Although there are many, many people in this world who are better at writing ads than I am, most of them don't seem to have blogs, whereas I do. So until something better comes along, I'm going to start trying to come up with a few tips for the young creatives out there.
And if the amount of wisdom a person has can be measured by the quantity of mistakes they've made, I have quite a bit of wisdom to impart.
So here we go with Tip No. 1
It concerns the age-old question... "when do you go in?" Do you wait until you have an idea that you would die on a sword for before you go in and see your creative director? Or do you go in when you have four or five ideas you like, and rely on him to pick the best one out - after all, "that's his job"? Or do you go in with 'just a few thoughts', and aim to work with him on turning one of them into something good?
Well, partly you have to be guided by the attitude of your creative director.
I remember one CD, years ago, telling me "I want you to run in". By this he meant, don't show me any work on a brief until you are so excited that you can't hold yourself back from physically sprinting into my office.
That much lack of guidance is rare.
But if you are getting too many insults - and a lot of creative directors seem to specialise in the finely-honed insult - then this is a clue that you are going in too early. (We once showed something to Jeremy Craigen when I was at DDB and he said: "That is a really good ad... for McCann's Frankfurt, maybe.")
At the other end of the scale is the "bring me your wounded, bring me your lame" attitude - i.e. show me anything you've got, and let's see if we can make it work. Apparently Dave Droga tries to see all of his teams every day. His attitude is that as a creative, time is your only resource. And he doesn't want his creatives wasting any. He doesn't want them working for more than one day on a thought that he might then not like. He'd rather see all their half-thoughts than one or two finished ones.
So be guided by the attitude of your creative director. But as a general rule, I think young teams should go in with more than one idea. Young creatives often have great ideas and they don't know they're great, because they don't have the experience to recognise it. So go in early, go in often, go in with anything you've got that's coherent, draw stuff up clearly but not beautifully, and don't spend hours crafting dialogue.
After all, you don't want to spend days buffing up some precious gem only to be told by your CD that you've been polishing a turd.