Category Archives: guest adgirl

Now Featuring: Guest Adgirl Jacqui “Giggles” deBorja!

JDB here, guestblogging!  Watch out for the footnotes…

I’m the newest Interaction Designer1 at TBWA\Chiat\Day, largely in thanks to La!  I met La over at our previous agency and a couple months after Lali was born, La put in a good2 word for me.  It was a tough thing to do – leave the only agency I’d ever known, an agency that plucked me out of hundreds of other scared, jobless almost-graduated kids at a recruitment fair and taught me everything I know about my current career path.  But I did, and now I’m a Pirate.  In one of those highly-coveted yellow stacked cubicle things.  Doing my small part in building up Chiat’s interactive prowess.  And I’m damn excited about it.

Today was the first time since we’ve both been at Chiat that La and I have gotten to work together again!  And since Li is getting ready to get hitched and my cube buddy/boss had something unfortunate happen to her eyeball3, I joined La and worked from Li’s desk today4!

Between site-mapping5 for my alma mater and fixing wireframes6 for a bunny, this is what happens when LaJacq7 gets back together: video chatting each other from the same cube.  And since we do have other friends, we tried to videochat Hobart McKinley Birmingham III.  You’d think for someone with a name of near royalty and the title of Senior Art Director, he’d be a pretty smart guy.  Too bad he couldn’t figure out how to activate his sound8.  Oh, and we also Face-timed with our schmancy new iPhone 4s.  Quite the productive day.

videochatting from the same cube

But in all seriousness, it’s awesome getting to work with La again, especially when it’s for something rad like an iAd9 and may involve giving away free donuts10.  I’m stoked to be here, learning from crazy smart mentors, honing my skillz, creating something new everyday, meeting interesting people, and… this is getting mushy.  And long.  I’m out.

Xo lali,

facetiming from the same cube. doesn't lauren look sexy when she's facetiming me?

1 Sometimes known as a User Experience Architect or Information Architect.  In the simplest terms, I make sure that anything a user interacts with digitally (i.e. websites, iPhone apps, Facebook apps, microsites) are functional, efficient, and easy to use so that users (that would be you) don’t get frustrated when using the product.  I collaborate with the creative team to ensure the concept, visual design, and functional design all work together seamlessly.  The Interaction Design team over here at Chiat\Day could give Lali a serious run for their adgirl-power-money.  We got 2 fierce female IxDs (just recently we were 3 til we lost a love to San Francisco) PLUS two equally as fierce female pups, Coco and Maya.
2 More like great!
3 Won’t describe the gooey details here.  Kathrin, I hope you’re doing better!
4 Thanks, Li!  Lots of people were calling me Lindsey.  They think they’re soooo clever.  I’d obviously make a terrible pin-up girl. =)
5 A flowchart (essentially boxes and lines) that diagrams all the pages of a website and how they are connected to each other.
6 After the sitemap is completed, we design the blueprints for all the individual pages called out in the sitemap.  I figure out how each nibbly tidbit works – all the navigation, the basic layout, every single button, link, freckle, and sneeze.  Attention to detail to key.
7 The best we could come up with.  And the Jacq part should be pronounced like Jacques Cousteau, so we’re like, French, or something.
8 But I’m sure your skills at being a date to a wedding and an LCD Soundsystem show far outshines your user error tendencies.
9 Wish me luck!  The last iAd I worked a bajillion hours on got killllllled.  But hey, that’s advertising for ya.  The idea dies, but you live.  That sounds like a pretty decent deal to me.
10 NO ONE is against free donuts.



Filed under guest adgirl, lali

flowers = cannes finalist… woot.

though it’s hard to remember life before la, there was a time (not so long ago) when i worked with two other fabulous ladies – chelsea dubois and elizabeth alexander – on a little brand called prius. evidently, some important people liked our work, because we just shortlisted at cannes.

watch the video.

finalist is a good start, but next year lali plans to bring home some hardware :)

xo, li


Filed under guest adgirl, lali ads

guest adgirl Simone DeBlasio!


Ruth Naperbaumhausen interviews freelance ad exec, Simone DeBlasio.

Q: How long have you worked in advertising?
A: Coming on two decades. So, I started when I was ten years old.

Q: Why advertising? Why not politics, banking, psychology, or the service industry?
A: Advertising is a grab bag of many professions. Only you get to wear jeans and a T-shirt to work.

Q: What was your first look into the world of advertising?
A: Growing up, I loved the show “Bewitched”. Samantha’s magical powers were cool, but I was more impressed with Darren’s copywriting. I loved his pun-filled taglines.

Q: What was your first advertising gig?
A: In 5th grade we were given an assignment to write, direct and star in a TV spot. My commercial was for “Honeycombs” cereal.

Q: Other than the “class project” which is totally legit, what was your first paying job?
A: About eight months after college graduation, and 479 sent resumes later, I landed a job at a direct marketing shop in Mountain View. They hired me as an “assistant account manager” with the caveat I could move into copywriting. That was 17 years ago, and I’m still in management. Advertising folks know how to sell an idea (even if it involves a little finagling of the truth).

Q: Why stay in management if you’d rather be a copywriter?
A: I didn’t know how to put together a portfolio, and I was terrified to ask for help. I took the safer, less satisfying route. Decisions based on fear usually don’t pan out.

Q: Wow – admitting to selling yourself out.
A: Um, that’s not a question…

Q: Fair enough. What are some of your favorite aspects about advertising?
A: Other than the late nights, leftover food from meetings and working with lunatics? I love seeing cool ideas come to life.

Q: What is your favorite commercial?
A: “Aaron Burr/Got Milk” produced by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in the mid-90s.

Q: Why does that commercial stand out?
A: The premise is simple and relatable, and the execution is brilliantly satirical. The strategy plays on the basic human experience of deprivation. Running out of something you need more than anything at the particular moment. Joni Mitchell said it best – “you don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone.”

Q: Who are some people you admire in the advertising industry?
A: The variety of quirky personalities is endless. Some folks are memorable for representing what NOT to do, while others are etched in my mind for their prolific idea-generating minds. Jon Steel, Chuck McBride and Todd Grant from my days at Goodby come to mind.

Q: Do you think you’ll eventually take the risk and move into copywriting?
A: While I’m a glutton for punishment, I’m not a fan of rejection or rules. I admire creative teams for their inexorable endurance to work inside a cage, and listen to annoying feedback.

Q: What’s next?
A: I’m releasing a book of essays titled Letters from the Dead – inspired by my demented and haunting dreams. After this freelance gig is up, I’m going to Lopez Island (2 hours from Seattle) to finish writing my sci-fi novel.

Q: Any final words of wisdom?
A: Today is the only day of your life – do something you love. Or start drinking, heavily.

Q: And as for lali?
A: Two of my favorite adgirls! You lovely ladies are so incredibly inspiring. Don’t ever stop :)

Simone DeBlasio is a struggling writer and musician living in Los Angeles. The struggle is mostly in her mind. Otherwise she has a pretty dope life, writing her venomously satirical blog, short stories, novels, movie scripts, and really depressing songs. For more Simone, visit

Ruth Naperbaumhausen is a figment of Simone DeBlasio’s imagination.

*ladies, let us know if you’d like to be featured as a guest adgirl*

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