Friday Treat: Shitter

Happy Friday. It's been a crazy week so haven't posted much, but then I saw this on Creativity and had to share.

How can you take something that exists and create something new/interesting/weird from it?

Could look great in your book.... 


Turn your tweets into toilet paper.

Maybe you love your Twitter feed so much that you want to read everywhere you go, even the bathroom. Or maybe you feel it's just a load of crap. Whatever, it's now possible to do either, thanks to Shitter, which charges $35 to turn your Twitter feed into a toilet roll and send it to you. The site, which launched yesterday and has already become a hot topic of conversation on (you guessed it) Twitter, was developed by Australian creatives David Gillespie, Johny Mair, Ian Ha and Matthew Delprado.

Respect the Brand

Companies spend hella money to come up with their branding. What's the brand's personality? Point of view? Tone? Colours? Logo? Feel? They have brand guidelines and rule books that are as big as encyclopedias sometimes that outline exactly how every part of their brand should look, feel and exist in the world - online, in print, direct mail, TV, radio, everything, everywhere. They hire lawyers to make sure their brand is being properly represented and portrayed. They have brand strategists who decide how, when and where the brand lives. They spend years and millions of dollars making sure they stand out and they create a recognisable and iconic brand.

And then in comes some creative wannabe who ignores all of that and makes a Heinz campaign with shades of blue or decides that American Express should sound like a frat boy on Spring break.


Part of you showing you're ready for the ad world is showing you know how to think strategically and work with an established brand.

Sure, if you make up Joey's Spicy Ketchup or work on a local, little known bank in your hometown, then run wild - create something awesome and add as much blue and attitude as you want. But when it comes to working with well-known brands, show some respect.

Feel free to reach out to a new target market, but still stay in line with the established brand's ideals. Feel free to do product improvements or expansions, or create new uses -- all I'm saying is, show that you know how to take something old and add something new - without disrespecting or destroying what you started with.

I was inspired to write this after checking out Brand Spirit - where the author is painting a different branded object white every day for the next 100 days.

Without branding, can you tell what products these are?

Without branding, what's the difference between Coke and Pepsi? Heinz and Hunts? Crest and Colgate? Chicken of the Sea and Starkist?

It's our job as advertisers to take brands to a higher level, to create differences in people's minds, to forge imaginary relationships between people and brands.

And it's your job as a student to learn that, appreciate that, and most importantly, respect that.

20 Ways To Stay Creative

This month's issue of Thrive, Tangerine Watson's e-zine has some great articles in it. (And I'm not just saying that because there's a feature by yours truly).

I wanted to share Renae Bluitt's piece on  
20 Ways to Stay Creative 

Creativity = EVERYTHING. Whether you’re working on a new business pitch, developing your brand’s Spring ’12 collection, or getting ahead of industry trends, creativity is a MUST. But what happens when your creative juices just aren’t flowing? Better yet, what if you think your well of creativity has totally run dry? You get up, get out, and DO something, that’s what! Following are 20 ways to get and stay creative, even when your proverbial road to inspiration is blocked.

Ready, set, CREATE!

1. Step away from the computer

2. Quit beating yourself up

3. Take breaks

4. Sing in the shower

5. Listen to new music

6. Be open

7. Surround yourself with creative people

8. Collaborate

9. Don’t give up

10. Go somewhere new

11. Break the rules

12. Take risks

13. Don’t force it

14. Get plenty of rest

15. Don’t try to be someone else’s perfect

16. Declutter your workspace

17. Carry a notebook everywhere

18. Finish something

19. Visit a local museum or art exhibition

20. Have fun!

Inspiration: Ads Worth Sharing

Inspiration hunting is fun. I'm constantly on the prowl for ads and ad-related things, case studies on campaigns and new innovations in the industry.  I try to spend at least 30 minutes every morning looking at what's going on in the ad world and being posted on Facebook, Mashable and ad blogs. (Remember, in advertising, the Internet is your playground. I joined Twitter to learn about it for work and ended up liking it and making it private and inaccessible to work people hehe)

I came across TED's 2012 Ads Worth Sharing a while ago but finally got the chance to enjoy them.

