Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tuesday Tip No.25 - Look Creative

Whenever I raise this topic, I seem to get a defensive reaction.

Along the lines of "no one gives a shit what you wear" or "that's a silly thing to care about."

But is it?

Dude, the name's Thor, I'm lead singer in this like totally retarded rock band

Hello, I'm an accountant. Need any help with your tax return?

In any job, what you wear is vital - it helps establish your credentials.

We of all people should know that, because we're experts at presenting brands in the best possible light. So why do we never think about how we're presenting ourselves?

And it's especially important in a business like advertising, because what we do is largely subjective. No one knows for sure if your idea is any good or not. The main thing that will convince them is you telling them it is great. And if you look creative - i.e. you just look like the kind of person who has good ideas - then that will make a difference.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting you go out and buy a 'uniform'. (Although if truth be told, there is one).

There's more than one way to look creative. Pick the one that's right for you.

'Writer' With A Capital W
Wear this kind of gear and no one will ever re-work your headlines. And they will automatically think the dialogue in your TV commercials is brilliant.

This look says "I know what's hot right now." How can an account team question your choice of track for a commercial, when you look like this?

Become unassailable on all matters relating to typography.

Okay, these are extreme examples, but I hope I'm making my point. Please don't think I'm being tongue-in-cheek here, because I'm not.

How you look does make a difference. Make it make a difference in your favour.

P.S. Yes I know it's Wednesday today, I was very tired last night

Tip No.24 - Don't Be Afraid To Ask
Tip No.23 - Your Idea Has To Be 120%
Tip No.22 - Read Iain's Tips
Tip No.21 - Don't Behave
Tip No.20 - How To Discuss Ideas
Tip No.19 - Read Hugh's Tips
Tip No.18 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part IV - How To Turn A Placement Into A Job
Tip No.17 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part III - How To Approach Agencies (re-print of Tip No. 7)
Tip No.16 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part II - How To Put A Book Together
Tip No. 15 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part I - FAQ
Tip No. 14 - Make Friends With Traffic
Tip No. 13 - Get Reference
Tip No. 12 - Don't Stop Too Soon
Tip No.11 - Be Very
Tip No.10 - Breaking Up
Tip No.9 - Working Well With Your Partner
Tip No.8 - Finding The Right Partner
Tip No.7 - How To Approach Agencies
Tip No.6 - Never-Seen-Before Footage
Tip No.5 - Dicketts' Finger
Tip No.4 - Two Blokes In The Pub
Tip No.3 - Play Family Fortunes
Tip No.2 - Should You Take A Bad Job?
Tip No.1 - Don't Overpolish


Anonymous said...

Do you have any advice for planners?

There was a time when planners and creatives had different uniforms, but that seems to have disappeared.

Should planners try and differentiate themselves from creatives in the art direction of themselves, or are you happy seeing planners and creatives all wear the same ironic t-shirts?

And (more importantly) what planner-y uniform do creatives respond best to?

Anonymous said...

Welcome to Sterotype City.
Easy, the first one is David Abott, the last one is Mark Reddy.the one in the middle is practically every one else.

So the big question is, of those examples, who are you Scamp?

Love the post.

Alan Wolk said...

Great post.
I've found that here in NYC the "dress code" varies greatly from agency to agency. And that the tone was often set at the top: e.g. if the creative director was a fashion plate then everyone kind of "dressed" for the job, but if he was a slob then no one really cared and everyone just sort of walked around in old jeans and (un-ironic) t-shirts.

One rule of thumb I've always found to be true though is something we came up with back when I was a junior: "If You Can't Be Creative, You Might As Well Look Creative.

Seriously-- go to the worst agencies and you'll see the creative department dressed in the trendiest togs with painstakingly funky hairdos and $800 boots. Lots of tattoos also. Whereas at the places doing good work, the clothing is pretty secondary, leaning heavily towards the collegiate and comfortable.

Not sure if that holds true in London, but in NYC it's held up for close to 20 years.

Scamp said...

First anonymous - you asked what Planners should wear. What I think is, don't go too heavy on the ironic T-shirts, cos the creatives might feel you're treading on their toes. For Planners, it's all about the glasses. I don't care if you have 20/20 vision. Just get some.

Second anonymous - my own style attempts to be trendy but sadly i lack an innate sense of fashion, and i'm shit at matching colours and all that, so the reality is i probably look a bit of a clown.

Anonymous said...

agree with Toad. the crapper the agency the more piercings and the funkier the footwear here in USA.
but then the US is generally a bit behind the UK in fashion generally.

Mark McGuinness said...

So instead of giving up copywriting, I should have bought a scarf.

Anonymous said...

not to put you on the spot, but how do you account for sir john's attire. pyjamas or smart dressing?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip!

Can't help but feel that What to Wear should be a regular column.

Joseph Keirs said...

Brilliant post!