Saturday, January 5, 2008

For All Aspiring Creatives

A couple of weeks ago we went to see Matt with our work and he gave us some great advice on how to move things on with our book. Matt was then nice enough to send us a short help sheet after our chat.

We then asked if it was ok to share it on our blog as we get quite a few people reading who are in a similar situation to us. Matt was nice enough to agree and also offered to write up some of his own hints for the blog. We jumped at the chance so here they are for everyone.

But before we get to it here’s a little on Matt, he came over from Sydney where he had his own agency but then decided to work in London. Matt’s been at Fallon for four years now, CDs some projects and works solo on others, and on top of that he takes care of juniors and placements.

A big thanks to Matt for all his efforts, cheers!

Hints on how to put a book together.

I know there are a lot of opinions floating around offline and online about advice to juniors or placements. Some of it is really great advice, some of it isn’t. But that really doesn’t matter at this point. What matters is finding pieces of information that may help build your book or improve it.

So that is going to be the main theme here in so much as you should never settle on anything and you should try and create something that is reflective of you.

So congratulations, you’re half way there.

The little ‘Feel free to ignore’ I sent to Jai and Wal was given to me years ago by a very good CD and is still relevant today. For me, at that time, it was kind of helpful, not always right, but helpful to get me to focus. And that’s usually what these little things are for, to focus and inspire you. The following advice is combined wisdom from many people, not just me, so it may be familiar. In fact it isn't really advice it's more about trying to be helpful and to try and tell you what we look for and what people have told me. And that’s about it. As we all know, this is a subjective business, and everyone has very different opinions about what’s right and what’s wrong. So don’t look at this looking for things you disagree with. Simply take the things you think make sense and leave the rest.

Let me first start off by saying that I don’t know anyone who really wanted a job in this industry that didn’t get one. I'm talking about those that really wanted it. It may have taken them a while but they got a job. So if you work hard and have a good attitude that’s half the battle. Work hard, have the right attitude. I cannot say this enough. Work hard have the right attitude. If you are arrogant or think people owe you a job, forget it. You will not walk into a job, so don’t expect to. That is my experience. That’s my opinion.

Okay, firstly you’re competing against other books with the same 10 campaigns in it. Think about that. The same or similar formats and style. It’s great you have done that and have studied and worked hard but you are following a formula and sometimes it’s good to break it as you are only presenting different versions of the same formula to the same people. You’ve learnt the rules in college, you’ve done your 100 strategies, it’s now time to put that to one side and start to think ‘What kind of book do I want to have? What do I want to be hired for?’ You’ve learnt the basic skills, it’s now about presenting them in a fresher way and challenging yourselves even harder.

Just be aware that there are a number of formulas that have been around for a long time and lots of people use them. Do I like them? Not really. Have I done them? Yep. I have. But I try to avoid them all the time. Generally these are:
  • Before and after ads.
  • Something that is photographed to look like something else.
  • Visual collisions/puns
  • ‘Because’…ads
  • There’s a better/easier/new way to…
  • Lots of white space with tiny visual
  • The (insert long truth about something or someone) filofax/life plan/product.
Just be aware that there are lot floating around and they are easy to do. That’s all. If you’ve got a killer one you love put it in, but just be aware because I don’t believe every ad should or has to feel the same as the rest (or feel like an ad at all). You should try and make your ideas feel like I am not looking at an ad, then you’ll get more of my attention.

I read a comment somewhere that it took 5 months to see Tony Davidson at WK. The implication was that this was slightly annoying/unfair. But I think it’s right. I don’t even think you should be seeing ECD’s, let alone making comments about how hard it is to see them. The difficulty at seeing an ECD IS THE POINT. These guys are busy all the time. They are busy building and shaping their departments. They are not obliged to see you and nor do you have the right to get upset if they can’t. The way to do it is to find a senior team you like/trust/respect and keep seeing them. Keep producing ideas. You are a factory and you need to be working all the time. Only then will you get good. When they think your book is ready, the senior team will get it to the ECD because you have a relationship with them. If you want to try and see an ECD and get only one chance to show your stuff, then keep trying, but I suggest you are silly to do so early on. I would suggest limiting your agency exposure to four agencies with teams within those agencies. If it means they have slightly different styles then so be it. Shape your book/s accordingly.

