A FORM Graduation: Creative Marketing Internship Final Thoughts

Early this summer, I wrote that only time would tell the result of putting six interns together for eight weeks.

Now, the last day of our FORM internship has come and gone. It may seem hard to believe, but while in some ways the eight weeks flew by, we feel like we were at Wray Ward for longer than a summer. We became part of multiple families in the office: both within our intern group and Wray Ward at large.

The end of our FORM internship is like an unofficial graduation. We experienced so many firsts, we learned as much (if not more) as in our classrooms at school, and we walked out of the office with a confidence we didn’t have two months ago.

Each of us found our own world within Wray Ward. We delved into our respective departments and pushed our respective skills to the max. Beyond that, the six of us became our own mini-agency team, as we combined our backgrounds and skill sets to take on our first-ever client project.

In those eight weeks, we came up with and fleshed out a full-fledged creative marketing plan. We even presented it to our client. We had no instruction manual or guidebook, but we learned from our mistakes, from one another, from our mentors and from real-world practice.

We couldn’t be more proud of where we landed.

Here are some intern superlatives to sum up a summer at the crazy, fun and dynamic agency that is Wray Ward.

Most likely to get the group back on track after a distraction – and be the one who got us off track in the first place: Laura, client engagement intern

Laura’s job was all about strategy and coordination. She managed the crazy intern group as we navigated uncharted territory to complete a group assignment. Along the way, we laughed a lot and got to know one another. We also completed a project that we were all proud of and that blew our client away.

“My favorite part about the intern group was that everyone knew when it was time to be serious and when it was time to be goofy … for the most part,” Laura said.

Whenever we needed a reminder, Laura was there to make sure we had fun but also to keep us on track, so we’d be ready for the client presentation when the day came.

“The most valuable takeaway for me has been getting to work with real clients,” Laura said. “This isn’t something you learn in school. Often, it isn’t even something you’re trusted with in an internship. Working with real clients meant real responsibility, and it was a valuable growing experience.”

Her final thoughts on our summer-long creative project?

“We killed it. For real, I am so thankful for the team of interns and have a lot of love for them.”

Most likely to perform a rap at an all-office meeting: Khari, copywriting intern

Khari has a way with words. He can polish any sentence, think of the perfect synonym and even turn it into a rap if need be. Khari showed his word game with a rap at our introductory meeting to the agency in the summer, and he never disappointed us. Rapping in front of an entire office demonstrated his confidence, which only grew from his experience with FORM.

“The most valuable thing I’ve gained is confidence in my skills and my abilities. I now know that I can be a good copywriter and chase my goals,” Khari said. “I’ve learned to be more patient in the creative process and to let things I see daily inspire me. The people (at Wray Ward) are so supportive and helpful. They offer constructive criticism but also tell you how to improve.”

Khari’s advice to future FORM interns?

“You’ve made a great decision. Don’t be afraid to speak up and let your voice be heard.”

Most likely to wake up at 8:20 and still make it to work by 8:30: HwangHah, UX design and development intern

HwangHah started her days lightning-fast, and from what we could tell, she never slowed down. She was always hard at work creating digital designs, mocking up a landing page for the intern project or polishing up on her skills.

“My most valuable takeaway is that I have to be open-minded about people’s advice and feedback and be ready to make changes in every stage of the process,” HwangHah said. “There never is a ‘finish’ until it’s REALLY finished.”

HwangHah received feedback not only from her digital team but also from the other FORM interns, as we tried to create compelling digital content for our campaign.

“I learned that working in a group is hard and challenging, but in a good way,” she said. “It allowed us to think with different perspectives and made us better communicators. In the end, six brains are better than one. One person could not have come up with this great project we produced.”

When it came down to the client presentation, HwangHah finally got to step back from her keyboard and let her work speak for itself. Her final thoughts?

“I think we rocked it,” she said. “Honestly, I didn’t think we’d be able to come up with such a great project, but everyone was so skilled and talented in their area of expertise that when we put all the elements together, our work shined.”

Most likely to snap a picture of her food before eating it: Maddy, design intern

Maddy lives in a visual world. As the graphic design intern, she had to take a lot of vague concepts from the five of us and turn them into finished products. Meanwhile, we knew we could often catch her at her desk agonizing over a choice of two nearly identical fonts, taking photos of her smoothie bowl for Instagram and drawing ideas in her notebook.

On top of applying her graphic design experience to projects for real clients, Maddy got her hands on all aspects of marketing, from ideation to presentation.

“Before this internship, I honestly had no idea what all went into a campaign,” Maddy said. “Now I feel so much more knowledgeable about the components and how to go about putting a campaign together. It feels great to have some experience outside of graphic design.”

Because our project involved six different peoples’ ideas, Maddy worked with every single one of us to present an image that reflected our perspectives and thoughts.

“My most valuable takeaway was experience working with a team,” she said. “I had worked with other designers before, but it wasn’t the same as working with people who have completely different strengths. I really learned a lot from that.”

We also learned that becoming a team means trusting one another, no matter how wacky and out-of-the-box our teammates might seem.

“It’s funny to think back to the first day, when we were so awkward with each other,” she said. “Now, we’re really close, and throughout the past eight weeks, we’ve become really comfortable sharing ideas with one another.”

