Creative Art Director | Bolin Marketing

Creative Art Director

Creative Brief

Bolin is currently seeking a Creative Art Director to join our Minneapolis office. Rather than sorting through outdated portfolio links or reviewing a list of resume bullet points and clients you may or may not have substantially impacted, we are asking candidates to build a campaign for themselves to become part of the team. You are the product. The assignment is for you to position, brand, and sell yourself to the internal creative team (who happen to be pretty cool – sometimes). How you decide to tackle this challenge is entirely up to you.

Agency Statement:

Bolin is a fully integrated creative brand experience agency located in Minneapolis, MN. The agency is part of a larger group of independent agencies around the world called Tribe Global, with operations in 22 different countries and fluency in a bunch of languages. Founded in 1950, Bolin is one of the oldest independent agencies in the Midwest. Bolin focuses on several key vertical markets, including travel & tourism, consumer goods, manufacturing, shelter, and food. Our office is located just west of downtown Minneapolis and features ample free parking, free coffee, and a pet-friendly environment.

Brand Statement:

We believe in inspiring and empowering consumers in a connected world. We seek creative talent that can solve complex business challenges through content, stories, design, and overall creative genius.

Project Background:

After having a very successful period of client growth, both organic and new business, Bolin is seeking to add additional creative talent to the team. The agency is primarily looking for a Creative Art Director, but would also be open to an Art Director/Copywriter team looking to apply together. While the agency appreciates the stacks of resumes from candidates who have spent time “working on large brands” at “really important places,” we really want to see what you can do with your own brand. The objective of this campaign is to find a person (or team) who wants to take on their next creative challenge by joining Bolin. This project consists of the candidate developing a campaign aimed at getting the job of Creative Art Director at Bolin (seems strange, but you get it, right?).

Target Audience:

For this assignment, the target audience is the Executive Creative Director at Bolin (and the rest of the extended agency team). Candidates should be creative people, male or female, aged 22-99, with one or two hands. Candidates should be filled with confidence, low on ego. Should be a self-starter and motivated to tackle both exciting and boring creative challenges. They should be eager to learn and receive feedback. Ideal candidates should have a background and passion for integrated campaign development, including branding, film, photography, digital, and other crazy ideas clients usually don’t go for (but feed the soul).

Key Challenges:

Most creative portfolios look the same—filled with big brand names and pretty work. Determining the role of the candidate in these projects has become increasingly difficult, which is why the agency is selecting a non-traditional approach to candidate vetting and approval. The key challenge is for the candidate to highlight their abilities, while showcasing their actual creative talents.

Chief Competitors:

Bolin heavily recruits people with strong agency backgrounds. The agency is staffed by seasoned professionals who escaped their previously narrow focus and wanted to find a place where they could behave in a more creative and entrepreneurial manner. Competitive set will range from candidates with strong design and branding backgrounds to people with artificially inflated titles and senses of contribution to major projects. The spectrum of applicants will be wide, but the ideal candidate will showcase their unique approach and proposition.

Client References:

The Art Director candidate (or team) will work on clients such as 3D Systems, Kauai Coffee Company, Honeywell, Baker Boy Magic Ring Donuts, plus other stuff we can’t talk about publicly now. Candidates should have similar experience in their portfolio and/or have the ability to make a (beer, coffee, beef jerky, friends company) brand look amazing.

Primary Message:

Candidates should showcase their ability to think for themselves, come up with unique ideas, position products (themselves) in creative ways, capture the attention of an overwhelmed hiring manager, and highlight their ability and desire to make an impact on the Bolin creative team.

Communication Channels:

Candidates are free to use any appropriate communication channels they feel are necessary to get the product noticed. Email, phone, in-person, experimental, social, and film are all welcome. Final candidates will be invited to present their capabilities and campaign in-person to the creative and agency leadership team of Bolin.

Mandatory Elements:

Portfolio of work, life mission statement, references from people who don’t hate you, salary requirements (fees), and creative platform (for yourself).

Secondary Elements:

While speculative design work is not necessary to be awarded the position, candidates should feel welcome to be creative in their application approach. Simply submitting a URL or generic resume will likely be rejected.


Candidates should submit their intent and proposal to Michael Kraabel ( and CC Alyssa Lefebvre ( Subject line in email should be: “BOLIN Art Director Campaign – Your Name.” Submissions can also be hand-delivered with food, beer, and/or other unique mechanisms that will draw attention to the candidate. Submissions should come in the form of a campaign pitch deck, including insights, platforms, territories, themes, activation ideas, etc.


If you prefer to just send your resume and portfolio, we will take that too.


Creative Brief was developed on 9/17/2018.  ECD reserves the right to fix terrible typos and grammar errors created in the haste to get the project online.

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