When you have worked on your book (and it is ALWAYS a work in progress) you also need a bit of luck. That is why developing relationships with teams is crucial. You need to have the right book at the right time in the right place. Those three things. And a lot of that is timing and luck.

A lot of people give advice to juniors to write strategies. I agree this is a good way to get you to think. And a great way to get you to think of ideas for brands. But I also don’t think these are all you should do and I question as to what benefit it really serves you (if that’s all you do) when you still have to create an ad or an idea. Because half the strategies I see are one or two lines and I think strategies (the really good ones) can and should be more than that. So my advice is have about three of these types of ‘strategy ads’ in your book then do no more. If you want to write lots of them then do so as it’s great training, but I would encourage you to make them more interesting.

Examples of strategies that are more than strategies:

Crispin are great at thinking of creative ideas (you can call them strategies) that are not turned into endlines. Molson beer is one. They placed ads in women’s magazine showing men holding kittens and drinking Molson. Then they ran ads in men’s magazines telling men that ‘thousands of women had been pre programmed’ to think men that drink Molson are more sensitive (

Personally I think that’s great thinking (and proof that all great work is interactive). It’s a strategy and idea and execution that marries well.

Another example is The Truth campaign where the print ads were facts about cigarettes (Like “Every Cigarette Contains Cyanide”). But the genius in the idea is that they asked people to leave the magazine open at that page then put it back on the Newsagent stand or coffee table so they became mini billboards. That is a brilliant idea. That is a strategy written in a paragraph.

Again, I think strategies are excellent to train your brain, but don’t settle and see if you can make them more interesting. Failing that if you really love writing strategies become a planner. People will love you for actually doing your job.

Be critical of your campaigns and ideas. Do they show a depth of thinking? By that I mean are they just one or two levels of thought or are they deeper than that? Because the deeper the thought the better the reward for the person viewing the work. Why? Because the people you are showing your work to are smart, clever and have jobs. They can ‘get somewhere’ in their head very quickly. And as soon as they see the brand they would have already thought of three or four possible ways in. But if you have depth of thought then you surprise them and you make them think of something they didn’t. Do I mean lateral thinking, yes I do. Examples? The best is the Beware Of Things Made In October. There is depth of thought.

Okay, we see a lot of these random ideas for anything or everything or products. Whilst this is great and brilliant, it’s also sometimes (sometimes) a really transparent way to try and show you are more clever than we think. And the thing is everyone has them. And if given a day to think of anything, anyone can do it. So for that reason I would not present a book or a series of ‘other thoughts along the way’. It doesn’t make you more interesting, it makes you seem more desperate to prove that you can think. And sorry, but I believe that’s what your book is for. If you want to prove thinking in this area then think of an idea for a brand or service that makes business sense. Commercial sense. Then do the ads for that new idea. Examples (and these are examples only so don’t go judging them on their own):

Edible Lego. Lego has lost relevance to kids. A whole generation of kids have grown up without it. Edible Lego maybe a good idea. Kids can build creations then eat them. Good idea, then I want to see the idea that advertise this, and again, they may not be print ads or a TV ad, but I want to see how you tell people about this. And that solution should be amazing, different, inspiring.

Instruction manuals. Companies spend millions of pounds each year printing instruction manuals. Why not put them online? Okay not a brilliant idea, but kind of interesting. But what is even more interesting is how are you going to tell people about this? What is the campaign to launch this?

Turn your other ideas into sensible campaigns that can live in the real world.

Be hard on yourself. Don’t put extra things at the back of your book. If they are good enough they should be in your book, if you are unsure and are gambling then it will come across that way. Have faith and belief in yourself. Get rid of the rubbish at the back of the book. Do it now.

I personally don’t like it. It feels like pollution. Have I done it? Yes. Do I do it now? I try not to. The trend is over. Unless it is amazing don’t put ambient stuff in your book. Mainly because everyone has the same or similar versions of the same thing (Escalator panels, poster on lifts, missing posters, building wraps, etc, seen it all before). If it lives up to this type of thinking (meaningful, relevant, with a purpose) put it in, if not take it out. (

Print and long copy are not dead. There is no argument to say it is. But I never see it anymore. Personally I think that’s a shame. Why? Because currently a lot of briefs still require headlines and people just can’t write them. And you still, yes still, are asked to write copy from almost every client. So if you like the idea, put a headline campaign in. Write great headlines. Just one campaign won’t hurt. And if you don’t like them, then write something else. A piece of copy for something, some brand. And if you don’t like that either, then tell me why. But put it in writing.

