Sep 16, 2005
Is this art or is this business? After 10-plus years in the creative side of the business, I've come to realize that the best work, the really powerful and creative stuff, happens (and stays) in the agency. Only the crappy work sees the light of day, runs in the paper, or goes on the air.I'm talking about how creative we get when we have to justify our existence to others in the industry. We're really good at it. We "go the extra mile" when it comes to creating work to impress our peers, NOT our actual audience, and the entire reason of advertising is lost. We're not good at selling the sizzle OR the steak. We're good at selling ourselves. Yes, ego is a big part of this. I'm amazed at how many of my less experienced peers spend hours on end looking at the latest entries from the Cannes Festival. Of course, they say they're doing it to "brainstorm" new ideas, but what they're really doing is intellectual masturbation - they're thinking about how they wished they'd have done this or that. Some are even bold enough to criticize festival winners, saying things like, "Yeah, the ad is good but they should've put some shadow behind the logo," or "I would've put the headline entirely in small case letters." They almost sound like, dare I say it... account executives!!!But I digress. Is this thing we call advertising art, or business? It's difficult to say. Many of the industry's top managers have no appreciation for art whatsoever (unless they buy the respect of others via their impressive collection of original Picasso's) and have made a bundle kissing the client's ass. But, at they end of the day, they and the account executives and accounting and the lawyers and the media department and everyone else with big corner offices, are at the mercy of the creative team to really impress the client and get their agency noticed. A creative, however, usually doesn't have the business sense to really sell his or her craft; he or she NEEDS the dude in the suit to get the $$$ rolling in. We're too busy stroking our egos, drinking espressos and rocking our iPods. So I guess there is no answer. It's a simbiotic relationship; we are enemies that need eachother in order to survive.Advertising is, I guess, the business of art. It certainly is not the art of business, because for that we have people like Martha Stewart and Donald Trump.
Posted by RestrictionsApply at 5:27 PM