Being an advertising creative has its highs and lows. There are a lot of lows – some very small, some relentlessly repetitive. All very frustrating. But there are also highs beyond the drive to create. I thought that now was a damn good time for creatives to remember those highs. So I asked, “What’s yours?”
Scott Dettrick, creative director at The Monkeys, part of Accenture Interactive, shares this response:
There’s probably never been a better time to assess what drives us, what makes us happy. Nothing like a global pandemic to make everyone an armchair philosopher.
Someone once said, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Sure, Mark Twain, but we can’t all be best selling authors and write cool quotes for a living. So why do we work in advertising? Maybe it’s the free cereal and mineral water? It’s certainly not the long hours or the sleepless nights. Around 3 am this morning I concluded that for me it’s the fact you have a chance to make a difference in the world. I know that sounds a bit ‘Anthony Robbins’, but that’s what I get up for every day.
We have the ability to deliver important messages and provoke thought. Not just to sell products and build brands but to make a real difference. That’s what makes our job truly great. Our ideas, words and images have the potential to help people, create jobs and change futures. In a world of questionable politics, we just might be able to help. At the very least we are given promoted platforms to entertain people which, in times like these, is probably more important than ever.
[From MLA’s new Australia-land campaign]
With my shot at the Nobel Peace Prize out of the way, I would say one of my other highs is making stuff. Making stuff is hard. When you think about the variables involved in getting a great idea from people’s heads to becoming a reality, it’s nothing short of a miracle. I guess that’s what makes it exciting. High risk, high reward. I love the production process. Partnering with smart people, tinkering and working out the details, making things funnier. I mean some days you want to bang your head against a wall but on the whole, fun.
[From Canadian Club’s Who Made Beer the Boss of Summer]
It might be that I’m missing work colleagues at the moment but the last high I thought I’d mention is the people I work with. The friends I’ve made in the ‘trenches’ are some of the strongest friendships I’ve ever had. You go through a lot together. Having good people around you and being a good person is important. Getting great work made is hard enough without the added friction so I’m grateful for the good people that I get to work with and that put up with me.
[From Qantas’ Out of Office campaign]
As for the lows, well they are what makes the highs that much sweeter I guess? If I’m ever in a low moment I always just think – the worst day in advertising has to be better than the best day in accounting. Then again, accountants probably feel the same way about what we do. (Sorry finance, can you please still process my expenses?)
[Cover image from Dettrick’s Mambo documentary, Art Irritates Life]