April 16, 2009

And one more thing...

I just saw yet another pro-bono ad with a minute call to action and an almost non-existent web address, so I'm back on the soapbox (momentarily, I promise) for just a sec.

Hey, creatives. Yeah, you. If some non-profit organization gives you free reign to produce a piece to raise awareness, funds, site visits, lists of names, or whatever, I hereby make it your duty to GET THE MESSAGE ACROSS. You heard me. Don't lock yourselves into a room and have some wankfest over how many awards your clever visual pun is going to win you.

I've worked with some of these organizations, writing fundraising letters and reply coupons to pull a dollar or two. Some of the top people at these places make as much as you made as a junior. They don't have money to spare. All they have is passion and a mission.

So get the message out. Raise those funds. And zip up your pants, you opportunists.


  1. OMG Teenie lovely use of the term "wankfest". I think your commonwealth english is slipping again. And as a Canadian I also appreciate the use of the word "Arse" which is an east coast gem as in "Aye gonna kick your friggin arse bye". (I am going to kick your butt boy"

    And Monty Python...well that should be required viewing in college.

    So many "Ad People" have been voicing out against the self serving aspect of the industry lately with awards, pro bono work etc. Hopefully these economic times will cull the weak, and a stronger industry breeding program will emerge.

  2. I can't help it--"wank" and all its conjugations is like a fine balance between not-too-vulgar and nicely satisfying. It's like the Merlot of the swear world.

    I must admit I'm totally disillusioned by what's being put on the pedestal in advertising these days. That a drum-playing gorilla managed to garner the almighty Cannes grand prize last year--without once brining forth a single product benefit--is just the tip of the iceberg.

  3. Is it really any different then some of the fashion shows that parade non blinking women wearing pink polk-a-dot faux fur knee high boots with clear cellophane tube top. The designer struts back out at the end of the show and must be thinking.."Well I pulled off another one." They are heralded as geniuses in clothing design, but you'll never see those items at Wal-mart where 96% of the world's knee high boots and tube tops are sold.

    Ironically, I visit alot of Agency sites, and most proclaim their method of solution or branding is more reverent then selecting a new Pope. They usually show a picture of the designers work area as if to say..."see, no walls, and look at the skateboard in the corner". Some will even allude to their closets full of awards like, "Yes we have won the same award year after year, but we are kind of shy about it so we tuck them away."

    I really feel I would like to enter or re-enter the industry, but never realized until recently how much agencies "photoshop" their own image or self brand. Smoke and mirrors really.

    I want to sell creative work. Work that gives consumers educated choices. Work that increases sales, increases awareness, and increases the prosperity for more then just the agency heads and Apple. I don't think this position is easily identified in the mainstream postings, so I shall have to dig deeper I bet.

    And by the way, I have a 5 year old bag of those green wasabi thingies tucked in a cupboard. They taste like diesel fuel to me, you can have them but I dont know what type of export papers I would need to fill out and if they are classified as hazordous waste?

  4. I ended up as a copywriter after--sincerely, I'm not making this up--replying to a want ad in the local newspaper. Right place, right time, I guess. If you want in, there's always a way... even if it takes a good while.

    Agencies are notoriously bad at advertising themselves. I wonder if that's why they put up such a good show of fakery for the camera. I don't know--I'm sounding a bit pessimistic about the whole industry these days, but I'm honestly in love with my job and most of the work I do.

    I guess I just can't relate to the quest for greatness at the expense of your job description.

  5. I've just stumbled across your blog, and am enjoying the content. I found it amusing that, having just read your "In praise of proofreaders" post, I should see your rant about agencies taking inappropriate advantage of being given "free reign" to do as they choose. Methinks you meant "free rein" which, if used properly, could (to maintain the equestrian analogy) lead to the agency's finishing ahead of the pack -- and its continued reign over the account in question. Indeed, let's hear it for proofreaders!