There is a lot of thinking/debate/argument that says you need 5 print campaigns and 3 TV campaigns, or some version of that formula. This thinking is fine if you want to only do print and TV. But the world has changed and so should your capacity to deliver ideas that extend beyond print and TV. If whoever you are seeing is insistent you just deliver ONLY great press and great TV, fine do that and get a job there. But if you are interested in more then I suggest you don’t settle on print and TV but instead use it to launch into other areas. Combine the two or three or four. Carry on your thinking don’t just settle on the 3 print campaigns and 2 TV. Extend it. Change it. Use them in different ways.

An example? Okay, the Glue Society have done a campaign advertising the satirical show “The Chaser”. What they did is buy the cheapest billboards in the world – Iraq, Estonia, Iceland and made billboards announcing the show. The purpose wasn’t for people in those countries to tune in, the purpose was to do something satirical itself. Which that is. The billboards got talked about online and there were videos of them being built in the different countries. So the billboard was used to extend the overall idea. Clever, funny and smart. Go to gluesociety and click on ‘The Chaser’.

In terms of digital etc, yes I think it is important. Very. But what I think is more important is that you do justice to your ideas. If you have spent the time and thought of something great, it should live everywhere and you should explode it and make it live in different places. But the trick is not just doing a banner ad, or a blog, or a youtube video just for the sake of saying it’s an integrated campaign. No, your digital component should be just as great as the rest. Show us the idea that is brilliant because of the idea. It will breathe life into your book. An example? Okay, I think these are two solid example that shows product in an interactive way and I would have thought so if I saw it in a book (it’s better to be right first creative second, think of the right answer then spend time making it more creative. If you go the other way you lose people and get caught in esoteric nonsense):

So you should have digital components to your campaigns or have a digital based campaign. But it doesn’t have to be boring and I don’t want to see how you turned your car ad into a banner ad. I want to see how you got people to test drive online.

If you are going to draw scamps (which is the best way) then keep everything consistent and keep all your campaigns as scamps. The idea is the important bit. If you want to go to the trouble and spend time retouching and ‘macing’ stuff up (I wouldn’t if I were you) then do it for everything. Don’t have a book that is a half way house. It’s messy, it shows no thought and it’s just harder to decipher ideas.

Just don’t forget this is your chance to show us how you think. So take pride in presenting it. Make the presentation of it just as good as the ideas. And make sure what is inside it speaks and understands who you are showing. By that remember the question – Who is your audience? CD’s, senior teams. Think about them try and have something in your book that shows you understand your audience.

Okay, creative teams get sent hundreds and hundreds of photographers reps cards every year. It’s annoying. It’s a massive, massive waste of paper. Creatives don’t really read them. They just sit on their desks or get thrown out. So what if a junior team (or a photographer himself) decided to make little recycling bins especially for those cards and put them in the offices of creative people. Then after a few months collect the bins and cards and Paper Mache them into funny sculptures and then give that sculpture back to the creative team as a reminder of them. Not brilliant but relevant and different and speaks to the audience. Or think of what poster or thing I would want to take out of your book on put on my wall. What would that be?

The last thing to say is this book should be a reflection of you and how you think of the world. You need to be able to prove you can write ads, can understand the realities of how they work and demonstrate you know what is right for one brand versus another. But then it is about trying to inject yourself into your work. That does not mean you apply your tone of voice onto every brand. No, you must listen the voice the brand already has. But what it means is your whole book should feel like you. The way you think. Because that’s what people are hiring. And your opinions do count. How you think about it counts. What if you had a campaign for something that you felt strongly about? That would be good. That would be refreshing. Just like the following example. Can a fashion brand make such statements? Well it did anyway. And it worked. Like it or hate it it had an opinion and It challenged us:


Anonymous said...

Some good stuff there.
I saw Matt a while ago. Gave some good advice. Took me 7 months but have a job now. Can anyone recommend a good amount of time to stay in one place for juniors? IE two three years? Or more?
Just that I heard its good to move after two or so years.

