting yourself off the grid and warming up to a good book.

Q: Are you more likely to give someone a high five or a fist bump, and why?

A fist bump because it not only makes you look really freakin’ awesome, it’s healthier for you! If you don’t believe me, just click here to learn more!

Q: If you were stranded on a desert island with one object, what would it be and why?

A bible because the only thing you can really do on a /desert/ island is prepare for the afterlife.

Tips for Landing a Marketing Internship

IMG_8347By: Ksenia Avrakhova

If you’re hoping to land a spot in the marketing/advertising world, here are some first-hand tips from our intern, Ksenia Avrakhova.

Advice for landing a marketing/advertising internship:

  • Do not be afraid to challenge yourself: Even if a project seems impossible at first, all your hard work, efforts and countless edits will lead you to a successful result you would never see otherwise.
  • Manage your time wisely: When it gets too busy, doing several things at a time can seriously harm the quality of the projects. I would suggest to focus on one task at a time, but manage the time of completion. (Find a way to complete it faster.)
  • Ask for details about the project: Knowing each nuance of the project will save you time at completing it, and will help to avoid the recompilation of the entire task.
  • Conduct some additional research: When faced with a problem, wait to call for help or ask questions. Do some additional research (online for example), and you may find a solution to the issue or some additional information to ask more educated questions from your supervisors.
  • Learn from the others: Look at how the professionals at your company lead and solve problems — That will help you become a strategic thinker and teach you strong leadership skills in the long run.
  • Do any job: Never assume you are too good for some job, you never know what you may learn from the simplest task that is given to you.
  • Suggest ideas: Don’t be too shy to suggest some ideas that you’ve got for the creative or strategic planning. At first you may get it all wrong, but later you will learn what the company needs and become a valuable asset in brainstorming with other team members.



MACLYN’s Favorite Holiday Ads

While the cold winter months in Chicago don’t exactly make everyone cheery and happy, the holidays definitely do. With that in mind, MACLYN compiled a short list of their favorite seasonal ads.

Kohl’s holiday commercial stood out to us because it’s relatable. The dad is trying to reach out to his son and nothing is getting through to him because he has his headphones on in the car. Encompassing the total “don’t care” attitude, the dad seems doubtful, but at the same time, hopeful, his son will be impressed with what’s in store.

After reaching the spot, the son is blown away by the reindeer in front of him that takes flight before their very eyes. Kohl’s also uses a song from the Electric Lights Orchestra, which we think is very cool!

Kmart never disappoints with their yearly Joe Boxer ad. Some think it’s disturbing, MACLYN over here being the “enemy of average” thinks it’s funny. Despite controversial opinion, we consider “Jingle Bellies” a fan favorite.

Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard are just too darling to handle in this 2014 Samsung video ad. Samsung cleverly incorporates their products in this commercial while Kristen and Dax get everyone watching excited for the season.

We thought this ad was great because it reminded us of our own spouses and significant others.

Matching footie pajamas, crafty holiday sweaters, gingerbread house-making, I mean, who wouldn’t be pumped for Christmas after seeing this?

Whip out the Kleenex, because this one will tug on your heart strings. In this year’s holiday ad, Apple made the product user the hero of the commercial.

In this emotional video, Apple paints their products as devices that can bridge generations.

What are your favorite holiday ads this season? Chime in on our Facebook page!

Behind the Scenes With MACLYN’s Promotional Event Manager

TeamPics_DavidDavid Mendoza is the Promotional Event Manager at MACLYN, spending majority of his time handling the Dunkin’ Donuts sampling van. He gives us the inside scoop about his position, and what aspiring marketing professionals need to know about the industry.

Q: How long have you been with MACLYN?

A: I have technically been with MACLYN for about nine months now. I received the acceptance letter in March and things began to roll! My first official day, on the job, in the “office” was June 2.  These past nine months have been awesome! I have been learned so much and have been able to take away so much from what I learned and put it in the field.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about being an employee here?

