Oct 31, 2008

Things I actually miss about advertising


I’ve been out of the traditional ad agency game for almost six years now and have never once regretted my decision to walk away from it all. Not to come off as a gloating asshole or anything, but ever since turning my back on it all, I frequently enjoy 8 hours of sleep each week night, have time for leisurely reads, watch movies, and screw around with a few side projects every now and then. Oh, and I can actually enjoy family life… even on weekends!

But I must admit that there are a few things that I do miss from the unhealthy world of advertising agency life. I bring this up just to add a bit of a positive vibe to the agency bashing culture here at WAS. So here goes – Things I actually miss about advertising:

  • People like me – Just like any high school, an agency has its cliques. There are the stuffy account people, the sassy media people, hyper ADD traffic people, and the “creative types”, of which I was a proud member. I no longer mix it up with sharp people who pretty much share my tastes in pop culture, art, food, music, politics, world view, values, etc. I’ve never been a super social animal, but I must admit that my already limited circle of friends has been closed even tighter since leaving the biz. In fact, the few people I consider true friends all hail from my ad days. It just goes to show that the friends you keep really do shape your quality of life.

  • Office culture – We always hear the term “corporate culture” being thrown around and I truly believe in that. An agency has a certain vibe that is unique – this does not mean that it’s cool, or healthy, or productive. It’s just unique. You can’t really tell the difference between an accountant’s office, a lawyer’s, or the marketing department at Procter & Gamble – they’re all the same, sterile. However, you know when you are in an ad agency. I can’t quite place my finger on it but there is a distinctive (and often contrarian) quality to the energy of an ad agency: laid-back/tense, creative/conservative, secure/conniving, efficient/bureaucratic, inspirational/depressing…

  • The Boogie Down – Ad people just can’t get enough booze, drugs, and sex. And when you’re wound up as tight as an AE on an impossible deadline, you need all three of those things in large quantities. A celebration (employee birthday, Halloween, Christmas, New Year’s… anything!) at an agency is a PAR-TAY! Some of my most memorable bouts of drunken drivel (and some I just can’t remember) happened at agency shindigs. And when those media chicks get some gin and juice in them, Oh My…

  • Productions – I was fortunate enough to work on several accounts that were TV and radio heavy, and a few even required frequent travel (business travel is cool the first few times; after that you just want to shoot yourself every time they say, “We need you to come up to Topeka…” – I will post about this later). But I certainly enjoyed doing radio and TV more than print. It got me involved with a bunch of interesting people (photographers, sound engineers, directors, actors, etc.) who always taught me something new and just made my job that much more interesting. Plus, it was nice to see a concept go through the journey from a doodle on a napkin to a full out commercial. Even if it sucked, it was still rewarding to see it through.

3 comments:

Nicole said...

Do you also miss getting free stock photos? Hehehe

jill said...

I think, You missed your family life before. Now, You are missing advertising like people like, celebration and productions etc.. am i right?
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jillcatrina

Viral marketing

Anonymous said...

In my humble opinion I am still mourning losing you being close with funny remarks, smart talk and great fun lunches. :(

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