Surer Than Ever: Marika O’Hara, Situation

I have been so inspired by how much passion everyone at Situation has for every client and for each individual project and campaign.

Tell us about your internship, what are your main responsibilities?

As the Media & Analytics intern at Situation, one of my biggest responsibilities is processing most of the media insertion orders, which are agreements between a publisher and advertiser about where and when an ad will run, that come through the department. This entails making sure the insertion order gets signed by the correct person on the account team, sending the signed copy back to the vendor, and entering all the information about the media buy into Situation’s internal billing system. I also do a lot of one-off research projects for the Media department and track the pacing of clients’ media buys.


Do you have a dream account or brand you’d like to work with? Which one?

One of my dreams has always been to work on the marketing for a new Broadway show and to build the show’s brand from the very beginning. An awesome thing about this internship at Situation is that I’ve actually gotten to do that! One of our intern projects was to create and pitch a comprehensive media plan for the weeks leading up to the opening of Jagged Little Pill, a new Broadway musical opening this coming December.


Talk to us about the culture in your office, how has it impacted your internship?

Through my internship, I have been so inspired by how much passion everyone at Situation has for every client and for each individual project and campaign. I’ve also been so inspired by the Media & Analytics team in particular everyone is so knowledge about the different platforms and technologies they use to execute campaigns, and they’re so eager to jump on new opportunities or programs that are still in beta to test them for clients. I’d say the culture at Situation is the opposite of complacent, as every single department is also trying new things and exploring new trends to get the best results for clients across the board.


What have you learned about the advertising industry that surprised you?

One thing that surprised me about the advertising industry was how much detail goes into reviewing everything. Situation has a very thorough process for making sure every single piece of material gets proof-read and put through quality assurance before goes live. While this surprised me at first, I’ve come to realize how important it is since the videos, display ads, and social posts all get seen by so many consumers.


Choose a current popular advertising trend and tell us what’s interesting about it:

I am truly fascinated by influencer marketing and very curious to see how it continues to grow and develop. I find it interesting how some influencers are able to integrate branded content in a way the flows with their existing content, whereas some influencers execute sponsored posts in a way that feels like an ad and often comes across as disingenuous. This poses an interesting challenge for agencies, as they must figure out the best way to collaborate with influencers to get the former effect for their partnerships, rather than the latter.


Imagine your dream job, where are you, what does a day-to-day look like?

After having such a great experience this summer, I feel surer than ever that my dream job is to work digital marketing for the theatre industry or in the world of performing arts. I’d love to have a job where I’d be planning, executing, and optimizing paid media campaigns in order to help incredible productions reach new audiences and bolster their success.


Are you considering another internship, or looking for jobs now? What are your next steps?

After this internship concludes, I’ll be heading back to school to start my senior year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill! I’m excited to look for ways to continue to expand my knowledge of media planning and programmatic advertising while I’m at school. Then, in the spring, I’ll be applying to full-time jobs for after graduationCheck out my LinkedIn!


What is your favorite ad of all time?

The ad that has always stood out to me is the billboard ads for the final Harry Potter movie. I remember seeing the huge ad in Times Square that didn’t even say the name of the film or series but just featured a picture of Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter (looking slightly battered and bloodied) with the tagline “It All Ends,” and the date of the film’s release. This ad really played into the recognizability of brand since everyone instantly knew what it was for even without a title. I also think “It All Ends,” is also a strategic tagline since it has multiple meanings. On the most straightforward level, it refers to the end of the battle between Harry and Voldemort, but it also refers to the end of this huge global phenomenon that had shaped the childhoods of so many people (and even adulthoods for some). While there were also most branded posters and trailers running at the same time, I do think that this ad played a big part in making the release of the final film feel like a huge, epic event.