Anonymous said...

Great thanks for this!
Will use the bits to improve.
Can I have a crit?

Anonymous said...

Nice one.
Thanks for putting this up guys/Matt.
I'm sure you'll get a few people that will disagree with stuff and say "But I was told this and that" or "thats crap, you need to XYZ"
But as you said that's not the point. Take what you like, leave the rest. We've taken a bit.

Tam and Tara.

Anonymous said...

Between this, Scamps, Chris/Johns and Dave Trotts advice you should be able to put a half decent book together. Matter of fact Jai/Wal why not put all their advice in one place? Get Scamps, Trotts and put them all here? Would be interesting.

Anonymous said...

Some great points here, and it's good time remind yourself of the things you thought you already knew but somehow you've deviated from...

Thanks Matt for taking the time to pull all of this together and also to Jai and Wal for sharing it when they needn't have done so.

Anonymous said...

Yep. Thanks heaps guys.
It isn't easy trying to get a job and any help is appreciated.
I've tried asking for advice from some people and all I get is a "No..busy" so to take the time to do it is a good thing.
But yeah, getting a crit is another !

Anonymous said...

thank you jai and wal for putting this up and thinking of others when you got this advice. could have kept it all to yourselves. says alot. cheers guys.

Ferris said...

I worked with Matt and his old partner Oli when we did a placement at FCB a few years back. He's a great guy, well worth a crit if you can get one...

Anonymous said...

Matt and Oli gave me a placement too.
Learnt a heap. They were a bit harsh at times, but I can see now it was for the best. You don't know at the time and take it personally but now I see where I was being a little stubborn.
I guess the issue is there are so many opinions and everyone says something different.
But those guys know their stuff and I liked how they approached the work. That's the best you can do, find people whose work you like.

Anonymous said...

I like the bit about right place. right time. right book.
Soo true. You should always be working on the book.
I've had:
Wrong book. Wrong time. Wrong place.
Wrong book. Wrong time. RIght place.
Wrong book. Right time.
Wrong book. Right place.
Wrong book. Right time. Wrong place.
Right book. Right time. Wrong place (I'm working here now).

Anonymous said...

Haven't seen that Glue Society billboard thing before.
It's great.
Didn't really rate the uniqlock thing. Isn't just a desktop app?
How do we put things like that in our book?

Unknown said...

wal/jai/matt. great post guys. it seems like you´re getting a lot of help, it´s nice to see this kind of solidarity from people who work at agencies. it´s good for everyone. i met with 10 aspiring creatives in a week once, and i´m not even a DC, i filled in. we met after hours and we stayed for hours talking. because to meet someone who shares your passion is great, it always is, for both parties. in some ways this whole business is not just about making ads, but enjoying what you do and being open. so cheers to that. keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Facu-Good you are so postive. Nice ot hear form normal bitching that goes on.
On the post, some good stuff and some okay stuff. I have to disagree with a lot (headlines, other ideas etc) as I have been told this all helps with my book.
I also get told to just do ads, so again conflicting info. Which begs the question-who do we really listen to and who do we ignore?

]-[appy Thought said...

Props for calling digital important! And you read "somewhere" that it takes 5 weeks to see Tony D? You know where you read that! ;)

This is good life lesson in book building. I'm going to have to find something else to write about on my shit now. Daym!

Hayley said...

Hey guys, it was very selfless of you to post this advice from Matt - much appreciated by many of us (especially those who haven't yet had the opportunity to speak with somebody of such esteem).

Look forward to seeing what you guys take from it, and hopefully land that elusive job soon! : )

Anonymous said...

Great advice from a great creative. Having been lucky enough to have worked under Matt I can say that he really knows his shit. Follow his advice and you can't go far wrong.

To Anon 10:26 listen to whoever you respect and want to work for. Advice like this from Matt is to help you stand out from all the other books floating around town, some of the less creative and traditional agencies may tell you different things but it depends where you want to be. An Ogilvy type place or somewhere like Fallon?

Christian said...