Maddy’s advice to the next generation of FORM:

“Be open-minded. There’s a lot you can learn here if you come in each day with ambition and a positive attitude.”

Most likely to whip out embarrassing videos of the other interns: Ruijia, video intern

In one way, this superlative shouldn’t come as a shock. After all, part of Ruijia’s job as video intern was to compile a video that documents our FORM 2017 experience. Along the way, she accumulated a fair number of bloopers and outtakes, and she wasn’t afraid to share them with the group to make us all laugh at the end of a difficult meeting.

This summer, you could catch Ruijia in the halls of Wray Ward with a camera and a tripod, editing away at her desk or secretly recording from her iPhone at FORM lunches and meetings. Her video experience wasn’t all fun and games, though. She had professional opportunities that would make any film major green with envy.

“The coolest experience I had was a trip to Glen Raven,” Ruijia said. “I even got to play around with the drone a little bit. Editing the FORM video was really cool as well, seeing how little pieces came together to make an awesome final product.”

Her favorite part about the intern group is not, however, the fact that she has the ultimate collection of embarrassing videos of us all.

“I love how during the final process of the (group) project, we all worked together and supported each other to make sure everything for the presentation was as polished as possible,” she said.

Her advice to future FORMers?

“Take this internship as an opportunity to learn skills you love from your team or from anyone here at Wray Ward. Just enjoy these two months. It’s really fun.”

Most likely to bring up conspiracy theories from Twitter over lunch: Linda, public relations intern

Sure, I’m the one most likely to bring up some overlooked theories about the Zodiac Killer or the moon landing over lunch, but nobody ever said I lacked the ability to do research. That may seem vaguely related to my job as PR intern at Wray Ward, but research and staying up to date on the latest trends and stories are both important parts of PR (even though the subjects differ slightly based on whether I’m on or off the job).

At Wray Ward, I was always researching for blogs or articles, checking up on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook activity, and creating content for social media. On top of learning a lot about the world of PR and what it means to work in an ad agency, I had my first presentation to clients, and I loved every second of working with my quirky FORM family.

I learned so much from my peers — and not only about their skill sets, but also more generally about how to think and approach problems, how to address different perspectives, and how to come together and make one idea six times stronger.

To future FORM interns, it may be awkward on your first day, but your team will become your support system, your friends and your biggest inspirations. Enjoy the work you do together, but mostly, enjoy the process.

The FORM diploma

Well, we didn’t actually get a diploma for our time here at Wray Ward. We didn’t get a piece of paper or wear a cap and gown, but we all walked out of the office knowing we achieved more than we thought was possible when we huddled around pizza on our first day, nervously discussing our client project and the weeks to come.

We left with the sense of confidence that comes only with real-life practice, knowing we grew as writers and thinkers, designers and doers. We left with five new friends and an office full of pretty awesome creative people to turn to in the future.

Although our time in FORM is over, we’ll carry the experience forward in our careers and lives.

We are honored that we were selected to participate in the FORM internship, that our mentors trusted us with real client work, and that we had the support of everyone at Wray Ward. We especially want to thank Photography Director Rusty Williams and President and Chief Creative Officer Jennifer Appleby for making this program possible and for their invaluable guidance along the way.

So, what do you get when you put six interns together for eight weeks?

You get FORM. You get new experiences. You get an exciting team project. But mostly, you get an unforgettable summer internship.

Lighting the stage: a history of early theater lighting technology

Theater lighting design has a major influence on the mood of a scene and the audience’s experience. Lighting can simulate different times of day, suggest intensity, show happiness, call attention to one particular actor or stage piece, and enhance the audience’s experience in many other ways. Theater, however, has existed far longer than the resources that make our modern connotation of drama possible.

From ancient Greek amphitheaters to Shakespearean plays in Elizabethan England, lighting has always played a role in drama productions, even before the advent of modern technology.

The first stage lighting: sunlight

It is no secret that drama became a staple in Greece long before the birth of New York’s Broadway. Ancient Greeks pioneered the modern genres of comedy and tragedy, and many Greek plays are still performed today.

Even these early Greek plays featured lighting cues. These cues, however, happened mostly within the confines of a world without electric lighting. Drama festivals played from dawn until dusk, and performances took place outside in large, stadium-like amphitheaters, lit only by the sun.

Because plays took place outside, stage companies had little control over lighting. Even still, the innovative Greeks used large mirrors to alter or reflect the sun’s rays as an early type of stage lighting. In addition, to establish a specific mood, the actors paused plays and took an intermission period until the sun’s angle suited the need for the scene.

It wasn’t until the rise of the Roman Empire that performances moved to indoor spaces like great halls. The Romans employed candles, torches and lanterns to illuminate the stage in these indoor spaces.

The birth of stage lighting as an art form

Despite the limited possibilities of lighting control with flame-based light sources, later developments during the Renaissance increased the artistry of stage lighting.

During the Italian Renaissance, stages were lit with candles made of tallow, or animal fat. Stagehands monitored candles closely and snipped wicks or relit candles as needed. Candles, crude oil lamps, torches and hanging lamps provided light in the theater; the house, where the audience sat, was also illuminated for the entirety of the show. Despite limitations of the time, innovators were beginning to approach lighting as an art form.

