Friday, October 3, 2008

We want it, We'll get it

Phew, lots of comments on here recently. We read all of them and appreciate them.

We started this blog as a team to create a platform for us to keep track of our doings, to keep us looking around, to keep us exploring, to keep us writing & thinking. Perhaps it hasn't worked out as planned. Or maybe it worked too well? At some point a lot of people started tuning in. We think it was around the time we started getting our first placement offers. A conversation with you started. And we've been pretty surprised by it. There's no need to recap what was said on the comments, however it's been a lot of everything. We enjoyed it at times, and hated it at others. It seemed more of you were interested in comments then in the things we were actually writing.

Here's the most important thing we took away from it:

Our book isn't strong enough yet, the strategies could be far stronger. Yet it's nothing new, as we both know that we can do better. For us it's a constant process of improving the portfolio, and never to stop doing so because we'll never be satisfied with it. Admittedly we do slow down at times, as we're constantly doing placements. And they always take priority.

It's tough to work all day at the agency and work on the portfolio at night. Yet that's no excuse. In fact that's the main reason we went for the D&AD workshop in the first place. We wanted to have deadlines for ourselves that we had to keep hitting on the side of agency work. But it turns out that the briefs for the workshops aren't as portfolio friendly as we thought (more on this in a later post).

We need to and want to get better, constantly. All creative teams need to. It's our last day at adam&eve today. We haven't got anything lined up. So that gives us this weekend to work out a plan and refine it next week on where to go on from here. We want to make our strategies stronger, make our book more interesting and develop into a better creative team. From what we can gather hardly any agencies are hiring at the moment. So the only way in for us is to be better. We need to make them want to hire. That's what we're going to tackle. There's no shortcut, it'll always be hard work and it will demand a lot of time. We haven't had the luxury to create a book together at college, so we need to be quicker as well. If you like, stick with us and give us a hand. As long as you stay constructive, you're more than welcome.

It's gonna be a fun ride.


Hayley said...

Nice one guys! A shame that you're not staying longer at Adam & Eve, but it's great to finally hear what you two have taken out of everything that's been said on here.

Sounds to me like you both know where you stand, and although it's a tough position to be in right now, it's as clear as ever how much you want it.

Wish you all the best for whatever comes your way, and really look forward to the day the "WE GOT THE JOB!!" post appears on here!

Keep at it guys! : )

Anonymous said...

Met you at Cream, thought you were both lovely. It's not often you meet people with as much enthusiasm for the industry as you two.

I look forward to that post as well.

keep up the determination.

easy on the t-shirts.

Joe T said...

Well handled old chap. There've been some quite vicious comments coming your way from this blog, and I think it's good that you've responded to them in a positive way.

facu said...

you´re growing. keep at it. :)

Anonymous said...

Good response dudes,

As long as you listen to the constructive comments you can't go far wrong. People just want you guys to do well and get a bit frustrated. I'm looking forward to seeing the new look book.

Did nothing come out of Cream?

Gordon Comstock said...

I had that same beef with the D&AD workshops - in fact only one of the briefs ended up in our book, and it was one the art director did. They were just too much like real briefs, not enough like the strange ritualised briefs that people seem to want at crits.

I wouldn't listen to all the shit on here. The combination of boredom, an internet connection and the opportunity to criticize someone else with impunity is too much for most creatives to resist.

Anonymous said...

the lighthouse family

Anonymous said...

You gotta take the good with the bad!

Mike said...

Nice to hear guys.

Anonymous said...

Not wanting to call you out Wal, but you didn't start this blog as a team. At least not as team Jai and Wal. So make sure you turn this into something you can both own if its to be a team blog because at the moment Jai falls into the background.

Anonymous said...

What's next for you guys?
Care to share the battle plan?
You guys must have places lined up since Cream,
I too am awaiting the 'we have a job' post so hurry up.
Then most of the juniors in london can celebrate down the pub with you two.
And Wal, I don't want you to ever mention that 'no one' is hiring. Ever.
Get your cock and balls out and stuff them into the agency you want to work at and fuck them till they are gagging for more. Really fuck them.

Anonymous said...

What's next for you guys?
Care to share the battle plan?
You guys must have places lined up since Cream,
I too am awaiting the 'we have a job' post so hurry up.
Then most of the juniors in london can celebrate down the pub with you two.
And Wal, I don't want you to ever mention that 'no one' is hiring. Ever.
Get your cock and balls out and stuff them into the agency you want to work at and fuck them till they are gagging for more. Really fuck them.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely true Anon 7:53 - I've pointed this out myself in another post.

I'm glad someone else has noticed this too.

Make this blog something for you both, if you want it to represent you as a team. At the moment it's all about Wal - Jai needs to make an impression and soon.

I guess you're new identity is beginning to tackle this issue.

Anonymous said...

Great analogy Anon 1;39

I agree that openly saying 'no-one is hiring at the moment' is defeatist before you start, with that approach and the current climate if you've no job by Christmas you'll be more than hard pushed to get it in 2009!

Anonymous said...

I think when you guys have done so much placements, and have been trying to learn more. And it's good! but sometimes, we all need to set down and really think what we have done so far, give yourself a conclusion and see is there anything you remember you were good enough? Why the guys who already got a job in the agency could get a job and you can't? And from that point, you have a new start, and you can look fresh again. I wish you two all the best.


Anonymous said...

re 6.34

hope you are not a copywriter...

re Wal

actions speak louder than words mate, my best advice (it took me a while to get a job also) is to drop all the cheesy gimmicks, pick a couple of places you would like to work (ones who have a good new-business record and ones you could work at... sorry but your book is nowhere near the W&K and Fallon's). Contact and try and keep seeing a good team there and build a new book. If you are good enough, smart enough and not lazy this should only take a month or two at the most.

A book full of old/average campaigns and a long track record of placements will get you nowhere, stop being scared of starting again as if the book was good enough you'd be in by now.

But the great thing is that getting a job is all down to you two, a great book/attitude will get you a job. Simple.

Anonymous said...

Wal, I'm trying to be constructive here so pls don't get me wrong.

I'll say just this: Be honest with yourself mate.

You've been fooling yourself and you know it. You've been relying on your charisma and your 'brand' to get a job. One day you rant about how it's 'all about the book' but then you don't act in consequence.

It's tough getting rid of your old campaigns and accepting they don't work, I know, but you've gotta ask yourself: are they up to your own ambitions?

If the answer is no, just bin them. Fast. And start fresh again. You're not loosing much, believe me.

D&AD is not book friendly? You only get boring briefs while on placement? fuck that, make your own briefs, steal one from a senior team, break into the CD office when everybody is gone, cheat, do whatever it takes.

But this isn't news for you, I'm sure guys. You already know that. You're just to lazy or scared or both to take action. Again, the first step is accepting you've been doing it wrong all this time. If you won't, you are fucking dead anyway.

Believe it or not, someone that wants to see you make it.

Anonymous said...

Think the last guy hit the nail on the head.

The only way to get a job is either by being very lucky by being at the right place at the right time or by being so desperate to get in the industry you become obsessed.

If you haven't got that desperation (and the talent) you end up spending years on the placement scene becoming bitter and desperate in the wrong way.

Anonymous said...

Just reflect what you have and haven't been doing right.

It can't have been perfect otherwise you'd have got your first job by now, even if you had offers and refused them in this time.

Try something different, it can't do you any harm. And get rid of your old campaigns - that's mot sending out the right message at all.