I went through the W+K Portland "Seeking" thing and did pretty good, they flew me out there twice etc. But from what I gather their criteria are completely different from Matt's. So I guess his advice is great for getting a job at his agency with it's culture but it doesn't apply to all agencies. From what I gather W+K (they never actually said so, but it could be deducted from the Seeking entries that "won")look for a portfolio that proves the person behind it is a creative thinker. And whether that creative thinking is put to use to make advertisements or something completely different doesn't really matter. In fact, they seem to prefer people who didn't do advertising, as they're not full of preconceived notions on what advertising should be. And that makes sense: W+K *knows* advertising, no need to hire more people who know the same thing, what they need is creative people with a completely different outlook on things.
I think CP+B kind of works the same way as I know some people who sent the same portfolio to W+K and CP+B and ended up having a choice on where they wanted to work.

But to put this into perspective: I also talked to the W+K A'dam ecd and they pretty much went: You can't write, you can't design, there's nothing I can do with you, have a talk with the strategic departement.

Anonymous said...

"they seem to prefer people who didn't do advertising"

so does mother and wieden's london and fallon and adam & eve. it's almost a cliché now and I honestly can't see the long run benefit in it.

It's great to gather inspiration from other creative fields but it's idiotic to dismiss people because they've been 'tainted' by that horrible, horrible word 'advertising.

Well, last time I checked we all work in an industry called ADVERTISING, not fine art.

Suppose the police used that kind of logic 'we shouldn't hire doctors, we should hire serial killers because they'll have a fresh approach to crime'.

Of course it will be useful to have ONE criminal on your side but, do you really want to have JUST serial killers for police officers?

Also with that kind of logic Juan Cabral wouldn't have got a job at fallon ever. He too has an advertising background.

Bill Bernbach worked at Grey. Dan Wieden and David Kennedy were just another team working at McCanns SEATTLE for fuck's sake.

Sorry, if i'm getting carried away but I'm fucking sick of this 'we're too ashamed to think of ourselves as advertising' thing.

Wieden's output has been crap in the last few years, anyway. CP+B, Droga5 and according to this post Fallon have a much better idea of what's involved to do this job. And their ads prove it. Wiedens' don't.

Thanks so much for this post Jai (and Wal), I really admire your generosity and wish you well.
The more you share, the more you have.

Anonymous said...


Whilst the idea of 'non ad backgrounds' is good in theory. In practice it doesn't work because these people still need to be trained to do ADVERTISING. And that takes time and resource. All the agencies you mention-CPB, WK etc have people in there that have come from ad backgrounds. Non of the successful and good creatives have come from these 'non ad backgrounds'. That isn't to say they can't, it's just the facts are the facts.
WK seeking-Jelly helm, Steve Lukar, Dan Weiden, Mark Fitzloff etc etc are ALL from ad backgrounds ad the people they have hired (not laced in WK12 or placements) are either designers or from ad school. So that's what you are up against.
Matt never said 'don;t be a creative thinker' on the contrary, if you reread what he wrote he actually said that it's abotu how YOU think and YOUR opinion on the world and how you think about it.

I guess the ultimate test then Christian is do you come from a non ad background and if so I guess you are working at WK Portland or CPB?

Anonymous said...

The point is, different people at different agencies look for different things. That's what makes it so unique. And good. There is no universal answer.
So yes, WK have said they look for different things than, say, Fallon or Aboot Mead. THIS IS THE POINT of having different brands that do different work.
So you want to work at WK-shape your book to WK. You want to work at Fallon, do the same.
It;s that simple and I think it's kind of what matt was trying to say anyway.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Alan. I was told by W+K that they had loads of senior people who could write ads in their sleep so wanted people with different backgrounds who had talents W+K didn't already have. I understand the thinking, but you are in danger of getting a creative department who is split into older people who can write ads and younger people who can design some furniture/wear skinny jeans. As an advertising junior thinking about long term career prospects surely the best training you can have is in the former?

But then maybe I'm just old fashioned.

Christian said...

"I guess the ultimate test then Christian is do you come from a non ad background and if so I guess you are working at WK Portland or CPB?"

Well, ultimate test passed: I do have an ad background and work at neither. :p

I was just trying to say what he said: "The point is, different people at different agencies look for different things. "

Of course, what what agencies look for is pretty much well known. One of the people WK where interested in worked for a major NY agency, but there was no mention of the work he did there in his book. Just writing and one ad: a flyer he did for his friends' piano lessons. So it seems they're not anti-people-with-experience-'cause-they-are-possesed-by-Satan, but more bored by looking at books with advertising in 'em.