These are the 10 winners of our second Ads Worth Spreading challenge. The dream behind this initiative is to find ads that communicate ideas with consumers in the same way that TED wants to communicate with its audience. An idea can reset someone’s worldview and even begin a domino effect as they pass it on to friends. We invite you to view, comment and share these ideas in advertising.

Check them out here. 

Win this: Future Lions

Even if you don't win, entering competitions is good creative practice and you may end up with something bookworthy which is always a win.

You don't have to be in advertising but you have to be a student and at least 18 years old by June 2012.

It's free and you can submit as many entries as you'd like. (Just make sure they're amazing and don't waste anybody's time.)

The Brief: 
Advertise a product or service from a brand of your choosing in a way that wasn't possible five years ago.

April 24th 2012

See some of the past winners and their work

Learn more at Future Lions site.

NY Event tonight: Hookah Social 6pm

This looks like it'll be cool. I've never hookahed. Have you?

Join the Madison's Browne Fellowship in March as we host our first hookah social at Falucka in the West Village. You know the drill: meet up with old friends, connect with new ones and help us further unite the advertising community through this casual networking event.


Time: 6 - 9pm
Location: Falucka Lounge
162 Bleecker Street,
New York, NY 10012

Looking forward to seeing you there!

The MBF Committee
Julius Dunn, II
Tiffany Edwards
Felicia Geiger

Ads from the age of Mad Men

According to everyone, Mad Men is the business. I've never watched it. Not because I'm not interested or anti-shows about advertising - mostly because I'm slightly over committed with TV shows currently and don't want to add anything new to the line up right yet. But don't worry, one Saturday morning I'll get on Netflix and watch the first season and become obsessed. I did it with Heroes, I can do it with Mad Men. 

That being said, check out these cool old school ads and vote for your favourite on Ad Age.  Or just look at them and think about how far we've come in this business.

See All the Retro Ads in Newsweek's 'Mad Men' Issue -- and Vote for the Best

Brands including Allstate, Lincoln, Tide, Mercedes-Benz, British Airways, Johnnie Walker, Benetton and Spam revived "Mad Men"-era styles for an issue of Newsweek marking the show's return with throwback design.
The Johnnie Walker ad and one starring Smokey the Bear actually ran in the 1960s. But most of the ads temporarily revived their brands' old look to be part of the issue, whose cover proclaims "Welcome Back to 1965." And some ads worked in anachronistic winks, like the one suggesting a visit to the brand's website "in 47 years."
Vote for your favorite here

Guest Post: The Importance of Teamwork

Guest post from two of my coworkers, ACDs Brad & Julie  about the importance of having a partner and how working together makes your book better. Lots of really solid advice and lots of things to think about. I know it's hard finding a partner, especially a good partner, but really make this a priority because it may make or break your portfolio.

Read on.

One. A lonely, lonely number.
By Julie Allard and Brad Mislow
Throughout our career as a creative team (now in it's 13th year), we've seen hundreds of student portfolios. That's looking at thousands of ads from people like you who are looking for a job. There's no doubt behind every portfolio is someone who's hungry for work. But let's face it: some are better than others. And we can tell right away which ones were created by teams of copywriters and art directors, and which ones where done by one person. The difference is glaring: the ones done by teams are most always better. It's a very simple concept – work with others, you get a more balanced portfolio, filled with a range of ideas and styles. Yet it's astounding how many portfolios we've seen done by an army of one.

Portfolios filled with work by teams stand out because there is a proper balance between art and copy. Ads done by a lone writer tends to be visually shabby oroff. The type rarely looks right, and proper attention isn't given to visuals. With art directors who go writerless, copy tends to be overwritten, grammatically incorrect and sometimes misspelled.