Sebastiano Serlio, an Italian architect and stage designer, documented some of the earliest uses of lighting as an art form. In 1545, Serlio described rudimentary color filters for lights: glass vessels filled with liquids called “bozze.” The color of the light depended on the liquid contents: red wine produced a red, saffron produced yellow, and ammonium chloride in a copper vessel yielded blue.

Stagehands placed these vessels in front of light as filters; the filters produced different colors of light to set the mood of a scene or create an early form of special effects.

Serlio also went on to identify the three important qualities of stage lighting: distribution, intensity and color. In this way, he became the first recorded author to credit light as an important part of the art of theater.

Leone di Somi, an Italian playwright and producer, was another early innovator of stage lighting as art. Di Somi wrote a small book in 1556; the book detailed instructions for staging a dramatic performance, including how a stage should be lit. In particular, Di Somi differentiated between lighting scenes for comedy and for tragedy, and he became the first author to note the important effect of lighting on the tone of a play.

Another crucial innovation came in 1638, when author Nicola Sabbatini suggested in his book on theater that producers use metal cylinders over candles to create a system of dimmers. The use of these cylinders allowed stagehands to control the amount of light on stage and change the lighting depending on a scene. However, this was a highly manual process and required many stagehands. Therefore, it could not be facilitated easily and had to be used sparingly, so that the stagehands could keep up with the action.

These three lighting innovations, along with others, harnessed the power of light to affect the mood onstage. However, they had disadvantages. Many old theaters caught fire and burned to the ground because of candles, and theaters had to limit the practice of manipulating candlelight due to safety and labor concerns.

Lighting Shakespeare’s stage: theater lighting in the Elizabethan period

William Shakespeare, a master of both comedy and tragedy whose works still influence modern writing across genres, is perhaps the most famous dramatist of all. Shakespeare is a unique case in theater history, as he became such a success that toward the end of his career, he had two theaters at his disposal.

The first was the now famous Globe Theatre, originally built in 1576 and later reconstructed after burning down in 1614. The Globe was an open-air theater featuring stadium seating. While the seats are covered, the top of the theater is open much like in a modern sporting arena; in Shakespeare’s time, plays were lit by sunlight. As a result, plays had to take place during the daytime, usually at high noon and only during good weather. Audience members had to use their imagination during scenes that took place at night, and Shakespeare’s company, The King’s Men, was limited to seasonal performances.

In 1608, however, Shakespeare’s season extended with the construction of the Blackfriars Playhouse. This covered theater invited a different sort of writing, lighting and music. The indoor theater was smaller but allowed for more control over the set as well as performances at night or in inclement weather.

The Blackfriars incorporated candles made from tallow, sheep or beef fat, which were cheaper than beeswax but required more maintenance due to their fast disintegration. Each performance required more than 100 candles. Stagehands stayed busy, as candles had to be replaced or trimmed four times over the course of the show, and chandeliers were manually raised or lowered to vary lighting effects.

The Blackfriars made dark scenes more chilling and amplified the experience of theater patrons by simulating nightfall, sinister events or quiet moments. However, many times, bright scenes followed dark scenes as an excuse for the stagehands to relight the candles.

From candles to oil and the limelight: pre-electricity lighting technology

Candles remained the most popular and widely used source of stage lights until 1783, which marked the invention of the kerosene lamp with an adjustable wick. After this, many theaters began to employ oil lamps instead of candles. While oil lamps allowed for greater lighting control, they, too, required constant maintenance, smelled unpleasant, smoked and produced a green-tinted light. Additionally, these lights did not reduce the risk of fire that candles presented.

In the years leading up to the advent of the electric light bulb, further inventions allowed for even greater control and more innovative uses of lighting for the stage.

1803 – Henry Drummond invented the limelight, a spotlight that was made by heating a piece of lime with a flame of oxygen and hydrogen. A limelight was first used in Paris opera houses and, despite its green tint, was used as a follow-spot or to indicate sunlight. While it is not used today, the limelight is still famous as a colloquialism that equates the limelight to stardom and attention.

  • 1816 – Chestnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia became the first fully gas-lit theater.
  • 1845 – The Drury Lane Theatre became the first theater to use gas lighting in England.
  • 1878-1898 – Henry Irving initiated the first lighting rehearsals to practice stage lighting before a performance. Irving also began the use of transparent lacquers as filters for limelights, and he introduced the practice of dimming house lights at the start of a show.

The next innovation in lighting, Edison’s electric bulb, greatly improved the safety and efficiency of stage lighting. However, from early amphitheaters in Athens to Shakespeare’s Globe and Blackfriars, lighting has consistently been one of the most important aspects in a production for setting a mood, adding to the realism of the show and creating the theater experience that we know and love today.

Lighting technology advancements and the rise of cities

Today, the word “city” conjures images of skyscrapers, bright lights and bustling crowds that never rest.

But cities didn’t begin to develop into the lively places we know today until the second half of the 19th century. Along the way, lighting technology and other innovations accelerated the urbanization process.

Thomas Edison’s carbon-filament incandescent bulb, or electric lighting, was one important invention that made the rise of cities possible. After Edison patented his bulb in 1879, factories quickly invested in electric lighting technology, which promised their businesses longer hours and more efficiency. (“Urbanization and Its Challenges” via Lumen).

