campaignlive.co.uk, Thursday, 27 September 2012 08:00AM
They're young, they're creative and they want a job in advertising - five duos pitch themselves and share their visions, while Damon Collins, the founding partner of Joint, gives his verdict.
POLINA HARKIN & GATIS PAKALNS - Central Saint Martins
Why do you want to work in advertising? Advertising has all the perks of a creative career while also allowing you to tell your mum you got a real job - the kind they pay actual money for.
What changes do you think the industry needs to thrive over the next five years? Digital is the general direction, that goes without saying. The traditional forms of advertising like print and TV are not going anywhere, but they need to be supported by other media to be truly successful. A great example is the recent Nike campaign launched through posters but expanded into a much bigger project through online activity.
What's the most exciting thing about the ad industry right now? It seems that the Olympics really managed to cheer up all the depressed, cynical, recession-affected consumers. And so the advertising industry should be expecting a substantial rise. The budgets are bound to grow too, which means it's a great time to create big, inspiring and cheerful campaigns.
How do you think you can make a difference? Waking up every morning in fear that today will be the day when everyone discovers that anyone can do your job is part of being in advertising. I am not sure what difference we are making, although I am secretly hoping we do make some.
What inspires you? Everything.
Pitch yourself to potential employers. Having fresh, new, amazing, brave ideas is the only way to get a job around here. We usually try to solve problems that we can relate to ourselves. For example, in our "future brew" campaign for Aviva, we tried to get twentysomethings to start saving for their retirement using a special app that allows them to buy beers for their future selves. In the chlamydia project, we wanted to scare young women by saying that untreated disease can turn them into crazy cat ladies. And Nudge's idea is all about spicing up online routine by recommending people things "they won't like". This is just a little preview. For more projects, I'm sorry, but you'll have to hire us.
DC: Polina and Gatis combine some interesting ideas with a real optimism about the future; here's to post-Olympics budgets growing! Coincidentally, they draw their inspiration from precisely what we do here at Joint.
LASSE KRISTENSEN & SUCHI AHUJA - Central Saint Martins
Why do you want to work in advertising? Lasse wants to work in advertising partly because coming up with ideas doesn't feel like work and partly because it's a place where consuming large amounts of caffeine isn't frowned upon. Suchi wants to work in advertising so she can find a hot husband.
What changes do you think the industry needs to thrive over the next five years? It needs to really understand digital. No-one's going to notice that massive billboard in front of them because they're too busy looking at a screen (or two).
What's the most exciting thing about the ad industry right now? There's just so much you can do now digitally, so much unexplored territory. But, of course, you need great clients that dare take those first baby steps with you and do something other than creating a Facebook page or some static banner ads (as if we're still in the noughties). If you tap into ideas people actually want to engage with, you can get really far on the tiniest budget. That's pretty exciting.
How do you think you can make a difference? We taught ourselves the Bavarian tradition of Schuhplattler (aka slap-dancing) in the process of answering a brief about chocolate. Imagine what else we're capable of. On top of that, we just really want to bring memorable ideas to life. I'm talking about the kind of ads that you don't mind interacting with, the ones you might even pass on to your friends.
Pitch yourself to potential employers. Here's the deal. We're a Scandinavian team, so we're all about Vikings, meatballs and digital stuff. We're like Ikea furniture - we fit into small spaces easily. Do you have an empty cupboard or space near the water-cooler? Get in touch.
DC: They're Scandinavian, one of them's a woman, they drink lots of coffee and they do what they do because it doesn't feel like work. Lasse and Suchi sound like the kind of people worth clearing out a cupboard for.
MICHAEL MICETICH & JIM HARROP - West Herts
It's time for a revolution and the two of us want to be in the middle of it. Advertising is bland right now. There are glimpses of great work, but nothing to grab on to. There's no movement happening in the ad world. It's the outcome of a bad situation. People feel the need to play it safe. It's a time of uncertainty. It's the perfect time to get into advertising.
Revolutions start when people are fed up and bored. At the turn of the 20th century, art was at a bit of a standstill. Artists were painting as close to reality as they could. Picasso saw this as an opportunity and did things differently. He stopped following the trends and started the Cubist movement. Punk music happened the same way. It was a reaction to a lack of excitement. The great news is, in the ad world, it's 1976 and The Clash haven't played yet.
Change feels wrong when it happens and that's where we come in. We have a responsibility as young energy coming into this industry to feel uncomfortable and to take risks. We are the ones with nothing to lose yet. If our work feels right and everyone likes it, we're doing it wrong. This revolution needs a spark and we want it to come from one of our mistakes. Our advantage is that we don't know the rules. What we do know is that we can't do the same thing over and over and expect different results. Bring on the revolution.
DC: Michael and Jim's revolutionary manifesto is brave and challenging. It has left me eager to see the work they produce that forces the industry they're about to enter to sit up and take notice.
DAVID IAIN JEFFREY & WINA LO - Falmouth
Why do you want to work in advertising? The promise that, whatever idea we have, if it is good enough, it can happen. Lynx has its own island - so can we.
What changes do you think the industry needs to thrive over the next five years? Each agency, and the industry as a whole, needs to put teams in place to actively seek out creative rulebooks and destroy them.
What's the most exciting thing about the ad industry right now? The most exciting thing for us is how the industry is pushing to produce more than advertising. Things like Nike+ aren't just about selling stuff, but are products in themselves that encourage a way of life. There is a focus in long-term goals and sustainable business there that we find really inspiring.
How do you think you can make a difference? Our team is a bit bipolar. That doesn't mean we will go off the rails or anything. But you couldn't meet two more different people. From opposite sides of the world. With completely different upbringings and outlooks. And individual approaches that mean we see different ways around every problem. Usually from the very top (one of us is 6'2") and the very bottom of it (the other is 5'0").
What inspires you? Random websites David finds when he is supposed to be writing headlines. Children's films: the weirder the better. The thing that sets us apart from other teams is that we will not restrict ourselves to solving a problem with straight advertising. There are times that call for it, but the options are endless and increasing all the time. Take this - it is an ad for us, but there is no reason it can't be more. So, if you mention it to us at a book crit or - even better - the first day of a placement, it will entitle you to a batch of fabulous home-baking (Wina makes fantastic scones).
DC: David and Wina share our excitement about the direction advertising is taking. And, for a start-up, the offer of free baked goods is almost irresistible.
NATASHA LYONS & DAN LACEY - West Herts (answers in diagram form) What's the most exciting thing about the ad industry right now?
Why do you want to work in advertising?
What changes do you think the industry needs to thrive over the next five years?
How do you think you can make a difference?
What inspires you?
Campaign idea for Alton Towers ...
DC: As a fan of infographics, I'm drawn to Tash and Dan's submission. The data behind the majority of their answers would appear pretty robust. And I've always been a fan of the 'slightly odd'.
Pitch yourself to potential employers.
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk
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