Digitas Event Recap: The State of the Ad Industry

Who would have thought that print portfolios would so quickly be eliminated from the advertising vocabulary? Agencies are moving toward the online portfolio, especially for digital agencies.  This is what we learned from digital creative agency  Digitas’s Mary Lynn O’Brian – Associate Director and Creative Manager.

She was joined by Group Creative Director Kevin Drew Davis, who gave a phenomenal presentation on the state of the advertising industry.  Kevin talked about the idea that …

the old-style ad campaign that takes a key concept and rolls it out into different media is being supplanted by campaigns that reinvent the key concept for each medium and audience. Very different.

They left us with some quick tips on making a great portfolio:

  1. Tell your Story – let your book show your passion and what you have done.
  2. Show your Personality – allow “you” to come through the pages.
  3. Don’t play it Safe:  Take risks, impress people, show your range.
  4. No consistent Theme:  Recruiters care about the work, not a story to tell.
  5. Partner with a Copywriter or an Art Director :  Make work outside of class!
  6. Don’t show Every Project:  You have only moments of a recruiter’s eye when you show them your portfolio.  Be selective and only include the best of your best work.
  7. Include different types of work:  Print, Web, Mobile etc work. If you don’t have all of it, create it.  Show you’re capable of production work for all mediums.
  8. Don’t include a one hit wonder: stay consistent with the caliber of work.

More tips:

Be an active part of the community in Chicago!

Attend or volunteer at the AICP Awards this year.  Join the Chicago Advertising Federation as a student for $35 – take advantage of their Portfolio Night, Career Day, Job board and other great highlights.  Have a strong professional online presence, and be easy to find.