Image by Sara Goodman (and AMC, probably)
So here’s the thing: I’m currently studying for the MSc Advertising in Dublin Institute of Technology.
I’m in the creative stream of said course, with my particular goal (as this site may have mentioned in one or two places) being to emerge from the course in six weeks time as a reasonably skilled copywriter, with a portfolio that’s not absolute muck, and to wedge my way into an internship in the hopes of getting some real experience.
Before I get there, however, we have to get through what is referred to as The Project. You can hear the capitals.
The Project involves splitting the class in two, arming us with machetes and Mausers, and goading us into a Battle Royale with the promise of internships. Okay, maybe not. It does involve splitting us into two groups, setting up each group as a mini advertising agency, and giving us a real brief from a real client. For six weeks, we do everything as it would be done in Real Life.
At the end, we stand up in a big room and pitch the campaign we’ve developed to the client. And also to the heads and decision makers of every agency in Dublin. In effect, every potential employer in the country will be there to see us strut. It’s an amazing opportunity, and it’ll be a great experience for us.
It’s also slightly terrifying if you’re one of those chosen to take responsibility. I’ve been given the position of creative director for one of the agencies, and I’m equally honoured, excited, and scared.
For anyone who doesn’t know advertising: creative director is the Don Draper position. The creative director manages the copywriters and art directors who come up with the ideas for ads, and decides what to run with for the campaign.
For anyone who doesn’t know me: I don’t exactly rock Don’s swagger.
I’m nervous about the whole thing, because there’s a lot of really good creatives in my ‘agency’ that I want to do justice (including the also-wordy Conor Flynn). They’ve done brilliant stuff throughout the year, and now I want to give them room to keep doing so.
The challenge for them is to produce good work. The challenge for me is entirely different. As I see it, my job is to shepherd them along while actually controlling them as little as possible. The last thing I want to do is restrict them.
The Project kicks off on Tuesday.
It’s gonna be interesting.
And a whole lot of fun.