Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Today was a good day.

As the tagline for RoundSeventeen suggests, I'm not big on pandering. Or kissing ass. Or showering false praise on work that is better suited for a Golden Shower.

Let's face it, vitriol and cynicism are my bread and butter.

Fortunately, I have chosen a career in advertising where the grist for the mill is supplied on a daily basis.

Sometimes even twice a day.

"We're having a check in at 11 AM. And another one at 6 PM. Please format all the work in the enclosed template."

Lately, I have been on a manifesto tear. Writing anthems and jack off corporate poetry morning, noon and night. Everything from _______ to ________, not to mention _____________. NDA's prevent me from revealing the brands who can't get enough of these chest beating odes to excellence, commitment, innovation and blah, blah, blah.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I've written a thousand of these and I'll write a thousand more if that's what it takes to make my nut and keep me out a dirty nursing home when I escape…er, exit this business.

But recently, I was brought in for an assignment that did NOT involve a manifesto.

It was like having your head held under water for three minutes plus and finally breaking through the surface for fresh air.  Not only was I not asked to write a manifesto, my partner, John Figone and I were tasked with coming up with funny ideas. That's funny with a capital F.

Sadly, this does not happen often enough.

I think when Creative Directors want funny they mistakenly ask writers who sport $400 glasses or Capri pants or hipster haircuts.

In any case, my partner and I dug in. And while once again I am unable to disclose the nature of the project or the brand, we hit a goldmine of material. We mined the minutiae and before long were spitting out ideas faster than we could write them down.

We were riffing. As fluidly and effortlessly as any musician. It was one of those rare times when you think to yourself:

"This is why I got in the ad business in the first place."

Time will tell if any of these ideas survive the scrutiny of the ACD's, the CD's, the ECD's, the CCO, the CEO and of course the most critical link in the creative chain of command, the all-knowing, all-insightful junior planner -- whose scant two years in the business world has magically yielded the ability to shoot down ideas with the steely efficiency of a Messerschmidt 262.

But none of that matters. I'm finally reaching that point in my career where I can put emotional distance between myself and what's written on the page. No sale, no problem.

The point is my partner and I think it's funny. And had each other laughing from the late morning to the early evening.

Not a bad way to earn a day rate.

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