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Everything I Know About Advertising

Posted on July 31, 2004 and read 7,669 times

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Who needs schooling? Who needs experience? I have a television, and for my dollar, that’s the best education I am ever going to get in this wonderful industry of ours. Seriously. Think about all of the incredible lessons imparted upon us by such classics as Melrose Place and oh that fabulous docu-drama “What Women Want”, and never, ever forget for a second Tom Selleck’s hit show “The Closer”. To honour these stellar depictions of our fine industry, I have condensed the key list of “The Seven Steady Truths of Advertising”, imparted on all of us by our favorite medium.

Now, before I begin, I must warn you that I am fully aware that this is all common knowledge within the advertising industry. I just thought that I would etch these thoughts in the permanent medium of the Internet for future advertising generations to discover, in case the Internet kills television and movie downloading obliterates Hollywood.

Truth #1 Ugly people need not apply.

Everyone knows that only hot people with awesome taste in clothes work at agencies. Yeah. And, if there not good looking, they’re serving coffee or circulating the mail or something — the important thing is that clients don’t see them. After all, in this industry, image, not intelligence, is everything.

Truth #2 Account execs are creatives are accountants are…

There are only three jobs at an agency: President, Secretary, and “Do It All” Utility Creative Account Person. Of course, at any given moment any one of those three could be doing the other’s job and probably will depending on how crazy busy things get with that one big account.

Truth #3 Creativity ends at 30, okay 35.

Like wrinkles forming on weathered skin, there is something in the human genome that breaks down any semblance of creative sensibility with each passing year. Instead of wasting our energies on Steam Cell Research for Alzheimer’s, we should seriously look into why creativity expires with age. Young “hot shots” are what every agency needs to compete. Old people suck at being creative because “they’re living in the past man” and just don’t get those whacky kids of ‘today’.

Truth #4 Pitching is a whimsical fancy.

Preparation? Nah, nah. Who needs that? Clients paying millions of dollars love when you come unprepared. They do. Not only that, but usually the ideas you pull out of your ass on the way to the meeting are the ones they like best. Comps? What for? Your client is as in-tune with your creative intellect, check that, genius, as you are. Try this: Next time you’re in a pitch blurt out the first thing that comes to your mind, while waving your hands and staring at the ceiling, everyone will applaude your Warholesque vision.

Truth #5 Ideas are best served stolen.

Now, we all know that creatives have absolutely no ego whatsoever. Right?! So, what better way to get ahead than to steal someone else’s brainfart — I mean child. Think about it for a moment, creative people can’t be creative all the time and creatives definitely don’t care if the idea is theirs. Someone else is bound to come up with an idea that you can put your own spin on, or if your’re lucky, just plagerize completely. After all, there is no such thing as an original idea anyway.

Truth #6 Strategies? We don’t need no stinking strategies.

The best ad campaigns come from a group of people who have played with the product first. Forget research, focus groups, and those time-consuming discovery meetings, your guess is as good as anyone’s; your insight, pure as gold. Whoever in the group comes up with that all important tag line first wins and that’s what the client gets. That’s all it takes folks. The single ad campaign is set. Everything from here-on-out is downhill, easy as pie.

Truth #7 Everyone in advertising is rich, richer than their wildest dreams.

There are millions, billions to be made in advertising. Even the interns are rich, sipping champagne and crashing at their Frank Lloyd Wright inspired loft in SOHO. I mean, come on, clients will spend anything on a single ad; especially these days. And the more the client spends, the more money for everyone involved. It’s one big party when you sign a major client because of this fact and when you lose a client nobody, I mean nobody, ever loses their job.

I would like to reiterate, I understand that these are all common truths amongst all advertising agencies around the world, which is, after all, how they ended up on television in the first place. But, I felt it was imperative to benefit this great industry for future generations to come as tapes may become old and brittle, and video footage may be lost, but Internet text will withstand the tests of time. Now, if you will excuse me, I must try on a pair of women’s panties for an ad I am writing for Victoria’s Secret. They are my one big client and I must look sexy for them if they are to believe I am any good. Strategy, nah, I don’t need one of those, I’ll probably just steal the secretary’s tag line on the way to the meeting. Now, if I can just find my Porsche.


Jason Chaney
Writer
ihaveanidea






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