Electric lighting in factories and urbanization

Although cities like Boston, Philadelphia and New York had existed since early colonial times, urban populations in these areas didn’t explode until the industrial revolution, which fueled the rise of new technology that made life safer and more efficient (“Industrialization and Urbanization in the United States, 1880-1929” via Oxford Research Encyclopedias: American History).

Before the advent of the light bulb, only gas lamps or candles were available for use in factories. The light from gas lamps was not only dim, it was also dangerous and inefficient. Gas lamps required constant tending, had a bad smell, released smoke inside closed spaces and endangered workers due to the open flame (“Artificial Light: How Manmade Brightness Has Changed the Way We Live and See Forever” via The Independent). So when Edison developed his incandescent bulb, factories jumped at what they saw as a cheap and efficient lighting option that could solve these problems.

Electric lights allowed factories to adopt longer hours, and many factories began to operate 24 hours a day (“Industrialization and Urbanization in the United States, 1880-1929” via Oxford Research Encyclopedias: American History). In this way, lighting technology enabled factories to increase their production and productivity without requiring further machine innovations. When electric lighting made longer hours and more production possible, demand for workers to keep the factories running spiked (“Urbanization and Its Challenges” via Lumen). Job opportunities became abundant, and large amounts of people flocked to the cities for work.

Consequently, populations began to shift dramatically from rural areas to cities. In the 20 years after the advent of Edison’s bulb in 1879, New York City’s population increased by more than 1.5 million people (“Urbanization and Its Challenges” via Lumen).

City lights and modern conveniences

Today, people associate cities with long work hours, dinner and shows, and even walks down famous streets like New York City’s Broadway in New York City.

Before Edison invented his light bulb, electric lights were rare and normally only used by the wealthy. But commercially, electric lights had many advantages; for example, they reduced the smell of gas inside factories and the strain on worker’s eyes caused by dim lights (“Artificial Light: How Manmade Brightness Has Changed the Way We Live and See Forever” via The Independent).

In addition, as factories began to operate 24 hours a day, cities also invested in the development of electric streetlights. This allowed them to adapt to the never-ending pace of city life and make the streets safer for workers who walked to or from factories in the darkness (“Urbanization and Its Challenges” via Lumen). City leaders understand that adapting streetlights was integral to maintaining economic growth (“Side by Side: Lighting the Night” via Early American Life).

While many new technologies contributed to the rise of cities in America, lighting technology made urbanization possible by providing factories with the power to stay open for 24 hours, and by lighting the streets for active, safe atmospheres (“Urbanization and Its Challenges” via Lumen).

In addition, when Edison patented his bulb, he also manufactured an electrical system to power the lights. Before, factories relied on power from rivers and seasonal water flow. With the new electric system, factories could move from rivers and operate efficiently year-round (“Industrialization and Urbanization in the United States, 1880-1929” via Oxford Research Encyclopedias: American History).

Electric power also became widely available in city homes; this reduced the danger associated with gas lamps and allowed households and families to adapt to the new, late-night city schedule. For the first time, children could be trusted to put themselves to bed, as families no longer relied on an open flame to light their homes at night (“Artificial Light: How Manmade Brightness Has Changed the Way We Live and See Forever” via The Independent).

As city populations continued to grow, available space dwindled. An increased demand for space led to the advent of the skyscraper. By 1900, cities were even more modern thanks to more electric lights, skyscrapers and higher populations than ever before (“Urbanization and Its Challenges” via Lumen).

Further improvements on Edison’s technology reduced risk and increased efficiency. Throughout the years, both the lighting industry and cities continued to grow to offer the modern conveniences we know today.

The future of outdoor lighting in cities

Today, cities are working toward adopting lighting solutions that are more efficient, longer lasting and closer in quality to natural light. Large cities like Los Angeles and Detroit are adapting LED roadway lighting technology that can reduce the cities’ carbon footprint and provide a more even, natural light for drivers and pedestrians (“How LEDs Are Going To Change The Way We Look At Cities” via Forbes).

From gas lamps to LEDs, cities as we know them today would not exist without the lighting technology that made it all possible.

A history of outdoor lighting: 20th century

Couples driving to dinner parties, neighborhood kids trick-or-treating, workers safely walking to their cars after a long day at the office: these are all activities made possible by outdoor lighting technology.

Throughout the 20th century, inventors and innovators developed new technologies to light our streets more effectively and create a safer, more productive society.

Incandescent lighting: moving past Edison’s bulb

Today, Edison’s famous carbon filament bulb still represents the concept of a good idea. However, during the 20th century, inventors were challenged with the task of making bulbs that were cheaper and more efficient than Edison’s original design.

At the start of the 20th century, developers needed a safer way to light streets than gas and fire-based streetlights, but they also needed an option that would last longer than Edison’s carbon bulbs. In addition, developers faced higher demand for safely lit streets as automobiles began to take off in America.

The first years of the 20th century saw competition between inventors to find the filament that would have the lowest cost and highest efficiency. In the 1910s, Irving Langmuir improved the design of the tungsten filament bulb by coiling the filament and filling the bulb with gas; the result was the most common incandescent light.

These tungsten-based incandescent bulbs were adopted as streetlights, and they made car travel at night possible in many major cities around America by the 1930s. During this time, Broadway, a famous street in New York City, earned the nickname Great White Way because of its abundance of lights.

Fluorescent lighting appears in outdoor applications

Even after tungsten filament incandescent bulbs became widely marketed and available, developments of other bulbs continued throughout the 20th century.

