Two Danish guys wanted jobs at an ad agency. So they transformed their portfolios into physical replicas of Lürzer’s Archive magazine. Michael Weinzettl talks to the creative duo.
René Schultz and Casper Christensen. View their portfolio.
A few days ago, I had just watched the new Snickers “You’re not yourself when you’re hungry” spot with Rowan Atkinson mutating into a ninja and I debated with myself why I didn’t find this latest commercial in a great campaign quite as funny as the ones featuring Betty White and Joan Collins - even a bit longish to be honest. Then an email from Copenhagen caught my attention.
It came from a couple of young Danish creatives, Casper Christensen and René Schultz who had sent me a case film. Now normally I don’t like to watch these as the advertising projects featured in them are usually nothing I can use for the Print or the Film section of the print magazine. And if they’re good they're most likely to pop up in our Digital section where experts in this area, a different one for each issue, name their 15 favourite digital works of the moment. But this film was called “Lürzer’s Archive. The Disguised Portfolio” and I couldn’t resist having a look.
Of course I was delighted with this gem and it brought back memories of the Lürzer’s Archive’s 30th anniversary party last Tuesday at the Art Directors Club in New York, where one of the creative directors I met, RedFuse/Y&R’s Hernán Ibañez, had told me that he sometimes used to “disguise” his portfolio as a copy of Archive magazine.
But surely he did not go to the lengths that these two Danish guys did by putting the targeted creative directors’ work on the cover of the fake Archive or writing interviews and texts about themselves throughout. They in short copied the magazine to perfection.
So I talked to the two guys who are now happily installed in their very first agency job at a Copenhagen agency called Umwelt (which happens to mean “environment” in German but neither Casper nor René really know where that name came from.)
“We’re at a fairly big agency and we just got back from shooting a TVC in Budapest, even though we have only been here a month,” they told me.
“We are being trusted with a lot of responsibility, so that’s a great vote of confidence. We are working on a lot of different clients and learning a great deal about how the real world works. We are newly educated from the Danish School of Media and Journalism where we studied advertising and have been creative partners for over two years now, starting our collaboration after the first year in school.”
Asked about how they came up with the idea for this unusual job application they said: “Well, we knew it was hard to land a job in our competitive industry, so we began thinking about how we could stand out from the crowd when we had about half a year left of our education.
“We love reading Archive and noticed that the creative directors out there love it too - so based on that insight we came up with the idea of disguising our portfolio. We also know they love seeing their own work in there, so it was a given that they should be featured on the front page."
I asked them if Umwelt had helped them with the case film as it comes across as very well produced and professional but they told me that they did it on their own.
“No, they didn’t help,” Casper told me, “except in that they agreed to be filmed in the final scene with the creative director where we got the job. We have made a lot of case films during our time together, so I guess we got the hang of it now.”
René has a background in the film industry and Casper used to be graphics designer, so they complement each other pretty well.
The also told me a bit about other agencies they had targeted with the “Disguised Portfolio”: “Everyone got fooled, but we heard a story about how one company gathered all their employees for the great unwrapping of our “Archive” magazine. It took them a few seconds before they realised what was going on. It’s a shame we couldn’t have been there to see their reaction.
Only at the Umwelt agency for a month, the two are now “juggling with Denmark’s biggest pension fund, an insurance company and a large store chain of opticians. It’s a lot of work, but also a lot of fun.”
I really look forward to seeing the results of this team’s first real agency work.
10 October 2014
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