I have a decent book. TV. Clever lines. Some press recognition. No major awards. (My agency hasn’t won a creative award in 10 plus years). My favorite ideas die before clients, with clients, or during pitches. In my opinion, they are more conceptual, insightful, and representative of the irreverent work I want to make. Common problem. I’m looking to move, hopefully a promo, but haven’t shown spec in years. Any recruiters/hiring managers/ECDs have a POV on including these ideas and how?

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Get out and get to a place that enjoys/likes/supports your writing and work. I’ve been told my writing wasn’t this or that over the years. I even got put on probation one place because I was told my writing was “off brand.” (It wasn’t. The CD was just conservative and literal). The place I’m at now loves the work I do. I didn’t change a GD thing. Fuck the haters, and get out of there. Hoping things will change ain’t a plan. You gotta get out. I will say the one thing (besides experience) that improved my writing has been writing fiction in my spare time. It really helped my broadcast stuff which I didn’t realize until I got some more broadcast-heavy jobs. In short, you gotta get to where you work with people who think like you creatively. Otherwise they’re just not gonna get the work.

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That’s the truth. I’ve got my resignation letter written, but the fear is there. Bills, pandemic, actually finding the right shop. I write in my free time too. Aiming for 30-60 minutes a day (new goal this month). But it’s good advice. Most of us don’t practice the craft enough. I haven’t kept at it as well as I could. Nevertheless, this thoughtful and helpful post didn’t answer the brief. You’re on probation.

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Show the work you want to make.

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If it’s great and well crafted bring it on!!!!

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😕 you have to shoot your shot as many places as possible. It seems like you need to get out. The next one might not be your big break, but it can help kickstart things again.

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i feel like i wrote this - can relate to you SO MUCH. sorry that i don’t have any advice to offer but ~solidarity~

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My CD suggested I create a secret password protected page in my portfolio to display my best ideas that got killed.

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Yeah man. Make your book full of the work you want to make. Doing that will attract the shops that are looking to make that type of work. Let me over explain it: If you wanna write funny TV spots, for an agency that makes funny TV spots, put some funny stuff in your book. If you wanna write some serious heart-felt shit for an agency that is known for making clients tear up from listening to your anthem spot, then put that shit in your book! You don’t need a password. You can have a section in your book that’s called “my favorite stuff the clients didn’t buy” and put your favorite stuff in there. 👍🏼

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Are you me?

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I have a couple things that never sold in my book, mostly on a misc page of one-offs. But it’s all print or stuff that was semi-produced but never saw the light of day, so they look real. Personally, I wouldn’t put things like unproduced scripts. As much as I hate when people say “do a side project,” if you want to do irreverent, maybe try submitting some pieces to McSweeney’s. There are a decent number of ad people published on there.

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Password website and when you start sharing, remember to change the password every now and then. And be transparent on what is spec and all. If you don’t want to “close” your whole website, add a Miscellaneous project with all the specs and protect that one with a password.

I’m seeing a couple “use a password” suggestions. My worry is that any barrier to entry while hustling to get people to check the book is going to hurt me. Plus you miss out on random LinkedIn hits. Just doing one page could work, but... I’m also just wondering, does anybody actually care about the work that wasn’t made? Even if the ideas are good, is it a bad look?

I don’t see the needs to password protect the spec work. 2/16 projects in my book that are spec.

Also, maybe minority opinion here, but fuck the password. Just show it, nobody’s going to care it’s on your site - and if they do, and they tell you to take it down, just add a password then for that specific piece.

Show it. But make sure it’s only a part of your book. It may get you into an agency on the cusp of change. One who want to do better work. So in a similar situation to you. Be very careful who you join. It sounds like this move needs to be it.

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