This tip is for those of you taking your book around
It takes a long time to write an ad.
Even longer for a whole campaign.
Then if people don't like it, you may find you've lost an entire day's work (or more) in 30 seconds.
So my tip today is to not write any ads at all, until you have your strategy in place.
Back when Scowling A.D. and I were looking for a job, we used to type up strategies as one-liners, stick them on a page of A4 and send them out to teams for feedback. (This was so long ago, I think we actually used to fax them). Only if a strategy was liked by several teams that we respected would we then go on to turn it into an ad campaign.
Rachel and Debbie e-mailed me some strategies the other day. Very easy to do by e-mail. You could get 10 crits a day, instead of the 3 or 4 a week you can get by going around in person.
And now Wal has very helpfully posted The List, a collection of strategy one-liners from student books collated a few years ago by John & Chris of Fallon.
The system is definitely flawed, because some great ad campaigns of the past probably wouldn't come across at all well in this format, and some strategies that look great written out as 'one-liners' may be shit when done up into ads. Nevertheless, I think you'd gain more from it than you lose.
And why not try writing out your current book as a series of strategy lines? It's a useful exercise - seeing whether your underlying thoughts are interesting, and can be expressed in a single line - even if you don't send it to anyone.
I cringe at some of these now... but for the record, the strategies that Scowling A.D. and I had in our book when we got hired at DDB (in 1999) were:
Frazzles - Made by electrocuting pigs (this has since been done, by a team at AMV)
HMV - Nothing has a bigger effect on people than music
Comptons Bar (this is a bar on Old Compton Street in Soho) - The place for cock
Jet Petrol - Who cares what the shops are like or whether we sponsor a Formula 1 team, our petrol is very cheap
Nescafe - Ideal for those working late, like burglars and prostitutes
No.7 cosmetics - The seventh deadly sin is jealousy
Domino's Pizza - The outside world is a terrible place. So stay in
National Blood Service - London has lots of red paint, like on buses and post boxes, but is running out of blood
How To Choose Where To Work; Working Outside London; What Would John Webster Do?; What Would Paul & Nigel Do?; The Hidden Flaw; How To Write Copy; Be Funny All The Way Through; How To Do Virals; How To Get A Pay Rise; Be Wary Of Punding; Challenge The Brief; Tell The Truth; Playing To Lose; How To Write Headlines; How To Do Direct; How To Do Radio; How To Do Press; How To Do TV; How To Do Digital; How To Do Posters; Look At Weird Shit; Presenting To The Client; Presenting To The Team; Presenting To The Creative Director; How To Deal With Rejection; Look Creative; Don't Be Afraid To Ask; Your Idea Has To Be 120%; Read Iain's Tips; Don't Behave; How To Discuss Ideas; Read Hugh's Tips; How To Get A Job In Advertising Part IV - How To Turn A Placement Into A Job; How To Get A Job In Advertising Part III - How To Approach Agencies (re-print of Tip No. 7); How To Get A Job In Advertising Part II - How To Put A Book Together; How To Get A Job In Advertising Part I - FAQ; Make Friends With Traffic; Get Reference; Don't Stop Too Soon; Be Very; Breaking Up; Working Well With Your Partner; Finding The Right Partner; How To Approach Agencies; Never-Seen-Before Footage; Dicketts' Finger; Two Blokes In The Pub; Play Family Fortunes; Should You Take A Bad Job?; Don't Overpolish