Sep 8, 2008

Picture a Proctologist.

So last week my best friend suddenly writes on her messenger status: At first, like a dumb fuck, I actually write down the address, not getting the inside joke. My friend is extremely mad at someone. Since we chat about almost everything under the sun, I type "what's wrong"... and then she gives me fresh material and actually brings me out of writer's block.

I cannot go into the gory details, but I sure can write about the general sentiment of that mysterious line: she was basically saying - you have a job description, so stick to it, period. Why do people like to think that they can actually do other people's jobs as well as their own? In advertising we see this on a day to day basis. Account Executives love to play the part of Creative Director. Creative Directors thrive on thinking that they can be General Managers. General Managers love to be on the Client's side. Clients... well they are designers, copywriters, traffic coordinators... The ugly cycle goes on and on. It is simply disgusting.

I was talking to another friend today and actually bitching about this specific subject. Seems that everyone today likes to meddle in other people's jobs. I have a shitload of clients, for example, that like to think that they are incredible copywriters. Honestly dudes, I've gotten shitty header after shitty headers in my day. Some are simply so rotten I cringe when I type them. Do I tell them that the line sucks beyond belief? Sometimes I do. But most of the time, I just type away and deliver the turd, exactly as they want them. You cannot have a fight about this each day, so once in a while I let things pass and get my check. This gives me a sense of peace you cannot imagine.

But and a big but. That doesn't mean I am right. So, let's do the Proctologist exercise. You have a metal rod up your butthole. You can feel the strange object almost in your throat. They are doing an experiment to see if you are healthy down in the shit pipe department. Again, I ask: do you tell your doctor how to ram up the thing or do you just trust him to do his job perfectly so you don't suffer from unfriendly diarrhea for the rest of your life? Do you bend over to comment on his technique or do you lay there, breathe in deeply and let the thing go in so you can go out the door faster? I want to meet in person the brave soul who actually has the balls to say that they can do the job better. Did you study medicine? Do you have, somewhere in your office a diploma of "Asshole Health", Suma Cum Laude? Yeah, you get my point. You don't so you shut the hell up.

For some strange reason, in advertising all bets are off. Seems that everyone can shit where you eat (to keep the shit theme going, you know) and actually get away with it. Instead of sticking to what they know, they like to do all things at once. Badly, by the way. But here my way of thinking clicks in. We will never stop this. Creatives don't get as much respect as a lawyer or a doctor. Seems that, while other professions never have people giving their opinions, in advertising you can sure become a designer, ipso facto. In an instant, people who like to believe that because they arranged a few flowers and painted a few walls in their home pretty good suddenly are advertising gods. But we can scream, fight, have a temper tantrum and this will never cease to be. In more than a decade of working at this crap of a job I have never, ever met a client who actually doesn't change a thing, a General Manager who never changes a presentation or a Traffic Coordinator who actually understands that certain jobs need a specific amount of time and doesn't bitch about it.

But... I can dream... can I?

Um... Shit. This job sucks.


Anonymous said...

LOL, welcome to the real world

A client should know their product better than anyone and have input in partnership with agency (but not art direct or copywrite I accept)

A GM should have been in the game long enough to change a presentation for the bettter - despite if you believe this is the case or not

Traffic have their job to do, such as to hurry up self-pity, self-absorbed creatives

M.M. McDermott said...

I couldn't get past the fourth paragraph. Talk to me about violated by a metal rod, and I'll agree with pretty much whatever you say just to get you to stop.

< / shifting uncomfortably>

Me said...

Seems anon drank the Kool Aid...

May you enjoy your years in advertising my friend.

shaun. said...

this is true.

please ad a paragraph about the studio department.

Joker said...

@ Anon: You're totally right. A client SHOULD know their product better than anyone and have INPUT in their PARTNERSHIP with an agency. The frank reality is that most do not know their product, are clueless as to what target they want to direct their communication towards and do not respect or uphold any type of partnership. It's a master slave relationship what most want and that's where self pitying self absorbed creatives tend to start to bitch.

As for Traffic Personnel, their job also includes correctly administering and managing jobs rather than force feeding over worked teams more jobs than can be done and to be able to establish a balance between what is a priority and what can wait.

A GM by the way should definitely speak from experience, but there's a tendency for Valhalla like idiocy especially from GM's. I'm not going to say that none know what they're doing, that would be ignorant on my part. But I also don't say they ALL know what they're doing, because it would be equally ignorant.

But then again, I don't live in the real world and think that all this can actually happen.

Why do we bitch about all members of all departments (creatives DEFINITELY not excluded)? Because we've worked with people that are more trouble than they are worth and that complicate things rather than help solve situations.

Then again, I shouldn't complain about an AE that doesn't give me reference material, a well drafted brief and never negotiates deadlines. I should also not complain about a GM manager that consistently changes everything at least twice because his left nut is tingling the wrong way. i also shouldn't give a shit if someone from traffic interrupts me every twenty minutes, hands me one line jobs without any type of information and don't know how to help establish what's really rush and what's just rush for the sake of being rush. And of course I shouldn't care if I'm handed four revisions for copy points because a client has issues with the word "excellent".

I should just smile and say thank you massa, could I have some more. Then again, maybe I shouldn't.

shaun. said...


lmao....joker you sleigh me!

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