It was just an average day on Twitter last week until I saw this Tweet: "@mikemckayecd: I have a writer position worth $70k. Funniest twitter response gets it."
Two questions sprang to mind: Who was this guy -- and was he serious? Turns out he's Mike McKay, executive creative director of Saatchi and Saatchi LA, an arm of one of the world's larger advertising firms, and yes, he's serious.
"It's really hard to find good writers. I don't know why," McKay told me. "It's even harder to find people to write dialogue. It's even harder to find funny writers."
And funny, viral writers like the geniuses who scripted the Old Spice man's recent viral videos? Forget about it. "It's much easier to write long form," McKay said. "It's much harder to get someone interested in something in 140 characters."
This won't be the first time a tweet landed someone a job. It's not even quite unprecedented at Saatchi. The London office encouraged would-be interns to compete in a Facebook group challenge in which they battled to get the most members. But one tweet for a coveted advertising writing job? That's nuts even by Saatchi standards.
"I was like, 'Fuck it, I'm going to try it,'" McKay explained. "Immediately I get HR coming up and saying, 'What did you just do?'"
As it turns out, most of the good replies have come from people within the advertising industry. They have "books," portfolios of work from other agencies, and they've got some talent.
"I was thinking, maybe we'll get idiots and we'll be stuck: I'll have to hire one of these guys," he said. "But we got great writers."
Or so he claims. Here are his 17 finalists. McKay expects to pick someone by midweek with the help of this poll, so let him hear you in the comments or on Twitter if you like one in particular.
- @hiremesf: Does that $70k include a free iphone bumper?
- @Peglegington: You have to be concise on Twitter. Like a circumcision, everything extra gets cut off whether you like it or not.
- @BrotherlessGrim: Is the $70K contingent upon doing some "work" in San Fernando Valley?
- JDBeebe: 01101000 01101001 01110010 01100101 00100000 01101101 01100101 00100001 [Editor's note: That's binary for "hire me!"]
- @faketv: nigerian ad agency seek writers, send $$$
- @jough_stef: I should have an advantage because I can post my entire resume & referrals in less than 140 characters.
- @bwillenberg: $70K will secure an exchange deal between Aust and the US. You take me and Aust will take back Mel Gibson. Deal?
- @iscoff: Is this contest nearly over? I have to start training for the astronaut job I won on Facebook.
- @um_giz: Does $70k cover the cost of a boob job in LA? I'd be moving with my girlfriend and I'm worried about her self-esteem.
- @inrgbwetrust: Ever lie awake as your MacBook makes the wall gently throb with light? That's Steve Jobs playing 'Just The Tip' w/ your soul.
- @brendyn: I hope this job isn't for Scion. They're like the Twitter version of a car. 140 inches or less.
- @tontino: Oh, finally! This must be for one of those American Recovery and Reinvestment Act jobs I've read so much about.
- @paleofuture: I had another one about Bogusky and safe words, but I'm moving to LA and actually want the job.
- @moz85: I feel like if my iPhone could speak, it would only address itself in third person
- @MstrMn: I'am probabbly the moost qaulified four thes righter jobe.
- @azahnweh: What's the job number? I'm going to bill the shit out of it.
- @jacklovesnachos: For the least funny tweet, how about an AE position?
- @JDBeebe: Will bonuses be awarded for every "like" received on topical, work-related Facebook status updates?
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