Anonymous said...

warning: before you keep reading - this is an advice from germany. I started to read your blog about at the time, when you started your placement at wk. and I was impressed. this changed, because later on I started to understand, how getting in the job works in the uk. Everything seems to be much more "short-term" oriented. You get your chances. But you than have to prove yourself immediately. Not easy at all if your about to start your career. Placements or internships here last almost always six months. So when you get there, you really get the time, to develop yourself. get good briefs, do lots of jobs... Even if you never had to do something with advertising before or your book wasn't that good before. You can even get into it - if you haven't had a book before - by doing a "copytest", for example: - now what I mean... finally the advice. Copytests are also a great source of briefs - inspiration for your book. (Only writing this, because I think that you speak german - don't ask me why). Often easy to adapt to the agencies / clients of your choice... they can help you to define your own briefs. And another thing that was already mentioned before. I had to learn to. Is beeing more agressive, in a positive way: just take, what you need (a good brief for example) to make your book better... keep on riding.

Anonymous said...

You both come across as polite, perhaps too polite - go get what you want as others have said.

PS 10:06 - Wal does speak German!

Anonymous said...

Agencies hire you for being you. Don't play someone elses tune. Ever. Because you can't play that tune as well as they can. Play your own stuff... that's when you get noticed. Because no-one else can do it as well as you.

Stop trying to be what you think people want.

Anonymous said...

play your own tune!!!... what a twat.

lads, you are out of tune, you should take notice of the good advice Imost of it is) on here.

Anonymous said...

"Stop trying to be what you think people want."

I'll second that.

Anonymous said...

Get a job first - it doesn't have to be in the hottest shop in London - there are tons of agencies with respectable clients and local awards, maybe not Cannes or D&AD's but there are lots of good shops, you should seriously start small, prove you can do crackin' work in a not-so-hot-shop and work your way up. You could have had 18 months + by now of solid, permanent work experience, which would mean a whole lot more that 18+ months of random placements at hotshops...

Anonymous said...

And to add to my point above - that would be 18 months solid work experience not just seeing ads from concept to production, but also interacting with clients, which I doubt you have had on placements - pitching to clients, learning how to play the game in the office, learning that there may not be a game, there is so so much you will learn when you go permanent other than just creating hot shit work.

Anonymous said...

RE the guy above

where do you work?

your advice is the total opposite from what I was told... to try and get a job in a top agency as it's a lot easier to start at the top then trying to work your way up from an average place.

In my experience I'd say you was 100% wrong.

Anonymous said...

ps. I'd say you are/where at a place like McCanns or in Manchester

Anonymous said...


Oooh burn!

Anonymous said...

I doubt they are even somewhere that good. Not caring about doing good work is like admitting defeat before you've even started....

Anonymous said...

Who said anything about not wanting to do good work.

If you're to prove yourself in a smaller agency, you'd clearly have to produce great work! Who would notice you in an average agency, producing average work otherwise. Blimey, it seems you're just waiting to pounce on anyone the moment the say something.

There are pro's and con's to taking a job at a smaller agency or your bigger well known one's - working your way up or getting into a top agency - there's no right or wrong.

Jai & Wal, I'd just set yourself a limit as to how long you're willing to placement. Surely there has to be a time where enough is enough (whenever that may be)

You should surely want a perm job in this industry, or at least freelance... I can't believe you're willing to placement for another couple of years.

Anonymous said...

And I was told to quit if you haven't managed to get anywhere after a year of searching.

How many people who comment on this blog giving Wal this advice actually have jobs anywhere decent?

Some of you kids need to get real. The geniuses will get jobs straight away the rest who don't have mummy and daddy paying our rent have to take what we can get and knuckle down to some graft and have a life.

I'm not anon 3:47 by the way

Anonymous said...

And are Adam & Eve really that much better than McCanns?

Anonymous said...

3.47... You didn't say where you worked... Maybe that says it all?

Jai & Wal, it's not where you want to work it's where you could get a job.

I think you'd do ok at somewhere like Euros. Be honest with yourselves lads, there are a lot better books out there . If it has not clicked what it takes to put together a great book by now the cut your losses.

Anonymous said...

Why people need to snub those who actually have jobs at certain agencies I don't know. Pathetic!

Anonymous said...

Aim for somewhere you 'CAN' get a job, and get your book in gear for them. It's fruitless to target something this near damn impossible!

]-[appy Thought said...

A team we went to see when we were at uni (don't know if you were here or not for that Wal) were at BBH, but had spent 3 years working at noname & whoever cracking tricky briefs and working on a really progressive book at the weekends.

