Monday, September 29, 2008

The truth of advertising


Those of us who are called "creatives" in the advertising biz are constantly hoping, praying, begging, schmoozing and pleading for more “creative” projects to run across our desks.

And, unless you’re one of the few very lucky ones, a scant few come your way over the course of a year.

Sometimes that makes you very grumpy. Other times, you are smart enough to calm down and realize how lucky you are to have a very decent J.O.B. and that you should shut the fuck up. After all, you’re not making cold calls, castrating sheep, holding a cardboard sign by the freeway exit, or being forced to marry the Vice Presidential nominee’s daughter.

So, really, shut your cake hole. You’re living the dream.

Sure, sometimes you get to see your work on T.V., hear it on the radio, look at it lording over a busy street corner, or even have a cool URL to send your friends and say, “Hey, I worked on that!”

The reality is, though, is that often you’re writing letters. Editing brochures. Creating sales sheets. Honing someone’s power point presentation. More days than you’d care to admit, your significant other will ask, “What did you work on today?”, and you’ll cringe. Not because you’re unhappy with what you’ve done, but it’s just too boring to explain. You’ve only got so many minutes in a day so why waste it with rehashing stuff like that?

As the great guys from American Copywriter like to call it, the “That poor bastard” scenario. As in, you see a piece of un-fun advertising and say, “Man, some poor bastard had to write that.” In truth, we’re all “that poor bastard” from time to time.

But here’s the real dirty little secret. The sales sheets, letters, brochures, presentations etc. do most of the selling in this industry. And unless your client is a soda company, brewery, sports team or candy factory, you need facts to back up your product promise. So yeah, the cool stuff is awesome to work on, but it’s the down-and-dirty projects that keep the wheels of commerce moving, jobs happening and families fed.

Plus, you can actually have fun working on this stuff. You can inject great thinking. You can think conceptually and make great work. It just isn't going to win you any major awards or make your portfolio sexier. But that's okay.

I say, keep your heads up, my hard working writers and art directors out there. You are making a difference.

Comic from words & pictures. Go there. Every week.


Anonymous said...


I'm sorry to hear that you are so unhappy with your job.

Your boss

Crustodio said...

Ha! I thought I proved that I was not. Read into it what you will.