Dear Creative Director,
Adam Lowe and Daniel Needham are a junior creative team looking for full-time employment in a top agency. Hey, it could be yours! These guys won a D&AD New Blood Award last year and were commended by YCN in 2010.
I don't envy anyone trying to start off a career these days. It must be tough going is it what you expected?
It is tough, but we expected it to be. We graduated in a recession so we knew it wouldn't be easy at all but it's a good sign we're still here one year on and still loving the industry. The first year has been a compilation of late nights, take away curries and overdosing on caffeine, but that's what being a creative is all about. If anything, we thrive off the pressure and it makes us work harder. We thought having famous advertising surnames such as 'Lowe' and 'Needham' would make it easier for us to enter the industry, but for some reason those agencies just don't believe the 'long lost relative' story.
You've been doing a lot of placements how's that working out?
It's been great doing placements, as each one we've had has been so different. We've had placements at 5 different agencies now and took something away from each one that we've used in the next. It's also built us a year of experience in the industry and helped us develop further as a team. What's important is to realise that a placement isn't just for the agency to see how you work, but for you to see how the agency works too. Each agency has a different feel and vibe about it. Some we've liked and some just haven't been right for us, but each one has given us new skills and offered us variations to our own.
It's encouraging for us that each placement has been extended too which shows we're obviously impressing. We're just waiting for the right circumstances now so we get offered some regular dosh. There's only so much beans on toast and pot noodles you can actually take.
Are you really sleeping rough?
Haha. Yes and no. London's just too expensive for us at the moment, especially as we're still doing placements. Fortunately we have a friend from university in London who has kindly let us sleep on his laminate floor for the past 6 months. It's one of those moments where you look back at being a poor student and think 'those were the days when we had it all'. But you've got to start somewhere and we'd rather sleep on a floor than not have the opportunity to work down here. The atmosphere is great and so vibrant, especially in the centre.
We do consider ourselves quite lucky though really as we have heard stories where a team slept in the agency bike shed as they couldn't afford anywhere to stay. You certainly don't get any sympathy off Creative Directors when you tell them - the majority have had to do the same so it's all part of the job.
Last week on this blog, Richard Selbourne was saying that back in the 80's a junior would drop a new idea for a campaign off at an agency every morning for a month until he was hired. What lengths would you go to get a job?
It depends on which agency we were trying to get in at. We'd want to tailor it to that agency to show we'd researched them and knew what they were all about. We've certainly got a few tricks up our sleeves that we're saving for a rainy day. But you definitely need to prove you're committed and determined to work at that agency. You shouldn't settle for a job just anywhere, if you like an agency and want to work there, then you've got to do something so you stand out from all the other hungry creatives.
So what makes you different from the next junior team? Why should someone hire you?
Good question. Firstly our course played a big part in helping us become more rounded as a team. We studied Advertising and Brand Management at Staffordshire University which was a unique course that not only taught us the creative side to advertising, but the planning and accounts prospective too. This gave us a greater understanding to the industry when we first entered. In our final year we got to work on live briefs with real clients where we were lucky enough for our work to go live too. We also had the opportunity to complete live briefs for agencies in New York, Glasgow and London before we graduated which was great experience to say the least.
We're also strong believers that if you can't advertise yourselves, you can't advertise a brand. So we've always tried to brand ourselves consistently and develop a consistent presence online through twitter (@adamanddan) and our website (www.adamanddan.com) which seems to be working well so far.
Give us an idea of the kind of agencies and campaigns you admire?
We're very digitally inclined and find campaigns that don't shout the brand at you are the most effective. One of our favourite agencies is Poke London as we love the way they work and all of their campaigns force you to ask yourself 'why didn't I think of that?' Their 'Baker Tweet' (http://www.pokelondon.com/portfolio/albion-bakery/bakertweet/) campaign has to be the most genius thing ever to be created. Lean Mean Fighting Machine also does amazing creative in the digital arena, you certainly have to admire their thinking.
One of our favourite campaigns happened earlier this year. It was called The Samsung Shakedown (http://www.samsungshakedown.com/demo/) and took place in Sweden. Samsung were launching the new B2100 which was well known for its durability. Users were able to call the handsets which were shown via a live feed. When you called them, they started vibrating in real time and if it fell on the ground or in the aquarium you'd win it. It would remain intact of course because of its durability. The thing we liked most about it was the online/offline interaction, which really got people involved with the brand and spread awareness online.
So what happens next?
Employment hopefully, that's our aim. We're currently on placement in central London where we just had an extension so it's going really well so far. We're really enjoying it and we're working on some great brands and briefs. In the next few years, the plan is to win more awards and create campaigns that everyone is talking about. But the aim in the long term though is to set up our own agency in about twenty years time, so we're aiming high and certainly got an exciting future ahead of us.