‘Arrested Development’ Characters’ LinkedIn Profiles a Publicity Stunt

By ABC News

Jun 4, 2013 8:26am

Justin Racz is a freelance copywriter in the advertising industry, where competition is intense and everybody’s really creative.

Racz, a published author from Brooklyn, N.Y., wanted a way to make his resume and portfolio stand out on LinkedIn, the professional online network. He posted the profiles of Tobias Funke, George Bluth Sr. and G.O.B Bluth, who are characters from the popular series “Arrested Development.”

The idea came from his friend, Alec Brownstein, Racz said. Brownstein conducted a creative experiment that capitalized on people’s Google habits, and when Racz told him about an idea to create celebrity profiles, Brownstein suggested “Arrested Development” characters instead.

Fans were delighted last month when Netflix  released a fourth season of the cult comedy, years after it was cancelled by FOX.

“I thought it would be a great way to ride kind of the coattails of the buzz for it,” Racz said, describing himself as a “superfan” of the show.

RELATED: ‘Arrested Development’ Has Netflix Premiere Date

“I’m not kidding when I tell you this it is my lullaby,” he told ABCNews.com. “I have heard … each show multiple times … so like a child listening to a lullaby who knows the story and can just fall asleep, that’s what I would do. I would put it in my computer and close my eyes and fall asleep. It was my lullaby.”

Knowing the material so well meant it was easy and fun for him to write the three profiles.

Since he posted the profiles about a week ago, recruiters have gotten in touch and he has maintained the characters’ voices in his email correspondence with them, Racz said. Links within the characters’ profiles led to Racz’s resume.

“Recruiters, creative recruiters, have emailed and thought I’d be great for different clients, that my humor would be spot on for certain brands, so I’m speaking to a few of them,” he said, adding that he wanted to showcase his versatility, adaptability and all-important understanding of the digital environment.

“If you don’t know digital, you’re dead,” he said. “It’s true. If you don’t know digital, you’re dead and, frankly, I was concerned that my portfolio … shows that I have written a book. That, you know, I’m a dinosaur who writes books.”

At 38, Racz, who’s been in the business for about 15 years, says he’s concerned about being seen as an “old school.”

MORE: Netflix CEO Wants More “Arrested Development”

He is a freelance creative director for YMEE.us, has an MBA from New York University and has done creative work for diverse brands and clients, according to his resume. He has published several humor books, including “50 Boyfriends Worse Than Yours” and “50 Jobs Worse Than Yours.”

Now he’s hoping the publicity stunt gets him more work.

“I could have sent an email, you know, with my portfolio,” he said, “but so are 10,000 other people.”

 

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