Simply put, if you're working as half a team, your portfolio is half way there. In order to be considered as a viable job candidate, you must solid collection of work. Writers, don't assume that you'll get a pass from a creative director when the art direction is off. Same deal for art directors when it comes to copy. Creative directors are impressed by solid creative ideas. If they don't get the idea, they move onto someone else.
Think of it this way: creative directors judge portfolios like Olympic judges score competitive diving. Do just one part of the dive, you get a low score. Do an easy dive, you get a 5, even for doing it well. Do a hard dive really well and pay attention to every detail on the way down – get a 10. Your portfolio needs to be a 10.
We've heard about every excuse there is about why a portfolio was made by one person: I couldn't find a writer to work with...My school didn't have enough art directors to go around...Writing? Art directing? Oh, I do both...I just work better alone. Remember, most of the time your portfolio will be viewed online. You're not there to make excuses. Even if you were, whatever you have to say won't make a difference if the work is weaker than it should be.

Finding a partner is easier than you think. Ad students always need some more and/or better work for their portfolios. Student writers and art directors are always seek each other out. As a student, take advantage of your school's advertising department and clubs. Get on your school's online message board. Go to events. You may even go to other local schools and find other students studying advertising. Or, start your own ad group! All it takes is a poster and a place to meet. Think of it as your first real assignment.

Outside of your school, local professional advertising associations usually have  student memberships with reduced fees. It's a good way to both find potential partners and make contacts in the professional realm as well.

Working with a partner, your work will be so much better. Advertising is a tough, competitive business. A better book will help you. Believe us, you'll need it. Also, as a bonus, agencies are more likely to hire a junior team they know who can work well together than taking a chance on one person whom they hope will get along with others.

Like most creative directors, we love seeing really great work from recent graduates who want to be creatives. Put the right amount of attention and hard work into your portfolio – with help from a writer or art director – and your chance of making ads for a living goes skyward.

Julie Allard and Brad Mislow are an associate creative director team at Publicis New York.  In addition to their longtime partnership among various advertising agencies,
they've spoken to many professional and student groups about the advantages of workplace partnerships. They've written various blog posts about their partnership, and have been the subject of articles and reports for CBS Moneywatch and the Washington Post. They also contributed research to a segment of ABC's Good Morning America.

Timesheets are the worst

If you were to ask me what's the one thing I hate most about advertising, I'd say Times Square.

And then I'd say timesheets.

Things I'd rather do than my timesheets:
- Declaw a wild lion
- Eat a live eel
- Balance my checkbook
- See Stephen Hawkins naked
- Play bridge

We're not lawyers, we're not making lawyer salaries and still each of our hours is billable and has to be accounted for to a client and a project.

So I spend two hours concepting on horse manure, then I have to put in my timesheets - HRSMNR338 - 2.00
If I write copy about twiddledinks for 3 and a half hours then I have to put 3.50 next to TWDNK998 in my time sheet.

And every day, I have to have at least 8 hours billed toward something to prove my value.

Every project has a time code. Every job has a number. Every hour you work has to be logged.

The problem is, some days I work 14 hours and then the next I work 5. Or some days I putz around on Ads of the World for 2 hours and am only productive toward a client's job for 6. Or some days I am showering and thinking about a campaign and have already put in 2 hours worth of thinking before I even make it into the office.

It's tough to think about just exactly how much time you spent thinking. Or writing. Or drawing sketches. Or picking colours. Or going through design blogs. It's tough to track exactly how much work goes into each project.

Some projects you figure out in 20 minutes. Some, 20 hours.

Yet, advertising is a business.

Your agency has corporate goals. And shareholders. And bills to pay. And profits to make. And other financial things I don't really understand.

And if you don't fill out your timesheets, people get mad. I worked at one place where they shut you out of your email until you did the previous week's timesheet. Another place had a time sheet police that came around and sat at your desk until you did them.  My current job sends me menacing emails about outstanding time sheets. 

So if you're in school, enjoy all the time you have to freely think, write, lay out, edit and stare off into space. Because one day, you're going to be held accountable.

