It looks like Showtime should have had a different pitch for their latest contest. Instead of promising graphic designers exposure at an upcoming boxing event, they should have labeled it a free vacation package. That might have gone over a bit better. Or the designers who are boxing fans would be more inclined to say yes.

Though to be fair, this is an ad/PR firm working on Showtime's behalf. I'm guessing more PR than ad company.

Let's look at that email and Mr. Cassaro's response.

I'd have a few "Qs." (It's cute when ad people try to be hip.) How long are these spots? How prominent will my contact info be on these spots and at the MGM Grand? Yeah, I get exposure on the social media, which might include some decision makers for various companies that might be client material (who now know I will work for "contests.") But who do I get real face time with?

The answers are pretty pat here. The only real exposure will be on social media, which is a crap shoot (pun intended) and where it really counts at the MGM and on broadcast the answer will be "They will see your art only, no contact info. What you are asking for is almost like an ad." Well, PR/Ad firm, that is what your pitching me right? I've gotta leverage the most out of it.

Because working as a creative is a business at heart and, when you're lucky, a business with heart, but you have to make savvy decisions about your "exposure." Because frankly, it's a wash most of the time in any business.

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I've seen all type, sign makers, marketing firms, and even contractors get taken in with a big client who promises "exposure" and to put your name out there if they are happy with the end result.

And then somehow it never works out.

You've put the client is now in a position of real power and they'll abuse it like crazy. Mostly by making countless changes to the project that you take the hit on to keep the client happy. You'll realize those hits have put you in red too late.

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Ask the VFX companies hows that working for them.

So I'll wrap up with this classic bit from a classic curmudgeon. It's relevant.

Cross posted from The Bright Cave.