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How to Sell Your Side Project: 90 Days of Making

Why would an esteemed, multinational ad agency let two young creatives go rogue and "make stuff" for a summer?

Beats us. I guess our pitch was convincing.

See, last year was Y&R's 90th anniversary, and because of this milestone we were given strict orders to "Resist the Usual" (that's been Y&R's creative mantra ever since Ray Rubicam walked the halls). We obeyed these orders and devised an un-billable 90-day experiment in endurance creativity.

Two guys, one rule. A new creative idea every day, for 90 days. It sounds like the premise of Brokeback Mountain, but there really was a point to the whole charade. We wanted to see how quickly we could turn our ideas into physical, tangible, maybe even marketable products. Paintings, video installations, business ideas, shelving units... something more than just words in a notebook, which is how our ideas usually end up.

Not knowing any better, we pitched the idea to Y&R CEO David Sable. He said yes, and we got started.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. Who did you have to blackmail at Y&R to make this happen?
  2. What is the point in giving away 90 days' worth of IP?
  3. What fueled your marathon of making: coffee or Red Bull or adrenaline?
  4. What was your most disastrous project of all? Why?
  5. What did you make that you still can't get off your mind? Why?



Hope Cowan, CSO North America Y&R Advertising, Young & Rubicam Advertising

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