And it's going to suck.

If you're working, it's Friday, don't forget to do your timesheet before you leave.


Resume-writing Tips

Sometimes I don't know what the hell I'm talking about. So I consult my good friend Google or my social networks to get some knowledge. I know little about writing resumes. Mine has in some garbage about pageants and poetry.  So here are some tips from Educated and Inexperienced (well actually from a panel of people who look at resumes for a living).

Dude Where's My Job

The panel was asked to respond to ten questions regarding resume content and formatting. Below are the first five questions. The answers to the next five questions will be posted next week. This is in the interest of keeping the blog post fairly brief, and not (as some have pointed out) an opportunity for me to have two weeks’ worth of blog posts that I don’t have to write myself.

1. What can I include in a resume that really makes it stand out for you from the hundreds of others you see?

Kathy Wishart - This is a tough one because I’ve seen all manner of format and feature in resumes over the years.  A resume that stands out to me now is one that has energy to it and gives me a glimpse into the person I’m considering.

Dana Leavy - A solid resume summary statement is one of the best "tools" you can utilize to add oomph to your resume, and really give it a solid branding message that communicates your top skills and experience.  I say "summary" instead of an "objective" statement because a summary focuses in on the great qualities that you're essentially bringing to the table for the organization (what are they gaining?), versus an objective, which speaks from the perspective of what you want as a job seeker.  While that's important, it's not going to grab any company's attention - they already know you want to work for them, and leverage your skills!  A great branding summary tells them who you are in terms of your qualifications, what you're there to do, and what unique experience or perspective you can really bring to the role.  If you were to answer the question, "What do I want prospective employers to know about me?" this would be the place to really answer that strategically.

Mark Babbitt - Good resumes tell me what you CAN DO for me, not what you DID for someone else. This includes soft skills, quantified statements of achievement – and confidence.

2. What is the most common mistake that people make on a resume and/or what is the one thing you see on a resume that really irritates you (not including typos)?

Kathy Wishart - A good many people submit resumes that look like a list. They’re bare bones information and lack the flesh and muscle that tell me about a person’s accomplishments and suitability.  A straight up pet peeve, for me, in a resume is the word “etc.” It tells me nothing. I’m also not fond of the personal pronoun “I” in a resume.

Dana Leavy - The biggest mistake I see is utilizing a resume as little more than a sheet of paper that denotes your experience, education and skills.  There is no branding message that tells me why you're uniquely qualified for the role, versus having the minimum qualifications.  A resume should follow a slightly formalized format, yes, but it should tell the "story" of your career by really sticking to a clear branding message that's evident throughout the document.  And the other mistake?  Assuming it all has to fit on one page, cramming information together, and ultimately sacrificing the readability of the document.

Mark Babbitt - The inclusion of an objective statement and other “I” related comments. At least until the first interview, as a recruiter the least of my worries is what “You” want or expect. I’m looking for a good culture fit, coachability – and someone who can do the job right now.

3. I keep hearing that “keywords” are the best way to get your resume noticed, but I also hear not to use “over-used” “buzz” words….but the job ad ALWAYS has these words in it. What are your thoughts on this?

Kathy Wishart - Buzz words don’t bother me, personally.  I think the problem with buzz words is that people tend to overuse them and not back them up with concrete examples that demonstrate that they possess that quality.  I’d much rather infer that someone is creative by reading about a cool accomplishment than the job seeker simply telling me s/he is creative.

Dana Leavy - The summary and skill sections are great places to include an keywords or buzzwords that you know your audience is going to be looking for.  Don't overdo it, and keep it genuine - anything you say in your resume you should be able to back up with context and examples in the interview, so don't just throw in keywords for SEO sake.

Mark Babbitt - If you are applying to a larger organization or agency that uses an Automatic Tracking System (ATS) you have no choice but to pepper your resume with keywords from the job description.

