Jul 6, 2009

We are assholes

If you think lawyers are dicks, take a look at your nearest Creative Director. And if he’s from Argentina, forget it! Not even he can stand himself. Because of a few bad apples over the past forty years, advertising professionals have earned quite the reputation: egomaniacal presumptuous pricks that think our shit don’t stink. And the sad part is that it’s actually true. We are a seriously stuck up, snobby bunch.

I guess it comes with the territory, a survival-of-the-fittest mechanism to make it in the cutthroat world that is advertising. For creatives it really does take an ego the size of Texas (cessation, anyone?) for us to believe the very shit we create. Sure, we justify the awesomeness of our work with qualifiers such as “strategic,” “integrated,” “single-minded,” “high-concept,” “gregarious,” “witty,” “engaging,” “360 approach,” and what not, but it all basically boils down to dressing a loaf of shit with a red ribbon.

Who are we kidding when we talk about groundbreaking concepts that “push the envelope?” Yeah, we come up with awesome work, but 9 times out of 10 we end up doing what the client asks for. However, we are so caught up in how cool and witty we are, how irreverent and off-the-wall we can be, that we often forget that the work we do really doesn’t make that big a difference.

Could it be that our egos are a way of covering up our frustration of not being “real” writers and artists?

Like we’ve said at WAS many times before, we’re not curing cancer, so let’s not act like a catchy headline or clever use of stock images will do the trick.

Egos are a necessary evil in this biz. From what I can see, it pays to be an advertising asshole. Thinking you’re hot shit is encouraged. Taking credit for even the lamest of victories is objective number one.

In this economy, let’s just be happy that we are being handsomely paid to do super fancy clerical work.


Teenie said...

I can't for a second believe that egos are a necessary evil in this business. I think they've been allowed to grow unchecked, which is terribly unfortunate. A little humility would make for a much better workforce--and better creative work, I'm sure.

shaun. said...

i agree with Teenie. It's unacceptable for us to think that "being an asshole" makes us better than the humble. i think its the same "asshole...i deserve everything cause i am a god" mentality that caused the financial industry to overlap onto itself. And I speak from working in that industry....I'm not guessing.

everytime i meet and asshole designer, AD, CW or the hierarchy.....I feel bad for picking this industry. but...alas, i do love what I do.

well written.

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