Monday, January 9, 2017
Welcome to Ad Heaven
Today's post may come off as pandering. But it's really not.
I'm in the fortunate position of not having to kiss ass or play the sycophant, a role that does not suit me well. And never has.
No, today I want to talk about a recent gig that my partner and I just completed only because this one was so different than so many others.
First, it should be noted I did not get my full day rate. I would have liked to. The University of Washington, where my daughter goes to school, covers close to 100 acres of land. And that land needs to be landscaped. And somebody has to pay for that extensive landscaping. And apparently that somebody is me.
So yes, I would have loved to received my going rate. But I discounted my fee because the job came in at the last second. Unexpectedly. And it was for an ad agency I have always enjoyed working with.
"How can that be?
Weren't you named the 2016's Crankiest 44 year old Freelance Copywriter?"
Indeed I was. However it is impossible to accurately describe the sweatshop conditions in our industry without acknowledging the diametric opposite, that is, an agency that knows how to treat people.
Let's start with the office itself. Or let's not, because the folks who hired us for this gig did not require us to be in their office.
One, because the Christmas holidays were upon us. And two, more importantly, we were dealing with grown ups who know how to trust other grown ups. A longwinded way of saying, we worked off site.
Here, deep in the heart of Culver City, is where I do my best work. Because it is here that I am free from the ugly commutes, the starched shirts and the pesky necessities of daily hygiene. I'm still on a SpeedStick of deodorant that my wife bought me in 2013.
You put me in my den, with my Herman Miller Aeron chair, a pot of coffee, some prescription grade cough medicine and an advertising brief, and I will be at most productive.
None of which escaped the notice of our taskmasters who were not taskmasters at all.
We reported to one Creative Director who couldn't have been more pleasant, more professional and more clear-minded, attributes that have become quite rare these days. He fielded the shit we hate fielding: meetings, debriefs, and more meetings about debriefs.
We simply took direction and cranked out the work. Tons and tons of work. Right up to the last minute of the last day of the last extension of the assignment.
I wouldn't have it any other way.
Though given the nature of advertising, I most likely will.