Did You Know There Was an ADC Portfolio Night All-Star Battle? Well, Now You Know

By Kiran Aditham 

As we wrap up summer (went too fast, but FALL IN NY!), we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the happenings during the 2013 Art Directors Club Porfolio Night All-Stars. During the weeklong event from a couple of weeks ago, creative types from 24 countries were tasked with a brief to create a global platform for the Ford Focus to ensure the auto brand we see here in North America is the same we would see overseas. Here are just a few recollections from the All-Stars who made it to the event, which kicked off on August 5 and featured the likes of DDB Worldwide CCO Amir Kassaei, Barbarian Group co-founder/CEO Benjamin Palmer and AKQA CCO, Rei Inamoto. First up to bat, we have Sean Collander, copywriter and PN11 Chicago All-Star.

“Camaraderie is not exactly what you would expect when pitting 23 young creatives against each other in a competition to create work for one of the world’s biggest car brands, but that is exactly what I’ve found over the last few days here at the Portfolio Night 11 All-Stars competition. Now, don’t get me wrong, we all want to win, but it’s coming out in the work, not in our relationships with each other. I’ve had conversations about the future of advertising, European politics, the merits of both Texas BBQ and Kansas City BBQ, rap videos, and Robin Thicke’s hair. Different teams will regularly get together to play a game of Pictionary to let off steam. At the end of a full day of concepting, we will all get together for a few drinks, and have made the bar down the street the unofficial after party location of the week.

I think I can speak for all 23 participants when I say we’ve experienced a lot over such a short amount of time, and it has been more incredible than any one of us imagined it could be. The Art Directors Club has been extremely gracious with their knowledge and resources, managing to bring together an unbelievable list of guest speakers, judges, and sponsors.

When I attended Portfolio Night 11 in Chicago back in May, I went simply looking to get feedback on my work and maybe, If I was lucky, a job. I had no idea that a few months later I would be selected to work on a brief for Ford with 22 other creatives representing countries all over the world. I can honestly say that this is one of the most fun and stressful experiences I have ever had, and am truly humbled to be a part of the very first Portfolio Night All Stars.”

After the jump, check out more from Isabelle Osterlund, another PN 11 All-Star from Stockholm.

“As late as two days before Portfolio Night Stockholm, I actually purchased a ticket to attend.
As late as two hours before that Portfolio Night, I almost chickened out. And now, almost two
months later, I’m sitting in my hotel room in New York City and am beyond glad I decided not
to chicken out and participate in Portfolio Night Stockholm earlier this year.
I’ve met so many great people this week, from all different cultures. I had hoped to get a
chance to see the city this week, but instead I got a chance to see the whole world through my
competitors. My three amazing and talented group members and I have worked so well together.

We’ve laughed together, and been frustrated together, been angry at each other, and loved each
other. The week has been a roller coaster, just as it should be when trying to come up with the
best idea ever.

This week has also been a great opportunity in so many other ways besides meeting my team.
All the inspiring speakers who have been with us every morning have been a great way to start
the day before we get back to work. And to work with a huge company, with a real brief, here in
NYC is just amazing.

As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in my hotel room, about to get ready for my last day of this
adventure. I only slept three hours last night and I’m way to close to the deadline for this
article. But that kind of summarizes this week–stressful, short and chaotic, yet so exciting and
wonderful. Portfolio Night All-Stars has already opened so many doors and I’m so proud and
honored that I actually got to participate in this once-in-a lifetime experience.”