They were good, driven adn could prove their dedication to their craft. BBH snapped them up and they went in as a middleweight team. Nice work. It is possible.

This to me seems like a good plan, I mean you wouldn't want to work at your dream place as your first job would you? Being a junior in an agency full of awesome people could make you fall out of love with your beloved ad shop quite quickly, and the best way to eek up your status and pay is to move anyway.

Just thinking aloud, but getting into somewhere which has at least one exciting client and doing a good bit of work or two for them combined with a book of out-of-hours thinking will stand you in good stead for moving to a better place in the long run.

Anonymous said...

in other words stop poncing about and get a job where you can, might give you the push you need to see if you can produce the good rather than relying on old campaigns to keep getting you placements after placements.

saying that even getting a job at an average place is tough enough so the best of luck chaps.

Anonymous said...

well put Happy Thought!

And a very valid point of starting off at your dream agency - whilst it might be great to begin with, as you say often you have to move agency to progress, earn more etc etc... That means your dream agency is over and done with whilst you were still learning and not producing your best stuff.

How much better would it be to have tried and tested the industry, learnt your trade and then work at your dream agency, producing award winning ads for them when you're capable of doing so.

Start small and work up (that's not to say start at 'father and son' agency, but perhaps lower the bar a little.

Anonymous said...

that's good advice isn't it. Don't start at your dream agency so you can work there later!?

Sure, moving shops gets you more pay. But picture this situation:
2 teams leave uni at the same time. One goes to average place, one goes to dream agency.

Dream team love it there... produce cracking work at at a young age.

Average place team do some good work and move to dream agency after 5 years. Do you think they will pay average team more than 'dream agency team' just because they moved?

Your salary mirrors your work. Not vica versa. Reckon you guys are a little bitter you're not at your 'dream agency'.

Right... start of a new day. Got some Carling stuff to do...

]-[appy Thought said...

@ Just above:

Was that aimed at me?

If it was, I'm quite happy being at one of the strongest digital hives in the world, thanks. I was lucky enough to be able to produce a book with my partner that impressed them. But then again I want to do digital work, I admit I would be lame at making posters so I played a different game.

You could argue that because of that I don't have a right to get involved in giving advise to a team aimed at traditional work, but it's from my knowledge of that world that made me shy away from it. I did the book crits, the placements and the uni course before I worked this out, but I did.

But enough about me, I know junior teams at various agencies in London, both good and bad, and many of them spend their time doing work they didn't want to be doing such as 10 second radio stings, DM mailers, long copy on magazine ads no-one will read, Boomerang postcards etc etc. This must be a pain when you're watching established teams at that agency, or even freelancers, pouring over billboard and cinema briefs. Is that going to taint your experience of your "dream place".

It would if it was me.

The one thing it is good for is a name on your CV when you move for a transfer. You're unlikely to move down in agency quality, so you have the ones in your tier group to choose from, which is great, BUT most teams get better salaries/promotions/offices/whatever after doing a great bit of work and threatening to leave. Otherwise why would your work offer you more money? They do it to keep good people.

I think your analogy is flawed because by the outcome of the two teams it seems that one team are just "better" than the other team. Otherwise why didn't they both get into dream agencies? The BBH team I spoke about were not BBH material when they graduated (and they admit that), but they took a job and got some experience rather than work the circuit and hope. The idea of great ability straight out of uni is rare, which is why ti takes another 2 years on average to get into a great place. I'm not saying that going into a not so good/famous agency is THE way to go, because it's not what I did! But I don't think it should be dismissed.

If you really want something but know you can't get it immediately, sometimes it's best to play the long game.

Finally, yes I do think agencies will pay more because people moved. I know a team that have been out 2 years and earn 7k more than another team by winning a few awards and moving on compared to a team that's stayed put for the 2 years and winning an award themselves. If your work can get away with not paying you more then they will. That's how businesses make their monies.

Anyway, work calls, actually got some Heineken work to do. Ah sweet duplicity.

