Aug 21, 2008

Joker’s 20 on 20 -- Creative Beef --

When you see you good advertising, you know it works. It's got everything, the right copy, the perfect layout and the right amount of creativity, insight and brains. Then there's the other 95% of what's out there that makes you scratch your head and ask one simple question, where's the beef? Adhack from Creative Beef answers these questions and many more in his blog. But there were a couple of questions I thought he'd like to answer, and he did. Enjoy.

1. If someone wanted to be a true advertising hack, what would they need to do?

Never question anything. Never rock the boat. Never try anything new. Basically be the perfect employee. Trust me, you'll do well. Hacks are the backbone of the ad business. It couldn't function without them.

I think lackeys are just the backbone of the capitalist system when bureaucracy is involved (or without it, it's like a vital organ for the douche body we call corporate). Often efficiency is replaced by moral support to despot arrogant scum fucks... then again I might be wrong and have been merely living an illusion ever since I started working.

2. Out of all the types of agencies you've worked at, which has been the most gratifying and the most retarded and why?

Your current agency is always the most retarded. It's hard to see the good stuff when you're wading through the daily shit. Big Agencies are comfy, but trying to get a decent idea through is like trying to piss through a wall of molasses. Most gratifying? That would be your own boutique, with a million-dollar client who is totally cool, and offices in St. Bart's.

The best part of champagne wishes and caviar dreams is that they're free... though I could fucking punch Robin Leech. But I do agree, you don't realize the good and the bad for real until you leave a place.

3. What is the biggest professional risk you've ever taken?

An Executive Creative Director asked me to make a change on one of my concepts. I told him I thought it was a bad idea, but he insisted I make the change. So I said, "In that case, I withdraw the idea." I was let go a few months later.

Note to self....

4. What ethical atrocities have you witnessed in your professional career?
Stealing ideas from a coworker, screwing over the client for career goals, screwing over the agency for career goals, stealing concepts from another agency, taking bribes, grossly exaggerating travel expenses, firing employees to make room for relatives, listing lap-dance fees as taxi fares…and that's just the shit that I've done.

Funny thing is that this is only part of the dirty laundry. People ask me what advertising is like and I tell them to read E. They then tell me it can't be like that... funny how the view changes when you're not in the shitter eh?

5. What are the 5 greatest client mysteries?
How the fuck did you get your job?
Why are you in marketing, when you know nothing about marketing?
Why are you so insecure? (Yes, we've noticed.)
Do you treat your spouse like you treat your agency? ("I said put your leg over THERE! Do it NOW!")
When you are lying in your king-sized bed at night, staring at your vaulted ceiling, do you ever, for a moment, think about what a total fucking waste of space you are?

I need you to cum now but I have to deliberate when I'm going to cum.

6. 10 Sky Mall items you'd definitely buy just for shits and giggles?
500 Disc CD Player (Who needs MP3s?)
Human-sized Hamster Ball
Swords! Swords! Swords!
Mini Doughnut Maker (Screw Yum-Yum!)
Shoes with Built-in Springs (I shit you not)
Battery-Powered Margarita Maker for camping (That's roughing it!)
Inflatable Shit that's Way Too Big for a Normal Pool
R2D2 Trashcan
Portable Inflatable Whirlpool Spa (Leak! LEAK!)
$150 Jagermeister Shot Dispenser (I might need 2)

I still buy cd's so I could definitely use the player hehehe. Sky Mall is the fucking best. Hmmm scan Sky Mall items.... new post series? Maybe.

7. What wine goes best with Creative Beef?
A very bitter red.

8. You are told you can work in whatever you want and will be guaranteed a comfortable salary favorably comparable to what you're currently earning, what would you choose to do?
What, and leave all this? I think I would still write. Maybe books or a really crappy TV pilot about a hard-drinking cop who lives on the edge and is also a time traveling elf.

Hmmmm, maybe I should just stick with advertising.

I'm sure Steven Segal will love to be part of your series.

9. A shitty ad makes you_____

Feel bad for the creatives who made it. Some ads are shitty from the start. But sometimes, you can reverse engineer the ad and discover the original good idea. Then I picture the whole process. The tweak from the CD. The Account Sup's "great" idea. The endless changes and additions from the client. Until the once good idea has been transformed into another piece of shit ad.

I know, I remember when I used to ask what was wrong with creatives. After my sixth month in advertising I had the real story.

10. Do you think clients are conscious of how much we hate them?

Good question. I have no idea. They would have to be pretty clueless to not know, but hey, they are clients. I suspect that on some level they realize how we feel about them, but as long as it doesn't become a barrier to their careers, they don't worry about it.

11. You are the teacher of an ad class, what would the final project be and how would you grade it?

All art directors would have to create a print ad with no images. All copywriters would have to create a print ad with no words. Then I would tell everyone there project was shit. Gotta build up that thick-skin fast.

12. Would you consider advertising to be evil? Why?

Sure it's evil. We get people to buy things they don't need, run up credit card debit, over-eat, drink booze, eat unhealthy food, and drive cars instead of using public transportation. But if you look at any industry hard enough, you'll see its evil side. We all can't be Mother Teresa.

