A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Ad World

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I wish Dave Holloway had been around when I was in school.

Bart Cleveland Bart Cleveland
Dave Holloway has been a generous person as long as I've known him. He was one of my best students when I taught at Creative Circus. He was a great intern at my agency in Atlanta and I begged him to work for us. But Dave had his sights set on New York City. Dave has now been in the business a little over a decade and has garnered many of our most impressive creative awards. He's currently creative director/copywriter at Northern Lights Post in New York and has previously worked at Euro RSCG and Bozell.

More importantly he has become a great mentor to people in advertising, particularly young people.

Dave's latest effort to help the helpless is a nuts-and-bolts book with an accompanying DVD that's all about the business we love and loathe, "How to Get the Advertising Job You Want. Be Incredibly Successful in It, and Make Your Parents Proud, Friends Jealous and Strangers Stand in Awe. For information, email [email protected]

This self-published book and DVD is as basic as milk and as nutritious. After reading this Q&A book about everything that the young novice will deal with to launch an advertising career (including how to live in New York for 40K a year), no one can blame his decision to join the insanity on ignorance. There is not one question left unanswered. It's the kind of book you take a highlighter to with a vengeance. You make notes in the white spaces. You sleep with it under your pillow like James Bond does his Walther PPK. It's a how-to manual that visually resembles one of those military instruction books on how to fire a rocket launcher. Yet it's an entertaining read -- very witty and passionate. The DVD is a selection of interviews with professionals from the various disciplines in our industry. They have advice and insight that further brings the book to life.

It's just like Dave to go and try to help the unwary tenderfoots who contemplate putting themselves (or there unsuspecting parents) in debt by attending one of the premiere ad schools. "How to Get the Advertising Job You Want" tells the naked truth about how hard succeeding in advertising can be. At the same time it encourages anyone with passion to believe they can. Dave even tells these poor youngsters where to get the best Thai in Hoboken, N.J., and which train they'll ride to work in Manhattan if they live in Forest Hills.

So what does this have to do with you? I suggest you buy a copy or two to point to during one of those high school and college tours that inevitably come through your agency asking for a few words of wisdom. Humanely hand one out to the ever-present one in the group resembling a frightened deer. Give some sound advice while holding this book above their iPod-bud filled-ears. Before they read Luke Sullivan's "Hey Whipple," they'd better read Dave's hitchhiker's guide to the advertising universe.

I think about how naive I was coming out of school. Five years later, my professor Rob Lawton (ironically one of Dave's profs too) told me he was convinced I wouldn't make it a year in the business. He was delighted to see he was wrong, but boy that didn't exactly feel good hearing. School taught me a little about conceiving ideas, a little more about sketching layouts and spacing type and absolutely zip about what business I was about to stumble into. There I was, Jethro Bodine, with my little rope for a belt sitting across from the likes of Stan Richards trying to look sophisticated. Yes, Dave could have saved me some humiliation.

You know why I want you to buy and share Dave's book? Because of why I know Dave wrote the book. He didn't write it to be famous, or show how smart, talented and clever he is. He didn't write it to make money. He wrote it because he cares about people and he cares about our business. He deserves our help to make it better tomorrow than it is today.
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