Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chatting with UT Grad and "Old Spice Guy" Craig Allen

I've been meaning to write this post for a week. But it's that time of year... 26 days until our final critique and seven campaigns to finish (including one we haven't started) plus two other class projects.

Anyway, meeting Craig Allen (of Wieden+Kennedy) was awesome, guys! We were all kind of nervous to meet him but he was really unassuming and laid back and (obviously) funny. Plus, he broke the ice by playing his enviably hilarious reel, which included the Old Spice stuff and gems like:


This was a more casual setting than when Rich Silverstein spoke at UT, so I didn't take a ton of notes. But, a few bits of advice for students that stuck out:
  • Ad folks work a ton of hours, even more so if you're in NYC. (Well known fact, but good to remember.)
  • Don't put TV in your book. No one wants to read storyboards, and whatever you actually shoot will generally look crappy when compared to actual commercials with giant budgets and professional producers. You'll learn TV on the job, so don't sweat it now.
  • Work with people who make you better. 
  • Seek out not only the agencies you want to work for but also the creatives you'd like to work with. Sometimes there's someone doing great work at an agency you might not otherwise be into. 
  • Always ask for as much work as you can handle. Kick ass on whatever you're assigned, even if it's a crappy account. Pitch great ideas for the accounts you wish you were working on. 

If you haven't seen it, here's a cool video about Craig and his partner's creative process. (Craig is on the right.)

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