Thursday, September 10, 2015

Spreading yourself thick.

I got two emails this morning, each from a friend and former co-worker. Each, in its own way about the business.

In one email, from a writer friend, I was asked if I knew the line Joseph Mitchell wrote about his friend and colleague, AJ Liebling. Liebling was a rotund man, an over-eater and an over-drinker. He died way too young at the age of 59--two years older than me.

Mitchell wrote, "Liebling spread himself thick."

In advertising of course, in our lives, we do the opposite. The farther we advance, the bigger our titles, the better the location of our out-in-the-open desk at work, the more we are asked to spread ourselves thin.

This is the opposite of what we should be doing. Bringing our 20 years or 30 years of acumen to bear. Instead of having real impact, we throw another coat of paint or paper over problems.

My other friend, an art director with whom I partnered for nearly a decade was on the same leitmotif. He asked if anyone was paying attention to the heavy lifters, the people who do the back-breaking work of the agency business.

We live in a world where substance has taken a back seat to bluster. Where simplistic bromides pass as serious discourse. Where cliches masquerade as wisdom. And where the most bombastic are often the most successful.

See Trump. See Palin. See Cruz, Rubio, Walker, Scott Brown and more.

A little somber on a rainy Thursday.

No comments: