Inspired by Five [Nov 2]
1. Unlock the 007 in you
I’m a big fan of experiential advertising, and this stunt for Coca-Cola and the new Bond film is a great example of that. Not only is it fun to watch, but undoubtedly fun to run through as well.
2. 11 Tricks for Battling Creative Block from Leading Creatives
Sick of these type of lists? Me too. But I enjoy reading them from time to time to remind myself that even the best creatives run into issues now and again, and this list does have some good suggestions that bear trying.
3. How (not) to fail from W+K Amsterdam
Most people don’t care about brands and you better realize that now if you ever want to make it in this business.
4. Branding the Presidents of the United States
This made its rounds on twitter last week, but these beautifully designed branded pieces deserve a second look.
5. Airbnb Waives Fees in Sandy-Ravaged Regions
Following Hurricane Sandy this week, many people were left with destroyed homes, no power, and little food all throughout the northeast. While some brands took advantage (I’m looking at you, American Apparel), others like Airbnb reached out and offerred their services to people in need. Generosity is never something to overlook.
On moving to New York City.
Like many other twenty-somethings before me, I have made the trek to this great city and like many other twenty-somethings before me, I will also write about it on the internet.
After vague feelings of boredom and restlessness, I knew I had to make a change and move away from my former home. While I dearly love Portland and all it has to offer, I was getting comfortable. Too comfortable, in fact. I was seeing all the same people (not that I don’t love you all), eating at the same restaurants, and attending the same venues. I knew that no matter where I went, I could expect to see someone I knew — whether a friend, a friend-of-a-friend, or otherwise — and not be alone. However, I became frustrated at the fact that everything I tried to write lamented how I was stuck in this loop. Let’s face it — I was boring and boring doesn’t cut it with me.
So I left.
It was pretty sudden, in fact. I told my parents and friends that I was going to leave for NYC within the week and that was that. I said my goodbyes, packed my bags, and headed east.
It’s been six days since I arrived and I can’t say that those feelings of restlessness have left me. However, I feel better about them on the whole. Restlessness makes you eager for something new and greater than before, and being in a new city, I can apply that toward meeting people, finding my place, and getting a job.
It certainly won’t be easy and I don’t expect life to be perfect right off the bat, but I am excited. I know New York was where I eventually wanted to end up and I’m glad I made the choice sooner rather than later. Complacency has no place in my life and surrounding myself with the unfamiliar and the uncertain is how I plan to keep it at bay.
Let’s hope this works.
Note: I drank a large iced coffee during the creation of this post and I can’t tell if the increased tremors in my hands is from the sheer excitement of it all or the excessive caffeine. Perhaps both.
Second note: “Inspired by Five” will return next when I hopefully have my own apartment and am no longer crashing on friend’s couches.
Inspired by Five [Oct 12]
(Excuse the delay — I was pretty ill over the last week and needed some time away from my blog. But I’m back to it now! Enjoy!)
1. Treetop - “Cool”
I absolutely love this spot Cole & Weber did for Treetop. It’s a subtle, enchanting sort of nostalgia that makes me smile rather than groan over obvious ploys to sell an emotion like “cool” (which tends to happen in a lot of kid-directed advertising).
2. Nike - “5 Extra Years”
Keeping on with the kid theme today, I also have to share this video from W+K. What a fantastic insight to focus on what children could accomplish in the future if given the opportunity to lead a healthier lifestyle.
3. HBO - “Nobody loves you like HBO Go”
The latest campaign from BBDO NY for HBO certainly isn’t for every one, but for the darker humorists among us, it’s a great piece of writing. The “Grandma” spot is the most unnerving, but I can’t deny its effectiveness in showing that HBO can give you everything. Even love.
4. The Silent History
This is the future of storytelling — a digital, collaborative story that is constantly evolving to reveal more. I’ve yet to download the app, but reading over the FAQ gets me excited about the possibilites for writers in the very near future.
5. My friends
This will likely sound like a cheesy graduation speech, but honestly, I am consistently amazed and inspired by the people in my life. The way they have gone out there, completely terrified but focused and strong, makes me strive for more. Not to mention, the countless texts, advice, and e-mails they send my way that somehow always manage to arrive when I need it most. These people are amazing.
Make no mistake — I am frightened too. But knowing that my friends have been there — and will continue to be there — for me when I succeed or fail makes me know that I’ll be just fine.