Anonymous said...

"more bored by looking at books with advertising in 'em"

Again, imagine an architects firm doing that while hiring new employees'So you've only designed buildings? Boring, next'.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for finding new solutions and you're not going to find that focusing on layout or nice graphics. But I can't help but feel this constant self loathing attitude from some agencies really stupid.

Anonymous said...


It's fine. I didn;t mean to be harsh. I was just trying to say that even though WK say that, they still didn;t do it justice and hire you-which they should have if you got so far. Just take the advice that makes sense to you. We all know it aint easy. And it;s good you are asking the right questions. When a network like WK sends out a message like that it can be really confusing as to what you are supossed to do.

And yes WK amsterdam said it better. You need to have the basic skills and understanding of how the business works. Agencies don;t want to hire you only to spend a year or two trying to teach you how to do basic stuff. Of course you are meant to learn, but you need a starting point. That starting point is a book that shows some understanding of what they want. After all they are ad agencies not art galleries.

Anonymous said...

"I was told by W+K that they had loads of senior people who could write ads in their sleep"

Well they should get them out of the basement more often, their ads fucking stink lately. Lots of arrogance. Lots. And they try too hard to be 'artsy'.

Anonymous said...

You can debate all day about what different agencies are looking for. But any of those agencies mentioned above would hire Matt in a heartbeat, so heed his advice. I've worked with him. He's the biggest thinker out there.

Anonymous said...

who's talking about hiring matt here?
you're completely missing the point of this argument. This is about the arrogance of some agencies in behaving like art galleries. Some of them quite literally (see W+K london window and reception 'gallery').

It's great you had the chance to work with him, it's a shame none of his ability to think rubbed off on you.

Anonymous said...

I have been to a few agencies who say things like "We're just going to get artists and different people in" and this lasts for a months until they find out it's completley useless and you never hear about it again. It may make them 'cool' and get clients wet, but at the end of the day someone still has to write some ads that go into some type of media. Last time I checked Damian Hirst and Ron Meuck were quite happy doing what they are doing and haven't been asked to work on a Nokai brief. Although...

The Idea Bakery said...

hey jai and Wal,

Great blog entry, really enjoyed reading it. Very inspiring and some great tips. How are you guys getting on with DandAD workshops? which agencies have you been to now.

Anonymous said...

It is a shame none of his ability rubbed off, I'd be better off.

But I don't think I'm missing the point. After all, this post isn't about the arrogance of agencies at all. It's about some advice on getting a job. So, for those out there who want a job, or a better one than they currently have, I say heed his advice. For those who'd rather sit around and blame their lack of a good job on the arrogance of agencies, have at it.

Jai said...

We're glad people have found this helpful, it was all Matt really. The D&AD workshop this week was pushed so we'll two next week. Can't wait.

Anonymous said...

just so you guys know, expect quite a lot of fuck ups on the workshop!

wish i could say it was personal experience but i had 2 friends that got on the course last year, they were almost always being being cancelled and recheduled!

Anonymous said...

I second that, it was pretty shambolic when i did it, and i have also heard similar from others. However you can still get alot out of it.. Stick with it & work hard.

Anonymous said...

as long as dave trott doesn't cancel, you'll be fine.

ps. he'll eat you alive.

Anonymous said...

has this matt keon guy created anything worth mentioning? and before you say so, those sony hd tests aren't.

Anonymous said...

What does it matter? He:
A) has a job at Fallon
B) has given good advice
C) It's subjective anyway so you obvioulsy just asked so you could trash whatever anyone wrote back.

So..who are you and what have you done?

Anonymous said...

i think form memory he did the bentley 'up yours' stuff:

the tasco campaign that won at cannes:

the Ikea posters that won young guns:

And at fallon, he did the original sony hd experiment, the more than 'normal is beautiful' spots and The Natural Confectionary spots that are out at the moment. I'm sure there is more why don't you ask him yourself.
Typical, the guy tries to do something good and you try and question his work and or ability. How about you 11:43-what have you done. Be honest. And before you say it, yes I have worked with him.

Anonymous said...

