Andre Still Has a Posse

28 11 2007

Obey Image

Today I took the brand new Karmaloop TV service from Karmaloop for a spin today, and it definitely has a lot of promise. I always dig an ‘insider’ look at an underground-type of industry. My favorite segment so far is an interview with Shepard Fairey, artist and founder of Obey. It was a Fairey experiment that produced the famous image above, which you probably recognize if you were skating in the mid-90’s.

Before I get to the content of the interview though, let me just say that Karmaloop CEO Greg Selkoe clearly should not be interviewing people. He is eating the microphone, his questions are pretty dumb, and he introduces himself with aliases? Who does that besides Sal Masekela and Sway? It detracts from the person you are trying to interview and just doesn’t look very professional. I admire him because he has been pretty successful, but leave the interviewing to someone else!

Once Shepard Fairey took over the interview, it became very insightful. He spoke on his humble roots and how the whole ‘Andre the Giant has a posse’ meme came about. Fairey really goes global when commenting on his reaction to the growth of the ‘Andre’ image:

“…it really opened my mind to the ideas of an image in public sparking a reaction that is something that is outside of advertising and the usual signage that you see that raises people’s awareness about what’s going on around them.”

I had just read something about influential street artist Banksy and his exhibit here in New York. Fairey’s comments got my mind rolling on the whole awareness idea. In advertising, we really inundate the public with ‘awareness’ campaigns that are trashed and forgotten almost immediately. Today one of my clients sent out almost two million direct mailings to consumers. They are hoping 95-98% of recipients don’t trash the piece immediately.

Comparatively, Fairey’s Andre image was first published on a sticker in 1989, and almost twenty years later his art has grown into not only a full business, but has influenced many people to look at the world in a different way.

All we have to do is take some time and create real creative work for our clients. More than just words on a page describing policies and legal. Make them feel something as well. This can be accomplished just as thoroughly with art as a traditional print or TV campaign. But make it something rare – make it something your target will seek out and obtain, rather than have it stuffed into their mailbox. Only then can we create influential works to last over time.


Beyond Weaknesses

5 11 2007

survey checkFor everyone getting ready for an interview, or if you just want to stay on top of your interviewing skills, InterviewUp is the site for you.

Advertising, programming, web design, and HR are just some of the job fields with questions on the site. You can also ask additional questions or provide some answers that might have worked for you in the past. Best of all, registration is free!

Check out the review for InterviewUp over at Lifehacker. Then head over and give it a try!

Yo Dog…How Not to Interview!!

18 10 2007

Hey everybody!

Sorry for no “Day in the Life” this week. And it’s nobody’s fault but mine. Things have been crazy at work and I’m a bit behind! Promise I’ll get back on the ball for next week.

Found this video and I just have to post it. It’s also inspired me with some future post ideas! Enjoy it!

Some credits to the creators:

Hombre Films and, a job search site that clearly exemplifies why ‘Austin is Weird’ and a creative hotspot.

Resume Work

6 09 2007


So I’m at work, so I gotta keep this short, but I was over at LifeHacker and they have some great posts on resume building.For those of you just waking up and turning on Sports Center because you don’t have a job, make it a productive morning and check ‘ em out!

Build a Resume That Impresses in the First 30 Seconds by LifeHacker.

Keep Your Resume Specific by LifeHacker.

and also one they suggested over on AOL: 10 Ways Your Resume Irks Hiring Managers.

You bet I will be reading them, and I hope you do too. The search for the perfect job means always being on the job search. So good luck! Have a great day.

Trap Your Little Customers

29 08 2007



This ad caught my eye immediately because it’s so close to my “Big Words”.

But then I really looked at it. What the hell? It’s a close up of a coffee table, with tiny little women trapped in an upside down glass.

My concerns:
1. I normally trap spiders like this.
2. Won’t they eventually run out of oxygen and die?
3. Why aren’t they trying to get out?

This is supposed to be self-promotion for Big House Communications. If you get a chance, their website is actually fun to visit and reminds me of the Naked site.

But this campaign is really unsettling to me. Here is what I think is their B2B ad in the campaign:


How creepy is that? Who wants to even think about that image, let alone associate it with someone you would hire? And the tag – yeah it doesn’t help the creepiness. “We Get Them” sounds like Big House goes out and traps them or kidnaps them.

