Hitchhiking for a job at McCann Bucharest – the result

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In the beginning of September, McCann Bucharest announced quite an unusual competition to hire a new Junior Art. The candidates were asked to make a sign that would help McCann’s creative Sebastian Olar to get a lift from Glasgow to London.

It all started with Sebastian Olar announcing that he was planning a hitchhiking and CouchSurfing tour of the UK after a sojourn at the EMEA Academy for the Future. That was an unmissable opportunity for McCann Bucharest to snare a new junior art director.

The agency set a challenge for prospective candidates to design a hitching sign for Sebastian, one 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 (…) 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.

Sebastian Olar

The proof the ride happened (Photos from McCann Romania’s Facebook page)

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!

Sebastian Olar

The winning entries are available here and here, with the original competition post available here (in Romanian). All the proposals received are available on McCann Erickson Romania’s Facebook page.

EMEA Academy for the Future is part of a McCann Worldgroup’s internal scheme which brings together star employees from agencies around Europe, Middle East and Africa, encouraging them to experience the benefits and stimulation of working together in a truly integrated manner. The ultimate aim of the Academy is to deliver multiple-platform business and marketing solutions for one of the network’s clients.

The hitchhiking route was amended from Glasgow to London to the shorter route of Glasgow to Edinburgh for medical reasons. Hence the discrepancy between the competition signs and the addition Sebastian had to make to the sign he used in Scotland.