Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Change is afoot

In addition to self identifying as America's crankiest Freelance Copywriter, I'm also a canary in a coal mine.

Allow me to explain.

Being out here, with no corporate safety net and wasting my days cold calling potential clients, I have excessive time and opportunity to make meaningless observations on our industry. Exhibit #1: RoundSeventeen.

Towards the end of 2007, I noticed a shift in the wind. My permalance gig at Chiat/Day had come to an unexpected close. The landline had stopped ringing. And the marketplace was gripped with fear.

By 2008, true to my prediction, we had gone into a full-on freefall.

It's ten years later, and I've got a tickle in my canary throat. Things are changing in adland. Particularly, and I'm no Nostradamus for saying this, for advertising agencies.

Two weeks ago, my partner and I were contacted by a large firm.

They had been invited to a pitch for an up-and-coming brand that had real upside potential. We worked out the logistics and the finances and then proceeded to dig in. We did taglines, brand platforms, outdoor boards and OOH, and a bevy of the obligatory brand activation units.

More importantly we did it from the comfort of my home in Culver City. In between bursts of creativity, there was the jocularity of finding fun shit on the Internet, a quick run to the store for more coffee and of course, the legendary sandwiches from Jackson Market.

More pleasantly, there weren't any daily check ins. No interruptions by planners. No gun-to-the-head deadlines. And no gawd awful "thought starters." (I've been doing this for more than 25 years. I know where good ideas come from. And where they don't come from.)

When the deck was presented it was met with laughter, enthusiasm and wild appreciation.

"These are such great ideas."

"There so much here, we don't even know where to start."

"You guys hit it out of the ballpark."

Not to sound immodest, but I've enjoyed this euphoric experience at many ad agencies in this past. Probably in direct proportion to the amount of times I've seen work go down in the flames of corporate cretinism.

But what's noteworthy here and why holding companies should be at DefCon 5, is all this didn't place at an advertising agency.

We, and I suspect this will be happening a lot more in the future, were working at the behest of a PR Firm.

Suck on that Marty.

1 comment:

John Grabowski said...

> In addition to self identifying as America's crankiest Freelance Copywriter, I'm also a canary in a coal mine.

How is it you are America's crankiest FC and you say you get gigs from your blog, when *I'm* really ACFC and after I post all I get it connections disconnecting from me.

I've been telling the truth about marketing for years now and nobody likes me for it. I even show them how to save money by avoiding so much bullshit, but they'd rather just keep doing what they do, like sheep.

I haven't been able to leverage my blog the way you have, if what you say is true.

Any pointers?