I’ve worked as a freelance Creative Director for years.
But a while back Apple was looking for a Creative Director and if I was ever gonna leave the freelance Creative Director “lifestyle,” this was a gig that might get me to do it.
Think Hire Different.
I know the brand. I know the product. I even know their marketing guidelines.
But then I saw that over a thousand people applied.
So I whipped up this version of the famous Apple Think Different posters to try and stand apart from the pack and get noticed.
It’s a classic.
People loved it. And you can hear me tell the story of what happened in my Love Soul Radio interview.
I recently stumbled across it while doing a hard drive clean and thought I’d share it again.
This is not the first time I’ve created a unique self-promo.
When I was a Junior trying to break into the ad industry I created a set of fake Mad-Libs style reference letters from advertising legends like Lee Clow, Tom McElligott, and Dan Wieden.
Each letter had the company logo at the top, a forged signature at the bottom, and all the blanks were filled in with words touting my clever creative capabilities.
Those letters landed me my first job and later won creative awards.
But the place I wanted to work most was called Goodby, Silverstein, and Partners.
They’re the agency behind some of the most iconic and funny ads of all time including “Got Milk?,” the Budweiser frogs, and more.
The thing was, everybody wanted to work there. Heck, I’d still love to work there.
I tried all kinds of embarrassing things to get noticed by their Head Recruiter including mailing her a new spec ad every week for months and delivering my portfolio in a blue fur-lined Halliburton case.
When those didn’t work, I sent a case of beer to her husband with a note begging him to tell his wife to give me a shot.
Did I cross a line?
All I can say is self-promotion is hard.
But here’s the thing: It’s really all about the work.
Just focus on the work.
Because if you do great work, the great agencies will come looking for you.
That’s how I ended up at BBH, arguably one of the best agencies of all time.
And it’s how I’ve subsequently built a successful career as a freelance Creative Director all these years.
That’s not to say you don’t have to put yourself out there.
Like me now, with this post.
Freelance Creative Director. Available now.
If Apple, Media Arts Lab, or anyone else sees this and wants to hire me, I’m still freelance, and I’d be happy to chat.