Inspired by Five [Sept 28]
1. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
I’m not much of a long-distance runner (or any sort of runner at all), but this has been a fantastic read so far. The memoir focuses on Murakami’s growth as a novelist and a long-distance runner, and the intersections between them. Most reassuring are the notions about perseverance found within these pages and this book is a must-read for any aspiring writer.
2. Tips on Getting Ahead by Joyce King Thomas
This one is for all my lady advertising professionals out there. We all know advertising is a bit of a boys’ club, but that doesn’t mean we always have to do things their way. Ms. Thomas (author of the famous Priceless campaign for MasterCard) offers up a few inspiring suggestions.
3. Oreo’s Daily Twist Campaign
I’m sure many of you have seen at least one of Oreo’s latest ads that feature a funny, colorful ad every day. Of course, this ad-a-day idea isn’t new, but I like the socially relevant aspect of it all and that it has grown beyond their own social media pages. Plus, the upcoming crowd sourced ad seems pretty fun just like the cookies themselves.
4. “I’m not interested in being interesting”
I already featured one of Chelsea's posts on “Inspired by Five” last week, but I couldn't pass this one up. She provides fantastic insights into the concept of what it means to be interesting and genuine. No wonder she's a planner!
I went to Kimbra's concert last night in Portland and she put on such a fantastic show. Not only was the music on point, but her stage presence was immense. Now, most people probably know her as the girl in that Gotye song, but she is so much more than that. Her solo work is perfect pop and worth a listen for when you want to get up and dance.
Inspired by Five [Sept 22]
1. Vimeo Tip Jar
What a fantastic move by Vimeo. They’ve taken advantage of their already strong community by adding a tipping element to every video so filmmakers and film-lovers alike can support their favorite creatives and thus contribute to the addition of videos on the site.
2. Suggestions for the innately curious who just can’t seem to get out of bed
My good friend Chelsea Jennings wrote this fantastic post on struggling with creativity during rough times. It definitely hits home and is worth a read for all of us unemployed (and underemployed) folks.
3. Google’s Creative Sandbox
Looking for a heap of advertising inspiration beyond Behance and FFFFOUND? Get yourself over to Google’s brand new showcase that focuses on digital marketing campaigns that are sure to impress.
4. Unsolicited Advice: Do It Your Fucking Self
More great advice for us creatives, this time from designer Adam J. Kurtz. Let’s make something and not worry about “what it all means.” As long as we’re doing what we love, right?
5. The Master
This is the reason behind my late posting. I made a day-trip up to Seattle to catch this film in 70mm and it was incredible. I don’t think I’ve seen a more beautiful and immense story than this one. Highly recommended. (And let me know if you see it so we can discuss Amy Adam’s Oscar potential.)
On working for free. Or not.
While September typically marked the beginning of the school year, it now only means one thing to me – I’m still unemployed. I’ve been on the job hunt since finishing up at the University of Oregon back in June and have so far come up short in my efforts. So, like any other unemployed person, I’ve been reaching out anyone and everyone who could provide the slightest hint at a way to jumpstart my career.
As such, I recently met up with a friend-of-a-friend and fellow alum for coffee to discuss advertising and what it’s like working in the startup scene in Portland. He gave a lot of great advice. He also told me that his best career move was when he offered to work for free. The networking opportunities were endless, and, after a few months, his boss gave him a job. Of course, he urged me to consider the same.
Regardless of my ability to do that financially, I can’t even begin to explain how disheartening it is to know that this is what I must compete with. How can I expect to get a paying job or internship when my peers are out there working for free?
Now, I’ve been told that my standards are too high. That this is “just how it is” in the working world. But in what world should wanting a job that pays at least minimum wage after receiving two degrees been seen as ridiculous? The idea that we as recent graduates should be okay with that is in fact the ridiculous notion.
I’m not denying that the advice he gave me was wrong. It is very likely that if you work hard, you’ll get noticed, and subsequently hired as a full-time, paid employee. However, I object that this is what it takes to have a career today.
The fact of the matter is that unpaid internships hurt everyone. Consider the whole array of talented individuals who can’t afford to work sans pay whether it’s due to outstanding loans, transportation issues, or day-to-day costs. The agency misses out on them simply because others have offered their services for free; they’re blinded by opportunity. And if those kids end up being not what they were looking for? Well, good thing the agency didn’t waste any money. Then, of course, those of us who are scouring the web for a chance to start our careers see nothing but talk about “great opportunities” with no mention of payment (beyond free snacks, beer and a ping pong league), and, well, let’s just say it’s less than encouraging.
