Where portfolio students talk.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Interview with an Art-Director

I caught up with DDB New York AD and School of Visual Arts graduate Jordan T. Farkas for a brief interview about his experiences in portfolio school, and his experience making the adjustment to the "real world."

PP: Generally speaking, what was the best part of your experience as a student at SVA?
JF: Tough question. besides graduating and being ranked as one of the top students in the country, the best part was being in new york.

PP:Looking back, what was the most important thing you learned in ad school?
JF: Don't piss off the chair of your department. it'll do more damage than good.
and "Art directors sign with a period. Designers sign with a dasiy." - something one of my teachers told me.

PP: Talk about your job hunting experience. Easy, hard? Unexpected twists and turns?
JF: At first their was no job hunt. before i graduated SVA an agency (Wunderman) hired 6 of us. so really i was hunting for a job while at my first job. Here's some advice when you're freelancing. Keep your mouth shut. little after a month Wunderman dropped me because word spread very quickly that i was leaving for DDB. unfortunately DDB didn't hire me until almost a month after Wunderman. now i'm still searching for a job. Until you're hired full-time never stop searching.

PP: What was it like going to school in New York City? How did that effect your work?
JF: It was great going to school in the city. new york city the advertising capitol of the world, the home of madison avenue. a lot of ideas came to me while walking down the street. i came up with a lot of my guerilla ads by taking random photos around the city. And the best part was all the Ad parties i would go to. I met a bunch of the top creatives, and you don't really get to know these guys until you get drunk with them. And after meeting some of these people i would get my book critiqued. that really helped my book.

PP: SVA is not strictly an ad school--were you able to forge relationships with students in other disciplines? Did you work with them, did their work inspire you particularly?
JF: Many relationships actually. A number of photographers, illustrators, film, and computer art students as well as one or two majors that have their uses. i had a few friends with projects that would inspire my ads, but usually they would help with my work. i.e. getting shoots together for my ads. right now actually i'm working with a Computer art student to make a tv spot for my book.

PP: What's more important: Great networking or having a great book?
JF: Both are important but in the end it's the book that matters. networking will get you into agency but if your book sucks don't expect to stay for very long. but hey, if you can both... then more power to you. And don't every get too cocky about your book, no matter how good it is.

PP: Most important thing you've learned from working at one of the most famous agencies in the world.
JF: What have i learned at DDB New York? All i can really say is that the agency needs new blood, and until they get it they'll never be as good as they use to be.

PP: One piece of advice for aspiring creatives.
JF: Get a life. just do something outside of advertising. could be anything. just fucking do it. Because no matter what it is you do, eventually you'll be able to use it in advertising.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

St. Croix Fishing

Some spec work done by Brainco graduate and writer at Russell Herder, Casey Brewer (CW) and Chris Neil. The classic twist.

(Send me your work! portfolioparty@gmail.com)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Great Debate

The great Leo Burnett once warned us that advertising is not a science. Bernbach had been quoted as refering to advertising as art.

But is it? Is advertising art? Do remember, science is about solving problems (based upon agreement from the scientific community) wheras art doesn't nec. set out to solve a problem. Aren't we trying to solve problems?

I commonly reffer to advertising as business. A creative business that may employ artistic elements, but is not art. Your thoughts.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Rainbow Wars

I'm sure by this time, we've all seen it. We mostly all love it. But--my question here has nothing to do with what you think of this spot.

Could a student get away with this?

I know, I know. It's television, and most of us don't really work on a whole lot of tv, but it raises a point that I myself have always struggled with. A wild execution, totally un-product benefit like this one is loved by most everyone in and outside of the industry. But a wild execution in student-land, is trying to hard, or just weirds CD's or instructors alike.


Ivy League Integration

Cross-media campaign for Harvard Business School's Burning Question Leadership Exchange Conference done by Brainco graduates Leena Hashim-Waris (AD) and Colin Corcoran(CW).

In the interactive piece, question marks in Economist articles burst into flames when the cursor moves over them and a payoff appears in the rollover bar.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Speaking of Blueprints

One of my favorite student print campaigns ever, done by Miami Ad School graduates Monica Escobar (AD) and Gaston Gorali (CW). The strategy is incredibly transparent in the execution. Simple, very smart and easy on the eyes.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Craftsman Tools

This Craftsman Tool campaign was done by Merry Natalia Sukmato of the Academy of Art University. The illustrations are simple, clean and beautiful. Thoughts on the campaign?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Death Wishes?