In the late 1920s, German engineers produced the first working fluorescent bulbs using phosphors, which convert invisible UV light into useable white light. These fluorescent bulbs were longer lasting and three times more efficient than incandescent bulbs.

After their introduction at the 1939 New York World’s Fair, the concept of fluorescent lamps as streetlights quickly rose in popularity. Fluorescents were an attractive outdoor lighting option because of their efficiency and novelty value. However, these lights were also large and fragile, and they produced a non-directional light. For these reasons, innovators moved quickly to develop new technologies for streetlights. However, fluorescent lights remain popular for parking lots building exteriors.

The search for efficiency: mercury vapor to LEDs

Although electric lights marked a huge shift in outdoor lighting technology, both incandescent and fluorescent bulbs lacked the brightness, direction, longevity and efficiency available in modern streetlights.

Despite the Great Depression, which hit the United States in the 1929, research for efficient bulbs persisted as lighting fixtures, along with oil, continued to sell.

While the 19th century saw quick developments in lighting technology, many 20th century lighting innovations represented maturation from previous designs.

These changes in lighting technology had a large impact on outdoor lighting throughout the latter half of the 20th century:

  • 1959 – Gilbert Reiling developed lamps that used metallic salts to make a light with a more pleasant and neutral color.
  • 1960s – Color-corrected mercury vapor lights were developed.
  • 1962 – Reiling’s innovations resulted in the invention of the metal halide lamp, which would later be developed into streetlight technology.
  • 1962 – Nick Holonyak, Jr., created the first visible-spectrum LED light using red diodes.
  • 1970 – The high pressure sodium (HPS) light became a common streetlight. Known for its orange glow, the HPS is still used in many streetlights today.
  • 1976 – Edward Hammer improved the fluorescent bulb by bending the tube shape into a spiral, inventing the first compact fluorescent light (CFL).
  • 1980s-90s – Major developments in CFLs made them cheaper, longer lasting and more efficient.
  • 1990s – The invention of the blue diode led to the advent of white LEDs. These LEDs are small, efficient and emit directional light. The developments allowed for the use of LED lights in traffic lights, flashlights and TVs.

By the end of the 20th century, LED lights became one of the fastest-growing lighting technologies. While LED lights are not yet widely used for outdoor lighting, that is starting to change due to their superior color, longevity and energy efficiency.

From the growth of electric streetlights to the invention of LEDs, lighting innovations from the 20th century continue to shape our world and light the way for the future.

The evolution of sports lighting technology

Picture yourself at a baseball game. Snack in hand, you settle into your seat with a snack and wait for the first pitch. What time of day is it?

Did you picture the sky darkening over the field just before sunset? Today, more than 80 percent of Major League Baseball (MLB) games are played at night, under the lights. And thanks to developments in sports lighting technology, we can take in a sports game after dark and still clearly see every play, every inning and every movement on the field. But holding sports contests without daylight was once nearly impossible.

Early lighting innovations and the first night games

The ancient Olympic Games in Greece marked one of the first official sporting events. But the famous Olympic torch, which dates back to the original Games, did not bring light to the events. Instead, the ceremonial torch reflected the sun’s rays with a parabolic mirror. While the fire continued to burn throughout the Games, it provided only symbolic value. Once night fell, competitions ended for the day due to a lack of visibility.

Night games were not possible until much later, after Thomas Edison’s invention of the carbon-thread incandescent bulb in 1879. Sports enthusiasts were quick to jump on this new technology and the possibility of playing games under the lights.

But the first baseball game played at night was not a professional competition but a simple, friendly game between employees from two Boston department stores. Just one year after Edison patented his carbon-filament incandescent lamp, these innovators set up three wooden towers equipped with electric lights with the power of 90,000 candles.

These early floodlights lacked the brightness of modern sports lighting, but as the sun set on the night of September 3, 1880, these players made history as the first to play baseball at night, under artificial lights.

Although revolutionary at the time, these incandescent lamps did not emit much more light than the candles they sought to replace, and the teams were forced to play cautiously, with minimal visibility after the sun set.

Professional baseball players wouldn’t compete at night for another 50 years. In the meantime, both amateur and professional baseball and football teams attempted to incorporate new lighting technology into their games.

The first night football game took place in 1892 but was stopped at the halfway point due to the low visibility provided by the incandescent lights.

In the early 1900s, Irving Langmuir improved Edison’s bulb by creating the tungsten-filament incandescent bulb. This lamp was brighter and longer lasting than the carbon-filament bulb, and it made night games feasible for professional teams. Shortly after these tungsten bulbs became available, professional sports teams began to implement artificial lighting in their stadiums.

On November 3, 1929, the NFL incorporated floodlights into its games. Six thousand fans packed into Rhode Island’s Kinsley Park Stadium, where the Chicago Cardinals faced off against the Providence Steam Rollers as the sun set. However, because the lights were not bright enough to fully illuminate a brown football, the ball was painted white; the next day, reporters commented that the game resembled two teams of men throwing around a large egg.

By 1930, the Depression was already taking its toll on baseball teams, and many were nearing bankruptcy. Because games took place during the day, they were difficult or impossible for working Americans to attend. Desperate to save his team, J.L. Wilkerson, owner of the Kansas City Monarchs, decided to play games at night so that fans could come after work. Using six 50-foot tall floodlights with electric tungsten filament bulbs, Wilkerson made his idea a reality. Wilkerson managed to triple the attendance of Monarch games that season, though his efforts made him unpopular among the local police force.

The major leagues followed suit soon afterward in 1935 with Cincinnati Reds manager Leland MacPhail’s $50,000 investment (equivalent to $850,000 today) in huge floodlights. Before, the Reds attracted a meager 3,000 spectators per game; the team’s first night game attracted 20,000 fans.

Less than a decade later, more than half of the MLB teams had installed lights in their stadiums.

Changing the game: stadium lighting powered by metal halide lamps and LEDs

The next innovation in lighting technology that impacted sports was Gilbert Reiling’s 1959 invention of the metal-halide lamp, which was released to the public in 1962. These lights offered a more pleasant, neutral color, and were more efficient than incandescent bulbs. In the years after their invention, sports lighting adopted metal-halide lamps into their floodlights to illuminate night games.

The same year as the release of metal-halide lamps, inventor Nick Holonyak., Jr., created the first LED lights using a red diode. However, white LED lights, invented by using blue diodes, did not come along until 1990.

The years that immediately followed these inventions saw widespread incorporation of floodlights and lighting fixtures in baseball, hockey, football, soccer, tennis and basketball stadiums, as well as racetracks.

If early sports lighting professionals struggled to find lamps that were bright and long lasting, today’s experts aim to identify lights that will provide a better viewing experience for fans, align with live broadcast technology and conserve energy while lessening a stadium’s carbon footprint.

These developments have been playing out in sports lighting since the 1990 advent of the white LED:

  • 1992 – Charlotte Motor Speedway became the first track to install lighting to host night races. Racetrack lighting fixtures must be diffuse and reduce glare on windshields to reduce driver risk.
  • 2008 – MLB partnered with the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to go green and strive for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification by reducing the league’s carbon footprint and working toward more sustainable sports arenas.
  • 2012 – The Oncenter War Memorial stadium contracted Eaton’s Ephesus Lighting, becoming the first professional hockey arena in the United States to install LED lights. LED lights made the stadium brighter, the ice whiter and the colors more vibrant. Forbes reported that the stadium saves 75-85 percent on overall energy costs, with an 87 percent reduction in energy consumption.
  • 2015 – The Seattle Mariners became the first MLB team to incorporate LED stadium lighting at Safeco Field.
  • 2015 – University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona made history as the first National Football League (NFL) venue to adopt LED lighting from Eaton’s Ephesus Lighting. This stadium also served as the host for Superbowl XLIX in 2015, the first football championship played under LED lights.

These teams were among the first to make the switch to LED lights, but they will hardly be the last. Fans and athletes alike can appreciate the increased visibility that LEDs provide. Light from LEDs is brighter, more unfiltered and closer to natural sunlight than metal halide lights and other lighting fixtures. They reduce shadows and glare on the field while providing better, more natural color. Even sports fans watching from home benefit, as LED lights eliminate flicker in high definition broadcasts.

Sports lighting has come a long way since early electric lights, games stopped at halftime due to darkness and footballs painted white for visibility. Modern lighting innovations have helped changed the games we love by helping ensure we don’t miss a play as we cheer on our favorite teams into the night.

 

A Day in the Life of a Wray Ward FORM Intern

The FORM interns have made it.

Well, not really. But we are at the halfway point of our time here at Wray Ward, and we have the work to show it. We’ve spent the past four weeks settling into our departments and working on projects for real clients.

We’ve also worked on our group project, a fully integrated marketing campaign that we will develop over the course of the summer.

These first four weeks have been inspiring and intimidating, a chance to show what we know and learn what we don’t. After we got our first creative brief, we started to combine our skillsets and create a project from the ground up.

The group project isn’t just a looming deadline or a vague idea. It’s part of our day-to-day lives, along with morning cups of coffee and intern huddles by the creative sofas.

So, you might be wondering…

What is a typical day in a Wray Ward FORM intern’s life?

The six of us start our days in the office at 8:30 a.m. at our desks as we check emails and sip our coffee. But after that, our lives here at Wray Ward diverge. The truth is, there really isn’t an average day for a FORM intern. The jobs we work on vary week-to-week and day-to-day.

I might spend my morning working on a blog or a social media calendar, but Maddy, the graphic design intern, might be working on brand manuals, billboards or banner ads.

“I work on a lot of editorial layouts,” said Maddy. “I’m really grateful that Heather, a senior designer, trusted me enough to let me take the reins on a few spreads. She helped me along the way, but in the end I got to present what I’d done to the Executive Creative Director, John Roberts. It really makes me feel like I’m a part of the Wray Ward team.”

We all have unique opportunities to grow our different skill sets and build our portfolios. Ruijia, the video intern, has worked multiple shoots with the Motion department.

“Thanks to the Motion team, I was able to participate on a team shoot and help edit the video,” she said.

When we aren’t creating new content or planning group meetings, we are working on our intern group project.

What is the FORM intern marketing project?

The short story is: the FORM intern summer project is a fully developed, integrated marketing campaign created by six young adults with little to no direct experience.

Sounds daunting, right?

Even though we were nervous at first, Wray Ward gave us the tools to take on the project head first. Our mentors guided us through the first steps and helped us learn from each new experience.

