Tuesday, May 12, 2015

"But he's not a digital copywriter…."

Being inside an ad agency gives me great joy.

On occasion.

For instance, I love going to work at a place of business with people dressed for the business of slacking off. The number of Oxford shirts and well-pressed pants in my closet is dwarfed by the number of T-Shirts, cargo shorts and well-worn flip flops.

I love the freedom of an ad agency.

There isn't a day that goes by when I'm not summoned to a desk or cubicle to see the latest video that's eating up the Internet -- yes, I want to see a snake swallow a porcupine. Hell, I'll wait around to see what happens at the other end.

And of course, I love the free food.

It's literally a cavalcade of bagels, donuts and chocolate chip scones, brought in by fawning reps hoping to secure some business for their photographers, music composers and illustrators.

I like to look at the food but never sample it.

I also like watching the young people scarf it down, oblivious to the fact that their slowing metabolisms will soon change their swipe-ability on Tinder.

But there is nothing that makes me happier than coming up with a solve, particularly a digital solve.

Last week for instance, and without revealing any agency or client details, my partner and I were asked to jump in on a digital assignment. We are both painfully aware that we are considered creative department dinosaurs. And that younger creatives are drooling with anticipation, waiting for the old dudes to lay something on the table that has with something to do with Morse Code or old wooden butter churners.

But that didn't happen.

In less than 36 hours -- the new time allotment given on any ad agency project -- we turned around a number of noteworthy solves. No sooner did they pass from our hands to the Creative Director, who excitedly looped in the Chief Creative Officer, who singled out one of our ideas, and declared the concept, "fucking great."

Not bad for a couple of old farts who can correctly identify Howard Gossage, Bill Bernbach and Jay Chiat.

Time will tell whether the idea moves forward or comes to fruition. To be honest, none of that matters.

To me, the fun part of the business is doing what many people assume I can no longer do. I'm not all up in your face with HTML coding, pushing content up the revenue stream or designing an engagement unit that holistically leverages the core brand essence across various static and mobile consumer touch points.

But if you need an idea, a real idea, and not a PBR-drinking, empty headed poser in a knit cap and Capri pants, you know where to reach me.

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