My name is Chris Biehn and I am a senior studying account management in the Klein school. I have the privilege of interning this summer at Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners, a full service traditional advertising agency.

Throughout this chaotic season of economic and situational uncertainty, all agencies have been met with the challenge to adapt or fall behind. I have seen the innovative approaches RTO+P has taken to maintain client trust, increase advertising for some client brands, and win new  business through strategic and creative brand bids. I value learning about strategy and problem solving, so it has been insightful to see how an established agency designs methods to overcome obstacles.

I have learned that in difficult periods the first thing brands re-evaluate is their advertising expenses.  It has been eye-opening to see the business side of a downturn in the economy.  I have observed that when people are spending money and business is booming, advertising is an important investment for a brand to drive increased profit.  As soon as a brand’s sales go down,  people are less motivated to make purchases,  and companies are left with tough budget choices. For many brands, scaling back advertising is the natural first step to decrease costs. Some ad agencies have suffered in this Covid culture. With many brands declining due to the pandemic, advertisers are met with tough choices on how to respond to clients.

I have been impressed with how RTO+P has risen to the occasion. RTO+P has established a versatile brand portfolio.  The strong variety of clients and brand industries has enabled them to have clients that balance out advertising approaches throughout the pandemic. Some clients with travel- focused brands or products made in China had to limit advertising spending, but other brands in RTO+P’s arsenal that focus on home needs have increased advertising and achieved success during the quarantine.  My account team worked on projects for Dietz & Watson. They continued to advertise as more people are buying lunchmeat and eating at home.

I have experienced RTO+P’s ability to make tough business decisions to adapt to the current environment and to pioneer ways that distinguish them from other agencies.  They don’t stick to templates, but they individually cater to their clients by customizing unique, creative approaches that stand out from the crowd and drive relevant messages.  RTO+P, like any other agency, endured initial uncertainty as brands across the country took a step back to figure out what their approach would be as the coronavirus unfolded.  However, RTO+P’s use of ambitious measures, confident initiatives, and enhanced client trust has given them the ability to create new business. I have been inspired by the way that RTO+P’s team has pushed harder, depended on each other, and produced excellent work that has caught the industry’s attention.