A:  My favorite thing about being an employee here at MACLYN is the people that makes MACLYN what it is. In being a smaller-sized agency, everyone here knows each other extremely well and work together perfectly. When I was first hired, the team welcomed me in with open arms and made me feel at home. That is not a common occurrence anymore and it is rare to find such a welcoming agency, which, I think, is unique. For these past nine month I have worked here, MACLYN has become my second home and second family and I have people who make MACLYN what it is, to thank.

Q: What’s the most rewarding thing about being the Promotional Events Manager?

A: The most rewarding thing about being the Promotional Events Manager is being able to travel around the Chicago area and make people’s days by providing them with iced and hot coffee. When people see the Dunkin’ Donuts Sampling Van at the event they are attending, their faces light up. People get so excited to try our samples of coffee — Just seeing the reaction on their faces after drinking the coffee makes my day. It is rewarding knowing that there are loyal Dunkin’ Donuts drinkers at every event we attend to provide them with that extra kick of caffeine to get them by!

Q: What’s the most difficult thing about being the Promotional Events Manager?

A:  The most difficult thing about being the Promotional Events Manager is trying to figure out which crewmember is Cuppy (laugh out loud). For majority of the events, the Dunkin’ Donuts mascot, Iced Cuppy, needs to make an appearance. So that means that either one of my crewmembers or myself needs to dress up as Cuppy and be the mascot for a period of time. Cuppy dances, takes photos, and interacts with the people. So the hardest thing for me is to decide who gets to be Cuppy at an event.

Q: Being the Promotional Events Manager you aren’t in the office a whole lot, and it just seems like you’re out having a good time. What’s one thing most people don’t know about being the Promotional Events Manager that they should know?

A: As Promotional Events Manager, I am out of the office a lot. The Dunkin’ Donuts Sampling Van runs from April to October. My crew and I attend and promote about 120 events so as you see it’s a huge time commitment. But by having 120 events roughly, that gives us an opportunity to promote the brand at a variety of events and at the same time have fun while doing that. One thing that most people don’t know about being the Promotional Events Manager is even though it looks like it’s all fun and games, there comes a great deal of responsibility and work to be done with the van, the crew (by the way, who have helped me out tremendously), and the organization.

Q: What is your inspiration/motivation?

A:  For me, my inspiration and motivation are the same. My inspiration and motivation is my family. It is my mother Mary, older brother Michael, and two young brothers Kevin and Danny, that keep me going everyday. My family makes me who I am and always wants the best for me. They want me to succeed and see me become successful. My mother and older brother inspire me to become great and I want to be able to do the same thing for my younger brothers.

Q: What advice can you give to young people who want to work in marketing?

A:  Take it from a recent college graduate, apply early and often! Don’t pass on any opportunity to network either. Go out, shake a few hands, and introduce yourself to people. Take the opportunity to go out of your comfort zone and talk to people you wouldn’t normally talk to or are to shy to say anything. In addition, try to get some type of internship before you graduate, the experience is worthwhile alone and it will only benefit you in the future as you search for your career in marketing.

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
A: Outside of work, I actually have another job. I work at a bar/grill called Bar Louie. Right now I am a host, training my way to become a server and bartender. So c’mon by and say hi to me! Outside of work entirely, I like to hangout with my friends, play and watch sports, and catch up on sleep! I am a huge basketball and hockey fan so I love watching the Bulls and Blackhawks. I also love going to Chicago Cubs game as I grew up being a loyal Cubs fan. With having two jobs, sleep in is vital to me so I try to seize every opportunity I can get to get a snooze in!

Q: Are you more likely to give someone a high five or a fist bump, and why?

A:  Absolutely high five, no doubt. The high five is tradition, can never be replaced, and is the first sign you would give to your teammate, friend, coworker etc if they did something good. When you fist bump, sometimes people don’t really know why it is happening but still do it anyway. With a high five, it is an exclamation of excitement, gratitude, and accomplishment. High five all the way!

