People in advertising, as well as design, computer programming, writing, and other fields involving creating complex works of intellectual effort, have a problem with free "spec work" that no other industry would ever put up with. This video from ad agency Zulu Alpha Kilo explores how weird (and infuriating) it would be if you tried to pull off this "give me free samples first" attitude as a consumer in the real world:

Spec work is work "on speculation." In other words, it's free work you do in hopes of winning a full contract. Obviously, there are times this makes sense. If you're designing a new tank or ordering a five-year ad campaign, asking competitors to submit something is necessary. But as many "freelance contractors" and small firms can tell you, this system is getting out of control, and nowadays people just expect free work from you in a way that would make even the most desperate-for-work barista tell someone to go roast themselves.


Zulu Alpha Kilo made this video for Strategy magazine's Agency of the Year event this week, which included a number of humorous videos. Zulu is dead serious about this topic, though, with founder Zak Mroueh telling AdWeek "We haven't done a pitch that requires spec creative in five years. This approach allows us to support our clients' brands rather than using the resources our clients pay for to gain new business."

Sources: AdWeek