Work I’ve Done: The Insect Cookbook…Strangely Delicious

The Insect Cookbook is a real cookbook which was published in 2014, and includes many recipes in which insects play a focal part. It makes a case for insects as a good source of protein and a sustainable staple of a human diet, requiring much less energy and resources than a Western meat-centric diet. Indeed, insects are eaten in many parts of the world. My campaign seeks to “de-grossify” the consumption of bugs. Our cultural mores instruct us against eating them, but if these habits change…this behavior will just become normal. The visuals in this campaign were created by art director Hayley Brearton.





Work I’ve Done: Orbit…Minty, Not Stinky

In addition to writing about ads, I’m also an aspiring copywriter myself. So I’m going to put up some work that I’ve created. Enjoy!

When your breath stinks, it doesn’t matter how smart, charming, or good-looking you are. Your breath stinks. End of story. Using exaggerated pictures of a mouth and notoriously odorific foods (fish, onions, pickles), this Orbit campaign conveys that bad breath is all that other people can see. And smell, obviously. Visuals were created by art director Hayley Brearton.






Yoplait Has A Lot Of Flavors

It’s a cute Yoplait commercial with a girl taking her mother’s “one of each” advice literally. But I’m posting this on here for a different reason. I was thinking about a spec ad with almost the exact same idea (albeit with college-aged males and Doritos). But I didn’t write it down. So that’s motivation to get more of my own writings on the blog…look for those soon.

Work I’ve Done: Amtrak Spec Print Ad (“See America”)

This is the print version of an Amtrak spec ad I created. It was another collaboration with the same NYC graphic designer.

Work I’ve Done: McDonald’s Spec Ad (“Lottery Surprise”)

Here’s another spec ad. If you think it’s or anything else you see on this blog is good, and can help me out in a jobly manner, that would be swell. If you think it sucks, I guess that’s OK too.

McDonald’s Spec Ad

Brief: What would you do if you won the lottery? After gaining new found wealth, people will often buy many things, but their essence stays the same. Jason Baxter has just won the lottery, and he has an interesting idea for his money.

Setting: The Multi-Millions Lottery Headquarters. A timid looking man, aged anywhere from his mid 20s to mid 40s is standing at a podium.

Male voice off camera: Jason Baxter, you’ve just won $50 million in the Multi-Millions Lottery. What ARE you going to do with the money?

Jason (with a slight stammer): Well, I’m not sure really. But there is one thing that I’ve always wanted.

The scene changes to a long shot of a huge mansion with large grounds. This must be what Jason always wanted. Next, the camera zooms into the mansion. The viewer sees a giant, twisting, indoor slide. Maybe that’s what Jason wanted.

Jason is on the top of the slide. He takes a deep breath and swings himself down.

As he’s going down the slide, he yells and hoots like a small child. Finally, the slide lets off into a ball pit. Jason gets up from the ball pit looking slightly dazed. He’s now in a private McDonald’s IN HIS OWN MANSION!

Jason: Hey, I’ll have a Big Mac, fries and coke.

McDonald’s worker (with a smile): Coming right up, J.

The commercial closes with a shot of a small Golden Arches logo in a mansion window. It’s accompanied either by the standard “I’m lovin it” slogan, or my own slogan “MMM McDonald’s”.


How much would this commercial cost to make? Would it be too expensive?

I chose McDonald’s simply because it’s the biggest advertiser. But this concept could work for any fast food place.

Work I’ve Done: Cincinnati Bengals Spec Print Ad

These are promotional posters I did for the Cincinnati Bengals, with the help of an NYC graphic designer. Recently, ESPN named the Bengals last in their franchise rankings for the four professional sports leagues. While the team and ownership leave a lot to be desired, this advertisement will focus on the game experience. There are two versions: one only has the keywords, while the other has keywords and additional smaller copy. I worried about whether people would actually take the time to read the copy. I’m putting up smaller versions of these to allow for side by side comparison. If you want to read the copy on the right-side poster, you can just click directly on the image.

Work I’ve Done: Amtrak Spec Ad (“See America”)

Amtrak Spec Ad

Brief: If you’re traveling long distance and not driving, there are three main options in the US. Flying used to be considered luxurious, but it’s now better known for invasive TSA patdowns, crammed seating, and annoying fees. Long distance bus travel is dirt cheap and thus usually stigmatized for being for the poor, which is why I ride it. That leaves train travel, which is underutilized and not as well known in America. The sole intercity passenger rail line in the United States is Amtrak. This advertisement will highlight one of the main benefits: the potential to see spectacular scenery. The target audience is couples in their 30s and beyond.