Q: If you were stranded on a desert island with one object, what would it be and why?

A:  Um, that’s a tough one! I would say a machete because it is a multi purposeful tool. From watching all those survivor shows, I would call myself a sort of expert on this type of stuff… I could cut down trees to create a shelter, sharpen sticks to try and catch fish for food, and I would be protected. Once I get all the essentials down and taken care of, it would be like my very own vacation, on my very on island!

MACLYN’s Favorite Fall Ads

With the fall season wrapping up and winter rolling in, we decided to compile a list of our favorite fall ads. From funny to serious to nostalgic, we enjoyed how each of these ads encompassed a creative message.

The Offline Over-Sharer, Beatrice, made us laugh in this Esurance commercial. Instead of mailing her vacation photos, she posts them to her “wall.” But, “that’s not how any of this works!”

We liked the Allstate “More Good” commercial because of the nostalgia tied to it. Big 10 alumni have such strong ties to their alma maters and this really makes the viewer appreciate the passion they display for their teams.

This Halloween or horror movie-inspired commercial by GEICO made us laugh because actors in scary movies never seem to make the right decision. GEICO implies it’s okay to make mistakes, “It’s What You Do.”

We liked “Memory Lane” by Subaru because It’s really refreshing to see a brand embrace and win a truth about itself. In this spot, Subaru makes fun of a Subaru owner stereotype (“tree huggers”). At the same time, it makes that stereotype feel like a good-natured, human expression—and not something to be ashamed of.

As a part of the “Life Comes Next” Campaign, John Hancock’s commercial titled “The Ride” was a teaser campaign to get the viewer to go to their website… We went to the site.

This one tugs our heartstrings. There’s nothing like a sad puppy waiting for his owner to come home after a night out. Before the water works began, the mood of the commercial does a total 360 at the end.

“The Sweet Deliciousness of King’s Hawaiian” simply made us laugh at this one. We thought it was clever for them to show how “everybody loves the sweet, fluffy deliciousness.”

Which fall ad is your favorite?

From intern to agency partner, Bill Murphy talks inspiration, motivation and future of MACLYN


Bill Murphy started as an intern at MACLYN and worked his way to the top.

He tells us what separates the good from the great and who motivates him to be better.

Q: How long have you been with MACLYN?

Bill Murphy: There are a few funny stories to that. If you have 60 minutes, Hausmann will happily entertain you. The cliff notes are that I started with MACLYN as an intern in 1997. Came aboard in 2002. 

Q: How did you go from intern to becoming a partner?

Murphy: When I was in college, I interned for a Partner at a 60-person agency in Des Moines, IA. I loved everything about it. The partner told me stories of how he used to empty the trash for the then agency owner just to get recognized. And how he persevered to climb the ladder to make partner. It was listening to his story that I knew what I wanted to do in life. I wanted to be him. And I wasn’t going to stop until I was.

I wanted to start as the guy emptying the trash and work my way up to make partner. I wanted to persevere.

And I did. And I still empty the trash.

Q: What’s the most challenging thing about being the partner of a company?

Murphy: At the end of day the day, through the good and the not so good, the buck stops with me or Marc.  The biggest challenge that I have daily is finding the right balance of keeping our team and our clients happy.

I love it. I wouldn’t change it. But occasionally I need to wear a helmet.

Q: What’s the most rewarding accomplishment you’ve experienced at MACLYN?

Murphy: Honestly, it has ALL been rewarding. It’s fun to look back on our history. We are nowhere near reaching our ultimate goals, but wow, we have come so far.  Our people are so talented. We are so fortunate to be able to have them with us. To see how they attack a project now, compared to how we did it 10 years ago, there is no comparison. It’s been rewarding to see the growth.

Q: Did you always see yourself in advertising? If not, what did you picture as your “dream job?”

Murphy: I always dreamed of being an entrepreneur. Advertising just happened to be the area I was most comfortable.

