Tuesday, July 31, 2012

In Advertising, You Need A Rabbi

As you might have guessed I'm not all that well-versed in Photoshop. Hence my rendition of Lee Clow as a Hasidic rabbi is a chorbyn billik.

But this post is not about my skills as an art director.
It's not even about my alleged skills as copywriter.

You see after 20 plus years in the business it has finally dawned on me that my success, more accurately my lack of success, has little to do with craftsmanship or mastery in the art of persuasion and much more to do with the fact that I never found a rabbi.

Many rabbis have walked in and out of my life.

I've worked for Lee Clow, Bob Kuperman, Steve Hayden, David Lubars, and John Doyle. All legends in the business. And while I was always respectful and appropriately deferential, I could not muster the necessary corporate obsequiousness that pleases the captains of industry and announces in no uncertain terms, "This guy is going places."

It's just not in my DNA.

Although, in retrospect, it would've been so, so easy. A smile here. A nod there. A meeting in which I didn't voice a contrarian opinion and instead laid on the falsified effusive agreeability.

Just once.

I should have found a rabbi and strapped my fate to those destined for greatness. But I didn't. I put my stock in false meritocracy. And now it's not worth the paper it's printed on.

Recently, through Facebook or some other social media, I discovered there's a young copywriter here in LA, with less than five years in the business, teaching a class on copywriting.

I don't know how that works, it took me 5 years to learn the basic tenets of noun/verb agreement.

Nevertheless I'm sure this neophyte will spout out all the politically correct talking points about brand positioning, strategic thinking and the finer intricacies of writing long copy. But if I were to impart some wisdom to these young copywriters looking to make it in the business, I'd say two things:

1. Find a rabbi.
2. Invest in a good ball gag.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

And lose the knit cap.