Where portfolio students talk.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Power of Paranoia.

My friend stumbled upon this wonderous little pic, though not a piece of work by a student, it does to me prove to be effective. Comments.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Boca Burgerama

This campaign for Boca Burgers was done by Luke Behrends (CW) of VCU AdCenter. It's a highly subjective industry, and despite the fact that a campaign like this would likely get shot down at my own school (as a marker comp) I love them.

They're funny, they're unexpected and they're very well written. Thoughts on "avant-garde" styles of execution. From your personal experiences, what is it like to present an idea like this in its early stages?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Alternative Transfers

This alternative media piece was done by Eric Li (AD) of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore. It's very smart, its quick and interactive. But will the scratch off execution soon be "I've seen it before" territory?

How to Resume

How should you do a creative resume? This is Amr Assaid's (University of Texas at Austin) resume. Thoughts on what CD's, HR people and whoever will be looking for in a creative person's resume? Should art directors or designers have more of a beautifying touch than writers?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Orbit This

Bored of yet another student ad? Here's some recommended reading. Gordon McKenzie's Orbiting the Giant Hairball is an excellent not really about advertising book, that deals with creativity and its role in a corporate setting.

Perhaps even our own "creative" schools become a bit hairballish. McKenzie's lessons will help keep you in orbit if you find that to be the case.

The South African Contingency

This Nintendo DS print single was done by Alexi McCarthy nominee for Archive's student of the Year award out of AAA School of Advertising in Cape Town. The campaign won a silver at the 2007 Loerie Awards.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


These Duracell ads were done by Jon Tate(AD), graduate of The Creative Circus. Not a headline, not a visual solution--all smart, simple and hard to beat. Thoughts on the campaign.

Wrap it up.

This product was found on a packaging website, done by Taylor Kunh, a student from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York. The stylization is simple and something that's an uncommon approach for hardware goods, which can certainly be an advantage. The best part is the fact that Taylor had not only worked on one item, but the whole product line, which is sometimes overlooked in classes.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Baseball Hall of Fame

These digital roughs for the National Baseball Hall of Fame were done by Brady Cotton (AD) and Nobuhisa Tanimoto (CW) of Brainco. The art direction will be re-worked--thoughts on the concept? Clearly an insiders campaign.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Stranger than Candy

Here's another candy ad, but from a very different place. This Butterfinger microsite ad for Follow the finger was done by Ewa Lonska (AD) now at JWT Chicago and Beth Kerin (CW) of Chicago Portfolio School.

The microsite was done by Threshold.

A writer and instructor of mine at Colle + McVoy in Minneapolis once gave me a bit of advice saying that sometimes people (CDs among others) get sick of headlines that sound like headlines, and sometimes there's a value is lines that are outrageous near the extent of (but not crossing) the WTF line. I'm curious what you think about these. And do you believe there is a value to these kinds of headlines?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

An Argument for 3

At Brainco, because of the lack of AD's at a senior student level we've increasingly been working in teams of 3 people (typically 2 writers and an art director).

I've started to think that there is a definate advantage in the 3-person team, and that perhaps overall its a better system than the classic one Writer, one AD model. Here's why I think this:

  • Weakside Action- While 2 people discuss/concept, the third person can do the sort of alone-time momentary thinking that can bear new fruit. She/he has the option of thinking deeper, or straying onto a tangent inside their own head while the momentum of the conversation between two other people doesn't stop. With only two people, a momentary divergence from the current flow of ideas brings the concepting to a halt, because of course it takes two to tango.
  • The Point Guard Effect- If and when concepting takes a drastic turn for the wild (not that that's a bad thing) a third party can steer the momentum of ideas back into a place more conducive towards executable ideas.
  • Organic Conversation- Sitting down with people and coming up with ideas doesn't have to be (and in my opinion shouldn't be) any different than sitting down with a group of friends and shooting the shit. When people are comfortable, and less forced to let the conversation go, you're bound to talk about more things, and in theory, more ideas. It's easy for a 2-person group to become a very contrived, forced session--rather than a natural, not-worrying about saying something stupid gathering of natural human interaction. This (generally speaking) is eaiser to do in a group of three I think. Think about first dates often being group excercises, there's a reason for it.
  • Checks and Balances- With three people, there's less of a chance of a dominant personality taking too much power and completely controling the creative agenda. Less single-tracked ideas, and a greater diversity (or a greater chance of diversity) of ideas makes it eaiser to explore the metaphorical room.
So this is my hypothesis. Please share your thoughts and experiences with us about the 3- person team over a 2-person one. Do you prefer one over the other, or does it completey rely on the people and the assignment?


