Being a creative is not an easy job; it’s not a difficult job either. It’s just a job and it could be positively challenging, engrossing and thrilling if we had the creative freedoms we often times preach even if when push comes to shove, we might not be able to produce the award winning work we promise if given the opportunity. But sometimes we ARE able to produce good stuff. We take a risk, burn the hours away and present something risqué and different. Something even borderline cutting edge.
What happens after you present is anyone’s guess but what is a given is that it won’t fly. It could be based on perfect strategy, be cost efficient and help everyone involved, but it won’t be approved because, the client is not sure if it’ll work so we’ll just go with print, media & tv and not stray from that tried, true and most hated of formulas. Lots of tv, barely any radio and a shit load of print. You swallow your pride, take the hit and say, we’ll get them next time. You even forget about the campaign. Months pass, you don’t even care about what you proposed anymore. But fate has other ideas for you. I’m sure you can almost feel something awry twinkling in the atmosphere. You don’t know what it is, maybe that corn meal was a bit on the past due date side of things, maybe the water filter broke down, maybe you even switched your Advil with Vicodin. But you pay no attention and keep going your way.
Some particular Monday or Thursday, you find yourself on the way to work behind the steering wheel or maybe even stretching once you hit topside when you exit the Subway when a big “screw you” hovers on the morning horizon in the shape of a billboard utilizing the same technique or angle you were proposing. Your jaw has hit the sidewalk, your ego has crumbled and your pursed lips threaten to well and swell until the feeblest moan slips from your throat.
“That ….. was…. my …. idea……….”
This has happened to me I don’t know how many times and you wonder if information travels via the super highways of kinetic energy, if you let it slip in a happy hour or if someone actually sabotaged you and sent your layout to someone else. Regardless of your level of paranoia, the point is that someone was able to make what you were told was a bad idea. What’s best is that there are two responses that have happened after this deed. First is that you ask why were these people able to do it but you weren’t and the best answer I’ve gotten is: “Well that company can do anything they want and still sell.” And my reaction was just as disgusted as you can imagine me to deliver. The other reaction, which was ever more annoying was: “Why couldn’t you do something like that for us?” After replying that we did and showing the layouts because if you don’t you WILL be accused of lying, you get the in-depth look once again and how they analyze things and tell you why their decision was the right one even if that thing that was produced blew their minds away.
Then we get asked why we lack motivation, aren’t doing award winning work or simply don’t care.