Hey I just got directed here by a mate who said someone was sayig some stuff. Well as I know matt let me say 11:43, You are sadly, sadly mistaken if you think type or quality of work is a judge on being a CD or someone that gives advice.
Being a CD and a creative are two completely different jobs. Sometimes people are great at both, sometimes they are not.
Dave Droga for example was not a great creative. He is a brilliant CD. Juan for example is a great creative but not a great CD.
Not that in this example are we struggling to see if Matt is good or not. He clearly is. I worked with him at FCB and defy anyone to say otherwise.
If so mr 11:43, name yourself and your reasons why you think otherwise.
Me, my name is Sam and I worked there 3 years ago. Also, 11:43 you are missing the point. You should be juding the advice, if anything, not the person. That he works at Fallon should be enough credentials (Fallon would never hire a terrible creative) for you to at least be humble. That they have entrusted him to take care of placements and juniors even more so. That he is a CD there and has just done a great campaign (trumpets) even more so again. And this blog that and post that Jai and Wal put up is not meant for your questioning, rather a helpful post on how to be better.
Which of course you have problems with, maybe jealousy at Matt. Which is sad.
My suggestion is you look at what has been posted and not try and be a dick by trashing someone who is taken the time to help people.
Just because you don't like the HD spots doesn't mean they are bad. It just means you don't like them, and unfortunately no one knows who you are.Good luck though, with an attitude like that you'll go far. Like Dubai.
Sam. H.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Whoa there guys. Lets all settle down.
Everyone, yes, Matt has done a couple of things worth mentioning but not heaps. He keeps a low profile and from what I know he does product stuff and other 'different' ideas-whatever that means.
Word from the people I know at Fallon say he's fucking smart. But they would say that. That's why Fallon hired him. But no, he's not your Juan or Ben Walker if that's what everyone is worried about.
But hey who cares?

Anonymous said...

Dear touchy people.
This is anon 11:43.
I can only assume you're all Matt's family members furiously defending him from the attacks of an evil, evil,person in some blog. That's truly heroic of you.

Now, it breaks my heart to awake you from your epic quest but at no point did I say Matt's advice was rubbish nor questioned his credentials to offer such advice. I didn't say he was a bad creative or a bad CD, did I? Those were all assumptions you made.

All I asked was a simple, valid question: what has he done? as I'm not familiar with his name/work. All I knew was his Sony work and I'm being honest here, I wasn't exactly impressed by it. Is that slagging someone off? I fail to see how.

Some of you were kind enough to answer that, thank you.

The rest of you, mighty defenders of Matt's honour, put your swords to rest and stop wasting your time picking fights where they clearly don't exist.

Even if someone slags them in this or any other blog, trust me, Matt or Fallon don't need you to watch their backs. They'll be all right.

Anonymous said...

Question asked.
Question answered.
Leave it at that.

Anonymous said...

Okay 11:43 fair enough.
We're not matts family.
Well i am not.
i know him and worked for him and Al young and Oli in 2003/2004.
And was lucky enough he gave me a job.
Maybe my mistake, but your first question didn't appear to be one of 'just askin cause I'd like to know' it was more questioning and implicit of the degree of his talent. If it was the former, then yes, sorry. My mistake and I read it wrong. But the reason for my response was because I read it as an unfair questioning. He helped me out, gave me better advice than others and I liked his thinking.
So felt it my duty to defend him. That's all. I never said he was perfect. Or this genius. But he is genuine.
And yes, on reflection, I can understand your question as he is not into promoting himself and no one really would have heard of him.
So I guess we are both right.

Anonymous said...

Hey. to end this thread. I work at fallon. There are posters of cats in wigs everywhere here. That's the proof. Yes cats.
I can tell you Matt has done a lot of great work.

Sometimes it doesn't get made. But thats advertising. His ideas are always bigger than an ad and therefore he is not as consitent as most. But he is probably one of the smartest guy here. Richard Flintham thinks so too. He hired him. And trust him. I see it everyday.

Now onto more interesting stuff. Whats with the Jacko stuff Jai? Obviously a fan, but why...what about the weather in london:

Anonymous said...

I can assure you, it was never my intention to question his talent, generously or any other qualities he has.

The guy is generous enough to share his time and advice with complete strangers. That alone makes me admire him without having seen a single of his ads.

