Ben in the Big Apple

Ben Lippert

Ben LippertSenior Reporter

Last Spring the SDSU Ad Club won a nationwide contest put on by 5-Hour Energy. The rules of the contest were simple: create the best 30-second commercial representing 5-Hour Energy and win $11,000. The Ad Club went up against hundreds of schools from across the nation, and won. The money helped fund a September trip to New York City for the annual Advertising Week convention. I was lucky enough to be part of the 5-Hour Energy campaign and this is a log of my experiences.

Monday, September 27

It’s 3:30 in the morning, and I haven’t slept. Anticipation, last-minute packing and homework have kept me awake. I’m finally laying down for a catnap. Sleep doesn’t come, and less than an hour later, I’m forced out of bed again by my obnoxious mother calling to make sure I don’t miss the bus. Shower, coffee, four-hour drive to Omaha, connecting flight in Milwaukee, and eventually my advertising crew and I are standing like zombies at the baggage claim in New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

Tuesday, September 28

Still jet-lagged, I button up my grown-up shirt and necktie just perfectly. After walking 20 blocks to our first speaker, I’m wishing I had left the tie behind. Between speakers we walk through Times Square looking for something to eat, until a young lady approaches us wondering if we would like to win tickets to the David Letterman Show. I still think she came up to us because we were all done up in our jackets and ties. We answer the trivia questions with ease and get our free tickets to the show. Just 30 minutes later we are back at the conference getting our picture taken with Mike Rowe, the host of Dirty Jobs on the Discovery Channel. Mike was the guest speaker for a presentation on celebrity branding. He’s never done a Dirty Jobs show in South Dakota. I think we talked him into paying John Morrel a visit.

Wednesday, September 29

I think I’ve finally adjusted to the East Coast time zone, or maybe I’m just pumped about our agency tour this morning. Either way, the sun is shining and I’m ready to see what the city looks like under a cloudless sky. The office for advertising agency Strawberry Frog is spectacular. They do such good work and now I’m inspired to change the world through advertising, but first I’m going to enjoy a Mets game at Citi Field tonight.

Thursday, September 30

I wake up a little fuzzy from the Mets game. Who won that game anyway? Oh well, it doesn’t matter because my group is off to a tour of Alloy Media and Marketing. Wait, this is weird. One of the presenters at Alloy is holding last week’s issue of The Collegian. Alloy does advertising and marketing for college newspapers. I think this is something I could see myself doing. After stuffing my face at the famous Carnegie Diner, we take a stroll through Central Park. As it turns out, Central Park is a black hole for cell phone reception. But we manage to find a wireless connection and my group gets reserved tickets to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The 30-block walk followed by a two-hour wait in line proves to be worth the wait. But I was surprised to find out that Jon’s special guest, Justin Timberlake, considers himself a mediocre guy.

Friday, October 1

The “big city” has taken its toll on me. But we still have one day left of fun-filled adventure. I’m on a quest for the Foursquare office in downtown NYC. Today my trip was made complete by meeting Foursquare’s founder and CEO, Dennis Crowley. It’s the last night in town, so I celebrate by staying out entirely too late, including a trip to the Brooklyn Bridge at 5 a.m. The city is so calm at this early hour. The walk across the bridge is one of the most surreal moments of my life.

Saturday, October 2

With less than an hour to pack, I frantically stuff away all my week’s possessions. The hotel shuttle van to the airport is silent, but in a good way. Most of the group sleeps on the plane ride home. Almost zero turbulence makes the ride less unpleasant, aside from tossing and turning in the airplane seat trying not to disturb the person next to me and get comfy at the same time. After spending most of the day traveling, I’m sitting in apartment 23 somewhere in Brookings. Finally it all settles in, and I am depressed to be back. Visiting New York wasn’t just a vacation; it was a journey. It’s something that cannot be written in a journal or on a blog. Pictures of the crooked- toothed New York City skyline don’t do justice to wrenching my neck 100 stories to see the giant spectacles. Raise your glass New York, and cheers to meeting again soon.