Anonymous said...

War of the beer brands commences!

Anonymous said...

To Anon 4:20 (and Jai and Wal),

"you should seriously start small, prove you can do crackin' work in a not-so-hot-shop and work your way up".

that's the crux of what I said, and YES I personally think this is worth more than going into a hot shop and not getting the hot briefs...

Making something from nothing can turn you into a great ad man, and also in a smaller shop you get more opportunity to work on bigger briefs and you will get greater experience...

and when you have done placements at all the 'hot shops' and haven't been taken on permanent there aren't many alternatives are there...
Alex Bogusky managed to turn at little agency in Florida doing brochures for hotels into one of the hottest shops in the world by doing great work - learning to pitch, sell your work is more hugely valuable - and it's this experience that you get that will see you get to where you wanna go.


The guy above

Anonymous said...

Well argued and you seem like a decent bloke.

Best of luck. If it's alright with you... I will always strive to be the best.

I'm 24, and i spend the majority of my time doing tv, 48 sheets and winning pitches.

But i bet you get paid more than me.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter where you start, its where you end up that counts.

Some of the best teams in london started at "Average" agencies.

Remember when you start at the top there's only one place you can go...and thats down.

Anonymous said...

"I'm 24, and i spend the majority of my time doing tv, 48 sheets and winning pitches"

You're a twat and you know you are!

Anonymous said...

Well done Mr 24yr old! - good for you.

Why you're asking 'if it's alright with you' Do what you bloody well want!

Anonymous said...

re 10.11

care to share who you are or where you work? maybe you could pass on some of your wisdom seeing you are doing so very well for yourself.

ps, you sound like a grade-a c**t.

Anonymous said...

He/she sure does sounds like a right *****!

A tad up himself I'd say!

Anonymous said...

To "I'm 24, and i spend the majority of my time doing tv, 48 sheets and winning pitches."

You probably did that DFS sale add with the Nickleback soundtrack - I wanna be a rock Star...

Anonymous said...

Why are Adam & Eve advertising placements on their homepage?

Why have you finished yours?

Maybe you should go for more humble shop.

Anonymous said...

I thought the DFS one was Wals

Anonymous said...

I am a twat and I did do the DFS ad. I HAVE a grad-a c**t. I do what i bloody want. And i do it bloody well.

But this is just a blog. So i could be making it all up for a bit of Tuesday morning fun.

Or not.

Chow boys.

Anonymous said...

That must be a little hard to take, you were on placement at A&E, it was cut short and now they're advertising for new placement teams - can't have impressed them too much then?

Could be just as much an agency thing. I have heard they take on a lot of placement teams.

After all this advice Wal, what's your next step going to be?

Wal said...

a&e advertised placements on their website before we started there. They do indeed have lots of teams lined up, but there's also a placement team there who have been there for three months now and they're doing rather well.

Anonymous said...

If you liked the place - it's a shame it couldn't be you still there.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, three of the top teams at DDB all started their careers at O&M at the turn of the century. And it was still shit then. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

How can it 'still be shit then'?

You're mixing up tenses, you can't say 'was still' talking about the past!

It was shit then. It is still shit.

Anonymous said...

It's all semantics, It was still shit then makes sense, a slight malapropism - I'd go for it, like I'd go for a nice bowl of Tiramisu.

Anonymous said...

It was shit even then has the wrong emphasis.

I meant still like, it is, has been and will be immutably shit.

Anonymous said...

The majority of above sound like a bunch of cunts. All working for ATL agencies. You're all getting fired soon.

Good luck trying to get in to digital.

Anonymous said...

think you'll find that's getting INTO digital, but thanks for playing.

Anonymous said...

re 6.02

get back to your nice little banner you bitter failure.

Anonymous said...

@ anon 09:11pm

Oh God not you again

Anonymous said...

why spend your time getting bitter and bitching on a blog?

Get on with real stuff. Who cares what some anonymous guy says on the web!

Anonymous said...