My dad was an entrepreneur. Like many entrepreneurs, you could write a book about him. He started a business from nothing. At one point, he was so broke; he would invite friends over and go through the couch after they left to see if any loose change had fallen from their pockets. He persevered and retired at 51 years old.

He was one of four major male role models in my life. 

Q: Expand. Who are these role models and why?

Murphy: My dad. Growing up, we were best friends. He was always there for me. He taught me how to be a man. He still does.

My grandfather. I come from a good pedigree. He was CEO of the largest privately owned frozen food company in the world. We were also very close. He was a badass. He controlled a room the moment he walked inIt was amazing to watch. And he NEVER settled for less than perfect.  Tough expectations, yes. But I admired that.

My father-in law – also a current major CEO. There is no man that I have more respect for. The way he respects everyone one of his 1400 employees, knows their name and genuinely cares about their success.  The way he devotes his life to his daughters, and the way unconditionally helps others daily, is something I dream of.

Marc Hausmann. No man has changed my personality more. I would have tanked this agency years ago without Marc! We are yin and yang. Peanut butter and jelly. I am aggressive. He is strategic. He challenges me daily to think about my actions before I act. Those life lessons have changed me. 

Q: What do you envision in MACLYN’s future?

Murphy: Greatness. We are on the cusp of it. I see it inside here everyday. Our people are amazingly talented. We just need more opportunities to shine. We will get there.

Q: What advice can you give to young people in the advertising industry?

Murphy: Work hard. Today you see all these young millionaires glamorized in magazines, TV and social media because of the tech and social media boom. It’s a neat story, but for a majority of the world, it isn’t us.  In our world, to be successful you have to work your ass off. Don’t be too good for a job. And don’t ask others to do something you wouldn’t do yourself. If you asked a subordinate to empty the trash, make sure you have done it yourself more than a few times. Those are character builders.

And learn how to handle yourself in a tough room.  That’s a skill that separates the good from the great.

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Murphy: I have two daughters who are my life. When I am not working, I am with them. My favorite activity is fishing with them. When there isn’t water, I love to dance with them. We literally have a dance party every night before bed.  It’s pure entertainment. 

Q: Are you more likely to give someone a high five or a fist bump, and why?

Murphy: Depends on the situation. When it calls for quiet cool, I’m all about the fist bump. When I am so friggin’ excited about something, the high five just comes out. 

Q: If you were stranded on a desert island with one object, what would it be and why?  

Murphy: A fishing pole. Fishing is my passion. I don’t care if I ever catch a fish. The silence and beauty are what keep me going.

If you could ask Bill Murphy a question, what would it be?

Daily thoughts of a MACLYN Account Executive: Courtney Brown

Courtney Brown | MACLYN Account Executive
Courtney Brown | MACLYN Account Executive

Courtney Brown has been a MACLYN employee for almost four years. She shares her favorite things about the job, the hardest things about her position, advice for young people in the industry and much more.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about being an employee here?

Courtney Brown: My favorite part about working at MACLYN is both the people and the clients. We have a very diverse group of employees that have a variety of talents and backgrounds. Likewise, we have an eclectic mix of clients that challenge us as marketers on very different levels. Being able to become ingrained in so many different industries really opens your eyes to so much. 

Q: What’s the most rewarding accomplishment you’ve experienced at MACLYN?

Brown: Working on a strategic marketing or media plan, and watching it come to life. While it’s always nice to hear that your work was successful for the client, driving down the road and spotting a bus that has a MACLYN designed ad on the back is cool to see.

Q: What’s the most difficult thing about being an account executive?

Brown: Time management. Whether its trying to attend multiple client events or meetings, or just carving out enough time in the day to do “desk” work, it’s always a challenge to make sure you stay on time and on schedule.

Q: If you could have any career outside of advertising, what would it have been?

Brown: Growing up I always wanted to be an investigative journalist (I really liked Harriett the Spy). And I still love to write, so probably something in the writing field.

