Nov 14, 2007

Like it makes a difference

If you’ve spent more than a year in advertising, you’ve met up with quite a few situations that make you belch out the above title. Pick your tone, obnoxious, bitchy, pissed off, brimming with apathy, whimpering acquiesce? The point is you’ve probably thought this on more than one occasion.

Case in point would be when you get your ass chewed out for stupid shit. By stupid shit, I don’t mean a typo or cutting the bleed an extra two inches, I’m talking about not taking away a coma that might or might not be necessary. I’m talking about putting that extra exclamation point so the ad REALLY sells. I’m talking about the bullshit moments where an AE plays the role of Client liaison and wants you to tweak different things so it’s just right. Like it makes a fucking difference.

You think people give a flying, landed or floating fuck if you chose picture one or picture A when we’re talking about a shitty ad? Right. Of course they do. They also happen to count the stripes on a referee’s shirt to make sure there’s the right amount and that the white is the exact pantone for white that they have to have on to make it official. Of course people will give two shits if you say fine rather than dandy. We’re talking about a huge crisis for people who do or don’t see the quotation marks on a word.

Constantly I’ve been berated because of ramshackle ads that don’t mean a shit. Retail ads with ten thousand revisions. Oh and to make matters better, I have an AE helping out by bringing me and my artist preliminary changes we can work on while they figure out what else they want to shit on about the ad we made for a product that won’t sell because it blows or sales representatives suck roadkill puss rather than give attention to their clientele. But wait, if I change this word in the body copy, THEN it’ll work. Hell, how the fuck could I even imagine that an ad could work without THAT specific word? I’m such an idiot… no wait… I’m a copywriter. And I actually should know a thing or two about words…. Nahhh… who am I kidding? Of course someone who has a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and who stumbled into marketing after getting fired from two firms knows more about language than me. It’s obvious that a full fledged corporate douche puppet knows more about what word is better in a certain context because I’m viced from working so much in advertising, because it makes such a fucking difference.

Lucky for me though, I have the light of Xibalba shining down on me and the grace of enlightenment comes in the shape of a client who should have been a cumshot safely captured in a condom tied with a double knot. But no, their daddy needed to slam three shots of J & B one night and I have to pay thirty years later because he didn’t have the decency to pull out and spare reality the joy of having to deal with another moron. Heaven knows we don’t have enough.

But I’m not the only one. No, no, no. The fun is not exclusive to Chef Joker and I hear friends of mine telling me shit that makes me think it’s Groundhog day. But wait a minute, guess where changes don’t make a difference. In job orders, in briefs, in revisions, etc because “we know what they mean”. Of course I know what you mean… That’s what they want to hear, but there’s no way you can make sense out of Red Bulled bigots who dance around whimsically, mistaking gut feelings for caprices and making me work longer hours, because it makes so much of a difference.

Your ad has legals??? Wait a minute… should we use bullets, asterixes or numbers…. Oh no… I don’t know…. Because it makes such a fucking difference. Can you put this element of the artwork in movement? Sure thing boss, because it’ll make the whole difference in the world. But it’s not important to verify telephone numbers, license number, varying rates etc, because heaven forbid me thinking it’s more important to focus on that rather than a better word than particular, because particular doesn’t particularly sit well with the client and they start that fucking clicking noise with their tongue because they can’t think in silence and they make any type of noise to reassure us that something’s actually going on upstairs.

But guess what, it does make a difference. Every little change that is asked of creative makes a gigantic difference. Each one, not one excluded. And you know why? Because each dimwit change we’re asked to incorporate (heaven forbid us evaluating a “recommendation”, also known as an order, and decide not to include it) takes us ever closer to that Nirvana Disaster where we fantasize for days upon days of all the bloody ways we could murder you and process your body waste to finally serve a righteous purpose.

Cheers fuckfaces… know someone hates your fucking guts and fantasizes with your destruction because you make such a splendid difference in my life. Oh and next time you have a great idea, here’s a great one of my own… don’t share it. Be a selfish prick and keep your recommendations to yourself so I can drink my tea, caress my sack and get out at a prudent time rather than diddling with an ad for an extra three hours so you’re totally happy even if you’re farther from the target than Stevie Wonder playing horse-shoe.


Anonymous said...

cheers joker !
here's to thy mettle :) thou fish of an exceptionally rare kettle !
~ yakyetiyak

Eugen Suman said...

I have a golden rule on this. If I get more than 3 idiotic revisions (such as "please change this word with this word", please make that woman say this instead of that, and change her tone in that radio or the one that I hate the most, "this is great, but we want the first version you did, you know, the one you did 2 weeks ago and we said it sucked, well do that cuz now it doesn't suck anymore") I give them the holy trinity of words when in comes to clients: "You too can win / do whatever", "Only now, limited offer / buy now / anything now" and "Don't forget / remember". I found that when clients are presented copy that contains one or more of these (ideally all of 'em) they're gonna piss their pants with joy and approve the fucking ad. Of course, when that happens, it's all compromised, it's shit, it's gonna be ignored by the target, it's money they're wasting on advertising. But then again, why should I give a fuck about their money if they themselves don't? Of course, I'm not talking about the clients I work with now, they're beautiful and I love them. It's about some old clients that I had sometime, somewhere, that aren't even on the market right now or something. You know, the clients I work with now are la creme de la creme when it comes to clients. wink wink.

joker said...

Oh I just remembered some other classics.

1.) Can you say the telephone number one more time... not like a copy already saying it twice is enough, but granted, they don't care about the concept, they just want to drill the number a-la Head on apply directly to the forehead.

2.) Can you make any bullshit item 20% bigger or smaller... I invite anyone to not do anything to the artwork. At the very least on an ungodly day, only 1 in 5 clients won't notice that you didn't change it.... which is also exactly 20%

3.) Can you move this art detail to the left or right one inch... I know what I'd love to move one mre inch, it's a roosters brother and it's down your gullet.

Thanks for the kudos Yak.

Eugen... I'd love to think we share a parallel universe and that we're somehow magically entwined, but it's just to show that no matter the country, advertising sucks and good people have to put up with the idiot game which clients so excel at.

RestrictionsApply said...

What about those idiots that believe bold fonts make all the difference? Put this in bold so it stands out!

And how about the one time when we presented an ad that featured an illustrated cartoon octopus. As a cartoon, the octopus in question had seven arms, and the client went ape-shit because they're supposed to have eight arms. We explained that it's a cartoon, and they blew us off.

And the classic: We presented an ad that featured a mother/daughter team with red hair. Client demanded a headline that contained the words "red" and "hair". Bitch, if you see it, you don't have to say it!!!

joker said...

Heaven knows old Walt Disney was an idiot for giving his mouse four fingers. We suck....

and about bold fonts..... I almost forgot... who loves bursts? Anyone, anyone??

And TOTALLY agree with not needing to say what you see. some relation yes, but I think people can get the point unless they're color blind. and even then I think they can assume that such a particular shade of grey is red. and if not, guess what? it doesn't make a difference.

My condolences for the sevenopus though.

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