How Big Brother made me a better creative

Copywriter and Big Brother 2012 contestant Michael Beveridge reveals how three months locked away from the outside world has made him better equipped for the advertising industry.

G’day adland. I know you probably have no idea who I am because no-one actually watches TV anymore unless it’s downloaded episodes of The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones episode. My name is Michael. I went and lived in Dreamworld in a weird house full of cameras with 16 other people for three months and learned a bunch of stuff about myself, and, being that I was a junior copywriter before I went into the house, I thought I could give some half-arsed tips on what Big Brother can teach a young creative.

Don’t go mental when fancy client food is offered to you

Juniors in particular. Yes yes, I know you’ve only got an expired bus ticket with some peanut butter spread on it for lunch, but the minute you start losing it over three half-eaten muffins that are left in the meeting room, is the minute the attractive people in accounts stop seeing you as a viable Christmas party make-out option. So play it cool, let someone else get in there first and casually walk in like you’ve just come off some important call and snag an orange and poppyseed like it ain’t even no thang.

Don’t make out with the competition

They might be cute and oh so adorable when they bring you a coffee for the morning brainstorm session, but unless you’re ready to really commit, I’d suggest maybe looking elsewhere to find that magical partner. You might just… Oh I dunno… lose say… a 250k contract because you start feeling some feelings about that art director you used to dislike and then people start thinking you’re doing it so you can form some super-team and then no one hires you or you get given that crappy real estate client that only does Facebook ads and pages in the local Chinese newspaper.

Pull your pants up

No one will ever follow you if they have to look at your arse. This is more a metaphor for putting a little more care into your appearance when there’s people that matter around. I get it, we’re young, we have beards, we wear busted up Vans and Cons with reckless abandon and I’m not saying stop. All I’m saying is, sometimes, leave the ripped leggings at home and show the big guys that you’re capable of dressing fancy and you’ll get invited to an after party and you can accidentally hug Sonya Kruger. Seven times.

Lose your mind, find your mojo

You’re in day five of pitch week. You’ve forgotten what your bed looks like, you want to punch your friends in the face when they complain about staying back 30 minutes at work and you can recite the ingredients of a Red Bull with your eyes closed (if you could close your eyes)… You’re coming close to losing the plot, and all I can say is… go ahead and lose it. I lost my mind for the first time ever in the Big Brother house and I learnt some things about myself that I’m lucky to learn at a young age. It’s OK to have self doubt. It’s OK to not know what to think and have crappy ideas. It’s fine to feel down about your surroundings and it’s totally OK to sit on a cake. Just make sure there’s no clients around.

Michael is available for freelance copywriting work. You can contact him via Twitter.


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