We’ve all heard the truism, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” With the plethora of pink slips circulating in the media and advertising industries (BLS estimates place losses over 65,000), you would think some creative type would have parlayed theirs into pink lemonade.
Erik Proulx did.
When the 37 year-old copywriter was laid off from Arnold, a large agency in Boston, in October 2008, it was the third time he’d been terminated in less than 10 years. The third time was definitely a charm. Taking his experiences both in work and out of it, he started a blog, Please Feed the Animals, to serve as a venting ground and support system for other unemployed ad professionals.
Once launched, Proulx decided to create a promotional video featuring the faces and stories of other laid-off execs. And like any good social-media enthusiast, he put out a call for submissions on Twitter. “I started getting all these amazing stories of people who’d just lost their jobs but trying to find creative work,” he says.
The enthusiastic response led to the idea of creating a short documentary meant to “show how each of these people has kicked this economy in the balls,” he quips. And Lemonade, the movie, was born.