Friday, March 6, 2009

Getting Noticed

In advertising, we talk a lot about cutting through the clutter. That is, consumers today are the more advertised-to than ever before. Many of our advances in how we enjoy entertainment involve removing the ads. Think TiVo. As advertisers, we try to make our messaging get noticed, so someone can hear the message.

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:

I wish this guy luck, but this clip brings up and excellent point. With any creative endeavor, there's a pint where your creativity overwhelms or simply does away with the message. The point of cutting through the clutter is to make people hear what you really have to say.

Another creepy story comes from my partner, who say at an award show, an award winner wrote "I need a job" on the back of her check, and stood silently for the whole party holding her makeshift sign. It's no good to get noticed if you make everyone uncomfortable.

I guess the key is the same as the old comedians' adage, "Always leave them wanting more." Intrigue your audience, but don't show your hand too soon. I know from my (limited) experience, advertising is a "fake it 'til you make it" game. I wasn't sure I'd be able to hack it when I got my foot in the door, but I sure tried to make it sound like I was sure.

If you're trying to get into advertising, you're probably already an interesting person. Just let that shine through, and you'll be fine.

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