Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Big Ad Gig

It's that time of year again. Time to prepare your video entries for the Big Ad Gig.

I was in NYC last fall to watch the finalists present in front of the judges. The room was packed with ad industry folks from all levels and all departments. Such great exposure for any aspiring ad student.

It's contests like this that give the forum to just about anyone to get noticed. Sometimes you have to take an unconventional route to get your foot in the door.

Plus, their website is pretty cool itself.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Portfolios aren't just for Creatives

I was an OC Ad Fed Career Night panelist last week and was asked about the importance of portfolios.

If you are a creative, this is like asking the importance of air. But, for non-creatives, I am finding more reason to believe a portfolio is a great idea.

In fact, in 1998, when I interviewed for a print production job the manager asked to see my portfolio. I was like, whaaa?? She wanted to see a sampling of all the things I had printed, which seems obvious now. At the time, I naively thought portfolios were only for creatives.

Even if you are straight out of college and no real work per se to feature, you could still create a portfolio of sorts to differentiate yourself from the candidate pool.

Take Lauren Murphy. She's in her senior year at UC Riverside, scored an awesome internship at Innocean last summer and has a passion for innovation and product design. Her portfolio site helps to showcase her critical thinking skills together with her creative side.  This is tough to do in an 8.5" x 11" white piece of paper we all call a resume.

Lauren's site gives a peek into her personality, has very cool formatting of experience and skills, links to the projects she worked on during school and an option to download her resume. An excellent showcase for someone looking for a position outside the creative department.

If you are interested in planning or art buying or account, you too could find a way to create content to showcase during an interview. I guarantee you will have such a different experience if you reference your portfolio site during the interview.

For instance, if you are interested in photography and a possible job in art buying. Wouldn't it be great to start researching photographers and shooting styles now? You could show what photographers you are inspired by and state why. You could collect and display samples based on different possible clients or brands. Now I am just making this stuff up here, but I can tell you if a young grad met with me and pulled out this great photo reference they'd been working on, I'd be blown away by their initiative and passion.

Think about your resume and the type of job you want to go after. Is there a way to translate it into a portfolio and give a bit more depth to what you're all about? I am certain those who take this step stand a head and shoulders about the rest.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Color of Diversity

Remember folks, the color of Diversity isn't black. Or should I say isn't just black.

Tamika Cosen contributed an insightful article on the advertising week blog today. She speculates that more black students are not seeking careers in advertising because ad schools aren't doing enough to articulate the successes of black people that made it on the creative side. (side note: watch our film, Pursuit of Passion: Diversity in Advertising; it's goal was to articulate the successes of folks from a variety of diverse backgrounds).

I love what she's written, but I wonder. Is the lack of diversity in advertising really about the lack of african american people? Diversity is such a big word with a lot of components: blacks, asians, hispanics, women, glbt. As an example, the holding company IPG promotes employee groups for each of these categories.

We have to ask ourselves what exactly is it we are trying to solve when we focus on Diversity efforts?

Maybe we really mean less white males. Recall the recent twitter chatter about the Award Show juries being about 99% male (#changetheratio, #toomanywhitemen).

Can you say more black, more brown, more yellow by in fact saying less white?

I don't have an answer on how to get there.

Yet as Tamika writes, exposure at the high school age is a good start. Then put the onus on colleges to inspire students toward advertising careers. Lastly, our industry must embrace and promote multi-cultural employees up through the ranks. Perhaps then we'll start to see less white men in the board room.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ira Glass on Storytelling

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

Thanks to @flickster for sharing. Such a great video.