When you are, as an agency, putting yourself out there, to me you should be presenting yourself honestly and creatively. Answering questions like what do you excel in, or what separates you from the competition, are huge pluses. If you can do all that in a fun self promo, you’ve got a great chance of connecting with the client. But if you produce scary work like this, you show no original creative thought, and you don’t separate yourself from the competition. And in today’s competitive world of pitches and image and tight budget, the most important thing might be establishing yourself and your identity clearly.

So how does this translate to the hiring process? If you approach an interview like a self promotion, you have to find ways to differentiate yourself and stand out. Putting things on your resume that are out of the ordinary is a great start. My experience as a short order cook went over so well when my interviewer was a huge Top Chef fan. Take a look at your experiences and skill set: what do you bring that the next guy won’t? Don’t wait for them to ask that question, establish yourself as early as possible.

If you are on the creative side of things, the connection is pretty clear. Your work and your portfolio needs to show not only your creativity and skills, but also how you think. How you approach problems, and how you communicate your message. With Big House, the message is, “notice us! we are cool! We Get Them!” in a way that is short on innovation and only pretends to be edgy. If you are going to go out there, go way out. If the agency doesn’t hire you, they aren’t challenging themselves the way you are challenging yourself. That is what breeds new ideas, and new ideas are what drives this industry!

How Danilo Does It

24 08 2007

So everyone knows the name of this blog is a bit tongue in cheek, right? I named the blog “how to not get a job in advertising” because I was writing from my perspective, and I wasn’t doing a very good job of…getting a job. I have written about everything I’ve done so far, from cover letters, to resumes, to applications and interviews. I’ve tried to help everyone out there see what others are doing as far as getting a job. I’ll have much more to write about the industry once I’m there for a bit.

Well one young copywriter took his love for my site a bit too far. He thought he should make a video all about what he does to get a job, and hopefully get it posted on my site! Well, I hope this is just a rough sketch, because it sure doesn’t live up to the ‘invasions’ that Alek pulled.

I don’t mean to pick on the video creator, though, because it does take balls to send out a video like this. I guess what caught my eye was the way Agency Spy covered it, titling their post “How Not to Get a Job in Advertising”. Well, I guess all press is good press, right?

update: Agency Spy wrote an awesome little blurb addition on their post. Just a nice example of bloggers watching each others backs. Very cool.

Creating Buzz

22 08 2007

So I was looking over at I Have An Idea today for some great ideas. I have always been driven to become more creative, to create ideas, to surround myself not just with creative propaganda but also creative people. I Have An Idea is a great place to do that, even if they are based in Canada.


So I started reading a bit about Alek von Felkerzam. Alek is a young creative like myself who (as far as I can tell) does not have a job. Sounds like we should hang out huh? Alek is trying to break in after spending time at a portfolio school, although I don’t know which one or anything. He has a pretty good portfolio and is looking to become an Art Director. I’ve taken a slightly different approach, getting into the agency at the bottom and in the Account Services department. To me, I will learn so much about how the agency is run, and how project management works, which will give me great experience for the future. But anyway…

Alek has done this great thing with his project called “The Alek Journals”. Alek performs what is aptly termed “invasions” of many large agencies. Basically, this guy has the balls to walk right into an agency before opening, and drop off his super-creative “application”. Basically he gives the creative director something to catch their eye, and a “call to action” to get them to contact him and hopefully hire him! Like I said, this guy has balls!

So why am I writing about this? A few reasons. First, I want to give this guy some buzz. Getting his name out there on the blogosphere (love that word) will definitely help. He went to all this trouble, and he deserves some credit for it. I’m actually pretty sure he probably has a job by now, but if not, here’s my two cents.

Second, I like this guy. He seems very sure of himself, sometimes even to a fault (he delivers flowers to female CDs as part of his invasions). But taking that type of risk is what it takes. I would really like to have this guy on my team if I had the chance. He has the passion, the drive, the desire to advertise and sell. Right now, he has no clients, so he sells himself. And that is how great creatives in this industry work: they never stop advertising.

Finally, maybe I’m writing about it because I want what Alek has. I have that drive and passion, but his creative ideas seem never ending, and his desire for excellence is very inspiring. I was reading an interview with David Lubars recently on I Have An Idea and one thing he said really came to mind while I was reading about Alek. Lubars said on his success, “I surrounded myself with A-plus creatives and used what I knew to help them achieve greatness.”

So even if I can’t hire Alek, or even get him some great contacts, I will do exactly what I can to help him achieve his goal. And today, that is writing an entire post dedicated to his project.

Best of luck with your book Alek, and perhaps see you out there.