At Dr. Bob Davis’s Memorial Service yesterday, I walked away from a conversation I had with one of his former students feeling the warmth of the greater influence that Bob had on my and every student he taught’s life and professional network. And it all boils down to that one special assignment that he has been giving since what feels like the start of his career at UCF: create an ad that sells the diet cat food he called Slim Kitty.
Back in 2002, I created that ad called Slim Kitty. The friend/former student who I was talking to did Slim Kitty. So did her husband. So did all of my interns. And even after Bob’s retirement and after his death, students taking Advertising 101 at the Nicholson School of Communication are learning about Slim Kitty.
Prior to the conversation, I just thought Bob had a standard way he taught his basic class and that was that. She enlightened me, based on conversations she’s also had with former students, that he was actually building a giant network of Slim Kitty connections that we could all use to feel closer to one another in this great big advertising world and have the mutual story of how we made our ads as a way to break the ice.
For instance, in that conversation I learned that she and her husband drew their’s out by hand (not to age the anonymous, but there were no computers back then), I used Paint and Word, and someone else who was there used Publisher and now says she seen ones done by students that look like they belong in glossy magazines. Mine definitely did not.
Bob also developed Intern Pursuit, which was the primary way I got all of my internships, which led me to my career today. I remember Mr. Frank Stansbury grabbing my hand my final year of school and walking me to the Cramer-Krasselt table and telling Melanie that I needed to be her next intern. And that was my media planning internship that solidified what I wanted to do when I grew up. And then at Ypartnership, I needed media interns every year and so went to Intern Pursuit, and found interns that have now become some of my favorite friends in the industry (you all know who you are my baby ducks).
Bob, there are so many people that will miss you, me included. You were encouraging, supportive, and helped shape my life through your understanding of the need to build connections. Thank you.