Applefied Ads

Does the work in your book have to be great work? Yesterday, I would have said without question. Today, I'm not so sure. Because I discovered that these great Applefied ads were done by Bryan Evans, an art director intern at RPA in Santa Monica.

These are not great ads. But they are great book pieces. Why? Maybe because they're cultural commentary. Maybe because we've all had a client say, "Why can't we do work like Apple?" who really didn't mean it. Maybe because they're already being featured in some of the major industry pubs. But whatever I can almost guarantee these ads will be the difference between Bryan's book and the guy who almost got hired. (Assuming the rest of Bryan's book is as thoughtful and well-art directed as these pieces.)

I'm not saying run out and create a parody campaign. Too late. Bryan's already done that. But this is a great reminder that you need to find a smart, amazing way to set your book apart from everyone else's.

The Competition

If you've ever had the opportunity to attend a major advertising award show like Cannes or One Show, the amount of good work on display can be overwhelming. For my competitions class that I sometimes teach, I tell my students to imagine a football field. That football field is filled with print campaigns. Now put a few judges walking around that field. Will they stop at yours? How will it stand out?

I'll Know It When I Hear It

It's cliché. But we all fear the client who actually says, "I'll know it when I see it," to set the expectations of a campaign. And as creatives, we consider anyone uttering such tripe to be absolute cretins.

But when it comes to music, we often set the same bar, even if we don't use the same words. We listen to track after track, and say we're not able to put a finger on it, but for some reason, this tune or that tune just isn't right.

Let's not be hypocrites.

Learn how to talk about music. Learn how to express the emotion you want your spot to stir. Know the difference between something that sounds organic and something that sounds overproduced. Know when it's better to use an acoustic guitar, and when to use a full symphony, and be able to articulate why. Don't expect the music house or the director or your creative director to help you through this. You need to be fluent in music. Because a great track can be the difference between a B spot and an A spot.

For starters, read some of Jim's "It's the Music, Stupid" posts here.