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You don’t have to be crazy to work here, but… thumbnail

You don’t have to be crazy to work here, but…

If you’ve never lived in the UK the name Broadmoor may not mean a lot, perhaps just somewhere to take a Sunday afternoon stroll in that green and pleasant land. But it might well be the last one you ever did, because Broadmoor is Britain’s most infamous high-security psychiatric hospital. A funny farm for people you really don’t want to make fun of.

‘Broadmoor’ is also an uncannily close anagram of ‘boardroom.’ Coincidence?


With My Own Two Hands thumbnail

With My Own Two Hands

For the past two weeks, I have been suffering from a galactic-sized spell of writer’s block. I’m talking of debilitating proportions. The kind of extreme case where the sound of your voice (or in this case, the choice in your words) makes you just want to pack it in and make a drastic vocational change. Every time I created a new document in Microsoft Word or presentation in PowerPoint, it was as if that flickering cursor was flicking me off. Delusional? Perhaps. But if it was, in fact, the case, I can’t say I really blame it. Some days (or weeks) you just don’t have it.


Does Any of This Matter? thumbnail

Does Any of This Matter?

I am on my way to a funeral. Two days ago I received a text during a client status meeting, which I normally would have ignored, but instead chose to read. The message informed me that someone important in my life had passed away. I responded abruptly that I was available for any needs and put my phone away. I had trouble focusing on the next few items on the status sheet. And thought: Well, none of this is important.


The Road to New Ventures: Now We Have To Eat thumbnail

The Road to New Ventures: Now We Have To Eat

As the old adage goes, “you have to see it to believe it.” A cliché? Quite so, and not always the case. But as we watched our agency’s visual identity come together, we couldn’t help but be energized. From a comical notion to a registered business, a faceless endeavor to a distinct and branded agency, Rain Dog Creative was becoming as real as we imagined it could be.

But that makes the process sound far smoother than it actually was.


Forbidden Love thumbnail

Forbidden Love

By and large you are not the owner of the ideas you are paid to produce. You turn them in and they become the property of the agency, until the point they are presented to a client. Then they become the client’s property.

When we worked mainly on outbound media, this was not such a big deal. You were paid your wage to attack a brief, and you put together a pile of tissues that turned into a smaller stack of boards full of one-way messages. 98% of these ideas die. And it was painful, because as a professional you had trained yourself to invest a certain amount of passion – no, a certain amount of yourself in these ideas.


Diary of a Copywriter: Drama queen. Sort of. thumbnail

Diary of a Copywriter: Drama queen. Sort of.

I remember my very first job interview at my very first agency. The creative director asked if I could work under pressure. With some experience as a reporter under my belt, obviously I was one of those people who thrived under pressure. Bring it.

And he did. And I brung it right back. Brought it. Whatever. I thought I was pretty hot shit with my web banners and my landing pages. This advertising stuff was easy peasy.

Until “the project.”


The Most Valuable Assets thumbnail

The Most Valuable Assets

The old ad cliché is “the most valuable assets walk in and out of the door every day.” It’s the people behind the brushed aluminum sign in the lobby that make an agency. Of course, this is mostly a reference to the output of the agency. The work. The ideas. You can get a sense of those things, the style of the agency just by reading the award books. Or by the agency’s conspicuous absence from them.


Diary of a Copywriter: The power of one. More specifically, me. thumbnail

Diary of a Copywriter: The power of one. More specifically, me.

Before I got into advertising, I was a journalist. The CBC kind and everything. I took a microphone into the rough landscape that is Prince Edward Island and reported on things like potatoes, Anne of Green Gables and a woman who made her entire home out of garbage and recycled materials.


Sometimes, I Even Write Ads thumbnail

Sometimes, I Even Write Ads

I’ve been working in the communication arts industry for about sixteen years. I began as a graphic designer and later (about 8 years ago), I moved to advertising. I have been creative for much longer than that. If I had to put it into years, I’d say about thirty-five years. I’m not exactly sure what I did for the first five years of my life so thirty-five it is. I lost my way creatively twice.


Being a mistress is more fun than being a wife thumbnail

Being a mistress is more fun than being a wife

When I worked at my old agency we had the Budweiser account.

Or so we thought.

But about a year into our tenure it was announced that a certain Goodby Silverstein and Partners would be joining us on the account.

“Oh lovely!” was the thought that DID NOT cross my mind.


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