4. Everyone says objective statements are overrated. How should the resume open, and what should be included with it?

Kathy Wishart - In the most technical sense, the resume opens with a solid cover letter.  The cover letter should replace the objective statement.  Resumes open with the name and contact information of the job seeker.  After that, I like to see a well-crafted profile statement and relevant summary of qualifications.

Dana Leavy - See #1 above: Open not with an objective, but with a summary that clearly communicates your brand in terms of your skills, experience and any particularly unique angles that would catch your audience's attention.  This is the first section they will read, and you want to set a strong context for the rest of the document that compels them to keep reading.

Mark Babbitt - The summary statement mentioned above is far more effective at showing the recruiter how you will solve their problem; how you will contribute. The summary statement can be either a short paragraph (maybe 400 characters) or five to eight bullet points that highlight your abilities, experience and soft skills.

5. How important is it to include elements of your personality in your resume? Can it be detrimental?

Kathy Wishart - In my opinion, certain aspects of one’s personality, as they relate to the job at hand, should come through in the resume. The employer is hiring the whole person, not just a skill set or repertoire of experience.   This lends itself to cultural fit which is a huge factor in why people stay in or leave their jobs.  But, be careful, some details are just “TMI” – too much information.  Employers don’t care to know (and don’t need to know) about things like sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and hobbies.

Dana Leavy - LinkedIN is a better place to do that, as well as a blog, or even your cover letter, because you can make the connection between the qualifications in the resume, and why you want to work for that particular company.  If you're vying for the attention of a creative company, a startup, or anywhere else where you know there's a very particular company culture that you have to appeal to, you can make that connection in the cover letter, or the other documents.  While it might seem antiquated, the resume still has to follow the old standards and function as a more formalized representation of your qualifications.  But I do think you can get a little creative with your brand - throw your volunteer or internship experience in there, maybe list your memberships & affiliations with certain groups they might find appealing. 

Mark Babbitt - Depends 100% on the industry and company. In a conservative Fortune 500 company showing a unique personality can be a huge detriment. In a start-up, non-profit or entrepreneur driven business, however, “being a character” may be exactly what you need to do to get the interview. In all cases, tailor the resume to the audience.

I want to thank all of the participants for taking the time to share their knowledge in this area. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave one on this post, or follow the participants on twitter and talk to them for yourself. Tune in next week where we address the following questions;

6. If you are over-qualified for the position, should you leave out some of your qualifications?

7. Chronological, Competency Based or Other? How do we organize our resumes to screen in and catch your attention?

8. Is there a better font, font-size, length etc.? When the employer doesn’t specify these things, what do we do?

9. How helpful are graphics and other media in getting through the screening process? Do you have any tips on this for applicants?

10. Is there any advice you would give to job applicants regarding their resume that you have not already addressed?

Tips On Talking About Yourself

Bragging is a part of the business. Well, as long as you do it right. (No one likes an asshole, remember)

You're going to have to learn how to talk (write) about yourself in the most appealing and interesting way to get the attention of creative recruiters and creative directors.

Why should they read your email? Why should they talk to you? Same goes for your LinkedIn profile and website's About Me section. How can you use these areas to showcase your personality, skills, accomplishments and interests?

I've previously written about What's So Special About You? with a few tips to help you stand out of the creative crowd. And Why Should Someone Hire You? with more tips on how to sell yourself. And also check out How To Show Off Without Looking Like A Show Off t

Another blog I follow, ProfessorAdMan, had a great post today that I thought would be helpful to yall too.

"I'm eager..."

"I'm a fast learner..."

Those are qualities most of us look for in a pet, not an advertising professional.

In your cover letter, you only have a few words to make a quick impression, so don't waste them.

1. Open up with a memorable fact about yourself. Create a mystique that will make people say,"I really have to meet this person. For example: "As a former pro wrestler, no one knows how to market more outrageously than I do..."

It doesn't have to be that over the top, but everyone has something intriguing that makes them stand above the rest. (Yes, I know a former wrestler who now works in event marketing- perfect choice, if you ask me.) So use your unique qualities to your advantage. (And if you don't think you're unique, you need more help than I can offer.)

