Category Archives: Portfolio In The Making

Junior Copywriter Seeks Galaxy Defender For Out Of This World Fun

Yes, that’s the subject to an email I just sent in response to a placement vacancy at Love Creative. I don’t know if I should be finding myself hilarious, or throwing up with embarrassment. There’s a reason for the MIB references, and I’ll get straight on with it.

Do you want to be the Willard Smith of the advertising and design world?

Are you a recent creative graduate? Do you want to use your creative skills to solve business problems for brands like Johnnie Walker, PlayStation and Nike? If I offered you a two month paid placement with us at our Manchester studio, how much of my hand would you bite off?

If your answer is beyond my elbow, please send the following to

1. A short introduction explaining who you are, where you come from, what your favourite Willard Smith film is, and why.

2. A PDF portfolio that showcases big ideas, thoughtful strategy, craft skills, personal work, and evidence of a curious mind. (If it helps any, we’re not particularly interested in typefaces made out of twigs, letterhead and business card design, tea-making abilities, or flyers for your dad’s Depeche Mode tribute band.)

Unfortunately we won’t be able to reply to everyone. But if your work demonstrates that you’re the kind of creative that would flourish here – whether you’re a writer, designer, art director, developer, maker of things, competitive eating champion, or all of the above – we’ll be in touch.

There you have it. What an advertisement! Definitely something different, with a tone of voice I immediately fell in love with.

Basically, I didn’t want to send off any old job application. I wanted to stand out. I needed to stand out. I needed to be a little different.

That’s when it hit me! I’ve been mulling over the idea of lonely hearts columns in my head for a while now. I wanted to record some kind of viral video, akin to those amazing 80s dating montages available on Youtube, but I never had the time. Why not use the idea now? Why not send in an application in the style of a shitty, but incredibly self aware, lonely hearts ad?

I did.

Hello there.

I’m a 24 year old copywriter who graduated in 2009. I’m 5″10, and the wrong side of 13 stone. I have brown hair, brown eyes, and a hint of ginger in my rather substantial beard.

I like long walks on the beach, freshly cut grass, picnics, puppies, and I must say, I’m ever so fond of a good cliché. If I had to choose, my favourite Will Smith film would be Men In Black, as it still stands up as one of the most witty and entertaining Blockbusters released through out my childhood.

I, like everyone in life, is looking for that special someone. A person who will take me under their wing, shielding me from the harshness of the outside world, and spend their hours guiding me in the best possible direction to make sure I blossom into a wonderful and proud copywriter.

Could you be my Man/Woman in Black? If so, look to Orion’s Belt and you’ll know where to find me.

Again, I don’t know if I should be jumping for joy, or jumping off the balcony. I suppose only time will tell! I had nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

If I make someone laugh, smirk, or even crack the tiniest of smiles, at least that’s already put me at an advantage over a boring “I do this, I did this, hire me please” kind of response I imagine a few people will send in. However, with it being Love Creative, I imagine there are some absolute geniuses applying for the role, but even a “Well done, but not you” email will give me a pretty good sense of achievement. If I hear nothing back? I’ll never do anything this stupid again.

Well, until the next email I send which will begin “In West Cardiff central born and raised, on my personal computer is where I spent most of my days. Chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool, shooting some n00bs on the Unreal Tournament map pool”

Someone. Please. Stop me.

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Guess Who?

Well hello there.

Two weeks and nothing? Not even a postcard? I know, what an awful blogger I’ve been.

If it makes you feel any better, I’ve been putting my time to good use;

This will be sent out to almost every advertising agency I can think of, find, or be pointed at, and to anyone, anywhere that would like a copy. I’ve still got to do a bit of touching up after some critique from the lovely Gem, but in a rather primitive form, it’s good to go.

Look out.

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LG – The World’s Smartest Criminal

There’s times when I see something in the advertising world, and it makes me feel like a right lemon. Usually because the idea is so obvious, I’m mad I didn’t have it first, but this time it’s different. This time someone has taken (obviously not taken, but you know, shut up) one idea that I had when working with Rob Barton, and turned it into something so much better… The bastards.

Let me show you my idea first. It’s been sitting in my book for a while as a ‘one off’ press ad, and thats’s where I’ve just snapped a quick picture. Firstly, “a one off” I hear none of you screaming? Yes! Just that. I’ve been told on multiple occasions that it’s always nice, at the end of a portfolio, to show some little thoughts that might not stretch to a full campaign, but work rather well on their own.

Did you get it? No? Well, you see, ’cause it’s such a thin 3DTV, it’s actually a 2D-3DTV. HA. Seriously. Hire me.

Anyway, what did I see that made me sneer at my own creation with all of the disappointment of a Father who’s just been told his son got a fifteen year old girl pregnant? This;

What a cracking idea for pretty much the exact same product. 4 million hits and counting!! It takes my idea one step further, and with that, makes it one step (many many more steps) better.

There’s two things I really like about this video. The first is that there’s absolutely no sound. It’s technically a tiny silent movie! This means that a viewer will pay much more attention to the odd events they’re seeing on screen, as they’ve been left without one of their sense to rely on. The second, and obviously more important detail, is the repeat view factor. I had no idea what was going on the first time I saw this spot, and although I understood the clever little pay-off, I immediately watched the video again to try and fully understand what was going on. I paused the screen at various times to see if I could actually notice the TV under his arm, or if it wasn’t there in the first place. If I did this, it’s obvious that others will have done the same thing, not only increasing the view count, but increasing the possibility for the potential viral repost. All in all, it’s pretty damn good!

Maybe I need to go back through my portfolio with a fresh set of eyes, and see if I can push my ideas to a next level. Who knows, maybe I’ll come up with something as clever as this.

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This Is Not The Webpage You Are Looking For… Oh Four.

We’ve all had that god awful moment of realisation when we’ve clicked on a link or typed in a URL wrong, and we get presented with this

SHIT! What have we done wrong? Have we broke something? I’m sure there was supposed to be a web page here. Better read the warning message. Hang on a minute, this is really really boring to read. I wish someone would take care of their error pages like they take care of their website. That would be super mega awesome boss. Well guess what? They have!

Here are a few incredibly creative 404 File Not Found error pages from the vastness of the internet, and pilfered from

That last one is particularly brilliant, working the brand into a ‘whoops’ page is a stroke of genius. Plus, the ketchup has run out! You can’t find the ketchup! Get it? Fab.

In keeping with this post, I have decided to create my own 404 page for the day I actually pull my finger out and learn how to use Dreamweaver / pay someone to do it for me. Check it out!

Didn’t you know? Swearing’s cool again.

In all honesty, I wanted to have a picture of me looking worried / scared, but it’s too dark to do it properly. You can just look upon my poor sense of design and humour. ENJOY IT.

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Advertise This: Parkway Care Homes

Here it is, the work I did created for my (unsuccessful) junior copywriting job application. The brief was this; Create a recruitment campaign that spans a variety of media for a group of care homes called ParkWay Care Homes. Ideally, I was to touch on two different audiences, ‘the core’ – middle aged women with some caring experience, and ‘the new blood’ – the younger generation of carers-to-be, either with experience, or without. I was told to come up with whatever I could, and take every piece of paper I drew on along to the interview.

What I am presenting to you here are rather crudely made mock-ups of a press campaign, and an online banner advert. There are also two radio ads which were loved by both the executive creative director of the company I interviewed for, and the studio head of the regional office.

There was to be one more idea, which was presented to the interviewers, but was lost in transit, which was an Iphone app entitled iCare – The idea was that an old man/woman was to live in your smart phone for up to three days. It was basically a Tamagotichi. You looked after him/her, fed him/her, bathed him/her, and he/she called on you throughout your three days caring time whenever they needed help. It was a way to attract the ‘new-blood’ into thinking that a career choice in caring might be for them. A feature of the app was that alerts would be sent through to your phone at any time of the day or night, just as the alerts would be in real life. Although I worried it was incredibly tasteless, I was to rest assured that the idea was sound, and liked by both interviewers.

