The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Make Us Want To Buy, Don’t Try And Sell …
August 16, 2011, 6:17 am
Filed under: Comment

I am fortunate enough to work at one of the best companies – let alone ad agencies – in the World.

It’s not without it’s issues and frustrations, but all in all, it’s fucking awesome.

You know it. I know it. We all know it. In fact the only thing we don’t know is how the hell I got to be here.

Anyway, it’s little surprise that so many people want to work here – and that’s a wonderful thing – however I am getting a bit sick of receiving emails that say:

“… and that’s why Wieden+Kennedy would be the place where I feel I would be best suited to work”.

Seriously, it’s quite amazing just how many people have come to exactly the same conclusion.

Out of all the places they could work, they have carefully deduced that the one that would suit them best is the one that is one of the most celebrated and acknowledged companies in the World.

Astounding.

The thing is, it might be best if instead of you talking about what you think we can bring to you, you start talking about what you could bring to us.

I don’t mean this in terms of an exercise in ego amplification, I mean it in terms of your views, thoughts, ideas, actions.

How it could relate to the agency, the clients we have, the work we do or want to do.

It would also help – if you’re a seniorish person – if you demonstrate the interesting things you’ve actually done rather than either [1] say you work at a conservative agency with conservative clients so have never actually got any of your “truly awesome ideas” through [2] talk about how awesome your strategy was even though the end result looks exactly the same as every other brand in the category or [3] quote planner blog theory.

The thing worth remembering is that one of the key reasons W+K works is because the people in it ensure the inspiration goes both ways – so don’t approach us with the attitude of being a perfect fit, approach us with the attitude of how to make us better.


53 Comments

bitter. petty. sarcastic. menacing. condefuckingscending.

where the fuck have you been campbell? its good to have you back even if youll turn back into a poncy fucking planning twat within 24 hours.

Comment by andy@cynic

You might be surprised.
But I doubt it.

Comment by Rob

come on, spill the fucking beans, whose been the fucking worst. whose been the most inappropriate. who has made you slip into bastard mode? share the fucking anger, dont keep it all to yourself.

Comment by andy@cynic

Well put it this way, no one has been as bad as that bloke that sent us a door with a shoe in it because he wanted to – yes, you guessed it – get a “foot in the door”.

But some have been close, at least from a tragic point of view.

Comment by Rob

Look at my maturity, I remember a time when I might have put their names and addresses up. What’s happened to me!

Comment by Rob

youve become a sad bastard. a sadder fucking bastard.

Comment by andy@cynic

You used to be like anonymous for adland!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I’d like to know how many people submit their interest to you in a creative or imaginative way. I’d like to think the majority but knowing how planners tend to fail to practice what they preach, I’d say few.

This post may convey all the tone of voice elements Andy states in his first comment, but it’s also pretty useful advice.

Comment by Pete

In my experience, planners create some of the worst applications. They either lack imagination which leaves you questioning their ability to understand, relate-to and inspire others or they are so over the top, you wonder if they can produce anything of meaningful substance.
The role of an application may be to simply acquire a formal meeting, but when you are faced with multiples, your internal filter can be quite brutal as to identifying those you will take to the next stage and those that get discarded.
Planners could learn a lot from their creative colleagues as to how they should package their work. There’s too many words and not enough work and good agencies hire planners for their output as much as their input.
This is a valuable post, I hope people see that.

Comment by George

Good points George and Pete. You’re right, the majority of ‘submissions’ that cross my desk are pretty poor – or worse, just a LinkedIn email … which basically shows laziness rather than pragmatism.

I’m not looking for wild and wacky, but something interesting in style and substance would be a good start. And something that doesn’t feel like it’s just been copied and pasted – even if it has. And trust me, I know all about copy and paste.

Comment by Rob

what makes you say that mr “ive only ever written one fucking presentation in my poxy, empty fucking life” campbell.

Comment by andy@cynic

And the point about “working on conservative clients” makes my blood boil as well. That is a total excuse especially given that “creative” clients are often as challenging as the “conservative” ones. When I hear people say that, I hear inability more than unfairness.

Comment by George

is it national bastard day? why the fuck did no one tell me. when even auntie gets the shits and starts slagging off his own its a very fucking special day.

im proud of you george. welcome to the dark side, its fucking great here.

Comment by andy@cynic

Fortunately my visa is for only one day.

Comment by George

now you know how a mexican feels at us immigration.

Comment by andy@cynic

You mean people actually apply to be a planner? Isn’t that a big enough sign you shouldn’t go near them.

Comment by Billy Whizz

some people are sick and fucking twisted individuals billy. they need our pity and help and theres no better help than ridicule and pain. be a good citizen and whack a fuckwit planner today.

Comment by andy@cynic

‘Adopt a planner for just £3 a month…’

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Does that apply to just your staff, or your suppliers too?

Comment by Alex

if hookers can do it, the biggest fucking tarts around should be able to pull it off.

see what i did there?

Comment by andy@cynic

Amazing. Do you do kids parties as well?

Comment by Alex

depends on how hot the mum is and if theyre married to a commie mobster.

Comment by andy@cynic

She has a mustache. Does that count?

Comment by Alex

so shes french?

Comment by andy@cynic

Close… Hungarian….

Comment by Alex

I’m doomed.

Comment by John

you say that like its a new thing. the moment you came on this blog it was a probable. the day you met campbell it became a forgone fucking conclusion.

Comment by andy@cynic

I know it can be intimidating trying to get a job at awesome companies, but like you said in your post yesterday, passiveness is not the way to attract.

Great advice, though it should be obvious advice.

Comment by Bazza

Right on time, thanks Rob. It is nice to hear directions.
I would like to say that I’m one of those “seniorish” person, specially for the second point.

I’ll probably write the next post from NY and I’ll let you know how I feel about trying to make w&k want to buy me. It seems easy but it is not. I have awareness about my strengths and weaknesses and sometimes it’s hard to make to work both things in the right way at the same time.

Comment by 1+

I totally get where you’re coming from … especially as it seems only Americans feel comfortable talking about themselves in glowing terms.

However it’s not about ego, it’s about approaching the opportunity with the realization that W+K want people that will make them better as much as make the individual better and if you can’t demonstrate a view or an approach or an attitude [or better still, a real example] of how you’re going to do that, you’re going to find it hard.

At the end of the day, W+K tend to hire people for their view and approach rather than to ‘fill a seat’ so offering reasons to make us want you is as important as saying how open you are to our approach and style.

Comment by Rob

got it

thanks.

Comment by 1+

love to hear more of the inspirational “sent us a door with a shoe in it” stories. at least they had the balls, maybe not the brains/creativity

Comment by Jacob

Balls? How does doing something like that take balls?

Comment by Rob

for every person who sent something in, there are 5-6 wishing they’d do something. Even talented people, just afraid to break out of their comfort zones

Comment by Jacob

maybe it takes balls to look a cock and not give a fuck. i just think it takes being a cock.

Comment by andy@cynic

thats not balls, thats taking responsibility for your fucking future. what a shame the person in question did it in a way that secured their future as a fucking clown.

Comment by andy@cynic

So what did you do to get hired then? Please tell me you have them a blueprint for a Nike Car.

Comment by northern

He probably pointed out that clients would be reassured to meet someone whose hipster ambitions had not overwhelmed his man in the street aspirations,

Comment by John

Compromising photos can go a long, long way.

Comment by Rob

that should have been ‘gave them’, obviously my contribution to WK would be wilful grammatical maverickness

Comment by northern

Anyway, as far as I have seen, people don’t apply to w+k, they’re just noticed and assimilated. That seems to me to be a smart way of avoiding all the bias and ineptitude of traditional recruitment methods.

Comment by John

Are you comparing W+K to the Borg?

Comment by Rob Mortimer

God damn. I also submitted that sentence last week to you. 🙂
Philip

Comment by adphyco

Most people suck at applying for jobs for the same reason most people suck picking up a date at a bar.

Comment by Al

how many resumes did you get after this post? zero? theyre not all fucking stupid are they.

Comment by andy@cynic

Resume? Is that canadian for CV? What’s the canadian for cowboy builder?

Comment by northern

dead.

whats northern for elecfuckingtricity?

Comment by andy@cynic

t’electricity

Comment by northern

you get let off for self fucking depreciation. and honesty.

Comment by andy@cynic

I agree with what you are saying, but
What if one genuinely believes that their potential has been left up tapped and their best work lies ahead of them and therefore may not have tall claims to makes about what they can offer expect for belief in their potential and belief in the place that will help them tap into it and of course sincerity to the cause and a lot of hard work?

Comment by swati

I’d say that there should be something – however small – that should be able to demonstrate that to me, so at least their words don’t sound like some terrible contestant on American Idol who must have ears that bear no resemblance to the rest of the human race.

If they’re uber-junior, then it’s about views, attitude and interests … but if it’s not, prove it, even a little bit.

Comment by Rob

I’m doubly doomed.

Comment by John

some of you act like overfed pederasts. not you Campbell, you are a great guy.

Comment by TOTOinTrouble (@TOTOinTrouble)




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