How to get your first job in advertising – Dave Trott

How to get your first job in advertising – Dave Trott (writing for copywriters and art directors)

Dave TrottA new year diversion into creative territory. Before people started to tell me that I spent too much time on strategy and not enough thinking up creative ideas I putting together a book as a copywriter. And doing a D&AD course which involved collecting a brief from an agency each week. Putting work together, presenting it to the creative who had set it the previous week and collecting next week’s brief at the end of the session.  I still have those briefs. I can’t find the brief Gordon Smith set at Gold Greenlees Trott. But it must have been that evening when I was given a photocopy of this paper.  This was the heyday of GGT when young creatives would rent rooms opposite Dave Trott’s offices to put creative ideas on the window in hope of getting a meeting.  It was a huge buzz to get into the building at all. And there was Dave Trott somewhere in the background but he wasn’t part of the meeting. Just as well really.

Interviewing Dave Trott in 2015 for our book 98% Pure Potato he mentioned this paper How to get a job in advertising. He explained he wrote it because he got so fed up with being sent creative books full of puns. So before he would look at your book he would make you read his paper. Which would I suspect mean that most books would be taken straight off the table. Because they showed all of the foibles which Dave found so irritating.  Here’s the paper: How to get your first job in advertising Dave Trott

Rules for putting a book together: clear USPs, no award winning brands, and no TV scripts 

It would be impertinent of me to add much commentary to this.  Dave has enough experience of planning opinions he would rather do without!  I always remembered the first paragraph which is basically about why your mum would be more use in an advertising agency because at least she buys and uses most of the products that ad agencies advertise. That sets the bar for where Dave goes which is that you don’t know anything. So ask questions – draw out those who are interviewing you.  And sell the product don’t write what you perceive to be in an advertising style.  The paper is full of don’ts. In particular, if you have the freedom to write any ads you want for your book. Focus on th

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