Breaking in...

Hi all,

My question is about breaking in. I've been working at a super-regional agency in the States on national clients for about 18 months now and I think I'm understanding enough to get up and out.

I've had work in the ONE show (college level), had work in local shows and in ADWEEK in February of this year. Aside from my qualifications, and I truely know I can do the work, but how do I get big shops to give me the time of day? I want to go to a place like W+K or FCB, etc. Any inspiring stories or suggestions?


ivan's picture

Do a porti online. Send it to all big agency CDs. If your work is good they will call you.

bknowlden's picture
Activity Score 3647

A "porti" - As in portfolio?

bknowlden's picture
Activity Score 3647

That's hardly constructive guest...

whitespace's picture
Activity Score 1953

Camp out at the agency office. Be nice to the recep, he/she knows who wears the pants there.

If you can afford it, offer to do internship for free (though I personally won't like to stay in a company that undercuts).

Send direct mailers that would speak to the CD in particular. e.g. Might be a bad example but if the CD's Neil French you could send two nails frenching each other etc etc.

You can also stalk the bugger and do a series of teaser ambient/print ads where the CD will walk by (say from carpark to office, or a particular street).

You know you are good, the crux now is to prove it. The product is yourself and the target audience is the CD. Before you get into the ad world proper and bitch that the brief sucks, write your own brief and go wild.

If you can sell yourself (by that I don't mean prostitution), you can sell anything.

stsanto's picture
Activity Score 672

I remember a story of a guy, bringing a fish tank with few nice fishes in it as a gift to CD, he insisted to meet the CD in person, he said he has to deliver it with a personal message. He waits and waits... and when he meets the CD, he said "you can throw the fish tank later if you don't like it, but here is my portfolio, I hope you'd like it"

The way he sells himself, he got the job.

scarfinati's picture
Activity Score 843

Thats a bunch of crap.

You have to start at the bottom, so get into an agency anyway you can -- mailroom, studio, mopping floors anything. Then slowly ask the creatives to have a look-see at your stuff.

if you have a degree in advertising just look for a low level job. forget all those tricks.

klaussnow's picture
Activity Score 1675

haha, well as you can see its divided, success stories with both ways, stretch your neck out, but don't let it turn into a groooaaan kinda stunt.

... its already been done...

Pouts's picture
Activity Score 703

Get on board, welcome to the world in which every creative wants to join W+K ....

Eugens's picture
Activity Score 2624

:) including me. I think you should act natural and just send your portfolio eventually with a little twist or something, as in very creative direct mailing. You're no longer a newbie, you have experience so it should be relatively easy. Plus you have a good portfolio on your website anyway.

Good luck. BTW, check out adgabber too :)

Eugens's picture
Activity Score 2624

Not for a job, though.

popdistortion's picture
Activity Score 1592

You definitely have it a lot easier. You've already got a job, you know what it's about and you've had your work featured in awards. I've had some good success in just annoying the crap out of everyone I could get on the phone at all the agencies I want to work for (in a friendly way). Little story. As everyone else, I too would want to work at W+K. So I called. Their out on some shooting, tell me to call back. I called again and again. I called maybe 2-3 times per week. 2 months later the girl I always spoke to said 'Ok, before you call me again... here is an appointment.' I guess it's persistence, some luck and the drive. Oh, and of course a good book and don't forget to be friendly. I've got time and I won't settle until I land at one of the agencies I want to work for.

gluebrand's picture
Activity Score 119

So did you get the W+K job? There's a bit to be said for persistence. I got my first internship by wandering around agencies rather than calling. Irrespective of the fact that I didn't have an appointment, I clung on like a leech and eventually got a job at the first place where I was able to get past the receptionist (Hallow the receptionist by the way, it'll get you places).