I'm sorry if there was any unintended bitchiness in my question.

P.S. if anyone has higher resolution links to his print campaigns, it'd be great if you can share it. thx.

Anonymous said...

Anon 05:55:00 PM
Sorry but I fail to see how cats in wigs are proof of someone being a good creative.

I'm sure he had a good reason to use that device. All creatives have good reasons to do what they do. The fact that you think a poster is great on the basis that it uses cats and wigs, makes me doubt Fallon only hires good creatives.

Asda is further proof that this not true.

Anonymous said...

He didn't do cats in wigs. That was another team. I think they were saying thats just proof they worked at fallon.

Agree about asda.

Justin and Scott said...

Hey guys. Just got this over our way so we'll put in our two cents. Look, we know Matt from Oz. So we are not surprised no one in London knows him. He's built his pedigree for 10 years in Oz and Asia (Singapore) where a lot of people know of him. But having only been in London a few years we can see the kind of WTF? reaction. If he'd been there longer like your "names" it would be different.
What we can say is he is brilliant creatively speaking and didn't get to where he is by chance.
We've worked with Matt. We've seen his work. It's good. Different. Interesting. He's worked at great places. But the best thing is (he'll hate us for saying it) is he is probably a better CD. He has a great brain and can get great award winning work out of people--like he did with us. And most of all he is a generally nice guy so you should go chat to him. If you ask to see his work he would have no trouble showing you.
Hope that clears things up.
J and S

Anonymous said...

if you truly work at fallon I presume you won't have a problem revealing your name.

Anonymous said...

Matt 2:44 you are obviously not matt keon as he was out today for most of the day and at the time you posted. But alas I can't reveal my name because I don't want people knowing who i am. That's the point of anonymity. All i can say is i have only been working 3 years. And i work on the 4tth floor. And get free coffee. And yes, there are cat posters everywhere but neither i nor matt did them. See ya.

Anonymous said...

Anyone that's been for a crit would know that info.
Jai/Wal can we get someone from say four other agencies to give advice?
Would be good to see how advice from one person at an agency differs from say another person at another agency.
Maybe ask someone from WK, JWT, MOTHER and ABOTT MEAD to get the full spectrum.
I know even people within those agencies have different opinions, but it would be good to see anyway.
To see if they would put pen to paper?
Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

I didn't say I was Matt Keon. My name also happens to be Matt, you see, there's plenty of us.

Speaking about advice. I wouldn't follow Mother's advice at all. It's only relevant if you want to work at Mother. Juan Cabral did good in not staying there. He never was given the opportunities he's had at fallon cos he wasn't one of the 'lads'.

Anonymous said...

That was me, last comment.

Anonymous said...

anonymous who works at fallon are you one of those juniors bigging up their own work on Scamp's? If so, you chose right to remain anonymous.

Anonymous said...

But surely someone from Mother has good advice?
Juan? I didn;t even know he was there Did he do anything there or is that why youare syaing he left?

Anonymous said...

5:45: As I have said I have been working for 3, 3.5 years. Somewhere in between junior and middle.
I've done okay here. And no, haven't posted anything on scamp yet as I haven't done anything I like. Not to say people don't like my work, I just haven't done anything i like myself yet.
But I do read scamp and see stuff being misconsrued and some stuff not.
I choose to remain anonymous because most other people do as well so it's an even playing field, if I said who I was you wouldn;t believe me and I would have to spend time proving it and, to be honest it keeps people guessing. Which is good. Now, how about that Nokia people drawing ad. I love it!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Someone is going to re do this soon...

Anonymous said...

Genius. Just waiting for someone to use it

Anonymous said...

is it u ali alvarez at fallon?

Anonymous said...

someone already has:

Anonymous said...

Great post and even better comment stream, which is proof there's no one way.

Anonymous said...

That's right Rachel. AGREE. Hence Matt's opening paragraph and hence the comments agreeing and disagreeing with that. Which makes no sense at all as everyone is saying the same thing.

What I would say is he is MORE right than other people I have seen in terms of the BASICS and STRUCTURE. And on one point in particular: Hard work and the right attitude SEEM to work most of the time.

Now guys, whats with the wild thing video?
Surely there are better ways to promote oneself?