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Calling All Creatives >> The Run-Down on Spec Ads

By BIC CCNY Posted on 11/11/2022 14:16

What are you capable of creating when there’s no limits?

Spec ad is short for “speculative advertisement”. Simply put, it’s a fake ad. Ads you create for a brand without actually working for them. 

For those who are applying to the Creative Trackto be a part of our Fall 2023 class, you will need to provide a portfolio of spec work. The portfolio must include two print campaigns consisting of three ads each. With these pieces, we get to see your creativity at work, without bounds — what are you capable of creating when there’s no limits?

Below is an example of a BICster spec campaign. You can see more examples on our BIC Behance page. 

It’s not just BIC that values spec ads. Many industry pros, like Shlomo Genchin, encourage both beginner and seasoned creatives to embrace the freedom spec ads give you to fine-tune your skills and add to your portfolio. As he puts it, “No client feedback. No legal limits. It’s all about making the best idea.” The campaigns can showcase conceptual thinking as well as executional finesse. 
Use Shlomo Genchin’s helpful Instagram post as you start to prepare your BIC portfolio. 

Of course, putting together your portfolio takes a little time - and the first deadline for Fall 2023 applications is coming up fast on December 1st. So why not get started by watching this YouTube video by former faculty member Gerardo Blumenkrantz where he explains what makes a good portfolio for a BIC applicant. 

Have questions not covered in the video? Join Program Manager Rebecca Rivera most Thursdays in the BIC zoom room at 6pm. Email us at for the zoom link.

Or, if you really want to get into the nitty-gritty of your portfolio, including how it will be evaluated, RSVP to join us at our BIC Open House on November 16 if you’re in the NY area. 

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