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From screenwriting to ad writing: making the switch


I’m wondering how I would go about getting into and writing for an ad company? I’m a produced screenwriter… does that help my chances any?

intro From screenwriting to ad writing: making the switchThere’s never been a better time to be a screenwriter who wants to get into advertising. Not so long ago, most creative directors would have been impressed with that, and probably a little bit envious, but it wouldn’t necessarily have motivated them to give you a shot. Now, we suspect you could auction yourself off to the highest bidder. Agencies are looking for people with different types of creative backgrounds, who can contribute a whole new way of thinking. It would be worth your while to look at the agencies that interest you – don’t limit yourself to traditional agencies; digital and social media organizations have all kinds of interesting opportunities, too – learn about them all, understand the kind of work they produce. Find out who the creative directors are and ask for an information interview, but make sure they know you’ve done your research and have at least a tiny clue about the business. When you see them, find out what else they would want to see from you, in addition to your screenwriting. All creative ad hires depend on the quality of the “portfolio” you show. That used to include ads and ads only. Now it can be games you developed, short films, scripts, produced advertising work traditional and digital. Start with a fishing expedition. Hope you land a big fish.

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About Jancy

'Jancy' is Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Co-Founders of Swim, a unique “creative leadership training lab for advertising creatives and marketers.” Prior to Swim, Jancy was globally renowned as the Co-Chief Creative Officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, a position they held for thirteen of the twenty years they were a creative duo at the agency. Over the years they've racked up Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show pencils and CA credits, and have lead their shop to two Cannes Lions Grand Prix and a Grand Clio. They've judged CA, Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, the Clios and other prestigious award shows. Creativity named them two of the top 50 creative people of 2008. Known for their outspoken, no-bullshit style and a passion for mentoring juniors, they're ready to give you advice if you're ready to take it.

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