Posts Tagged ‘self-promotion’

Assisting the assistant.

November 10, 2009

I once dated this lovely girl from Indonesia. We met in college where she had come from halfway around the world to study photography.

During her studies she had always talked about how she’d love to work for the famous Canadian commercial photographer Shin Sugino.

After graduation, she made many attempts to contact him and sent her portfolio in the hopes of being able to not only assist him, but learn from a true master as well. Unfortunately for her, she kept getting stymied by a rather insecure assistant who was already working there and would say to my partner at the time, “Sorry, Shin doesn’t hire any assistants with less than 5 years experience.”

Discouraged, my partner felt like there was no way in and that it would be best to just give up her dream. But me being the creative person that I am said, “Don’t worry, I got an idea that’ll get you working at Shin’s studio in no time.”

Knowing that many assistants send photographers their portfolio (which is irrelevant because they never take the pictures), I came up with a promo that highlighted and spoke to the job my partner was wishing to do, and did it in a fun and interesting way.

So I went out, bought a box, and filled it with tiny little paper cutouts of photography equipment I printed from the web. I made sure it was the very same type of equipment a photographer’s assistant needs to be trained in using, in order to work on the job. Then I included a little note on the inside that read “Dear Mr. Sugino. I’m an expert at setting these items up. However, I’m also very good at setting up the full size versions as well!”

I then sealed the box, glued my partner’s resume and contact info on the top, wrapped it like a present, and had it express delivered to Mr. Shin Sugino himself.

The result: On the day the package arrived my partner received a call, and by the very next week, was working for her dream mentor. Creativity wins again!



How I got into Advertising.

November 6, 2009

I never went to Advertising school. The day I decided to get into Advertising, I was working as an animator and thought to myself while working on a commercial, “Hmmm, I think I can come up with a better idea than this.” And off I went trying to apply as a creative person.

At first, I attempted the tried and true method of sending out resumes in emails with a link to my portfolio. Got zippo from that, which reaffirmed my instincts to create something that’ll stand out.

What I ended up doing was creating something that stood up instead. I created a life-sized cardboard cut out of myself holding a sign asking for work, with a voice bubble coming out the side saying “Thanks for letting me in. It’s awfully cold out there!” A nice little double entendre there because it was the middle of February and freezing out, as well, it’s a cold harsh business.

I hand delivered 3 of these. One to Saatchi and Saatchi. One to Ogilvy and Mather. And the other to Publicis. Here’s what they got:


Sign Copy:

Will Work For Work (cover letter)

Hello Ogilvy, my name is Jeremy Salzman and I would love to work for your company. For starters, I am an Illustrator, Animator (both 2D and 3D) and a Graphic Designer. I have spent 8 years in college developing my technical skills, and 3 years professionally.

Now I know you guys are an Advertising agency, but here’s the good news… my greatest strength is my creativity. I love to problem solve and I constantly strive to make things better. At a number of my previous jobs, I have found that it has been my creative abilities that have lead to the success of my projects. Proof of this would be that you are staring at a cardboard cut out of me. I know how to grab attention and push the right buttons. All of which is what advertising is all about.

Joining your team as a junior Art Director would be a dream. However, I’m not too proud to be the office coffee getter, if that’s what’s going to get me in the door.

Included with this shameless self-promo, is a copy of my media demo reel. Take a look… throw it in the office DVD player… watch it with your colleagues, it’s yours to keep.

— Jeremy Salzman

P.S. If I happened to have ended up in the wrong office or department, would you be so kind as to carry me to the right location.

The result. A well-known Creative Director by the name of Neil McOstrich gave me a call from Publicis and asked me to come in for a meeting. The rest is history.

And for the moral of this story… Find a way to stand out.

Promos are always being created that show that someone is smarter than everyone else, more talented, determined and more passionate than everyone else, and sometimes… just being bigger than everyone else works too.

The interview from the campaign that started this blog.

November 5, 2009

It was a dark and stormy day back in November of 2008…

Ok, ok. I won’t tell a horror story here, but on that dreadful day I was fired from my well paying job at a multi-national advertising agency that sent me into a long and painful bout of unemployment.

It was the biggest financial melt-down of our time and  nothing I did seemed to work. I’ve always been a creative person but I was really at a loss for ideas this time and unemployment was really getting the better of me. A man can only take so much video games and Oprah.

Then, one day it hit me. And here’s what it was:

After this aired, a ton of emails and phone calls poured in from small business owners looking for help with their advertising. A creative success if I do say so myself.