And to those of you who can afford to work 9 to 5 without compensation, consider the disservice you are doing unto yourself. You’re devaluing your own work and are indirectly saying that you concede; that you aren’t worth the fight. But you are. You are worth every penny and every minute that you have put into the development of your education and career.
I refuse to perpetuate this culture of unpaid internships and I urge you to do the same. If we accept this as the status quo, then we forfeit the opportunity to begin our careers on our own terms. We will continue to be dependent on someone else’s promise, rather than delivering on our own. It is time that we demanded more both from ourselves and from our potential employers.
Inspired by Five [Sept 14]
1. The 9 Warning Signs of an Amateur Artist
Whether you’re a writer, designer, or art director, you should consider these nine signs and readjust accordingly if you find yourself not taking your work seriously.
2. 7 Agility Tips from Google
As someone looking to work in digital and tech, these tips are exactly what I’ve been looking for. It’s all about collaboration.
3. D-code Jay-Z with Bing [case study]
This is an old one, but ah, I love it so much. No wonder it won the Cannes Integrated Grand Prix in 2011. Props to Droga5 for this one.
4. How to make better strategy and ideas
Big Spaceship tweeted this list of good reads out earlier this week and I knew I had to include it. Even creatives gotta know their strategy.
5. The Myths of the Overworked Creative
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work you have (or number of job applications you still have to fill out, ahem), get the scoop on how we can all relax and do better work in the process.
Inspired by Five [Sept 7]
I’m bringing back my “Inspired by Five” project where every week I list five things that inspired me!
- Hilarious mash-up blog featuring everyone’s favorite indie artists and NBA teams
- “Who" by David Byrne and St. Vincent (and their whole album, really)
- Michelle Obama’s speech at the DNC
- “I Belong in Your Arms (Japanese Version)" by Chairlift
- “1991" by Azealia Banks
(It was a good week for music videos)
Recently, I’ve been a bit uncertain about my plans following graduation. I knew I wanted to write, move to a city, and work for an advertising agency. But, for someone who prefers to strive for highly specific and lofty goals, I felt like that wasn’t enough. What was it that I truly wanted? However, the stress I felt from these vague plans I chalked up to general senior anxiety. Everyone else likely felt that way and nothing would change that.
So imagine my surprise and immense delight when I experienced my so-called digital epiphany this past week. Upon visiting and chatting with a variety of people at small digital shops in New York, I suddenly realized that digital is where I want to be — and where I’ve been — all along.
The first gears started turning during our visit to Big Spaceship and ensuing chat with the likes of Mark Pollard and similarly brilliant minds. They talked about how they work in unique teams of producers, tech people, designers, and strategists to bring in new and different ideas, and how they don’t have a specific creative department because they feel everyone is creative. They thrive on simply making things (on another solo chat with Mark, he would again stress the necessity of building something) and bringing in all their unique skills to do something fantastic. How could you not be in love with that? As someone who has tried their hand in design, art direction, writing, strategy, and production, it sounded perfect. Many traditional agencies prefer the intense focus on one very specific set of skills, but agencies like Big Spaceship seemed to favor something along the lines of the T-shaped person, which we all strive for here at Oregon.
The next day, a few of us headed over to Rokkan, a smaller, digital-only shop in SoHo. Admittedly, I didn’t know much about them other than some of their clients, so I was curious to what words of wisdom they would offer. Like Big Spaceship, they favor people with passionate minds who can move quickly and who are aware of how digital is changing the traditional landscape. One set of slides in particular stood out to me: On the first, they discussed the old agency landscape that followed the line of thinking where you would first make something, communicate it to the audience, and it would influence them. Simple, one-way connection. On the next slide, they showed the new agency landscape that showed a similar flow, but it would continue on into internet/computers/mobile. Now, instead of being a one-way street, two-way conversations could take place and it allows the business to shift how it operates to meet the needs and wants of the people. Additionally, this provides much more data and information that previous methods. Wow. We’ve all grown up with the internet and we all know what it’s capable of, but when it boils down to it, the internet is about communication and community. How smart that an agency can see that and use it to improve themselves, their work, and their connections.
Being of the internet generation, I absolutely see the need for this new landscape. Digital is where all agencies will eventually head, but it seems that a few are ahead of the game. Their words are inspiring, and it’s made me understand not only the need for digital, but the reasons why I need to be a part of it. If I want to do something new, try my hand at a bit of everything, and maybe screw up along the way, digital is where I need to be. So, big thanks to the agencies and people that helped make it all click.