Monday, December 21, 2009
I don't have much bad to say about my old agency. I had fun while working there and did good work. I met great people and not so great people, but everyone I met had something to teach me. The pay was (relatively) low and the benefits were nonexistent, but in the current economy, I felt lucky to have a job.
My new situation is better. I was lucky to secure a job for better compensation than I had before. A lot of people can't say the same, forced to take jobs for lower pay than before—a fact our unemployment statistics hide.
I didn't post while I was laid off for a few reasons. Firstly, writing and even reading blogs is leisure activity for me. I do it during lulls at work, or when I feel I've earned or require a break from what I'm doing. Being out-of-work, I felt like I didn't deserve leisure time.
Secondly, I'm not brave in my vulnerability. I remember reading Erik Proux's Please Feed The Animals when it first started up and being impressed by the guts it took to put oneself out there after being canned. Erik's whole project still blows me away, especially when his wife posts about making things meet from the spouse's perspective. It's easy (at least for me) to get overwhelmed by feeling sorry for myself, and Mrs. Proux's perspective makes me think of how my own wife must feel at times.
Now that I've landed somewhere else, I can give this advice to the aspiring ad-boys and -girls out there: Get noticed. Your work may be great, but it probably looks a lot like the rest of the great work out there. Make yourself unforgettable, whether it's with your portfolio design, website, cover letter, or, even better, an interesting or admirable non-advertising project. Do something that will make other people have to meet you, just to see what kind of person you are.
I didn't come up with this pearl on my own. In fact I stole it from PFTA. But I'm still proud to pass it along. With any luck, we'll all come out of this recession better off, even if that only means a little wiser and more grateful than we were before.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
From their website:
Ok, so how do I reconcile these two things? Well, a lot of advertising sucks. There are a lot of things, like prescription medications, that shouldn't be advertised to the general public. There is a lot of advertising noise for products that don't need advertised at all. Example: Coke and Pepsi pour tons of money into ads, but they aren't converting anyone. Everyone out there knows about Coca Cola. Now, they have reasons to keep up the ads, and I love some of the ads these two Goliaths produce, but wouldn't one humungous ad during the Super Bowl be enough?
Their latest spot, shown below, is an example:
Commercial Breakers from Douglas Haddow on Vimeo.
This spot has been turned down by FOX and MTV, and I, for one, am glad.
I hate this spot for the same reason I love Adbusters. It sucks. It's bad advertising. The typography is nearly unreadable (and they seem to know it, since their last long bit of copy changes typefaces). The actors suck, and it's as much a promotion of hipster fashion as it is an attack on major brands.
Most of all, it's more noise. The reason commercials are louder and more colorful and more frenetic than the TV shows they surround (or that surround them, depending on how you look at it) is an effort to break through the clutter. Adding more clutter ain't going to help.
I'm proud of the ads I've done. Most of them have been interactive (websites) so they are, by definition, permission marketing. You have to want to go there. The little TV and outdoor I've done has been for a good cause, Boy Scouts of America. I feel like, in my own way, I'm reducing the suckishness of advertisements.
Imagine a world where the ads we see are well-done, for products we can make a rational decision about buying, and don't make anyone look dumb just to sell a product. If we can get there, we'll all be a little saner.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
In the opinion of the ACD and the then-CCO, puns are easy, and easy doesn't cut it. In some ways I totally agree. Sometimes I think puns are appropriate. Just like rhyme and alliteration, they make things easy to remember, and Recall is one of the ways we measure the success of an ad.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
- Get on social media. Really. You have to look switched-on to get noticed in advertising, and social media = current.
- If you're on, keep it current. If you're on Twitter (the gateway drug of SM) then tweet now and again. Follow people, not just celebs.
- If it's current, make sure it's appropriate. Appropriate doesn't mean vanilla. Just don't put anything up that you don't feel comfortable having EVERYONE see. If you don't mind being asked about it, leave it up.
- If its appropriate, make sure it's interesting. Anything can seem interesting if you're enthusiastic about it. Social media should be a forum for your passions, not just proving you exist. Use it to show your personality, without having to tell your personality.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
This make getting noticed when you're trying to get a job in advertising a big issue. If you cannot cut through the clutter to get your message across, how will you be able to do it for clients?
There are a few stories of people doing this really well. One that flies around WG is that of a gentleman sending a cell phone to the CCO, with a note saying, "I'm going to call this number at X:00pm tomorrow." Good approach. Got him noticed and talked about.
Another, and my personal "wish I would have thought of it" is from "Hey Whipple, Squeeze This" by Luke Sullivan (buy it!) An applicant got a picture of one of the Creative Directors at a firm, and used it to make a fake ID. He loaded it into a wallet and loaded the rest of the wallet with business card-sized versions of his work. He then left the wallet in the bathroom at the firm. Someone finds it and returns it to the CD, who knows it's not his, and checks out all the work inside. I believe that guy got a job. He should have gotten a prize.
Then there's this guy:
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
UPDATE: I t looks like you have to make the jump to hear the podcast if you subscribe through Google Reader. Intertubes wins again.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
As creative professionals, we all need a portfolio, or in advertising, a "book." You keep it updated with your best stuff, and you send it to people so they'll hire you.
Long ago, people (probably the people you'll be sending your book to) used to make these by hand, out of real-life paper and cardboard. You still need to have a physical version of your book so the people interviewing you can look at something other than the growing sweat-stains under your arms. However, for sending it out with a letter and resumé, nothing is more convenient than an online version.
That being said, there are lots of online portfolio services. I have my favorites, but I wondered if there was a better version, so I did some searching. Guess what? Lots of these places want you to pay! And as I always say, why pay for something you can get for free.
www.carbonmade.com is my personal favorite, as you can see by clicking the My Portfolio link to the right. It has a free version, which allows 5 projects and some number of images, and a $12/mo version that gives you a lot more of both, plus videos. Even the pay version is cheaper than the other portfolio hosts I saw.
www.behance.net is a portfolio site, plus a professional networking site. I like it, but I like carbonmade more. Behance is a little more byzantine when it comes to adding projects, but I don't think there's a limit to how many you can add, and videos are FREE!
I also used to be a fan of www.deviantart.com. However, I fell out of love with it. But it's out there, so here ya go. If anyone has a better option, feel free to drop a comment in the ol' comment box.