The Creative Spark! – Audition for an A

Would you wear a shirt that said, “I Eat Kraft”?

I wouldn’t, but I would audition for a No-Name commercial.

Even more disturbing, I tapped into a book called How to Audition for TV Commercials by W. L. Jenkins to give you, yes, study ideas.

You see, the mission of The Creative Spark! is to tap into creative fields for original student tip-offs. And today’s tips top-it-off: they give you the halo effect?a halo of brilliance.

How to get this halo? Make yourself a brand personality. Of the student sort.

Maybe you don’t believe auditions for ad agencies can teach you how to nab an A+. I assure you, they can.

Maybe you can’t accept that you’ve got an A+ student within you. I guarantee you do.

Maybe you want to remain authentic (anything but a brand). I’m not stopping you.

But first, don’t lose yourself. Be 85% authentic; 15% your brand. Yes, you are a brand?of an academic kind.

It’s time you molded your 15% student face into Einstein’s mirror.

You can be the Magnum or Kraft or No-Name of academia: pick your brand.

So, what can commercial auditions teach you about student demands? Lenkins coughs up the ad stuff; I spit out student parallels. (Lenkins’s ideas get boldfaced; mine just get bold.)

What’s a brand? Jot down everything that comes to mind. That’s a brand. Yes, even you, as a student, represent a brand. Your prof’s a brand. Your course’s a brand. So, what comes to mind about you, the student? Well, that’s your student brand. And you can change it. Keep the 85% of you that you love and tweak the rest.

If the authentic product is spunky, shower spunkiness in every ad. Pick the most authentic traits about you. Make them defining traits you love. If your traits sound negative, reword them positively.

Frame them nicely? You see, you’re not a reckless mess; you’re a risk-taker. You’re not uptight; you’re meticulous. You don’t procrastinate; you pontificate.

Even combine traits: playful, original, creative, border-line?that’s the Creative Spark!

Or take what your enemies call you, and turn those insults into positives: go from “goof” to “comedian,” or from “follower” to “team-player,” or from “selfish” to “intra-personally smart.”

Then, market your brand: the risk-taking-you does cutting-edge topics. The meticulous-you cites twenty-plus authors per error-free paper. The pontificating-you drums up breaking-new-ground.

Now market your stuff.

Know Your Audience’s Bias. The audience of your paper is your prof. Yes, know the biases of your prof. Vet your thesis idea with your prof at the start. Bias your work along your prof’s biases if you can stomach it.

Want billions of fans to buy your burger? Well, see those billions as your prof; see your grades as cash. Shamelessly appeal to your audience. And do market research. This is the 15% of your brand that you tweak to your prof. Your 85% authenticity remains.

(But if you want to defy your prof’s views, get ammo: evidence, citations, stats, facts. And a brilliant idea.)

Get a great concept. You can find concepts on the back cover blurbs of DVDs and books. Your thesis statement is your concept. Make your thesis statement as exciting as the blurb on a DVD. Find that angle that takes your thesis from B-roll to blockbuster: an edge that reflects your brand.

As for final credits, if you audition for the No Name commercial, make it worthy of an Academy?I mean academic?award.

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