Friday, February 6, 2009

Dave Trott

Yesterday we went to see Dave Trott, creative director at CST. We knew it would be interesting to talk to him and show him our work – and it t was a brilliant session indeed. Dave certainly knows how to be a brand himself. He compares getting a job to selling a product – of course he's right, we are the most important product we'll ever sell. It's about researching the market (creative directors) and looking into the product (the creative team) and matching those two together. We like the fact that the whole topic was more how to get the job rather than the work. In fact, we spend two hours with Dave, and he didn't even look at our book.

There were lots of nuggets we took away from this meeting, lessons you won't find on his blog. A lot to take in, and a great deal to talk about. Perfect to kick the January blues in the ass and rock on. Thanks Dave.


Anonymous said...

Care to share any of 'nuggets'?

Good to see you getting out there though. Surely you knew you as a team of trying to sell yourselves into your first job though?

The flower branding, mugs you'd made etc were all part of it and I assume this blog is too.

Anonymous said...

That's the problem, Wal. You care more about the 'nuggets' than the work.

Nothing wrong with listening to people's wisdom but DOING is far more important. Doing will get you a job, listening won't.

I'm not having a go at you, mate but you need to me more practical.

Anonymous said...

You saw dave trott and didn't even show him your book????????? Thats two hours you could have spent on your book or seeing someone who could have given you a placement, because we know that CST aren't even giving placements at the moment.

In my view its a waste of time, everyone know Dave Trott knows how to talk about getting a job thats why he wrote a book. You should have used your time and his more effectively.

Anonymous said...

Who'd want a placement there anyway?

All he'll get you doing is Puns for the independent.

Anonymous said...

we know there's no placement & job to get a CST. we didn't go there for Dave to like our work. and it seemed much more useful for us to pick his brain and talk rather than go through our work politely.

when we sat down, he asked, if we want to show him our work, and would look there politely and say it's good like any other team who goes to a bookcrit, or i we want to talk to him. tell you, it was totally worth it.

we know where our work needs to go. and yes, i do love nuggets, but there's no way they make up the lack of work or the quality of work. in the end that's what it's all about.

Stew said...

I like reading his blog. Lot's of little nuggets of wisdom.

Then I look at the Sacla work and the NS&I and it kinda takes the gloss off it.

Anonymous said...

i do love nuggets, but there's no way they make up the lack of work or the quality of work. in the end that's what it's all about.

I've no idea what you mean here Wal!

If you didn't intend for him to look at your work, why even mention it

"in face, we spent two hours with Dave, and he didn't even look at our book"

Seems like a wasted opportunity to some extent, couldn't you have got his opinion on your work as well as your much loved nuggets?

You know what needs to go into your book, but two and half years down the line you're still working on it...

I also don't agree everyone who gives up their time to view peoples books will sit there and 'be polite'.

Anonymous said...

I think getting a book crit with a Dave is not as interesting as listen his story. A book crit is like product, and a chat would be brand. You guys are lucky to spend 2 hours with him, Well done guys.


william said...

The best thing about meeting Dave is the Führer Kontact - he is a very intense bloke.

The time I met him, he told me that I was too interested in being oblique and weird and I needed to learn the art of simple communication. So he sort of nailed that one.

Hence my mingled resentment and admiration for the man.

Mike said...

What is he doing in the picture out of interest? Boxing? A warm exercise? Some form of dancing?

Anonymous said...

Hi Jai & Wal,
I found a quote on by Faris Yakoub on his website that kind of summarised what we talked about.
Hope it's useful for you, it is for me.
"In a world of over capacity, differentiation is everything."

I'm trying to put on a sweater while wondering why Wal has got a camera out.

Anonymous said...

is obvious that Wal likes nuggets (of the chicken variety) and its great that you got to meet trotty. what a contact to have. anyone who is complaining about this meeting is seriously jealous - trust me! im jealous! well done and good luck.

Anonymous said...

