Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sympathy For The Boss

I do hope you've started reading The Ad Contrarian. I think it might be my new favourite blog.

Responding to all our unsolicited advice for Creative Directors, he has posted some thoughts of his own - not about how to be a good Creative Director, but how to be a happy one.

His most important tip is to hire good people.

If you have terrific people, the advertising business isn’t that difficult. If you have mediocrities, advertising is impossible. For your own self-preservation you must get rid of bad people and hire good ones. There is no other way to do good work and have a happy life. Talent is a rare and precious thing. The idea that "we're all creative" is absolute bullshit. Mediocre talent never makes terrific ads. Never.

This set me thinking how easy it is to whinge about one's CD/ECD. In actual fact, they have a pretty damn hard job... dealing with all the mediocre people around them like you and me. How many ads that you show your CD are actually any good? Not many, right? And he has to wade through all that shit... and then stroke your ego enough to make sure you don't go back to your office and sulk.

Read the rest of the post here.

Oh, I also like this cartoon of his.


Anonymous said...

Scamp, he forgets to mention one truism.

That the mediocre talent often rises to the top - to become CD's. Its the same in every industry.

so where does that leave the real talent?

Anonymous said...

Even mediocre talent can spot a good team - no?

I'm crap creatively, but I know a good piece of work when I see it.

Bentos said...

Well in football the great managers aren't necessarily the most talented players, or the most successful.

But then there is a practically infinite number of differences between football and advertising if you think about it.

Rocker Man said...

Thanks for pointing in the direction of TAC. Razor sharp writing and bright thinking from an irascible Old Git.

Great response to someone who had the temerity to disagree with what he'd posted - and told him that "people don't get any smarter when you stick pencils in their eyes"

TAC's reply?

"I'm an ad guy. Sticking pencils in peoples' eyes is my job"

Cracking stuff

Jetpacks said...

I've written about "Everyone's Creative." The fact is, everyone, from the mailroom clerk to your child, will be the judge of your work. They all think they're creative, and to some degree, it's true. They may not know the first thing about layout or production or how to write a catchy header, but they know what they like.

Sad that we have to listen to the voices we don't deem "creative," but that's the nature of the business. Anything else is just posturing for awards.

Anonymous said...

12:42 “I’ll know it when I see it.” is one of the phrases bad cd's keep saying all the time.

Rob Mortimer said...

It's an interesting site alright.
Ta for the link.

Anonymous said...

I guess that's why I'm not a cd then....

But when someone comes to you with an idea, even if you are not able to come up with something yourself, then you can at least tell if it's good or not can't you?

Anonymous said...

@3:46 PM

yes i can. it's a whole different story if my salary depends on the fact if it hits or misses on the clients and products behalf. then it's not only judged by me and my subjective view of humor, beauty or whatever else criterias i might have. anyone can judge if something is good or bad for him or herself, seeing the big picture however is left to the CD.

Anonymous said...

12.42. Spotting talent is one thing. Persuading them to work with you if you're not talented and someone they respect is another

Sell! Sell! said...

Keep up at the back Scampy:


Anonymous said...

Fact is, you can have the best teams in the world, the best CDs in the universe but if the client's a cunt, you're fucked. And let's face it most are.

Anonymous said...

My old man who worked in advertising in the 6o's (the lucky, lucky bastard) said advertising was all about talking bollocks with confidence.

Brilliant word verification - phidgee.

Sounds like the the name for a person on the recieving end of a "phidge." Which as we all know is the name for a crap reason for blowing out an ad, such as "It's got a dog in it" when what they really mean is "I just don't like it."

fans said...

It's a no-nonsense site,and fun to read too.

Anonymous said...

Apologies for wandering off the point, but have you seen the new Nivea ad?

[url=] This one?[/url] Not my flickr, by the way.

Kevin Amter said...

Ha! Love that illustration too. I'll give TAC an Add. Thanks Scamp.

Anonymous said...

Some real world wisdom on that blog, Ive bookmarked it. Hoffman calls it like he sees it. Then again, he can't be fired for saying what he believes in. Most of us can. Thats why we need his voice more than ever.