You probably know by now that former Saatchi & Saatchi CCO Gerry Graf’s new NY start-up agency, BFG 9000, has been turning a lot of heads in over the past year. In fact, some new work for travel site Kayak.com landed the agency, named after Gerry Graf’s father and the mega gun from Doom, in the #1 spot on Ad Age’s list “Agencies to Watch in 2012.”
However, you may not know that, according to a press release that started making rounds online on Monday, BFG 9000 has never hired a graduate from Miami Ad School. Yes, the press release states, there are employees at the agency from the VCU Brandcenter, but none from perhaps that world’s most famous school of corporate creativity and stuff (or whatever they do there). Well, one enterprising young Miami Ad School grad, Felicia Carr, decided to buck the trend, sending out a pretty authentic-looking press release to the ad community announcing that, egad, BFG 9000 had hired its first Miami Ad School graduate. Even Creativity was fooled by the press release. After all, BFG 9000 had sent out messages to the press announcing ridiculous things in the past. The addition of a junior art director sounded like something the agency would alert marketing journalists about.
Of course, BFG 9000 had no idea who Carr was prior to the press release. Though Carr has declared BFG 9000 her “dream agency” to work at, she still has yet to hear from Graff and his crew, despite Carr telling Creativity she sent, “35 cupcakes for the entire staff at BFG, 40 finger puppets and an apology letter explaining what I did and asking for an interview.” While most ad school students try to get hired by displaying technological prowess, Carr used an old communication medium to create some buzz. In doing so, she made BFG 9000 look like a desirable place to work while simultaneously making Graff and his crew look stuck up if they choose not to grant her an interview.
So, agencies, would you rather have an art director who can make your Facebook Timeline look pretty, or someone with balls? If you favor the latter, find Carr’s portfolio here.
Update: We asked Carr, who just completed an internship at Razorfish NY, a few questions about her stunt. Read on after the jump.
Update 2: BFG 9000 ECD Eric Kallman would like you to know that, contrary to the press release in question and Carr’s interview in Creativity, his agency does hire Miami Ad School alumni. In fact, he says, “Myself, the ECD, attended Miami Ad School as well as one of our creative directors and copywriters. Also, another one of our creative directors is an instructor at Miami Ad School. Roughly a quarter of our creative department has attended or is affiliated with Miami Ad School.”
Any word yet from BFG 9000?
“Last night when I got back home I got a Tweet from BFG9000 that just said, ‘Thanks for the love.’ I tweeted back, ‘Too bad the love is not reciprocated.’ and attached the following meme to the Twitter link.”
Have any other agencies contacted you after seeing the press release?
“I’ve been getting a few e-mails over the course of this week which is really nice but to be honest it’s not why I did this. I genuinely did this for BFG9000 but I guess if other agencies now find my art direction irresistible, then so be it!”
Why BFG 9000?
“BFG 9000 is my top choice because it’s everything I admire about advertising. BFG 9000 really gets to the core of any human truth and then puts a humorous spin on it. That’s everything I fancy rolled up in one agency I’d love to one day work for.”
Are you preparing any other stunts to get hired?
“I don’t have any more tricks up my sleeve for BFG 9000. In my eyes, the ball is in their court now. I know I did everything I could to get their attention, and I’m going to keep on going with my head held high. I know there’s an agency out there that will appreciate my style of art direction.”
Anything else you’d like to add about your experience?
“Yes. I was working on the idea for a while now, how I was going to position myself to BFG9000. As this kind of took off in my head, I told some close friends and mentors. Almost all of them told me it was a horrible idea, that it would ruin my reputation. And one said, ‘But if this is something you would do, then do it.’ And I did. I took a risk, and at first I was scared. But nothing great comes from not taking risks. To me, taking risks is what makes you grow as a person and I’ve definitely grown a lot over the course of this week.”