2. Stay focused on quick examples that make you an ideal candidate. And don't be afraid to bullet some quick facts:
  • Our last campaign surpassed our goal of a 10 percent increase in sales by an additional 25 percent
  • 2011 Mobius award winner
  • 2010 Employee of the year
3. Leave them wanting more. "I look forward to telling you about my contribution that helped my last agency land a $53 million account." If they call you in, you now have a great icebreaker during your interview.

Apply some new tricks to your cover letter. Don't let your potential get lost in the usual dogged descriptions.

Under 30 and Awesome? Win this.

Call for entries for the Art Director's Club Young Guns is March 13th!

Get your shit together loves!

ADC Young Guns is the only global, cross-disciplinary portfolio competition that identifies today's vanguard of young creative professionals, age 30 and under.

Call for Entries to ADC Young Guns 10 will open March 13, 2012. \ Check out the rules  and entry instructions and start getting your portfolio together!

Kudos this past winner, Jesse Juriga and fellow Creative Circus alum.


Born 1981
Lives in Brooklyn, NY, USA

Jesse Juriga grew up in southeast Michigan the youngest of three violent boys. He attended Michigan State university and the Creative Circus. There he made ads, friends and a portfolio that got him a job as the twelfth person at David Droga’s then-new agency, Droga5.

In his first year working at Droga5, the agency was named “US Agency fo the year” by AdAge’s Creativity Magazine. Since then, his work for PUMA, Unicef, Rhapsody , The New Museum and Google has been recognized by the One Show, Young Guns, D&AD, Cannes Lions, Creativity Magazine, Esquire Magazine, CNBC, Fast Company, Paper Magazine,  and Surface Magazines “Avant Guard” Issue.

He is currently an ACD at BBH New York.

What do you fight against constantly in your work?
Putting positive work out into the world.

What is the driving force behind the time and effort you spend excelling at your craft?
Simply put, it’s fun to make good work. And the opportunity to make somebody laugh or smile doesn’t hurt.

What keeps you going when you work late into the evening?
Student loans, great coworkers, loud, loud music and the fear of totally sucking.

If you broke your arm, who would you most want to sign your cast?
Tom Selleck.

From the Jury:
Quite simply some of the most wonderfully charming and captivating work you will see. - Ian Wharton, YG8

The Circle of Rejection

Nobody likes you.

Well they do, but it's hard to tell in Advertising.

You think high school was bad, working in this business you will encounter more rejection than a fat kid with a lisp, limp and Harry Potter cape. 

I mean, the only people who aren't criticising you and telling you to change are the person at the front desk and the folks in the mail room.

Everyone else thinks you suck. (Or so it seems.)

Here's how it goes:

1. You get briefed on a project. You're excited.

2. You do some research, you come up with some ideas, you write them down.

3. You show your partner. You're excited.

4. Your partner says "Hmm, this is good, this is okay, this sucks."

5. You cross shit off your list. You feel defeated.

6. You and your partner come up with some new ideas and work on the stuff he/she liked.

7. You show your creative director. You're excited.

8. Your creative director says "Hmm, this is good, this is okay, this sucks."

9. You cross shit off your list. You feel defeated.

10. You and your partner come up with some new ideas and work on the stuff your creative director liked.

11. You show the account team and planner. You're excited.

12. They say "Hmm, this is good, this is okay, this sucks."

13. You cross shit off your list. You feel defeated.

14. You and your partner work on the stuff the account team liked.

15. You show the client. You're excited.

16. The client says, "Eh. This is good. This other stuff sucks."

17. You cross shit off your list. You cry.

18. You and your partner come up with new things and work on the things the client liked.

19. You cry.

20. You start all over again.

Oh! The life of a creative!