I've been to see Dave and didn't show him my book. He likes doing that to people! Learned more from having my book shut anyway. A talk with him and you want to take over the world

Anonymous said...

I think you've got the book (product) you (brand) split right.
In the old days product was enough, now everyone has a good book so that's entry level.
Unless you have a book that is genius the difference is brand.
For everyone, whatever level you get to in the business, it comes back to the same thing.
What makes you different and who wants it?

And Anon 11.00pm.
We haven't done The Independent for at least 6 months. But they're still using our music.

Anonymous said...

You're right previous Anonymous, meeting Trotty is quite an experience.
For me it was a turning point in my life and I'm serious.

What most people here is trying to say (at least the well intentioned ones) is Wal should care more about the actual work. You can accumulate as much 'nuggets' as you want but at the end of the day it's your book who'll do the talk.

walk the walk wal.

Anonymous said...

Guys, i think you already have the brand thing sussed. I'm sure Dave's branding advice was great but it's not where you need the help.

Alot of advertising people working in london are aware of jai&wal. But high brand awareness may have a negative impact on a brand if it's selling a duff product.

Judging by the work on this site your product (creative output) is weak. & because you have high brand awareness it leaves a negative impact in the mind of the consumer (creative directors)

seriously, spend less time on the jai&wal brand and more time producing better creative, then you'll really get peoples attention.

Ferris said...

It's not 'weak'. Sure, their work's not shit hot, but they're getting there.

And they will get there because they have a positive attitude, something that's worth its weight in gold.

]-[appy Thought said...

Looks like the man like Trott has put his experience of your meeting on his bLog. Anyone in need of "nuggets" can check out some of them there.

Anonymous said...

I read both this and dave trotts blogs, and this has got to a really interesting point as someone from the outside looking in.

People seem keen to be negative to Jai and Wal and I must admit that I was one of them to start with, I have never posted negative comments to them, but I always read there blog with a pang of jealousy and a slightly sneering way of thinking "two years and they still haven’t got a job".

However recently my thinking changed and this post confirms it- two years and they are still trying - that’s impressive. To be able to handle that much rejection- that in itself is a quality that creative directors must admire!

And when people like Dave Trott agree to see them and give them two hours of there time. It should give hope to any one trying to get into advertising.

I was fortunate enough to get picked up at Newblood last year by a large company as a designer, which was great, but I originally set out with a copywriter to start the long placement trail to getting that first job in advertising. So reading there blog is a kind of 'what could have been for me!

Good luck guys. Stick at it, you’ll get there in the end!

Anonymous said...

After 2 years, why don't you consider trying to get into a DM agency; or a smaller advertising agency; or a recruitment advertising agency, where good briefs and work can still be had. Then using that experience as a leg up?

Anonymous said...

And so the blog goes :

I saw a young creative team last week.

They sat down and got ready to open their book up for a crit.

I said, “Before you do that, let’s look at the problem.

How long have you been going round getting books crits?”

They said, “About two years.”

I said, “So, two years of getting book crits hasn’t got you a job, and you want another book crit.

Do you think maybe you’re approaching this in an uncreative way?”

Naturally enough they asked what I meant....

Anonymous said...

Davey, what music is that the independent use?

Reminds me of that Dr Dre tune, 'Still'.

Did you come up with it?

It's got mad flava yo.

Anonymous said...

Mr Trott, is it true you copied ads that you'd seen in Ny and changed them and put them in your book?

If true, i'd must say, it's one of my fav advertising stories ever.

Anonymous said...

Annon : 02:58

Great advice, best piece of constructive criticism thats been wrote on here, really hit the nail on the head. I think he is correct guys. You've done the brand bit - now its all about the work lads. Good luck, deep down we all want you to succeed!

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 01:13:00pm
I absolutely agree, if you can't change the product (book) change the target market.
Get a job, any job, and work your way up.
To anonymous 02:48:00 we couldn't afford Dre, so that may have been 'inspired' by him and Snoop.
To anonymous 02:50:00 you do whatever it takes. Just don't hurt anyone and don't get caught.