“It’s everyone’s first time doing a project like this,” said User Design and Development Intern HwangHah. “So sometimes, we aren’t sure if our ideas are on the right track, but that’s the fun part. We only get this first experience once, and we’re learning all we can.”

We spent the first half of our internship coming up with three different campaign directions. At the beginning, we had so many ideas that we had trouble narrowing them down.

“Each one of us has different points of view and ideas,” Ruijia said. “It was fun to see how those thoughts worked together. During the first ideation process, we wrote out all our random little thoughts on sticky notes and pinned them to the wall to see how they could be combined to form a bigger project.”

But that process was only the start. Next, we turned our ideas into three detailed, feasible campaigns.

“The biggest challenge of the group project, as always with group projects, is that everyone has a different way of going about accomplishing an overall goal,” Laura said. “At the same time though, that’s what makes the project so fun and interesting. Because we think differently, everyone brings something to the table and points out a new perspective. All the different viewpoints combine to create out-of-the-box ideas.”

Throughout the group project, we keep discovering how the six of us can work as a team. When we get stumped, we have an office of mentors to step in and offer guidance and advice.

We are also learning how to approach the project by shadowing our mentors in the Wray Ward office to see how it’s done.

What does shadowing look like in a creative marketing office?

You’ve probably heard shadowing used as a verb in the context of premed students or in Peter Pan. We aren’t watching open heart surgeries or flying around Neverland, but we’re learning from the best in our respective fields.

As FORM interns, we get to see how a marketing agency works. We get to sit in on meetings as talented creative professionals from all departments work together to ideate new concepts. We get to watch those pros present their ideas to clients.

“When I sit in on client meetings, it’s great to see how Wray Ward’s work can make a huge impact on a business and in the community,” said Laura, account lead intern.

Shadowing not only helps us discover how marketing works in practice, it also helps us improve our own skills. While we watch our mentors work, we discover how to implement their techniques in our own projects. Copywriting Intern Khari said shadowing meetings has fundamentally changed his writing process.

“The coolest experience I’ve had has been sitting in on meetings,” said Khari. “Since coming to Wray Ward, I’ve learned to get from one big idea to several concepts and headlines, which has been eye-opening.”

So that’s it? That’s what you do in a day?

Yes, and no.

There are also the informal intern get-togethers in the sunroom or on the sofas by the window to brainstorm. There are the goofy ideas that make us laugh. There are lunches outside at the picnic tables and trips to Charlotte restaurants and food trucks. There are moments of doubt and moments of, “A-ha! It works!”

Over the second half of our internship, we will continue our individual department work and hone our group project. We will choose one of the three campaign directions we developed and go deeper with it, making it bigger, bolder and more detailed until it is a finished product ready to present to the client.

At Wray Ward, our goals and focus can change within a minute’s notice. Each day offers new challenges, surprises and projects to tackle. Even though every day is different, we walk out of the office knowing we’ve learned something new.

And that, for the FORM interns, is all in a day’s work.

8 Things the FORM Marketing Internship Taught Us Our First Week

Six interns, eight weeks. Put them together and what do you get?

Well, we’re not exactly sure yet. Admittedly, we still have a long way to go before we know the ins and outs of agency life. We can say we’ve learned a thing or eight since our first day, and that our lessons have extended past how to refill the coffee maker (although that, too, is important to those of us who are not yet morning people).

Coming from different colleges, states, countries and walks of life, the six of us will form (get it?) a team for the better part of this summer. We’ll tackle real clients and real problems while we try to soak up as much as we can from our surroundings.

Without further ado, here are the eight things we have already learned as Wray Ward FORM interns:

1. The FORM internship application was only the first of many opportunities to be creative.

Before we joined the 2017 FORM internship team, Wray Ward challenged us to submit an application that would be effective and eye-catching enough to set us apart from the crowd.

I was freaking out, because I wanted to take my words and my excitement for the job off the page but didn’t know how. Finally, I decided that I’d make an Instagram showcasing why I wanted the PR position and what I could bring to the table. I felt like it worked with the position, and plus, who doesn’t love Instagram?

Graphic design intern Maddy also got creative by making an interactive quiz that described her attributes and why she would make a good fit for the job.

HwangHah, our user design and development intern, interviewed at 3 a.m. because of the time difference between the U.S. and Hong Kong, where she was studying for the semester when she applied.

“I was super tired and rambling, and I thought I failed the interview,” HwangHah said. “Before I got the final call, I emailed (FORM internship supervisor) Rusty and told him I hadn’t done well on the interview, so I wanted to send a few more pieces of my work that I’d finished in finals to help my case. That same day, he called and told me I got the job.”

Khari, our copywriting intern, faced a different dilemma in his interview: he forgot his interview attire in Athens, where he went to college.

“I raided my fashion-challenged father’s closet and looked for anything that would come close to fitting me,” Khari said. “Needless to say, I pulled up in an oversized dress shirt and a golf tie, looking like an accountant who’d recently lost some weight. Thankfully, the outfit became a talking point we could all laugh about in the interview.”

Whether our application process felt like smooth sailing or was a little rough around the edges, we can all relate to Laura, the account lead intern, and her reaction to hearing she got the gig: happy tears and high-pitched, girly squeals (yes, even the one guy on the team, Khari). The application process was a whirlwind, but it was only the beginning of our summer internship experience.

