Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Fetishisation of Doing

Is this man's job harder than writing adverts?

I'm belatedly a bit miffed by what Russell wrote in Campaign last week.

Ideas are the easiest, fastest and cheapest things to have in the world. It's getting them made that's hard, and for that you need traffic and production. Ladies and Gentleman, we salute you.

Let me start by joining Russell in saluting traffic and production. You couldn't wish to meet a nicer or more dedicated bunch of people.

But I got to stand up for my peeps. Having ideas is not easier than getting them made. Quite the contrary.

Come on, we're not going to place doing above thinking are we? Like, salute the guy who got Moby Dick to the printer on time, rather than Herman Melville?

Getting things made may look harder because you can actually see a person doing that job, whereas you can't see a creative's or a planner's brain working.

But thinking is still work. Very hard work, in fact. Thinking is not a crime!

I guess Russell knows that really, he's just trying to provoke a response. And he's succeeded, darn it...

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Show us how easy it is the Russell. A great idea for any product you like. By tomorrow please

simon said...

I totally agree that thinking is hard work, the hardest of work perhaps, if you're required to think originally. But how many of us do? How many creatives would survive if there were no creative departments and we were required to required to work freelance?

I also disagree about ideas being hard, they're not. They're easy. It's good ideas that are hard to come by and only because they require us to think hardest.

Scamp said...

simon of course you are right - thinking up original ideas is a lot harder work than thinking up rubbish ones.

but then i suppose you could argue the same for any job, that doing your job rubbishly is easier than doing it well.

Charlie Bass said...

The skill is in the 'panning for gold', sifting out AND recognising what is and what is not a good idea - that's when it's really hard.

EugenS said...

I'm surprised that Russell made that statement, I'm guessing that it's for responses too. Everybody has ideas. Just the lucky few manage to actually get the good and great ideas. And it's really hard work.

FishNChimps said...

I thought the first sentence in that para a bit odd. I get one good idea about once every three years. I couldn't imagine how difficult it must be to be judged on (and paid for) them for a living.

Anonymous said...

If Russell is right then why do creatives earn much, much, more than production people? I don't believe he really thinks it's true

Scamp said...

good point

Cleaver said...

Actually, even having bad ideas can be quite a hard grind.

(Not that I've ever had any of course. But I've seen people having them - their faces are all screwed up with effort)

Anonymous said...

Cleaver. I disagree. Look at Rooney Carruthers. He has loads of bad ideas;-)

Anonymous said...

Only creatives are really needed. Just look at any Hollywood movie about advertising. Everyone is a creative.

copyranter said...

ah, but Moby Dick is art. Ideas are not, at least in the ad world.

Anonymous said...

Further muddying the waters. Due to the subjective nature of "ideas", one man's good ad is another man's bad ad.
You can struugle away for days coming up with what you think is a good ad and almost anyone from a creative director to a planner to the junior client to the senior client's wife to the awards juror can think it's a bad ad and "poof" your good ad is actually bad and you've wasted your time.
Likewise a crap ad with a tired old pun you rattled off while you were having a poo could be judged by the same set of people, actually to be a good ad. Voila, the good idea was incredibly easy to come up with.
Have you ever looked in D&AD and wondered out loud "How, in the name of all that's holy, did that get in the book?"
One thing I've learned over the years though, is that no matter what the quality of the idea and how easy/difficult it was to have, it should ALWAYS appear to all concerned to have been very difficult to have. We need everyone from clients to our Mums to believe that creativity is a mysterious alchemy that only a select few can do. Otherwise
everyone will start doing it and we'll be out of a job.
And our Mum's will think they've wasted all their time and money bringing us up just to ponce about with macs and crayons like monkeys.