When the elevator doors opened to the sixth floor of the corporate office building, I felt a rush of excitement and nervousness at the thought of starting my first day as an intern at MGH. I slowly walked toward the glass doors on my left, taking the time to properly absorb my first view of the office. The massive MGH letters that hung on the orange curved wall behind the receptionist’s desk, surrounded by segmented concentric circles, immediately struck me as modern and sleek.
As I was led through the halls by my internship mentor I could not stop thinking about just how modern everything was. Some of the cubicles contained employees who flashed me a smile from exercise balls while typing rapidly on their keyboards. Other employees, fine-tuning various layouts on Photoshop, turned away from their standing desks to greet me. Everything looked so foreign to me as compared to the cluttered classrooms and cinder block walls of my high school.
Even though I was in a completely new environment, I felt a sense of home created by the endless images of OLD BAY spice cans, Rodney the lifeguard from Ocean City, and Orioles players around every corner. These advertisements brought a sense of warmth to the contemporary space, reminding me of my past eighteen years in Baltimore. At one point, my eyes landed on a photograph of my favorite billboard in the city, the most iconic image of Baltimore: Natty Boh proposing to the Utz Girl in an advertisement for Smyth Jewelers. I remembered all the times I had driven past that advertisement while heading into the city for baseball games, days exploring the Inner Harbor, or a family meal in celebration of a milestone. The memories that resurfaced as I studied these classic images of Baltimore reminded me what had drawn me to this advertising agency for my two-week Independent Senior Project.
When I initially discovered MGH, I explored its website and was surprised to see just how many Baltimore-based clients they served over the years. After some time studying previous advertising campaigns, I started to realize the deep impact of the agency’s work. I could taste the OLD BAY spice on my tongue by simply looking at a newspaper advertisement created by MGH. I could feel the Ocean City sand between my toes when I saw Rodney the lifeguard in a television commercial. I could even hear the crack of the baseball hitting the bat at Camden Yards when I scrolled to a social media post from MASN on my newsfeed. After simply clicking through some of its work with California Tortilla on the MGH website, I could practically smell the mouthwatering fragrances wafting out of the California Tortilla that I frequent in Quarry Lake. I grew fascinated with MGH the more I learned about the company, and I could not wait to discover the secret to these powerful advertisements.
I figured out during my two weeks working there, that the “magic” of MGH is a room of creative people, diverse in their backgrounds and experiences, fully investing themselves in understanding their clients and delivering their unique messages. No matter the size of the client, the people here deeply care about how to best represent them. The passion in every MGH employee to help other companies reach their fullest potential was infectious, and I eagerly accepted every assignment as I grew to appreciate every client MGH serves. I left the offices of MGH with hopes I made a meaningful contribution, or simply lightened the workload of some of the amazing people here. I am also leaving this place with an advanced knowledge of vein treatments offered at Capitol Vein and Laser Centers, a heightened awareness of the variety of different hats sold at Hats in the Belfry, and a greater respect for a handful of companies rooted in Baltimore.
I will always look at advertisements differently after my experience there, wondering why certain creative decisions were made and judging the effectiveness of each in delivering the company’s message. In addition, I will forever feel more connected to this city through my work with this Baltimore-based advertisement agency. Although I am leaving for college in the fall, I will not soon forget OLD BAY, Ocean City, the Baltimore Orioles, and my two weeks at MGH.