Sunday, 5 December 2010

Successful Applications (Part One)

DOUBLE dare you.

Right, as alluded to in the comments of the last post, there's a young grad (who goes by the name of Simon - more about him here and here) that has been lucky enough to get an interview at Dare.

He's rather generously agreed to have his answers to the Dare graduate application form put up on this blog, and there's quite a lot of you who have mentioned you'd like to see some successful responses put up on the blog. I don't have time to do it now, but I'm sure I can dig out some of my old apps (which will probably lurk somewhere online/in my emails) to show you guys.

I will also add my own thoughts as to why he got invited to an interview, and if any Dare person wants to chime in to explain why they liked the app, feel free to do so.


Question 1: Which brand has the most imaginative and innovative marketing and why?

The brand image of Chile has recently demonstrated imaginative and innovative marketing, which has resulted in a successful rebranding of the country.

Despite the miners’ accident, Chile have been able to use this opportunity to rebrand itself in the most unusual way. It’s innovative – because no one genuinely creates accidents to improve their brand image and they’ve capitalised on this. It’s imaginative – because who would have thought anyone could successfully rebrand following a potentially fatal accident.

The government’s reaction, determination and patience has changed the world’s perception of Chile from Pinochet’s reign of dictatorship to a country where the government acted like a fully developed nation.

The best form of product placement has to be Oakley who donated sunglasses to the miners and were told to wear them on the globally televised rescue. Front Row Analytics reported they garnered approximately $41million in equivalent advertising time from an initial $6300 expenditure.

This is a very clever, laterally minded response. Simon could have very easily have said 'Waitrose' or 'Sony', and given a stock marketing response. Instead, he thought about just why and how brands are constructed, and how country and product intertwine. Very smart thinking. The only slight amend I'd have made to this would be drawing attention to the coverage (think of the fake Chilean miner twitter account, which had tens of thousands of followers) that it received online. But that's a very, VERY minor quibble - nice thought.

Question 2: Has digital fundamentally changed marketing or simply provided a new set of tools to play with?

Digital has done both of those things.

Digital has provided a new set of tools to play with, thus a new dimension of communications. In the process, this has shifted the focus from traditional forms of advertising to digital where businesses can now reach their target audience more efficiently. Digital has changed not only where we advertise, but how we advertise and this in turn has revolutionised traditional advertising. For example, billboard adverts have been projected, newspaper ads appear in newspaper mobile apps.

Like a tree with many branches, digital has opened a variety of communication channels. Most recently, 3D advertising which, I think, could be massive in 10 years time when everyone will probably own a 3D TV (just like 10 years ago when flat screen TVs came onto the market). This has literally opened up a new dimension for creativity and advertising in general.

This is a fairly 'stock' response to what is a fairly straightforward question. Nothing is 'wrong' with it. I'm of the opinion there should always be one straight response to the questions answered, and this is it. His examples are fine - the answer could have been improved with some more salient examples of what brands are doing with these new channels, but given space, it's the right approach.

Question 3: What's the most interesting thing about you?

I can write legibly with my left hand. (I’m naturally right handed).

This is a 'silly' question. One which you can answer in any way. I think my response to this was that I had a scar shaped like a stegosaurus or something else. Basically, write anything which is more thoughtful than 'I once met...'. Think of an amusing incident, something only you can do - without sounding cliche. This is a solid response, and does well to keep it short. Brevity in your response is almost always a good thing - it means you'll probably be asked to elaborate in your interview, and shows you can 'write to the question'. Sometimes, there's nothing more to say.

Question 4: What's the most powerful number?


This is the most powerful number in the whole of the universe. Here are the reasons why:

· The number as a whole contains all the numbers from 1-10 and therefore it has all the power it needs to defeat anything. Including Killer Su Doku. Too many of the same numbers would dilute the power of the number, apparently.

· If a=0, b=1 then 1032745986 = Bad Chef Jig = a type of dance Gordon Ramsay is reluctant to do

· 1032745986/6895472301 (backwards) = 0.14

1032745986/314159265 (π without the decimal) = 3.28

3.28 – 0.14 = 3.14 = π

This is another opportunity to think laterally or culturally. Simon answers this one extremely well. Who thinks about imbuing a number with personality, as he does here? I certainly wouldn't have thought of it. The 'Bad Chef Jig' joke is very clever too, as is the pie joke.

So then - there's one successful application. That, plus a decent online presence, is what it takes to get an interview at Dare. What do you think of it, readers? I can entirely understand why Simon got an interview. Simon - thanks for sending this in.


Anonymous said...

This is really helpful. Totally see now that I need to up-my-game on the advertising questions, but also feel like it is achievable :)

Thanks Simon.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys, this is really useful, Simon's a great sport for sharing. Noticed that a decent online presence comes into play - could you expand on that? Is it just a case of having a twitter/blog/linkedin account? And is it true your facebook gets looked through if possible? Thanks.

Will said...

Anon 1 - thanks for that.

Anon 2 - thanks, and when it comes to online presence, I would say - being able to be found online, and having participated in some of the debates online (agency blogs, Brand Republic etc). Nothing more than that. I think - open a blog if you have something to say, not because you think you should.

Will said...

Oh, and I don't know about FB. I wouldn't really worry about it, but I would be careful not to slag too much work off online (without a decent point of view/damn good reason - you'll end up working with those people in the future, I promise).

Anonymous said...

Great stuff posting this. I also have an interview at Dare but my application was slightly different. It's nice to see they are looking at candidates from different angles!

AdRoots said...

Really some great answers; especially Re: Chile, that integration of PR crisis management and product placement was truly ingenious; the fact that no-one was hurt certainly aided the rebrand.

With regards to digital changing the game I would have liked to have seen some more about social networks.

As for 3&4. pretty good especially the maths comedy.

Great to see some applicant responses to gradschemes!

Anonymous said...

I emailed Simon my responses to these questions. I wondered whether you will likely do anything with them. Just as I thought it might be interesting comparatively as I didn't get offered an interview.

Jordan said...

That's very much both Will and Simon. I have to admit I'd become very stuck by that number question and couldn't have thought up anything as original.

John Papers said...

Thank you for share this information..

Jackson Edmonds said...
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