Saturday, June 27

Jockey full of bourbon

If you are in advertising, is it almost impossible to be an optimist?

In an interview, David Droga, resident ad-world genius and founder of Droga5, the agency any creative worth her/is salt wants to work in, said he was an optimist. Which, if you consider how long he's been in the game, seems a staggering attitude to maintain.

It got me thinking. Has Droga's approach anything to do with the fact that he is a genius (albeit an incredibly hard-working one), whose ideas usually translate into wonderfully effective and memorable (is there a difference?) advertisements? He was born in Australia and started working there. Did that help mould his attitude and craft?

This exercise could go on forever and there's no chance I can distil the elements of his success. And yet, being an optimist, a cheerful person, having a positive outlook on life may be critical to one thing - wanting to wake up and go work in advertising.

Because the average Indian agency attitude goes something like this:

Servicing folks are reviled for being brainless, spineless, client-lovers, simply transporting work and feedback from client to creatives

Planners and their strategies are considered less useful than the greenish fungus that visits the back of the fridge annually

Creative people are assholes, who simply won't make what the client wants, or worse, create something so horrible that Oppenheimer himself would nod in approval

Management is either hated or pitied, depending on how accommodating they are, and to whom
Clients - there are no words

The daily levels of negativity, the machinations, the disappointments and frustrations, have to be experienced to be believed. Even at the agency I work, which is not a bad place to be at all. And yet, people are quitting it. Why?

Industry-wide, we are all just ordinary people. With other talents, other dreams and many worries just like anyone else. All of which have been put on the back-burner so that we work late nights and weekends on minuscule salaries so that advertisements can be made.

Only to find that the end product is usually criticized fiercely by morons who sit on their high horses spouting logic and philosophy on Twitter, or that modern day horror, the Open Letter.

Or worse, completely ignored (Dave Trott estimates that it happens with 89% of advertisements in the UK).

Or, horror of horrors, is absolute shit. 

An ex-boss used to say "You're only as good as your last campaign". Think of the number of ads that get made on a weekly basis and you'll understand the stress inherent in that statement.

Maybe it is better to be like Droga or Piyush Pandey (apparently, a man who keeps the room in giggles all the time). But, mimicking their advertising talents seems less troublesome than being as optimistic and cheerful as them.      

Song for the moment: Got a right to sing the Blues - Cee Cee James


Tuesday, June 16

Heaven will know

They say time heals all wounds.

'They' don't know what they are talking about.

Some hurts stay angry and raw forever.

Because Time itself is a cruel reminder.

Of happy moments. Of conversations. Of hugs.

Gone forever.

Of loss. Of emptiness. Of an aching beyond description.

There forever.

Some wounds cut so deep.

They sever. 

Song for the moment: Lucky Guy - Modern Talking