Setting: An Amtrak train. A youthful looking married couple in their 30s or 40s is sitting next to each other in their seats. They are the type of couple close enough to complete each other’s sentences.

Man: This time we decided to travel a little differently.

Woman: We decided to travel on Amtrak.

Man: It does take a longer time.

Woman (snuggling close to husband): But when we’re together, the journey is more important than the destination.

The camera shows rolling scenery and the rumbling of the train is heard.

The same couple is now in the lounge car sitting at a table.

Man: Besides, on a plane we’d see the sky.

Woman: But on Amtrak, we see America!

The couple clinks champagne/wine glasses (Amtrak does serve alcohol on many trains). The camera pans out to show a dramatic natural setting (maybe mountains) and a longer distance shot of the train riding off into the sunset.


Does Amtrak advertise on TV? I don’t know that I have actually seen a commercial for them. Even so, this could easily be made into a print/billboard ad, with emphasis on the dramatic scenery and the phrase “See America”.

The couple could also be riding in a private cabin instead of sitting on bench-style seats.

Work I’ve Done: Crest Spec Ad (“Smiles For A Lifetime”)

I had an epiphany today. For those who don’t know, I’m trying to get a copywriting job/internship (unsuccessfully so far). That means I’ve been writing a lot, in addition to this blog. Today, I realized that it would probably be a good idea to put some of my work up here. The stuff I’m doing is merely speculative, which just means that if I made an ad, it would be like this. So here’s my first piece.

Crest Spec Ad

Brief: Brand loyalty can form over a lifetime. Often, close, almost emotional connections are formed from childhood. A person who has exposure to a certain product as a child is more likely to continue buying into adulthood. This spot shows how different Crest products can be used at different times in life.

Setting: A bathroom

A man in his early to mid 30s stands in front of the mirror, his face covered in shaving cream. His young son (3 or 4) is right next to him, messily brushing his teeth with Kids Crest Sparkle Fun.

Dad: Make sure you get back deep. That’s where the cavities are.

Flash forward. On screen graphics: 12 years later

The same young boy is now a very gawky teenager. I’m picturing a teenaged version of myself. He’s in the bathroom brushing his teeth with Crest Whitening Toothpaste with Scope. Camera then shows his mother outside the bathroom door knocking.

Mom: Your first date! Are you nervous?

Teenager has a deer-in-headlights look into the mirror. He takes a few deep breaths, and does the breathe into your hand to test your breath bit. Suddenly, he has a look of confidence.

Next, we see the teenager on a date at a restaurant or ice cream place. His date is attractive, but the girl-next-door type, so as not to suspend disbelief that she would actually be going out with him. They exchange smiles, and it’s clear that they’re clicking.

Flash forward. On screen graphics: 7 years later

Our gawky teenager has grown into a non-gawky man. Yet again, we see him in the bathroom, and this time he’s with the same girl that he went on the date. He’s struggling to tie a tie, and looking unsure of himself. He then puts Crest Whitestrips on his teeth.

Girlfriend: You’ll be great! Just be calm, confident, SMILE, and I know you’ll get it!

We next see our protagonist in a job interview setting, shaking the interviewer’s hand. They’re both smiling, and it looks like he got the job.

Flash forward. On screen graphics: 10 years later

The same man is in the bathroom with the same woman. They’re married now, and both wearing rings. They are also accompanied by a daughter (3 or 4). The man’s face is covered in shaving cream, and his daughter is messily brushing her teeth with Crest Kids Toothpaste for girls.

Man: Make sure you get back deep. That’s where the cavities are.

It’s a mirror of the first scene…we’ve come full circle.

Female voiceover: Crest wants you to be your best, no matter your age.  Choose Crest: For a lifetime of smiles.


I envision following the same characters throughout their lives. However, different characters could go in the scenes if desired.

The commercial could also expand to old age or be shortened.

Could be a good tie-in for a contest of some type (write 250 words or less about how Crest has positively impacted your life and win some prize). These are great PR boosters because a lot of people enter and contribute attributes to products, even with a small chance of winning.

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