Getting Older

I’m quoted in a piece written by the talented Kristina Monllos about the struggles people, including myself, find themselves having in securing full-time work in the marketing industry now that we’re getting closer to middle age.

If you’re new and want to read more about my journey over the last three years, you can find it all here.

Chris Thilk is 44 years old. It’s been three years since he was let go from full-time agency work, and he has yet to find another full-time gig. That’s not for lack of trying, as he has applied to hundreds of jobs over the years. With 15 years of experience in the business, Thilk believes his age and experience level are hurting, rather than helping him in his quest for a new job.

via ‘Not easy to get a job past 40’: How ageism at agencies affects older employees – Digiday

Selling Ad Astra

My latest post at The Hollywood Reporter is a recap of the marketing campaign for the Brad Pitt-starring drama Ad Astra.

To sell the movie — not based on any existing property or material — the studio has run a campaign focused on the emotional drama of Pitt’s McBride and how he deals with his personal issues while also trying to save the world.

You can read the whole thing here.

Selling Hustlers

My latest post at The Hollywood Reporter is a recap of the marketing campaign for Hustlers.

The movie, tracking for a $25 million-plus opening weekend and with a 96 percent Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, has been sold in its marketing and promotional campaign by the studio as a funny, glitzy and star-studded heist caper.

You can read the whole thing here.

Productively Writing About Productivity

Well, it’s completed. For now.

A year and a half ago I started writing about productivity.

I wasn’t sure what I was ultimately going to do with it. It felt like a book and I’ve pitched it as such to multiple publishers, none of which have taken me up on the offer.

Two drafts were completely blown up by me at various points over the last 18 months. They just weren’t working and I no longer cared for the way the narrative was coming together. Eventually I found a structure for the writing that made sense.

And now the first draft is finished.

There’s work to be done, for sure. Each section needs editing. New material needs to be added and some needs to be removed. Typos need fixing and I’m sure some of my sentence structure leaves plenty to be desired.

They say that the most important part of the first draft is reaching the end. Stop dithering, procrastinating and editing and finish the damn thing. It may be crappy, but that’s what editing is for. So I’ve at least accomplished that much.

As I go through the painful editing process – including reviewing the 40+ pages of notes with additional items compiled while I was writing – I’ll also be finally deciding what form this is all going to take.

Having it published as a book would be great, but it runs so against the mainstream it’s hard to see who would take a chance on it.

It could wind up as a series of blog posts. It could be a blog of its own. It could be an email newsletter.

All that is still to come, though. For now I’m going to bask in the glory that is a completed first draft before going too deeply into the anxiety surrounding “OK BUT NOW WHAT, THILK!” There’ll be time enough for that.

A key learning experience for me in this process was that it was alright to write slightly differently but still sound like myself. That’s something I’ve done often, but never with material like this and it took some getting used to. My usual voice and tone weren’t right for the subject matter (resulting in the scraping of one of the early attempts) and a whole new approach was needed. After a few tries, I got the one that felt right.

18 months is the longest I’ve ever worked on a single writing project of any kind. There were months, admittedly, I didn’t touch the draft. It felt imposing at times and I considered abandoning it more than once. Now that this first pass is finished, though, I’m incredibly happy I stuck with it. However this is shared, I’m proud of what I’ve produced and feel it’s wholly unique, unlike anything anyone is putting out there. Which means it could be a hit, or a massive flop.

That’s the future, though. More writing awaits between now and then.

Warner Bros. Goes Experiential For It Chapter 2

My latest post at Adweek is a deeper look at the Derry Canal Days experiential marketing event run by Warner Bros. as part of the marketing campaign for It Chapter 2.

With It Chapter Two hitting theaters this week Warner Bros. is once more pulling out an experiential marketing execution meant to make the movie’s story a tangible reality for fans. As is often the case with sequels, this time, things are even bigger than they were the first time around.

You can read the whole thing here.

Selling It Chapter 2

My latest marketing recap at The Hollywood Reporter covers the campaign for It Chapter 2.

With an 71 percent Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, early reviews have labeled the much-anticipated sequel fun and ambitious, even if the nearly-three-hour running time is seen as overly long. To sell audiences on what may be the official kickoff to the fall movie season, Warner Bros.’ campaign has relied on the same sort of immersive experiences used two years ago for the first film.

You can read the full thing here.