When creative Sebastian Olar announced he was planning a hitchhiking and CouchSurfing tour of the UK after a sojourn at the EMEA Academy for the Future his home agency, McCann Bucharest, spotted an unmissable opportunity to snare a new junior art director.
The agency set a challenge for prospective candidates to design a hitching sign for Sebastian that would convince skeptical UK drivers to stop and give him a lift. The competition was launched on the agency's Facebook page and a week later 10 entries were selected and the creators of each winning sign were called for interview.
Meanwhile Sebastian selected just one sign to take with him on his journey, as carrying ten just to try and get from Glasgow to Edinburgh wasn't the most practical plan. After standing on the street and enduring odd looks from all who passed for a full 40 minutes Sebastian, on the brink of giving up, was picked up by a couple heading to Falkirk.
“He was an army man, so wasn't afraid of anyone” recounts Sebastian. “They left me at the train station in Falkirk and made sure I had money to get to Edinburgh. I gave them tuica to try, this traditional Romanian alcohol made by my grandmother, and Rom, our traditional chocolate bar, and that was that.”
On helping to judge the competition Sebastian said: “The winning signs checked two criteria: surprising concept and good execution. Some were offering a benefit for the drivers (I know a shortcut / I am the best travel companion), others were explaining why I was hitchhiking (I spent all my money on marker / trains are too mainstream), others were capitalizing on local things. All in all, we've discovered some great new talent through this fun and different recruitment process. I'm excited to see who lands the job!
View winning entries here and here, and check out the rest of the entries here.