Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The creative clan

I can't do it.
Come later.
Buy more time.
You are a fucked up Eunuch.
Your brief sucks. It does not inspire me.

These are some of the lines I listen to on a daily basis from my brethren. I sometimes wonder how creative people are able to think creatively with so much negativity flowing in their blood stream. And then it strikes me! But of course! They feed of us, the client servicing guys.

They are like the leech; feeds on the blood of its victim in order to live. And once they are full, they fall off so they can digest the blood they just drank, before they get hungry again and find another victim. But unlike the leech's prey, here we feel the pain.

I can live with the first four statements. It reeks of their incompetence and mindless arrogance. But the last one irks me the most "Your brief sucks" because they are directly questioning my ability and competence. I run every creative brief past my Account Director and my client servicing director and if that wasn’t enough, past my client too. That brief filters through 3 layers; approximately about 50 years of experience between the three against their single digit experience in the same field and they have the nerve to call it "uninspiring".

I in fact fail to understand many things about these chaps:

  • Why do most of them dress like hippies? Unshaven, unkempt, turning up to office in bathroom slippers, uncut armpit hair peeping out of their T-shirt?
  • Why do most of them listen to rock, hard rock, metal, heavy metal and worse. Haven’t they heard of hindi songs, carnatic music, old melodies?
  • Why do they have to wear low hip jeans, with their jocks sticking out and their arse crack showing, everytime they bend or stretch?
  • Why do most of them smoke?
  • Why are all of them addicted to super hero movies?
  • Why do they create ads, where the image takes up the whole layout, the font of the copy is the size of a disclaimer and the brand name is included in the layout like they are doing it a favor?
  • Why do they have psychedelic designs on their desktop background or screen saver.
  • How can they think creatively by breeding so much negativity? Oh I think I answered that question…but anyway…how?

    Well after putting in 7 years, I know one thing for sure. I am in this field neck deep. I aint going anywhere, (unless I get a break on the client side, in which case I will screw them if I ever get the chance). And I don’t think I will ever figure them out. But they are the backbone. I admit to that fact with all humility. Without them an ad agency is nothing, I am nothing. So till then, live long you inflated egotistic off-springs of concubines.


kavi said...

enjoyed it and laughed a lot after a long time....IT looks as though people will take them to b the creative guys only under such circumstances,i basically feel they dont hv the time cos they r always lost in thought and since they r back end, they dont feel the need to look presentable. Well as to the music,they just dont want to doze off listening to melodious no, hence d rock music which keeps them on their toes.:)

Deepa said...

Hey! I appreciate your commitment to the field and concern with some aspects of it. In my experience, client servicing has got a bad name in advertising.

One of the problems is, well, the name! CLIENT SERVICING? Why is it that? Shouldn't it be more like BRAND DIRECTING? Unfortunately, the agency often prostrates itself in front of the client (money money money) and the brand is neglected. Creatives therefore tend to see themselves as brand guardians. To them, it's as if no one else cares about what is good for the brand. Add to that their progressive aesthetic sensibilities and it becomes exactly the picture you described.

Let's not forget that they are merely reacting to the fact that the client considers their consumer an idiot and wants to deliver mediocre and blatant stuff - entirely too often!

The trick, I believe, lies in developing mutual respect through the chain (client, account management, creative, AND consumer!) to avoid the neck-deep-in-shit feeling you just described.

But, after all, I am just a planner. (And we are often accused of being too theoretical, too idealistic, too big-picture.) But, I had to say this, for whatever it's worth! :)

Keep writing...

SidZ said...

I was expecting this article long ago but as they say it never too late...

Vinay, you missed a very critical point, which is, all creative guys (no exceptions here) want every piece of communication that goes of their desk to be award winning :)))

And they really test your patience, when they demand time for a 5x1 classified Ad :))))...why, not because our brief is uninspiring but they want to win cannes with the 5x1 they create ;)))))))) Now, you can argue that they are doing so because they are "committed" but its bollocks! :)))

Deepa said...

Nothing wrong with winning awards. That's if the target is your consumer and not the committee! A little award-seeking never hurt a brand if servicing and creative are aligned.

As for uninspiring briefs, they are definitely more the rule rather than the exception. Perhaps not you guys in particular but on average. It's a statistical thing unfortunately! (I'm being unbiased here, truly.)

SidZ said...

Ms. are right...nothing wrong in aspiring for an award...but this aspiration should be incidental and not the motive...

And statistically (sadly), majority of creative people consider it as a motive...

Deepa said...

You are quite right, Mr. Sidz. :) But there are some places where the scenario is completely different. At some "agencies" (I'm not saying which and if I work at one of those!), creatives ARE servicing. It's like working in a bank. I guess the key word is BALANCE.

Anonymous said...

Wotta Dai! So, that's how the cookie crumbles, is it? You obviously don't know who this is, but you might have probably guessed it's somebody from the creative clan. But before I go nuclear on your ass, here's something positive (proving you wrong already, am I?)- the blog was quite funny.