Six months ago I decided I wanted to work at Leo Burnett Melbourne.

I’m honestly not quite sure why. I think Todd Sampson from ABC’s The Gruen Transfer may have had something to do with it. Sorry Russell.

I knew I wouldn’t be able to just walk in there and get a job or even an internship. And even my normal arrogant self didn’t think my blog would be enough by itself.

So I decided to get creative.

First, you should know that Leo Burnett have a motto, ‘Big ideas come out of big pencils’. So I built a big pencil. I got in touch with an industrial designer from uni and we started construction on a five foot tall wooden pencil. The plan was to paint it black and down the side print lettering which read

I was then going to get it couriered to the Melbourne office, straight to Melinda Gertz’s (managing director) desk. I envisioned it as a pleasant day, with the sun shining high in the sky as a burly courier drops off a large package wrapped in brown paper at reception. The receptionist walks through the office, with people poking their heads up as she (or he I suppose) walks past. She hands it to Melinda, who is so intrigued she puts an extremely important client on hold and slowly teases the paper off to discover the print down the side of the pencil. The receptionist squeals in delight and runs to the computer to plug in the URL.

Bam. Video of me appears telling them both that I want to work at Leo Burnett with a link to my blog and a phone number for them to give me a call.

I think I would have gotten that call.

Unfortunately, for one reason or another I canned the plan. Although I do still have a half finished giant pencil in my room.

So, although it never quite played out with the fairy tale ending I wanted, it could have. The story wouldn’t have been worth writing had I simply emailed in my resume.

The concept of creative applications certainly isn’t new. Some of my favourites include the student who listed his internship on eBay and this hilarious application on Craigslist. But if you are going to try something like this there’s a couple of things to consider. Tie it into the brand or agency’s core values, use it to demonstrate your skills or talents and finally, make sure it’s got some kapow!

I look back at my almost stunt and think that even if it didn’t work, Melinda would at least have had something to tell Todd next time they caught up.

Be creative is the fourth article in the ‘Graduate like a rock star‘ series.