It takes a lot of skill and tenacity to accept but not internalise all the rejection, and to shake it off and get right back to work. It's taken me a lot of time to not feel emotionally crushed when my work is criticised or dies. But that's just part of your job. (Read up on some tips on accepting feedback)

That's why you can't just go in with one idea. Or be too in love with any idea. Or not be willing to start over.

Get used to failing. Get used to being told no. Get used to getting back up.

P.S. Read The Outliers.

A word from David Ogilvy

Kool-aid. Yes, I drank it. Yes, I worked on it briefly when I was at Ogilvy. But I kinda think David Ogilvy is kinda cool. (I'm trying to play down my groupie-ness by saying "kinda")

I came across this article a bit ago and thought it was great advice for all creatives.

Have a read.

I am a Lousy Copywriter
From Letters of Note. 

British-born David Ogilvy was one of the original, and greatest, "ad men." In 1948, he started what would eventually be known as Ogilvy & Mather, the Manhattan-based advertising agency that has since been responsible for some of the world's most iconic ad campaigns, and in 1963 he even wrote Confessions of an Advertising Man, the best-selling book that is still to this day considered essential reading for all who enter the industry. Time magazine called him "the most sought-after wizard in today's advertising industry" in the early-'60s; his name, and that of his agency, have been mentioned more than once in Mad Men for good reason.

With all that in mind, being able to learn of his routine when producing the very ads that made his name is an invaluable opportunity. The fascinating letter below, written by Ogilvy in 1955 to a Mr. Ray Calt, offers exactly that.

(Source: The Unpublished David Ogilvy: A Selection of His Writings from the Files of His Partners; Image: David Ogilvy, courtesy of Ads of the World.)

April 19, 1955

Dear Mr. Calt:

On March 22nd you wrote to me asking for some notes on my work habits as a copywriter. They are appalling, as you are about to see:

1. I have never written an advertisement in the office. Too many interruptions. I do all my writing at home.

2. I spend a long time studying the precedents. I look at every advertisement which has appeared for competing products during the past 20 years.

3. I am helpless without research material—and the more "motivational" the better.

4. I write out a definition of the problem and a statement of the purpose which I wish the campaign to achieve. Then I go no further until the statement and its principles have been accepted by the client.

5. Before actually writing the copy, I write down every concievable fact and selling idea. Then I get them organized and relate them to research and the copy platform.

6. Then I write the headline. As a matter of fact I try to write 20 alternative headlines for every advertisement. And I never select the final headline without asking the opinion of other people in the agency. In some cases I seek the help of the research department and get them to do a split-run on a battery of headlines.

7. At this point I can no longer postpone the actual copy. So I go home and sit down at my desk. I find myself entirely without ideas. I get bad-tempered. If my wife comes into the room I growl at her. (This has gotten worse since I gave up smoking.)

8. I am terrified of producing a lousy advertisement. This causes me to throw away the first 20 attempts.

9. If all else fails, I drink half a bottle of rum and play a Handel oratorio on the gramophone. This generally produces an uncontrollable gush of copy.

10. The next morning I get up early and edit the gush.

11. Then I take the train to New York and my secretary types a draft. (I cannot type, which is very inconvenient.)

12. I am a lousy copywriter, but I am a good editor. So I go to work editing my own draft. After four or five editings, it looks good enough to show to the client. If the client changes the copy, I get angry—because I took a lot of trouble writing it, and what I wrote I wrote on purpose.

Altogether it is a slow and laborious business. I understand that some copywriters have much greater facility.

Yours sincerely,


Inspiration: Awesome Websites

Staying up on what's good, bad and ugly in design and useability in the web world is super important to you as a creative. Not only does it help for you to know what's hot and what's not, but also it helps you sharpen your eye and hunt inspiration for your next project or your portfolio website.

Abduzeedo has a whole section on Inspiration that you can get lost in for hours.

Plus a weekly collection of Sites of the Week that showcases cool sites. (Email them yours and they may feature you too!)

The site also has photoshop, illustrator etc tutorials that you def need to check out.

Whether you're a writer, designer or art director, this is definitely a site you should bookmark.