Snowball Media CEO Brought on as Visiting Professor

Before founding his own company, Terry Balagia headed creative for renowned world wide agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi, Darcy, and Publicis, launching products for brands like Activision, Toyota and Fox. A Texas AdGrad, Balagia joins the Department of Advertising and Public Relations as a visiting professor, focusing on creative and account planning.

Upon graduating from UT with a degree in advertising Balagia headed right for Madison Avenue. He started his career at McCann-Erickson in New York as an assistant media planner, building his creative book afterhours, and slipping scripts under writer’s doors at night, which led to selling his fist commercial and to landing him his first copywriter position.

“As a young writer, whenever I got a paycheck I would think to myself, ‘I can’t believe we get paid for doing this’. I loved it! I think the key is first learning how to listen, and how to truly understand the assignment before you jump to executional ideas,” Balagia said.

After working his way up from copywriter to executive creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi, DMB&B and Fox Broadcasting Company, Balagia began to focus on digital strategy and marketing.

“There is so much dislocation in the media world these days and the big agencies are no longer in a position to lead their clients when it comes to seamlessly integrating new media and new technologies. I want to make sure our students leave here with fluency when it comes to the convergence of traditional marketing fundamentals with new media and social media marketing.

Balagia founded Snowball Media in Los Angeles to fill the need for an agency that combines traditional core competencies like brand stewardship with new media and new media technologies.  

“Today the agency toolbox includes many more tools than simply writing a funny commercial or winning a Gold Lion at Cannes. In today’s toolbox you start by realizing the toolbox is limitless and that the marketing message may take the form of a game, or an app, or a dedicated YouTube channel.

“Today’s brands have to be fluent and consistent across a myriad of media channels and devices and touch points because the consumer is. And making a brand fluent means making your marketing message consistent and engaging the consumer every step of the way.

With so many changes in media and technology, Balagia sees great opportunities for students upon graduation.

“It is a great time to be an advertising student.  Agencies need new graduates coming out of great schools like ours who are fluent with new media, to help inform agency leadership on how to better navigate this coming convergence.

“The big brands are begging for their agency partners to step up. Our goal is to graduate students who will be ready to help their agencies survive and thrive into the future.”

Staff Writer