And I'm sure even Mother Theresa had bitchy days when she'd slap a kid and tell him how she renounced cock for their worthless well being. We all have bad days, the problem is when we have a bad career.

13. Is there any salvation for Windows Vista?

No. They blew the launch big-time. And the whole Mojave campaign is a waste of money. Microsoft will have to forget Vista, and put all their money on Windows 7.

Mojave was so retarded... see how I refer to it in the past sense? that's because of it being a ripped campaign and because its shelf life is less than sushi.
14. What is your opinion regarding New Years Resolutions.

I gave up New Year's Resolutions for lent.

15. If you could work anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Tokyo. I've never been there, but the pictures scare the crap out of me. I have always been attracted to jobs and places that terrify me. Without a challenge, I tend to get lazy. Plus they sell beer in vending machines.

Or Canada. So I could party with Jane every Thursday night.

Interesting take on challenges though a challenge vs Jane Thursdays is a pretty easy option.

16. Finish this sentence: The only good beer is ______

One served at the ballpark.

17. If Cannes were a canned product, what would the nutritional values be?
Ego 35%
Money 20%
Booze 15%
Infidelity 10%
Boondoggle 10%
Networking 8%
Creativity 2%

And it'd probably be banned by the FDA.

18. If you could do anything with the day MONDAY, what would you do and why??

Strange question. Remove it from the calendar? Rename it Beer and Nap day? Ask if its best friend is interested in a threesome?

I vote for #2 or #3. I wonder what it would be like to fuck a day.

19. Without your blog you'd probably________

I read a story about this guy who built a hotel. And he had the rooms designed so that he could easily kill his guests in their rooms. Then he would perform bizarre experiments on their bodies and bury them in a lime pit in the basement.

Something like that.

It's like vacancy without the bad script. Nice.

20. You would love me to answer this question:
Why does advertising suck?

Wow, over 1,600 posts into it I keep finding reasons why advertising sucks but lets not dodge the question and try to give an answer that isn't as obvious as it just does.

Advertising sucks mainly because it's one of the main practitioners of false advertising. I'm sold an industry that's fun, organized and creative. I'm told I'm going to be able to put my random talents to good use and that my criteria for creative development shall always be respected. I was probably also told that I'd be getting chocolate covered diamonds and free passes to all Pearl Jam concerts. And what pisses me off is that I bit and I got fooled and I work in an industry that is way less than half of what it promises. I wasn't told I'd have to revise things just because and that I'd constantly be told that what I did was wrong only to have it replaced by things that are off strategy, dated, lame and just plain retarded. I never knew an agency client relationship could be so abusive and I'd never would have dreamed I would have to see power plays and threats of taking their business elsewhere if an agency didn't acquiesce to every client whim imaginable and then some. More than anything I really hate the fact that I often work in vain and that some assholes opinion will overrule what a team developed basing themselves on a strategy just because the owner, or an AE or the client "knows" that it won't work. They did focus groups by asking their janitor if they liked the tweener ad we developed so of course we have to change it based on that criteria. I've seen great people fired over a tantrum or out of spite (which happens in every industry). I've seen children lead an agency to a ground because age has nothing to do with maturity and I've seen over 900 types of distinctive bullshit. I've met people will jello verterbrae I've had to work weekends and late nights with no thanks, not a pat on the back, no extra pay and actually getting bitched at. I've had to do the work of true hacks that forever prove that the scum of the earth shall always find a job if they get into an interview and I think that though there are clear exceptions, the best work most always gets killed and instead of honing your skills to become better, you simply learn how to read a client and do what they want, rather than what their brand needs.

If you need a more graphic representation of why advertising sucks, lets put it this way: You are told you are worth something by some little goblin and since you don't know goblins are evil you say you'd love to work for them. They then take gossamer strands and intertwine it with your idiotic sense of responsibility, tie you to your desk and force you to work in your mind's mine until something golden comes out. They then take that golden jewel, maybe a ruby or even a diamond and then they tell you they'll present it later and they lock it up in some mystic vault that has no windows to the outside world where all the good ideas are kept. two minutes later you are ordered to shit a brick and that's what you're going to present to the client because the client is actually a huge dung beetle that thrives on shitty concepts, stupid repeated ideas and not one centimeter of extra effort. They then present you to the dung beetle and expect you to bow at your knees and are frowned upon when you simply say hi. As if that weren't enough, you look all around you and you see that you're just a bunch of slaves for the goblin lord who fucks the media hottie and has a perfect clark kent comb over with high strung pants with sockless shoes. He says blatant lies to your face to motivate you then beats off in a dish and expects you to lap at his seed like some hungry puppy. As if that weren't enough, you're then subjected to ad awards, team buildings and a myriad of stupid shit you thought you could avoid because you weren't going into an office environment. Then every so often the warlock of the west passes by, looks at your work and with a magic wand that spews shit swirls it over your work and then tells you to start over and that he needs the work by the end of the day. What's the worst part about all this you might ask... and it's real simple:

you still have four more work days to go through.

Thanks for making me a part of 20/20!

Thanks for being part of it man.

Original pictures found here and here.


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