Category Archives: Shameless Self Promo

Who Notices The Tadpole?

Picture 9 23-29-18StrawberryFrog is an agency I respect for both its personal branding and client work. When I first clicked on their site and browsed through the case studies, I was pretty impressed. Their philosophy revolves around the idea of creating a “cultural movement,” finding the ground on which a brand can equally stand and resonate with its intended audience. It’s supposed to be more than messaging–it’s about creating an idea where people want to be involved, hence, a movement. To better illustrate this, I highly recommend viewing the case studies on their site for Scion and Microsoft.

Although I’ve been a freelance copywriter for over a year, my dream job has been, and continues to be, obtaining a full-time position within an ad agency. Times are tough and I knew for a fact that StrawberryFrog had laid off seven of its junior level staff this past Summer. It’s clear they wouldn’t be hiring me, but maybe an internship was still possible. Ignoring the financial strain behind the prospect, I submitted my resume, portfolio, and cover letter to the email address specified by their secretary. There was no response and I’m not surprised. I’ve seen HR departments, they receive hundreds of resumes on a daily basis, nowadays even more, and the method I took wouldn’t help me stand out from any of them.

That’s when I had an idea.

Among all the collateral on StrawberryFrog’s site they feature an interactive booklet titled, frog versus dinosaur. In a children’s story format, it details how the big established agencies are “dinosaurs” and why StrawberryFrog is the next evolution in advertising. It’s fun, cheeky, and gives me a sense of their personality. Look through it first otherwise my next step is going to seem crazy, although that might be true regardless.

I decided to write and illustrate my own interactive booklet. Taking cues from their art style, I crafted a story about a StrawberryTadpole who one day dreamt of becoming a StrawberryFrog. For those slow on the metaphors, StrawberryTadpole is me. Once I created a gmail account for the occasion, I sent this booklet to the original address as well as the direct email of the Chief Executive, Scott Goodson, and, his second-in-command, Tiffany. But I didn’t stop there. I also created a twitter account @strawberrytpole, writing tweets from the character’s voice and @ing the Chief Executive when appropriate. All of this took place on October 7th and continued forward from that date–I waited, I tweeted, and hoped for the start of a conversation.

Picture 8

After all the time since October 7th, I received two responses. One was from a guy looking for work at StrawberryFrog, he read my booklet and thought I already worked there (at least I look the part). The other was on twitter from the Chief Executive himself, stating, “Cool.” In fact, due to the timing of the @ reply, his response likely wasn’t directed at the story I made, rather a tweet I sent him about a great pumpkin carving.

Picture 11-1

That’s the end of it. I couldn’t get a basic conversation, let alone discuss working for free. So, why post this failure at all? I could have kept it a secret and saved myself the shame. It’s because there’s no shame in taking a risk. I refused to sit idly and hope to get noticed–I got off my ass and tried to make things happen for myself. And, like a lot of good risks, it failed. I’m proud of the booklet I made. I’m proud of myself for taking a chance, dedicating hours to a project I knew full well might have zero return. And, the best part is, I’ll just keep moving on to the next thing, taking another risk. If StrawberryFrog ever decides to talk to me, they’re welcome to do so. The door is always open, I’m just not waiting by it anymore.



Filed under Ideas, Marketing/Advertising, Shameless Self Promo

Big Ad Gig Update

I’m absolutely overwhelmed by the turn out for my entry video. As of this posting, the video has reached 789 views, 85 unique text comments, and six video responses (apparently a lot of people are camera shy).

Of all the messages I’ve received the most exciting may have been the e-mail which said I had officially moved into the top 18. The e-mail continued to say the judges would be narrowing it down the final eight over the next couple days, which, of course, has been my goal from the beginning.

I don’t know if the scale and positivity of these comments mean anything to the judges, but they certainly mattered to me. Win or lose, the most valuable take-away from this contest is knowing that I’m not alone in my belief that I can do this. I can only hope that I’m given the chance to prove everyone right for supporting me.

The way I spread word-of-mouth was through a facebook event with a tactical twist. I knew some people would be willing to take the time to comment out of the kindness of their hearts, but, to go beyond that and tell their friends, family, and colleagues? Generosity has its limits. So, as a means to show my gratitude while incentivizing promotion beyond the event’s original attendees, I made the only offer I could:

Anyone who commented and then spread the word by, a) telling another friend, b) making the video their FB status, c) Tweeting it, or, d) all of the above, would receive an original illustration or short poem/rap with topic of their choosing crafted by yours truly. These images were then tagged as a photo of the contributing person, showing all those on Facebook that this was dedicated to them for going the extra mile.

Hey, it’s the most I could offer them to show my appreciation for going beyond themselves. I questioned how successful leveraging my drawing style and rhyming ability would be, but they seem to have been a hit. Below is a collection of just a few of the specially created illustrations, and, a requested rap about one man’s love for ketchup. Why not?

Coming Along

Cute Doesnt


We all have


Ketchu Rap

PS–Those who haven’t seen the video can check it out here. Feel free to comment whether you think I deserve it based on my portfolio, resume, and blog. And, of course, if you share it with others, tell me about your good deed. You’re owed one of these illustrations or poems/raps upon request.

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Filed under Contests, Feature Creature, Ideas, Shameless Self Promo

The Big Ad Gig

Open Arms


Most people despise those who advertise. They snort their nose at our supposed lies. And claw away at their invention of our deceptive guise.

Entertainment blends with endorsement like a necessary accoutrement.

Mass media became a channel which we swim even harder upstream. Devoted to the consumerist nightmare which lives in an American dream.

But I take pride in our side of the communication, turning once wandering minds into prized finds of our persuasion.

Advertisers don’t prey on hearts, rather pray they will listen, for 30 second spots bear a hefty price of admission. As for admission of guilt I have none to admit, it’s a feeling I plan to remain long after I quit.

You see, I prefer opening minds over washing brains and believe in the art of the great campaigns. They can handle the truth as long as we handle with care, maintaining the message without losing its flair.

I look forward to the day I’ll become a big wig, but in order for that to happen, first, I need a big ad gig.

My good ole rhyme-of-a-time from above is inspired by a recent opportunity to win my dream job. It’s called The Big Ad Gig. I love the set up for the contest. To enter, users must submit their portfolio site, resume, and “film a YouTube video where you declare these words in a public space: ‘I deserve a Big Ad Gig.'”

Then the thought occurred to me; what place could be any more public than the internet? That’s why my video (which you can watch below) isn’t addressed to the lunch-time rush at a restaurant or a busy city street, but the online community. In the spirit of this contest I want all my readers to look at my work and tell me whether you think I deserve a big ad gig.

From those criteria the judges will narrow the field to eight finalists. Here’s where it gets really cool. The top eight get access to all the panel discussions and parties at Advertising Week. There, they are also handed a creative brief from The Ad Council. The finale allows 4-minutes for each of the eight to present their concepts to a live audience and a panel of judges. The winning concept gets a full-time, 30 day paid gig with one of the sponsoring agencies. While the money definitely sweetens the deal, it doesn’t make it. More than anything, I’m just absolutely floored at the prospect of showing what I can do, not only on stage at Ad Week, but within one of these agencies for 30 days.

If you want to help then watch the video below. It will tell you everything you need to know in order to get me to the next phase. The one thing the video doesn’t ask is that you spread the word. Cheer me or boo me, either way, you should share my video with others, so they can share in your verdict.

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Filed under Contests, Poetry, Shameless Self Promo