Aug 15, 2008

Joker’s 20 on 20 -- Dear Jane Sample--

There are quite a lot of great blogs made by creatives, but what if I told you an exec had a really great blog, more authority than you could shake a stick at and was run by a savvy, foul mouthed and brilliant woman who speaks her mind? Well that’s Dear Jane Sample and this is our edition of 20/20.

1. How do you compare Canadian advertising with that of other countries?

A lot of people say Canadian advertising is "boring", conservative and that we don't take as many risks. This may be true of some of the big brands, but they are either … well boring, they move at a slower pace or they just don't have the budget. So a lot of the creativity comes out in the smaller Canadian brands who have to find innovative ways to stand out in the clutter. Also, Quebec advertising is extremely creative; they are constantly doing some really interesting stuff.

On all the multi-national brands, the Canadian division has little budget and they usually just end up giving you the American creative and have you slap the maple leaf on it. Not exactly the stuff of panting wetting creative.

I also find that being so multi-cultural, we are much more concise of not offending people just to be funny or have everyone "talk about the ad." And our sense of humour has a strong British bent - we like to make fun of ourselves.

2. The perfect Dear Jane coffee needs ____

Needs to be STRONG, I hate coffee that tastes and looks like tea. Add some cream and sugar and you have a perfect Jane coffee.

My mom is Cuban so trust me I like strong coffee. Often times I'm received with this coffee flavored Vitamin Water and it just pisses me off to no end.

3. How and why did you begin your blog?

The how is simple – one day I got a wordpress account and spent all weekend designing the look of my blog (there are a lot of themes to choose from you know) and coming up with an "about" page.

The why is not so simple – I tried blogging a few times before, under my own name too, and I got bored with it. It just wasn't interesting and I wasn't passionate about it. Then I started working at a large advertising agency and the working experience started going "sour" for me. I also started noticing a lot of crazy shit going around me and I thought: "I have to blog about this. I have to tell the world about this insanity." I really wanted to tell people what it is like to work in Advertising on the Account side, and demystify the whole thing. I remember when I became interested in advertising as my career and I couldn't find ANY useful information, so I figured the least I could do is shed some light.

4. How has the Brand Timeline changed your life?

It's made my blog popular and presented me with some interesting opportunities, which I really need to find the time to work on.

Good luck with all of them and something tells me we might actually see the timeline in ad text books or ad classes in the not so distant future... maybe even this semester.

5. Hardest criticism you've ever received?

Imagine having a person who you respect say to you with a deadpan expression and in a calm and even voice " … you came across as extremely negative and like someone who hates their job and the industry. I would question whether you should be doing this if that is how you really feel…"

Ouch. It scared the living shit out of me, but also made me want to prove them wrong.

Ouch is right, but there's no better incentive than to want to prove people wrong.

6. How hard is it to have a relationship while working in advertising?

Hard if you don't want to date someone who is in advertising or in your agency. The crazy hours and not having anyone KNOW what you do don't help either.

Totally agree. luckily Mrs. Joker is also in advertising and I couldn't ask for better support or a more comprehending partner in crime.

7. You are told you will be running three major multimillion-dollar accounts, what do you need to assemble the perfect team?


HA! So true.

8. What role has gender played in your career?

Sexism is still alive in our world, so I've definitely been in a few interesting situations in which I knew my gender affected how someone treated me, our conversations or what opportunities I've been offered. But, I don't let any of that stop me. I go after what I want, and take whatever risks I need to get it. And I use my feminine willies when necessary.

Feminine willies... hmmmmm. But sexism is definitely alive in our world and every world for that matter. It just varies in execution.

9. What role does ego play in client agency relationships? What is necessary for a healthy professional relationship?

Ego is like with anything else … too much or too little is not a good thing.

You need respect, partnership and empathy for a healthy professional relationship. If any of those are missing…. you're fucked.

Good point. A good balance of ego definitely helps on many fronts and regarding client relationships, well that's why I'm so fucked then. Oh well.

10. What store do you splurge in?

Town Shoes, H&M, and Dollarama.

11. Your 3 best skills.

1) My ability to stand up for myself

2) My ability to think on my feet

2) My ability to laugh at myself

I have a 4th one, but it's naughty and you didn't ask.

Uh-oh.... Here's when a typo finally works in favor of me... you wrote #2 twice so you can feel free to let us in on skill #4 which in your sequence would be #3 :D

12. Five things that you fear.

1) Being burnt alive

2) Being powerless and having no control

3) Getting old one day and realizing I am not happy and have not done all the things I wanted.

