Monday, June 8, 2009

Don't Stop Believin'

Our summer interns started today. An eager bunch, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed; yet I have to be honest, I feel sorry for these kids. Not because their hands are soon to be covered with coffee burns and toner stains (totally not the case, our intern program rocks), but because they, at no fault of their own, got stuck with a really terrible time to be graduating into the ad industry. Not only are they fighting amongst the students in their own graduating class for precious feet in prestigious doors, but they're also up against a crew of seasoned ad warriors that wearied agencies had no choice but to let go.

Not exactly ideal circumstances; although an internship, I find, is a wonderful place to start. But where to go from there?

My best friend Christy, art director hopeful, and her copywriter friend Branden, students at Miami Ad School with little more experience than our brand new interns, found themselves on the front page of Agency Spy this afternoon, and later on AdFreak. Two days ago, they had responded to a creative team job post tweet from CP+B with a video cover letter, expressing their interest in the position.

They posted it on YouTube.

Then, they tweeted it. First, Christy,

And then, Branden.

Alex Bogusky noticed.

Some other people noticed, too.

The video itself is cute, sure. Those kids make Sharpie disguises look good. But I think the really cool thing here, and perhaps the reason that the ad blogs are finding their video noteworthy, is their complete comprehension of the task at hand. They wanted a job in digital creative, so they created something digital. Not only that, but they built a makeshift campaign around it using digital media. Sort of a "hey! we want this job! and we understand it, too!"

Things they did right, and general items to consider when applying for jobs in advertising:

1. Regardless of economic state, ad positions are NOT EASY to come by. Be unique, and know your audience. Find a way to stand out. How are you going to prove you can make killer campaigns if you get lost in the clutter?

2. If you want a job in a specific discipline, demonstrate your knowledge of that arena. You live in a digital age - you know stuff about advertising! Figure out a way to show people what you know.

3. Be prepared to work for it. Being in advertising, especially to start, is some seriously hard work. Show that you're ready by jumping on any opportunity that comes your way, and putting in the extra effort.

Who knows if they'll end up with the gig - their books will need to do the talking from here on out. In the meantime, the reaction this got makes for a pretty uplifting case study to all those go-getters out there who aren't satisfied just dreaming about agency life.

My point is, fear not, interns! Listen to the wise words of Journey - it ain't over 'til it's over. I applaud you for getting this far - an internship at Draftfcb, or any other agency for that matter, is nothing to sneeze at. Keep turning up the heat. We're thrilled to count you amongst the ranks, and excited to see what you will bring to the table.

No pressure.