Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday Fun

“Good morning and welcome to your new job at the Cosmodemonic Advertising Agency. This is your cubicle and here is a hand-me-down laptop from an Assistant AE. For the next year (or 2 or 20!) this will be your home away from home. Now before you get started, here are few things to remember about the advertising business. I’ll see you after lunch.”

1) An ad agency is like a collection of small hostile tribes that are constantly battling each other for resources, power, etc. To succeed you must prove your loyalty to all of them.

2) Unless you are the star Creative Director, keep your brilliant ideas to yourself. New ideas are dangerous and indentify you as a trouble-maker.

3) All deadlines are lies.

4) Most of the changes that come from the client don’t really come from the client. Learn to identify your coworkers’ handwriting.

5) The harder you work, the harder they’ll make you work.

6) Strategy, branding and target demographics only matter to clients with huge budgets.

7) The squeaky wheel doesn’t get invited to any meetings.

8) Trying to figure out how the client reached their position of authority is a dangerous thought exercise. It can lead to depression and make you doubt the existence of logic, justice and reality.

9) You are not the first person to come up with the line, “Look what we have in store for you.”


joker said...

It's amazing how many times I read posts detailing things that not only run through my brain but that cause me great angst to say the least. Perfect post.



yesiburn said...

"Learn to identify your coworkers’ handwriting." Amen to that.

Great stuff all the way through.

Anonymous said...

This is my fav "New ideas are dangerous and indentify you as a trouble-maker."

Tim Burley said...

As a system, the ad agency is designed to deliver consistency first and foremost. By ironing out all the things that have statistically proven to reduce this, the system limits most of the people involved into a fairly defined role. But it works. If everyone is encouraged to be all that they want to be, the whole system falls apart. Why would you bother spending time finding out if your suit is a good creative? If (s)he is, and wants to be, then (s)he needs to do what all the other creatives did and get a job being a creative.

I never made it in advertising. I grew up too late and spent half of my 20s doing as little as possible. Now I'm 36, I co-own a small design/marketing agency in the SW that has allowed me to create a role around what I enjoy. I'm part copywriter, part account director, part new biz, part planner, part marketing director (everything but the pictures).

I do it because I can, not because it's an effective use of my talents.