Tuesday, June 9, 2015

"To concept and to serve."

That snuck up on me.

Had it not been for linkedin.com and their silly notifications, I might have missed an important milestone and easy blog topic. Turns out I've given eleven good years of service to Rich Siegel Worldwide.

Ironically, the reason I might have missed this anniversary is because this year, 2015, has been my busiest year to date. Since January 1st, I've worked non-stop including nights and time-and-a-half weekends. If my phone still had a hook it'd be ringing off it even as we speak.

To what do I attribute this unusual demand, you might ask.

Is it the growing economy?

Is it the ceaseless self-promotion?

Is it my marginal ability to put one word in front of another?

It's none of the above.

It has very little to do with what I am doing and is more about what the industry is not doing.

It's not breeding writers.

In order to maximize profits, bill hours and pass the profits on to C-Suiters holed up in their NY town homes, holding companies are grabbing any warm body with a college degree and a medicine cabinet full of beard care products. Before they can get out of their rented caps and gowns, these wunderkind are enrolled in some fakakta, cleverly-named copywriting internship program:

Fresh Blood

Creative Rebels

Game Changers


Digital Warriors

Their freshly-printed business cards say they're copywriters. Their sloppy first drafts indicate otherwise.

Look, my worked sucked when I first started out in the business. But I was writing Help Wanted ads for hospitals, banks and bomb-makers. I wrote hunting ads for single-gauge shotguns and doe urine (apparently very effective at attracting bucks).

I wrote headlines for small savings and loans, with headlines like:

Our interest rates should interest you.

It was garbage time. And with any luck, my boss and I were the only ones to see it. But it was also good practice. And believe me I needed plenty of practice. I didn't touch my first national print ad until I had 5 years experience notched on my belt. And another two years, before anyone let me near a TV script.

Here's a newsflash youngsters, a script for a thirty second television commercial is like a resume. It should all fit on one page. Not three.

Make no mistake, I'm not complaining.

The more agencies hire kids that can't write, the greater the need for people who can.

It just proves the old adage that it takes 10,000 hours before you can master something. Not a T-shirt and a flat-brim trucker hat that says "I'm a Young Pirate."

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