Thursday, May 23, 2013

More birthdays...

I had a very special cake delivery yesterday.  But first, a little history.  In my former life, I was a Planning Supervisor in the Media Dept. at The Martin Agency, a leading agency in the US.  In this position, it was my job to select and  negotiate with magazines, TV networks, newspapers, radio stations, websites, etc in order to maximize my client's budget and the percentage of target audience reached.

Although I resigned over 3 years ago, I still keep in very close touch with several of my co-workers, as well as some of the sales representatives from the various media outlets.  My rep from Food Network magazine reached out a few weeks ago with a special request.  She asked me to make a cake...a birthday celebrate the 100th birthday of the American Cancer Society, who is a client of The Martin Agency.  You may recognize the slogan "Proud Sponsor of More Birthdays" and the celebrity-endorsed awareness and call to action messages that are pervasive in media right now.  The team at the Agency is responsible for that and has done amazing work for the organization.  I was asked to make a cake in honor of the big birthday, to be delivered to the Agency as a surprise for the ACS team and the Media Dept.

My goal was to give this cake a "birthday cake" feel, but incorporate several of the current campaign images. As I was doing my research, I came upon a striking piece of artwork that was created for the organization and inspired by the "more birthdays" theme.  This painting was done by Masha D-yans, who created this "for everyone who's ever wished for clean air.  The American Cancer Society's fight for smoke-free laws is helping make that wish come true".  You can order posters, wrapping paper and e-cards featuring this image at

I decided to attempt to replicate part of this painting onto the bottom tier of the cake..hand painting with food coloring and adding texture with cut outs of the white stars and red flowers.

Additionally, I wanted to incorporate the tagline "Finish the Fight" with a bunting that would adorn the top of the cake.

The cake flavor was crowd-favorite White Almond Sour Cream with Vanilla Buttercream and Vanilla Satin Ice fondant.

The delivery of this cake was so bittersweet...getting to surprise some of my favorite people, rewarding and honoring all the hard work that they do for this client. But also a reminder of how much I loved working there, not only for the culture-changing work that comes out of those doors, but for the amazing family that I gained while there.

I heard afterwards that photos of the cake and the team gathered around the cake were shared with the client and other former colleagues as well as posted on The Martin Agency Facebook page.  In addition, I received this email message today. "Your cake was the best cake I’ve ever eaten….the icing, fondant  and cake (very moist) absolutely delicious!  My past experience with fondant has been I don’t eat it…but yours has a wonderful texture and taste.  Wow…its dangerous…I could eat the entire cake.  I love the almond flavor..its my favorite."  My heart is swelling with happiness.

Advertising is a tough business and to keep things in perspective, we often had to remind ourselves that we were not curing cancer.  Hoewever, in the case of The Martin Agency and ACS...they are helping to do just that.  Hats off to TMA and the American Cancer Society for all you are doing to "Finish the Fight".

Confectionately yours!

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