Sep 23, 2008

Stages of Advertising

It’s been a while since my boy Joker posted one of his infamous Intern’s Diary posts, so I’ll take the liberty of expanding on the subject. Herewith, the Four Stages of Advertising:

1.) Right Foot Forward – Your first day on the job. You’re very eager and ready to take on the world with your energy, your enthusiasm, your fresh ideas and drive. You’re so pumped, you’re even willing to work for practically no pay just to show everyone how committed and awesome you are. Work past 6:00pm? No problem! You’ve got no kids, no significant other, all you have is time to be awesome. Working weekends is exciting because it means you’re doing something really important.

2.) Company Man – Your career is well underway. You’ve created a name for yourself in the industry and you can even pull a few strings in your favor. You’ve been in the game for quite a few years now and are starting to experience the glamorous side of the business – expense account, three-martini lunches, trips to exotic locales for shoots, a cool apartment in the hip part of town. You rightfully believe that nothing is more important in the world than the brands you work for. Oh, and you know you’ve made it because you’re always in a meeting, analyzing at pie charts, bar graphs. Phrases like “brand equity”, “single-minded”, “targeted messaging”, and “integrated strategies” make up a large part of your vocabulary.

3.) Doubtful Dave – You got married a few years ago (or have been going steady with someone for quite some time) and may or may not have kids. Suddenly, working past 6:00pm seems ridiculous. How is it possible that people watch movies and TV during the week? How do they make time, when you’re always at work? Meetings are now mundane affairs and you can see right through all the bullshit. The “innovative” marketing strategies your agency is presenting new clients are the same formula you’ve been feeding clients for the past 8 years, just decorated with new technical jargon. This game has gotten old. Who the hell cares about “brand essence”? A doughnut is a doughnut; a car is car, right? Besides, what have you really accomplished for yourself? (Your clients, of course, have benefited tremendously from your efforts, but what about you?) What will your legacy be? And… what the fuck’s up with the ego on these new kids in the office?

4.) Elder Statesman – Advertising is quite the racket. In what other business can you charge clients ridiculous amounts of money for the same advice you give them year after year? Your every breath is billable. Not even lawyers have it this good… and you don’t even have to wear a tie because you’re hip like that. It’s all about the profit. Pay those eager kids as little as possible and make them believe that working inhumane hours is part of “making it” in this business. This is what it takes to learn the ropes. Oh man, and the respect. You are now a communications and marketing “expert”, even though you’ve been spinning the same yarn for over 15 years. Hey, you’ve got stock options to look after, and besides, the formula works. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.


Thinking In Vain said...

I am very quickly starting to become #3.

shaun. said...

still at #1...knock on wood.

Me said...

I'm at three mixed with the missing stage, five: ready to say fuck off to the industry and move to Bora Bora to sell coconuts at the beach.

M.M. McDermott said...

Shit. Feels like I went through stages 2 through 4 before lunch.

But, for what it's worth, the stage 1 salary keeps me grounded.

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