This Hostess campaign was done by Lisa McDaniel (AD) and Josie Mitchell (CW) at SMU. Thoughts on the headline campaign: Is this an example of art direction helping the headlines sing?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Six Flags

This outdoor twisted billboard ad was done by Raisa Ivannikova of SVA in New York. It took me a second, but when I got it, I had to check my pants. The whole campaign can be seen at I Have an Ideas Academia section. Thoughts?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

All Clad Headlines

This headline campaign for All-Clad Cookware was done by Jordan Smith (AD) and Brock Johnson (CW) of Brainco. Headlines (at least at one time) were the bread and butter of copywriters. How successful is the campaign? Thoughts on the lines and the art direction?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Progressive

This :30 was done by Jeff DeGeorgia (AD) of Loyola College in Maryland. The sound was edited by Rik Koletar.

I think this demonstrates how easily (of course Jeff and Rik worked very hard on this) students like us can put things like television--previously very difficult to--in our books, because of increasing accessibility of powerful, software and hardware readily available to the public.

Should the ad student of the future, or today's most progressive ad student put well-produced TV in their books? And if so, how does this change the limitations of what students can be doing from a big picture level?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Anytime Oreos

Here's a very clean Oreo solution done by Jeseok Yi (AD) of School of Visual Arts. It executes the strategy instantly--do you buy it?

I have a feeling at my own school, the general consensus would give the ad a resounding "meh" (thats not to say I agree with it, because quite frankly I don't). They would say things like:
  • Its just a visual gimmick.
  • Being able to eat Oreos at anytime of the day isn't an interesting strategy--it doesn't do anything to really build the brand.
But personally, I counter with the fact that it works. And it works quickly and beautifully to articulate the strategy. This is the kind of work that wins in award shows, gets students recognized, and gets them into great agencies. As a guy who looks at a lot of student work, and a lot of resumes to go along with that work, I've come to this fairly sturdy realization.

Is it brilliant? I don't know. Of course, this is a tremendously subjective industry, but most people consider the safety pin Volvo ad brilliant-- and how different really is this from the safety pin? Just want to open this up to discuss some broader issues.

Monday, September 10, 2007


This print campaign was done by Moyeenul Alam (AD) of Miami Ad School. Interesting visual style and solution for famed sports drink. Thoughts on the campaign?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

All Aboard

These long copy ads were done by Siow Wei Kay(AD) of the Art Academy for Amtrak. Thoughts on the art direction, using the book in the page technique, and the return to the classics strategy.

Friday, September 7, 2007

It works really well, apparently.

Okay, Let me just fill you guys in:

Can you might appreciate the subtlety of this ad, done by a Brazilian agency, for a lubricating gel (K-Y equivalent) targeting the French market? It appears the Brazilians were trying to come up with an ad that was neither offensive nor tasteless.

The picture looks completely innocent...until the details sink in.

Apparently, this ad has created quite a buzz in Europe. The ad company has won several awards for it, including 18th Annual London International Advertising Awards and the LEAFyear2 Awards Ceremony announced at the Galveias Palace in Lisbon, Portugal. (See the ad agency Ansell for more details).

If you don't get it, take your time. All I can say (as a hint), apparently, the stuff really works.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Kid Robots

These spreads for Kid Robot were done by Salina Cole (CW) of SVA in New York. It gives us an opportunity to talk about borrowed interest. In advertising there are rules, and there are none. Thoughts about these ads, and when borrowed interest can work, and when it doesn't.


Actually, just your work. A great opportunity to get more eyes on your work from students across the country. Email me with your schooll, name (optional) and discipline along with jpegs.


Sunday, September 2, 2007

The Hampton's Outdoors

Some clever outdoor work done by Creative Circus graduate, Heather Kingry (CW) for Hampton Inn. A nice example of the placement/execution integrating nicley with the strategy. Agree, disagree?