Monday, January 15, 2007

Putting Your Portfolio Together

Well, you know what they say about the best-laid plans. I didn't deliver last week so I'll just make this week "How to get a Job in Advertising" week here on KFADvertising. That being said, here's today's dirt.

The Institute of Canadian Advertising has some great tips about putting your first book or portfolio together in its article, "So You Want To Be In An Advertising Agency." Here's the section about portfolios:
  • Aim for 10 great ads. They should ideally be for real clients, not the local dog-walker. Trying to do a great Nike ad is probably not a good idea as the bar is pretty high there. The best way to blow a Creative Director away is, as advertising great Bob Barrie says, "Do great ads for boring clients." Working on your first book is probably the only time in your career that you'll have complete creative freedom, so go for it.
  • Stick to print. [But if you have great ambient or gorilla to go with the print campaign - do it.]
  • Produce campaigns not just singles: we like to see breadth of thinking, not just flashy one-offs. [You need 3 ads to make it a campaign.]
  • Don't sweat the details. If you're a writer, don't kill yourself trying to make your ad look pretty. At this stage, you'll be judged on your concepts, not executions. So spend your time and energy on the ideas.
  • Let the work do the talking. Don't waste time trying to come up with a clever mailer. If you send us a shot of your foot with the line "Now that I've got my foot in the door..." we promise you that your foot will be removed from the door and inserted into the shredder.
So now the hard part - actually sweating out the ads. Here are some links to some kids who've already labored through the first version of their books. Most of these come from portfolio schools and look very polished, so this is the cream of the crop you'll be competing against.
Don't sweat it if you think your work doesn't measure up. Keep plugging away and concentrate on having solid ideas and showing CDs that you can think.

*Update: I left off a great podcast from the American Copywriter boys about putting your portfolio together. This great advice comes from two creative directors who are well on their way to becoming AdverCelebs.

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At 10:05 PM, Blogger Dave.W said...

May I also recommend checking out the websites (google them) of portfolio programs such as:

-Texas Creative
-VCU Ad Center
-Creative Circus
-Miami Ad School


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