Digital isn't a failure, unfortunately it's the future, I mean you're on the net now, reading this, blogging, taking part in social media forums...

The Guy Above.

Anonymous said...

Digital is very much the way things are going, and anyone in the industry surely has noticed that - so why they are bitching about digital agencies and knocking those that work in them is beyod me.

Anonymous said...

J&W you must have skins of steel! I agree with the guys on here who say go for digital, it's way more fun and besides traditional advertising is quite evil and eats away at your soul. Do something constructive. Ads are shit, apps are brill.


Anonymous said...

I can't see Wal going digital at all!

Anonymous said...

Digital is pish. TV is the future.

]-[appy Thought said...

TV is going digital come 2010.

Anonymous said...

re happy thought

tv might very well go digital in 2010 but there still needs to be a strong creative idea rather than a fancy looking website.

I see no shift in traditional v digital places, it will just mean the ATL guys will be getting the digital ideas to execute their idaes.

Thats what annoys me about the digital guys with a chip on their shoulder (not implying you) but you will not be taking over the ad world because a great idea is a great idea in any media.

Anonymous said...

The idea is central to all aspects of advertising - that's a given.

How to execute it and the medium is what can make a good idea truly great.

]-[appy Thought said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
]-[appy Thought said...

Re Mr. Re: Happy Thought

I was just clowning. For the most part I agree with you. I personally wouldn't like to think I have a chip on my shoulder and I believe a time will come when great idea houses and digital experts will work together in more harmony more than we do now.

I do however believe that there is a difference between a great broadcast idea and a great interactive idea. Look at The Lynx/Axe effect for example: poster/press/tv really funny ways of telling you that if you spray the lynx you'll attract hot women. That works fine in a one-way medium but the has things like dating tips and wooing films, even a "hot babe" detector for your phone because the statement of 'spray lynx, get girls' isn't actually true and when a viewer can actually get under the skin of a brand it's clever broadcast ideas can quickly look superficial and "addy".

We are also competing with a generation that is now used to making their own entertainment/content and sharing their life online. I was one of the last generations to grow up with computer game consoles and mobile phones as an invention; for people younger then me they have always been there and is something they use in the same way that In use colour TV (which is still something my Gran finds amazing as it was invented in her lifetime).

I don't intend to take over the ad world (not that I could if I wanted to). I do feel we, as digital as it is now, run alongside adland playing a slightly different game. Whether its the right one or not is too early to say, but it's certainly exciting times. I'm not sure what you'd call a "shift" exactly, but when places like Fallon and W+K start looking for digital creative directors I start thinking that this could go somewhere. You've only got to look at CP+B's through the line work to see how a strong, fancy looking website supported by clever traditional ad placements can create a much more immersive experience for a user than if we are left in separate rooms.

I hope this doesn't sound like I'm trying to pick a fight because I am not, I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "it will just mean the ATL guys will be getting the digital ideas to execute their idaes." If you mean that the digital agencies will just do whatever the ATL agencies tell them to do I think you might find they have something to say about that. But I guess we'll see :)

Anonymous said...

happy thought, glad to see a digital minded person talk sense for a change rather than thinking all ATL creatives will be out of a job any time soon.

you'll find most big traditional agencies are fully aware of where digital is going, the only thing stopping them producing more digital ideas is the clients.

once clients are educated that a big agency can handle all media is when we will see what really happens... pretty sure the digital guys won't be so smug then.

anyhow, keep up the good work happy though.

Anonymous said...

Screw the debate. I want to know how Jai/Wal are getting on.

Anonymous said...

Then why are you commenting on an old post?

Anonymous said...

Maybe cos Jai & Wal have yet to update us on their progress for weeks, only prompting discussions.

Where shuold we enquire about how their getting on exactly then?

]-[appy Thought said...

I suggest an Email to if you really can't wait :)

Anonymous said...

If we haven't heard anything, it would suggest there's nothing much to tell.

They'll update us if there really was some significant news!

So I wouldn't bother emailing if I were you, but give it a whirl if you like and then let us all know the non news...