How a Copywriter’s Amazing Tribute to Sprite Got Him Hired at W+K

Chase Zreet unpacks his video 'Cover Letter'

Chase Zreet/'Cover Letter'
Headshot of Tim Nudd

We’ve seen writers and art directors pitch themselves to agencies in all sorts of creative ways over the years. But dare we say, this might be our favorite yet.

Chase Zreet, a copywriter at Firehouse in Dallas, really wanted to work on the Sprite account at Wieden + Kennedy New York. So, to pitch his services, he did the obvious thing—he sent a cover letter. Less obvious: It came in the form of an insanely creative and entertaining three-minute rap about his obsession with the lemon-lime beverage and his own potential for making great ads for it.

The video was directed by Dallas-based Jeremy Bartel of charlieuniformtango. Visually, it’s a delight, with Zreet seen floating around town (thanks to a hoverboard) in, alternately, a green jacket with a lemon on a gold chain around his neck and a yellow jacket with a lime around his neck.

The lyrics, too, brilliantly dig into the nerdery of the ad biz.

Check it out here:

W+K was blown away by the video, and ended up hiring Zreet (how could they not?), who starts in April.

“There’s too much emphasis put on portfolios, and not enough on the creative enthusiasm of a candidate,” W+K NY creative director Jimm Lasser tells AdFreak. “We like it when candidates want to be at W+K for a variety of reasons, even beyond our work. All the better when they use their unique talents to demonstrate this. Chase made a great ad about himself. He persuaded us to invest in him. He won us over.”

Of the video itself, Lasser added: “The way he could float and rap at the same time was impressive. He also demonstrated a mastery of the Sprite brand’s color palette. I think he should re-release a subtitles version. That would be my first assignment to him.”

There’s no official word on what Sprite thought of Chase’s efforts, although one commenter under the Vimeo video claimed to work at Coke’s Atlanta headquarters—and said everyone there loved it.

We emailed with Zreet to learn where the idea came from, what director Bartel brought to the project (a lot), and which line of lyrics he likes best.

AdFreak: Why did you decide to do a video, and did you consider other creative ways to approach this?
Chase Zreet: The idea for the video came when a friend of mine/former W+K account team member/current copywriter at Mekanism Chicago (thank you, Cory McCollum) suggested that I try to put something together for the Sprite team at W+K NYC because I’m a big fan of Vince Staples.

In the weeks following, the idea for the rap came and was just one of those things that wouldn’t shut up, and I thought that making a video would have a better chance of landing. After mulling it over for a bit, I wrote the thing in a couple days. Once it was written, the recording was done within a week and I had a shoot date not long after that.

So, there really wasn’t ever a plan B. From the very beginning, this was a one-shot deal. Which, in retrospect, was probably the main reason it got made, as I didn’t have time to think about it for long enough to second-guess it.

Can you describe the lyrics? How long did it take to write, and how many drafts did you go through? Any favorite lines?
The overall concept, tone and flow was something I spent a long time fretting over. I knew I had to make something that wasn’t corny or cringe-inducing, and that was a hard thing to try to crack when your subject matter is writing advertising. I tried a few voices, and this graciously arrogant persona that’s coming through in the video (at least that was the attempt) ended up feeling the best. And once I decided on that, I sort of just wrote about writing using words that character would say.

'I knew I had to make something that wasn't corny or cringe-inducing, and that was a hard thing to try to crack when your subject matter is writing advertising.'
—Chase Zreet

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.
Publish date: March 13, 2018 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT