Thursday, February 9, 2012

On death and dying.

The longer I work in advertising, the longer I believe that very few people in advertising love advertising.

I was brought up believing that the path to some sort of happiness of fulfillment lay in choosing a job or profession you loved. You, therefore, honestly enjoyed going in to work. You enjoyed the things you did at work and the people you did them with. As my first ECD said to me when he hired me, "I want this to be the kind of place where you work hard all day and then you go home and you're proud to tell your wife what you did."

Obviously I'm not naive enough to think for even a scintilla of a nano-second that you could possibly love your job every day. Most days, or many days anyway, you don't even love your loved ones. But you should, I've always believed, at least conceptually have love for what it is you do.

In agencies today it seems this notion is dead.

Not that people don't love what they do.

But what they do has nothing to do with advertising.

There are people who develop products. People who generate (or say they do) conversations. People who figure out how to make your cellphone more annoying than ever.

In short, it seems that about 90% of people within advertising agencies today are employed in pursuits that have little to do with advertising. They're embarrassed by the profession. They think, somehow, it's evil. Or outdated. Or...dead.

The real disconnect is that when people are exposed to advertising (that which is dead or passe or embarrassing) they enjoy it. It's been four days now and people are still talking about Clint Eastwood, Will Ferrell and a few other terrific spots.

I don't know what's happened. Why so few ad agencies love advertising.

But it all reminds me of the guy in the circus who cleans up after the elephants.

It's a shitty job but he doesn't want to leave show business.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's always been this way George. Even in the 1960s 95% of advertising was crap. Your job, if you're up to it is to fight the boring people who are content with good enough. People who love working in advertising are people who love a good fight. I knew an art director who threatened to beat the crap out of an account guy. He said "I'll be waiting on the sidewalk just outside when you leave tonight and we'll have it out." The account guy was so afraid he stayed late, working all night and asked people to walk him to the subway. Who have you threatened lately? Beat some lazy fucker up. I always tell people my job is to fight the advertising industry, not be a part of it. And I'm one of those people who really does love my job. And I am proud of what I do.