4) Getting really fat and frumpy after I have kids… one day

5) Becoming my dad.

Seems we share some of the same fears. Hope we can keep them all at bay.

13. You can't go to sleep without_____

The window open. No matter HOW cold or hot it is outside.

REALLY? Wow. Any specific reason?

14. How has blogging affected your life?

I would have to say that starting the blog has been THE best decision I have made so far in my life. It has allowed me to connect with people from all over the world, who are as passionate about the same things as I am. It has forced me to keep up with what's going on in the industry and in the world. And it has forced me not to become commonplace and closed minded. Sure there have been a few bumps along the road, but it's all been worth it.

I feel much the same way, I've gotten into the habit of writing and writing and writing and i get to do all the things I was told I'd be doing in my job description. :D

15. Everyone should read:_________

1984 by George Orwell.

Ooooff. That's so on my queue list at home. Have a couple of heavy reads and that one is on it.

16. Finish this sentence: Knowledge is ________


17. The best things about Canada are:

- "eh?"

- Poutine

- The multiculturalism

- Toronto

- Our sense of humour

- The fact that our Politicians NEVER talk about religion

You didn't say Rush or Kids in the Hall. What up with that? Lol. But wow. that politician fact makes me think twice of going all Mapley.

18. You are a super hero: what is your name and describe your outfit and powers.

Superhero - Jane the supreme overlord

Outfit – like cat woman, minus the silly mask & tail.

Powers – Invisibility, flying, death ray stare, and a sneer of contempt that causes the most painful migraine in the known and unknown universe

Lol, wish I had drawing skills hehehe

19. When do you feel the most: sexy, empowered, satisfied?

After a night of really, hot and amazing sex. Actually you could probably take out the "night" and "really" and "amazing" …..

Isn't that the truth... May you have lots of long horny days and nights ahead luv.

20. If you could ask me anything, what would you ask?

How do you eat a bag of m&m's ?

I’d first caress the bag. Show it I’m gentle but make my intentions clear as I tease at the edge, biting ever so gently into the wrapper until I am the one to decide for it to open its sweet contents to me. I’d then take my time with the delicious hard and soft textures that melt in my mouth and sometimes in my hand, always making sure that the bag is satisfied with my execution. I prolong the luscious goodness for as long as possible until the bag is totally spent and I’m smiling with the memory of its delicious taste on my lips and tongue. You know, something like that. >:D


Anonymous said...

how someone eats a bag of m&m's says a lot about them you know ....

Joker said...

Freudian Analysis is welcome hehehehe. :D

BTW, you didn't say your #3 skill since you had two # 2's.

Jetpacks said...

Damn - that was a good one - it makes mine look rated G.

And I didn't know Jane worked in Canada - showing again that Joker is an astute blog reader as well as a great interviewer

Me said...

Shit. Can I have another blog so Joker can interview me? Hehehe.

Won't ever look at a bag of M&M's the same...

Joker said...

@ Jets: Your G-rated one was fun as hell man. Thanks for the compliments and I'm trying to get the Q's in line. hope I'm hitting the mark. :D

@ me: Who says you won't get interviewed? :)

Me said...

J man. I tell you, you got me hanging on worst than when I watch 24. I'm dying to see who is your next victim...

David Griner said...

Nice interview, guys. I can't think of many bloggers who became must-reads as quickly as DJS. Nice mix of insight and humor. And one of her items I picked up became a top story on Digg, so I owe her a few hundred thousand visitors. (I'll likely be paying her back in small installments over a lengthy period of time.)

Ad Broad, oldest working writer in advertising said...

I agree, great interview. (It was one I was waiting for.) One reason I read DJS avidly (aside from the humor which my mother has trouble with) is insight into The Account Mind which has always been somewhat of a mystery to me. Of course, Jane's account mind is probably an anomaly. How many account people could produce her excellent blog--on a daily basis--while managing to execute all those petty annoyances that make up so much of their actual, paying jobs?

Great answers (Poutine?), including yours, Joker. Like "Me", I'll never be able to eat M&Ms the same way again.

Joker said...

@ david: I know what you mean and hey, pay it forward. Glad you liked the interview though.

@ Ad Broad: Much like your experience with Lorem Ipsum, right? ;)

Make the logo bigger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Make the logo bigger said...

As part Canuck, I have to go easy on her for being on the account side. ;-p

the girl Riot™ said...

a great read. thanks for the insights into such a classy lady ;). nice to know i'm not alone in the inability to count.

"Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out."

Thinking In Vain said...

Now I want some M&Ms.

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