From portfolios of work to video projects, the FORM application process reflects the creative spirit of Wray Ward, and we know it is just the start of our creative opportunities.

2. We have a talented team of people in our corner.

When we arrived at the office bright and early on June 5, Rusty greeted us. Rusty is Wray Ward’s photography director, but he is also an entire welcoming committee in one, complete with fresh scones and plans for activity-filled days.

“Rusty has been so great with introducing us to the company and the people,” HwangHah said. “It’s nice to know he’s the person we can talk to about anything.”

Each of us also has a supervisor and a mentor for the summer. They welcomed us to our various departments and helped us get started.

Ruijia, our video intern, had no idea where to start her first video project, but she didn’t have to find her way alone. “I was feeling lost, but my mentors have a folder full of fun videos. Watching those inspired me and gave me a place to start my project.”

All six of us walked in a little nervous about jumping into our new roles as interns, but we quickly learned that we have an office full of experienced and talented people who are here to support us and help us learn.

3. Wray Ward thrives on collaboration.

Wray Ward is a much more collaborative environment than any I’ve ever worked in. In the first few days, we got to learn about how the company functions, rather than focusing only on how it applies to us. I can already tell Wray Ward lives by their words of We Not Me, and that everybody cares about the big picture.

When it comes to collaboration, HwangHah already appreciates Wray Ward’s digital space, which she calls the creative cave. “UX designers and developers work in this little nook, because they are constantly collaborating to produce their work. Even though they’re working on individual projects, I can see how they are all a team.”

4. Real-life marketing can feel like a whole new world, even if you study marketing in school.

The first few days of the internship have been both exciting and challenging. We are already jumping into real-world projects that are brand new for us. Ruijia is scheduled to work on her first video shoot. HwangHah is responding to her first creative brief, a challenge she never faced on campus. Laura is stepping out of her comfort zone and trying to improve as a public speaker with her first project, a presentation.

“The first few days have been awesome,” Laura said. “It seems like there is a steep learning curve, but the staff is great at training and informing us. I feel like they’re preparing us well for all of the work we’re going to do this summer.”

As students with little real-world experience in marketing, all of us are stepping out of our comfort zones.

“I’m a photojournalism major, but I want to learn about video outside of the context of the news and see my passion from an agency perspective,” Ruijia said.

We hope to apply what we’ve learned in the classroom, but mostly, we will be learning from hands-on, real-world projects.

“I just want to get better at what I do,” Khari said. “I want to learn new methods and get as much real experience as I can.”

5. There are tons of places around the Wray Ward office to camp out and do work.

Each of us has our own spot in the office, but when we aren’t at our desks, there are plenty of other meeting spots to choose from. There’s the cozy Garage with its sofas and tables that are perfect for collaboration. The bright and comfortable Sunroom is a favorite to hang out for lunch or do some work in the softest chairs in the office. And of course, the nook-like couches in the creative area are perfect to set up camp and get work done. Each of us has already figured out our favorite place to go when we want to step away from our desks.

6. Our intern team is the definition of #squadgoals.

As a group, we will work closely together all summer on our super top-secret client project, gaining real-world experience. Beyond that, we’ve already got tickets to attend a Charlotte Knights game together in the coming weeks. We’ve had our first outing as an intern group for Taco Tuesday, a celebrated holiday. We’ve had some bonding moments, like on day one when Khari told a joke as I was taking a sip of water. (Unfortunately, he was in the splash zone and got sprayed. He was able to laugh it off, and it became a funny ice breaker.)

7. Wray Ward will give us the opportunity to learn and grow, and mess up.

Our first week at Wray Ward showed us that FORM is not-your-mother’s-college-internship: in place of fetching coffee orders and doing grunt work, we will be learning and growing from real marketing projects.

“I can already see I am going to work on things in real-life situations that I’ve never encountered before in school,” HwangHah said.

My own calendar is already full of meetings with different people around the Wray Ward office. These people are taking time out of their day to help with projects and provide a guiding voice as I get started. I am still on a journey to figure out what I want to do with my life and my career, so the lessons I gain from Wray Ward will be invaluable.

8. We still have a long way to go to reach our career goals.

We are excited for so much this summer, from trying new restaurants around Charlotte to working on our big project together, but mostly we are excited to come one step closer to reaching our career goals.

“You learn a lot in school, but you don’t know what it’s really going to be like until you get some real-world experience,” Laura said. “I want to get to know people around the office and pick their brains about their career paths and what has worked for them.”

Like Laura, Maddy wants to be a sponge this summer: “I want to get my hands on as many different types of projects as possible, work with a lot of people, and experience group collaboration on real client work, which goes beyond anything I learned during college.”

Looking back on our first week, we’ve already learned a lot. We haven’t just found our way around the Wray Ward office and attended meetings; we’ve also learned where we can get two-dollar tacos on Tuesday, that Project Management Director JR Rusek really loves the Red Sox, and that there’s nothing like watching an episode of Fixer Upper during lunch. But beyond that, we’ve learned that FORM will be everything we hoped and more, and that we will be constantly learning the rest of the way. And despite early wake-up times and morning traffic in Charlotte, we will go forward with these eight things in mind, ready to dig in and make the FORM internship our best summer yet.