This M.A.D.D ad was done by Jordan T. Farkas of the School of Visual Arts. Thoughts on this simple and visually driven quick-hitter? Is this use of the grim reaper smart enough to pull off borrowed interest in a good way?

Film Study

After a near melt-down following the news of the cancellation of HBO's John From Cincinnati I was turned onto AMC Television's, Mad Men--depicting agency life during the 1950's on Madison Avenue.

Two episodes later, I'm hooked. Required viewing for all those in, and aspiring to be in the ad biz.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Sexual Branding?

This :90, entitled "We're going to be late" is part of a new and controversial campaign for Bluefly done by McCaffery Gottlieb & Lane in New York. I haven't seen it on the airwaves here in the States, and I don't think they ever would.

Thoughts on this provocative campaign (all involving sex and or naked women). Is it purely sex trying to sell, or is there a real high fashion/style truism being communicated here? And as students, what can we borrow and learn from it if anything?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

From the Land of WTF

This headline campaign for Aldi was done at Brainco. Is it WTF or TFF (thats f--ing funny)?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The 2-Parter

We're usually told if you to avoid the two-part ad. Here is a Brillo campaign done by Natalia Fitzgerald (AD) and Andre Vriesman (CW) when from VCU Ad Center.

Do you think these are an exception?

Monday, August 13, 2007

My Foot Doesn't Taste as Good as it Looks

Perhaps I'm completely wrong. This campaign done by Tim Bunker, (CW) graduate of VCU Ad Center. Not sure if this was done before or after his professional career, his site was passed onto me as a student book. Regardless, I think it demonstrates a brand transformation that works simply and cleanly with just one media (though I'm showing 3 here.) What do you guys think about how well these branding-type ads do what they need to do in defining the brand?

Car Ads

This Volvo ad was done by Fred Ross (AD) and Mark Kunert (CW) of Chicago Portfolio School. My question to other portfolio students--do you have rules or recommendations on doing car ads at your school? At Brainco, I can't say we're discouraged from doing them, but they are rarley assigned.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Risk or Reward?

Piggybacking on the BMW discussion is this GE Lightbulb spread by Lee Hanson (CW), graduate of Brainco in Minneapolis and writer at Colle McVoy. Would GE ever run this? Probablly not. But does it make me laugh, is it smart, and does it work? I say yes.

Where do you draw that subjective line between something working, and something being too crass and or studenty?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Illustration Boom?

As a blogger on the student stuff, I want to bring to the forefront a trend (perhaps for lack of a better term)I have been seeing at my own school in Minneapolis, as well as across the country appearing in lots of student work.


It seems like we're seeing more and more of it, particularly in the student galaxies. Its eye-catching, gives work a chance to really stand out and really reflects the kind of integration we're starting to see in creative content across the board (not just in advertising).

I'm curious to see if we can agree on this. The trend during the early to mid 00's reflected the kind of "Brasillian" execution (very minimal, photographic and visually driven) that we've all become a custom to--but is illustration the new hot executional style? I would point towards society's craving for authenticity in content (whether it be our music, our movies, our athletes or even our politicians) perhaps driving this perceived boom.

What are your thoughts? Am I completely off, or is there something here to take home and write to mom about?

This keen looking illustrative campaign was done by Cerra Buckholz (AD) and Andrew McMurchie (CW) of Miami Ad School in San Francisco. An interesting strategy, and an even more interesting way to execute it.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Poo-Poo Delight

This bourgeoisie Toto toilet print campaign was done by Jana Schmid (AD) and Kurt Warner (CW) of Brainco in Minneapolis. Thoughts?

Some TV inspiration from the Real World

I'm sure we've all see this Dos Equis TV spot was done by Euro RSCG, New York. I love it. Curious to see what you all think.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

One Show Gold Review

I'm sure we've all seen it by now. The winner of the student competition for the 2007 One Show, as well as the 2007 Clios. Eric Deichl(AD), Ken Koren (CW) and Jeremy Diessner(AD) of Miami Ad School (Miami Beach), and their signature is powerful campaign for the NRDC.

Thoughts on the highly awarded, and acclaimed print campaign?