If you are a junior team looking for a job, your biggest enemy is the Creative Director's finger.
When he is looking at your book, if his brain doesn't very quickly understand an idea, his finger will flip to the next page. And your creative brilliance will be lost.
The sad fact is that when he's looking at books, a Creative Director's finger works faster than his brain.
He's short of time, and has a lot of other things on his mind. He hasn't got the time or patience to decode ads that are hard to decode. And actually that's not a bad thing. He doesn't want to hire teams who write ads that the public will find hard to decode.
But if you want him to hire you, you need to beat the finger. You need to do everything you can to make sure that your idea has been understood before his finger flips to the next page. (Or in the case of a digital portfolio, clicks).
If his brain hesitates or is confused, his finger will activate.
Here's 10 suggestions to stop that happening:
1) Be arresting. A book isn't real life. In real life it may be worth doing a long copy ad for cross-tracks. In your book it isn't.
2) Leave out all extraneous stuff like what the brief was, what student awards this ad won. They just slow down the communication.
3) Leave space between each campaign. Like a blank page. Don't have him thinking for even 1/10 of a second that the first ad in your campaign for lawnmowers is another ad in your campaign for a chocolate bar. This will only confuse.
4) All drawings must be crystal clear. It doesn't matter if they're hand-drawn or mac'd up, all that matters is they're quick to understand. If a CD pauses, it should be because he's stunned by the brilliance of your strategy. Not because he's trying to work out whether your drawing is a dog, a cat, or a car.
5) Dialogue that accompanies TV scripts. It just looks like it will take a lot of time to read. Maybe you come upon a CD with time on his hands, and he reads it, and loves it. Maybe you don't, and he just flips. Why risk it?
6) Logos. Use the brands' real logos. Why? Because they're marginally quicker to take in than hand-drawn ones.
7) Got ambient work in your book (I hope you do)? If it's not abundantly clear that it's an ambient ad, then don't be afraid to write 'AMBIENT' in big letters at the top. A few fractions of a second in which the CD is trying to work out whether a picture in front of him is for a print ad or an ambient ad are a few fractions of a second too many.
8) That's all I've got. It was shorter than 10. Make your book flow as quickly and smoothly as possible. That finger flips fast. Make sure your ideas are faster.
How To Know If You've Had An Idea; How To Use Social Media; How To Get The Best Out Of Directors; Don't Write Ads, Write Strategies; How To Choose Where To Work; Working Outside London; What Would John Webster Do?; What Would Paul & Nigel Do?; The Hidden Flaw; How To Write Copy; Be Funny All The Way Through; How To Do Virals; How To Negotiate Your Salary; How To Get A Pay Rise; Be Wary Of Punding; Challenge The Brief; Tell The Truth; Playing To Lose; How To Write Headlines; How To Do Direct; How To Do Radio; How To Do Press; How To Do TV; How To Do Digital; How To Do Posters; Look At Weird Shit; Why You Shouldn't Present To The Client; How To Present To Clients If You Have To; Presenting To The Team; Presenting To The Creative Director; How To Deal With Rejection; Look Creative; Don't Be Afraid To Ask; Your Idea Has To Be 120%; Read Iain's Tips; Don't Behave; How To Discuss Ideas; Read Hugh's Tips; How To Get A Job In Advertising Part IV - How To Turn A Placement Into A Job; How To Turn A Placement Into A Job (Ed Morris view); How To Get A Job In Advertising Part III - How To Approach Agencies (re-print of Tip No. 7); How To Get A Job In Advertising Part II - How To Put A Book Together; How To Get A Job In Advertising Part I - FAQ; Make Friends With Traffic; Get Reference; Don't Stop Too Soon; Be Very; Breaking Up; Working Well With Your Partner; Finding The Right Partner; How To Approach Agencies; Never-Seen-Before Footage; Dicketts' Finger; Two Blokes In The Pub; Play Family Fortunes; Should You Take A Bad Job?; Don't Overpolish