Alas, the job was not mine, but the pride I have in my work is, and the possibility for freelance work is ever prsesent.

Here’s a gallery showing off the press ads, and online ad. I stress that these are mere mock ups designed to show the basic outline and colour thoughts. The two radio ads feature afterwards in PDF format, and I implore you to look at them. Please. For me like. Ahhh, go on. I’ll disappear for three weeks if you don’t.

Radio – George and Frank

Radio – Karen and Pattsie

Constructive critism would be welcomed, but feel free to rip me into shreds. I think I need to get used to it!

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The Manchester Camera Day Parade – Part Two

WARNING: IMAGE HEAVY – Part two of my photography trip around Manchester, and here we have it; The Manchester Day Parade. Full of wonderful floats, bright colours, interesting choices in outfits, and all in all, a hell of a lot of fun. It makes me proud to live in Manchester.


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The Manchester Camera Day Parade – Part One

WARNING: IMAGE HEAVY – Here it is, part one of my Manchester photography trip. Here are LOTS images, and this is only a quarter of what I took. A quarter have been binned, and the next half will be posted tomorrow. Hopefully you’ll find some gems in there somewhere, but I genuinely have tried to choose images that have at least some artistic, symmetrical, or colourful value.

I hope you enjoy looking at them, as much as I enjoyed taking them – If you haven’t already realised, I like taking pictures of angles, architecture, and people without their knowledge. That’s right, I’m a pervy Ted Mosby.

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The Manchester Camera Day Parade – The Taster Issue

I went on a picture taking trip today! Here are a few tasters before I upload hundreds and waste a few entires on pretty things.

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It’s Been A Busy Day

I forgot how stressful reanimating a long lost portfolio actually was. Well, when I say long lost, I of course mean mean most recent.

All of those swear words! Was I really that full of myself?



My Life In Phone Photography

My phone is something I’ll always carry with me. I feel lost without it, and that should definitely be seen as a problem. Luckily for me, I’m quite good at keeping tabs on where the damn thing is, and having it with me at all time, is a crutch I’ll find hard to get rid of. You see, my phone has everything I’ll ever need. For starters it makes phone calls, sends text messages, and browses the internet. That means I can ring my girlfriend to find out what I’m having for tea, text my best friend to find out when it’s beer ‘o’clock, and then check up on my video games news on Eurogamer. That’s all well and good, but most importantly, my magical wondrous phone, takes pictures.

Granted, it’ll never beat either of my SLRs, but it’s been used far much more than my little Canon compact, and that’s purely because it’s always in my front right pocket. I didn’t buy this particular phone for the camera, but after looking through almost one thousand images I’ve taken with the damn thing (in less than a year might I add), I realise I come to rely on it for picture taking abilities far more than I actually think I do. It’s strange really, for someone who has so many ways to capture an image, I choose to use the lowest quality device, purely because it’s there.

The budding photographers out there may complain that using a camera just isn’t the same as using an SLR, and while I agree with you, I have always been a student of the idea that it doesn’t matter what you use to take a picture, if you’ve got a good eye for composition, you’ll always be in with a winner. Now I am no Jeff Wall, but I know how to frame an image. It comes with fives years plus worth of experience in the field, and while that may make me sound like an arrogant shit, I’m willing to place bets that there are literally hundreds of thousands of people who are better at photography than me.

Thanks to the ever present phone camera, I seem to take pictures of anything that catches my eye. Anything that one day might become useful. Well it’s useful now! With half an hour left of the second of April, I am going to show you lucky lot images that I haven’t shown anyone bar Victoria. Images that I took for fun, and for nothing else. Images I’ve sifted through, and picked the juiciest morsels out of a large vat of average snaps. I hope you enjoy them, as much as I enjoyed taking them.

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