Adam Richardson said...

I really like anon 1:38's comment, maybe there is something else you can do, something to show your tenacity and creativity in one?

I also agree with the feelings of Andy, there seemed a point about six months ago, I think after your w+k stint, that everyone was behind you and the comment were all really pushing you to go for it. This seems to have faded a fair bit but it's stuff like this, seeing DT, that bring back that feeling to everyone and it shows from the comments above. You've got the brand now, you should have the book. Go for it, good luck!

Anonymous said...

Mr Trott, if that is true, you sir are a leg end.

Anonymous said...

Funny, I just met Dave this morning waiting for my Starbucks. I was pre-caffienated and incapable of chat, great guy.

Anonymous said...

Wow Davey's getting loads of love on here!

Anonymous said...

Anon 09:48:00am
If you're interested, the story's here if the link works.

SchizoFishNChimps said...

I'm not a creative so I don't see the problem in tapping one of the industry guru's minds. If nothing else, it adds to the learning experience. If you stop learning then you may as well be dead.

Anonymous said...

Mr Trott, if you did do that then its a very shameful thing to do. I wish i could have done that....

Anonymous said...

Wal & Jai, why are you spending time with Mr Trott when you should be on a placement somewhere! That is the only way to get a job, to work on live briefs and impress a CD, get work out and become a real team rather than a pair of students.

Sorry if that sounds harsh a but when was your last placement? have you exhausted your options?

Anonymous said...

I think you guys should get a job at a DM or Digikal agency. Be a good place to cut your teeth as the standards aren't so high, get paid and always keep working on your book!

Don't think you guys are ready for the agencies you're dreaming about.

Don't take this as criticism, take it as advice.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

You lot should get your collective nose right out of Davie's arse.

He's an old man with old stories about old advertising.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, they have recently been back on freelance - as good as, if not better than being on placement!

Anonymous said...

Don't dig out Davey.
he's been there done it little man, what bout you?

Anonymous said...

freelance is NOT better than a placement when you are looking for your first job, you have to work on shitty briefs, when on placement you should get to work on good stuff along side other teams.

Take the freelance money or try and get a real job.

]-[appy Thought said...

11:02:00 AM

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

(And it's a quote by George Santayana. I'm sure Mr. Dave would approve)

Anonymous said...

People find blogging addictive and feed off the amount of comments they get on a post. If you are a blogaholic get in touch

We hold meetings at Bloggers AA every monday morning at 9pm

Anonymous said...

BAA, how interesting, BLOGAHOLIC, I am in.


Anonymous said...

I am a blogger, and I am addicted :-)

Where will I find Bloggers AA?


Anonymous said...

Baa will be found at:

This will be a 24hr blogathon, A bit like when your parents catch you smoking and make you smoke 20 packets, one after each other till you are sick.

The blogathon will start at 9am and you must continually blog until you fall asleep.

The ending result is you will find blogging so boring after this session you will never want to do it again.

Must bring own will power.

Kind regards

Your Blogging Consultant

Anonymous said...

(In Geordie accent):

"Year 27. And Wai and Jal are going for a book crit. Wai now wears a flowerpot on his head permanently, while Jal sits disfigured in a wheelchair following a nasty bike accident in Shoeditch."

Anonymous said...

Geez, this blog is the digital equivalent of Waiting for Godot.

I mean come on guys, you've been humping your book across London for two years now.

You guys get an A+ for self promotion. But self promotion alone isn't enough to get a permanent place at the Mothers, Fallons and W+Ks.

Remember hardly anyone started off right at the top. So why don't you find take a full time position at a smaller agency that's going places? That way you could work under a Creative Director who could mentor you both, rather than being rendered into a state of existential paralysis by book crit after book crit.

You've both got loads of ambition. And that's great.

All the best.