Man Crit – By @DJayDancer1

By Daniel Johnson


Man Crit

So I sat down with Tom Manning on Monday morning to dissect my portfolio. 

By the end of the crit, I was challenged to create a new book. By Friday!!!

Suffice to say, my book and presentation skills did not wow…

Now it’s Thursday evening and I’ve just finished version 2.0.

Here’s a few lessons from Monday I tried to honour in the rebuild.

1. Never, ever say…

“well this one wasn’t so much about the idea…..” 

Your book is about showing your thinking. Duh!

2. Don’t present everything in one media. 

It’s highly unlikely that the best way to tell the story of all of your campaigns is through posters.

3. Don’t forget your ideas, executions insights or propositions… 

Ummming and ahhhhing is a sure fire way to reduce the sexiness of your ideas, no matter how good it originally was.

Just as Pete tells us, a single word can make all the difference in a proposition. And it’s just as true in a crit.

If you’re memory sucks like mine, write it down.

4. Make sure the Idea is brought to life in exciting and unexpected ways.

Find ways to tell digital ads in a physical way for example. 

5. You control the context.

If I’m showing print ads, show one mocked up to show context. Or clearly explain where it would live.

6. Remember, every campaign is a story.

So what’s the best way to tell that story?

7. Make it attractive. For your demographic.

Make sure that your medium and art style match your demographic. 

I was showing work about empowering kids to be eco warriors. But it was pointed out to me that the font and style looked like it was for adults.

8. Be conscious of the work you want in your book vs the briefs you don’t.

Your book should reflect you and the kind of work you want to make.

What does your book say about you?

9. PIS on your Ideas.

A good way to present your ideas is with a tight Pis. That’s:




Some of the best book crits Tom has done, have amazing PIS’s.

An amazing solution sentence can get the ecd nodding along before you even show them the work. 

That’s what you want. You want them eagerly listening, nodding along, excited to see the work.

10. Make sure you know exactly what you want from sca. 

These are a few questions I’ve made for myself moving forward:

What work do I want to make?

Who makes that work?

How do I get hired there? Do they only hire pairs, singles ect?

11. Don’t think too much.

Think by doing.

The copy scores 85.2 in the Flesch Reading Ease test

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