I recently found an old print ad I designed during undergrad; I majored in advertising and graphic design. I was a good designer, but un-noteworthy. I was however, a better writer. I was smart. On design teams, I always volunteered to write copy, something designers hated. Me? I loved it.
During one semester, my classes were centered on creating single-page ads for a myriad of consumer products that ranged from beer to crayons and bread to greeting cards. My favorite, however was hot dogs, which to my dismay, drew the scorn of my professor.
“Who’s work is this?” he asked, pointing to my work on the class critique board. Every student was required to display their work on this board, often scotch taping the corners or push pinning the white border to prevent display damage. My work was pinned with pink pins, which complimented my very green ad.
I raised my hand as high as my right ear. I was proud of my work. Sort of, anyway.
“What was your inspiration for this ad?” he asked. The sneer in his voice made me want to hide.
“Well, my product was franks,” I started. “And, I thought I would try something a little different. You know, funny,” I said smiling. I glanced at my work and wanted to laugh. I thought I was witty, and better yet, my work, hysterically engaging.
“Where would this type of ad run? Out? The Advocate? It certainly discourages me to buy hot dogs. In fact, I don’t think I’ll ever eat another based on this ad.”
My classmates started to chuckle. I didn’t think it was bad. Maybe I could design it better, I thought. But, the concept is still good.
“While I’m at it, let me take a seat. This ad also discourages me from standing.”
So rude and pompous. Even though I felt like my professor had unnecessarily raked me over the coals, I miraculously found the nerve to defend my work. “Um, I was actually thinking bigger than gay publications. I think my work is more suiting to a Times Square billboard. You know, since it’s attention grabbing.”
My professor moved on, in disdain, to the rest of my classmates work.
I found the ad on a CD recently, and since it still made me laugh, thought I’d share it with you folks as well. I had to resize it so you can read the text, but figured it could be something else to talk about during your Fourth of July festivities…especially the tag line.