As time passes by and I'm two weeks away from having been a full year away from advertising, something becomes abundantly clear, people will continue to shove out knockoff ideas without one hint of remorse. If anything I'm proud of my 5 year stint and all the freelance work I did is that I never copied from anyone and was actually fortunate enough to have people copy some of the work I produced with my creative significant others.
I occassionally browsed creative magazines, but normally ideas came from analysis of the brief, brain storming, and pretty much shooting the shit. The only rules were that it needed to be different enough to break the clutter, it needed to comply with everything established in the brief and it had to be defendable even in the eyes of the douchiest asshole client I could concoct. I change agencies, adapt to the nuances of every bullshit place, but for the most part that was the formula, and it worked pretty well except I didn't win an award, probably to do with my choice of agencies, but I won't bitch since to me, it really didn't make a difference since I saw the ads that did win, and along with variuos other people barfed in my mouth a little or whispered the words bullshit over and over.
That slice of life out of the way, I have to admit that instead of seeing less unoriginal ideas, I see more and more knockoffs and have actually passed by the experience of seeing an idea from 4 years ago, rehashed, refreshed and resold to clients demanding out of the box ideas and only approving inside the box executions.
To make things worse, there are actually entire categories that have the same exact concept rebottled for different clients. Don't believe me? Then instead of ogling on car and candy ads, look towards the junior college category and see if a few things don't look a bit similar. Base premise is the person interacting with themselves in some way or form after they graduate. You can have a person visualizing themselves doing that awesome nurse job, you can have that person seeing themselves in the mirror already graduated, or you can have that person meeting two future versions of themselves, the one that studied and the one that decided to down Roofies and Schnapps and fuck the college mascot.
Simply put, it's the same shit, over and over and over. And that comes in part from the occassional axiom people dare speak that there is no such thing as an original idea, that everything's been done, that you should only modify the dog's old tricks. Well to that thought I say suck it. It's conformity at its most pathetic and though it might be a bitch to come up with something new and fresh, working with the mentality that such a feat is impossible is just asking to be a hack.
That's why I enjoyed working shitty categories like banking and having to deal with difficult clients because when I finally got a good idea approved, it was a huge success on all fronts. From conception to convincing the square thinkers to give the circle a go, it was satisfying even if it wasn't elite because at the very least, it was solid and it worked at least marginally well.
But instead of people embracing their own flavor or style, they opt for the cop out, look for the archive, change a couple of elements and good to go. I dunno, somehow having a person do that and still insist on being called a creative is a bit douchy if you ask me. Any thoughts?