Q: What’s the first thing you do when you get in the office?

Brown: Pour a nice hot cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee.

Q: What advice can you give to young people in the advertising industry?

Brown: Learn to do what others can’t or don’t want to do, and go with the flow! There is always going to be something that others don’t want to do and your boss will take notice of that, and appreciate it if you step up to the plate to do it. Second, go with the flow. I think I’ve had every job remotely related to account work in the last 3.5 years and I’m better for it.

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Brown: Outside of spending time with friends and family, I love to cook and garden. I also enjoy golfing and drinking wine.

Q: Are you more likely to give someone a high five or a fist bump, and why?

Brown: High-five. I’m totally old school.

Q: If you were stranded on a desert island with one object, what would it be and why?

Brown: An iPad with an endless battery so I can read books and listen to music.

If you could ask Courtney anything, what would it be? Comment below!

NOW HIRING – The Greatest Executive Assistant Ever!

MACLYN is a boutique creative agency with a client base ranging from national icons to local start-ups. Our award-winning agency is recognized for creating and communicating powerful, timeless brands through traditional, integrated, social and interactive media. 

We are looking to hire the most amazing executive assistant ever!

Why do you want this job?


you agree – it’s cool to work in the ad business.

you have always wanted to work in a fun, collaborative environment.

you thrive on hard work.

no administrative task is too large or too small for you.

you have a knack for conversing and communicating with employees and clients—and can get anyone to smile and laugh.

your career goal is to be an amazing executive assistant for a company that will truly value you.

What are the responsibilities and skills of our amazing executive assistant?

You’ll need to perform administrative duties for agency management and appropriate staff. At various times, your responsibilities will include screening calls, managing calendars, making travel, meeting and event arrangements, handling office supply inventory management, assisting in monthly accounts receivable collections, completing ongoing spreadsheets; troubleshooting, proofreading and manage specific projects, and much, much more.

What kind of skillset do you need?

You need to…

seriously know your way around Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

know how to Google anything and everything.

love making conversation with staff and clients. You have to make clients feel like they’ve known you forever.

have project coordination experience. If you are given a big administrative project, you need to know how to get it done on time and on budget.

have a sufficient knowledge of how to use social media.

Knowledge of WordPress content management a major plus! But not a requirement.

Lastly, and most importantly, you need to be a positive person. Not pretend “positive”, more like you love life even when you’re thrown a curveball positive.

You In?

Then please send your resume and a brief intro paragraph to careers@maclyngroup.com

NOW HIRING! Senior Art Director

Do you cringe when see bad kerning on a billboard? Do you collect stuff that’s been designed really awesome, because it’s just freakin’ designed really awesome? Do you find it hard to not Art Direct family photos? Do you love typography in ways you can’t talk about at parties?

If you answered yes to these questions, read on.

We are looking for a visual ninja with a penchant for crafting big ideas to join our team. If you’re a badass and want to hang with other badasses doing amazing work, then we’re the place you should be working.


Our ideal senior art director will be exceptional at:

• Concept and design of big and small: big ideas, advertising campaigns, outdoor, web design, social media posts, mobile etc.

• Identity: logomarks, letterhead, color theory

• Photoshoots: people, product, food, environment

• Building and maintaining a brand look

• The details: kerning, leading, x-heights, cap heights, etc. (If these seem unfamiliar stop reading)


Things you need to start the conversation:

• A stunning portfolio, yes we said stunning

• Experience creating outstanding work for both print and online

• 7-10 years experience, preferably agency experience

• Bachelors degree in Graphic Design or enough experience to justify not having one


Things that will help you get in the door:

• A wicked passion for the work, we’re talking a lot of passion

• History with hospitality, beer and restaurant brands. B2B experience is a plus, but not mandatory

• A collaborative attitude

• Work ethic. No really, work ethic


You in? Send us your stuff: portfolio, resume, creative philosophy and salary requirements to careers@maclyngroup.com