Reality Check: Nike doesn't need more ads

Students keep filling their books with fake ads for clients who already have real amazing work.

Stop it.

Unless you can come up with a ground-breaking, eye-bulging, world-changing new idea or extension to a current idea/product for a company that's already doing award-winning advertising - don't even bother.

For one, you'll automatically be compared to work this brand has already done (and won awards for) and you'll always come up short.

Two, it's too easy to do something good for a well-established brand. Everybody knows Coke by the logo or bottle shape alone. Everybody knows what Nike sells and stands for. Everybody drinks, has drank or knows someone who drinks Bud Light. What can you say that's new or different? What problem are you solving for the brand?

My favourite thing about my job is that I solve problems. (Not serious problems like globalwarming or cancer, thank goodness. I couldn't take the pressure.) But business problems and communication problems.

Use your student book to show that you understand that. Create campaigns that demonstrate your ability to come up with creative and engaging solutions to business problems.

Yes, you work should look good and sound good. But it should also be strategic. For instance,
Old women don't need/want/understand an app for stool softeners. Don't just create an app for the sake of creating an app - create with purpose. Whatever you do should make sense and help or engage people in some way. (Initially I wrote "entertain" instead of "engage" but not everything is fun and games. If you can engage people emotionally, whether it's making them happy or sad or angry, then you're in the right direction.)

That's how you truly show how talented you are. If you can do something smart for a seemingly "hard" product. (Remember, nothing's really that hard for you as a student. You don't have to worry about clients, budgets or lawyers. The world is yours. You can create anything you like. Just make sure it's great.)

Pick challenging products to work on. Brands that have built-in business problems - maybe no one knows about them, maybe they're the 3rd most popular in their category, maybe they just had a rough time in the news recently, maybe they haven't done new ads in over 50 years.

Pick something that will make people go "OMG I never would have thought to do that!" (And then under their breath go, "I wish I did.")

I saw this recent work for Ivory soap and got a little excited. It's soap. Who makes ads for soap? Who cares about soap that much? Yet we all use some sort of soap every day and really never think about it.

Check out the work: