It’s all very well going on about how wonderful respect is, but how does one attain this prized and elusive reaction?
Well, there are the simple, universal things: age, attractiveness to the opposite sex, being able to make a beer bong out of a length of hose and an ordinary household funnel etc.
But the most effective way is also the hardest: achieve.
If I swing this post back to creative advertising, I think that respect goes to the people who have made better ads than you have. However, there are a few conditions to this: first, the more recent your good ad, the more respect you get; second, the more good ads you’ve done, the more respect you get, and third, if you can’t do good ads, do award winning ads.
In fact, award winning ads can trump good ads because they allow you to have a shelf of shiny prizes, something which cows even the more disrespectful whippersnapper. There’s also the thorny issue of ads not actually being allowed to be referred to as ‘good’ until they’ve won an award or two. Many people won’t declare an ad to be worthy of praise until it has already received the praise of others. Shame.
The strange thing about that is that there are many other aspects of a CD’s skill set that have nothing to do with the creativity of ads: massaging egos, making clients feel safe, managing their budgets, deciding who needs training, worrying about people in their department who are drinking too much etc. I’m not saying that all CDs do these things, just that the job is not solely concerned with the judgement of unmade ads and the improvement of their execution.
So you respect your CD for the Pencils he or she won a while back, but you might consider a nice one to be a pushover, and one who makes you redo an ad that isn’t good enough to be an ‘arsehole’, ie: their behaviour might reduce your respect for them.
A further issue is the neophile tendency of the industry. Advertising loves nothing more than something new. That means that the older CDs might look like they are chasing things that are inappropriately groovy. Can your boss say Tinchy Stryder and Chipmunk without looking like a twat? And does that matter?
I suppose the issue of ‘respect’ is trickier than I thought (and lets not even get started on whether creatives respect the opinions of the other people in the agency).
But one thing’s certain: the more respected the CD, the better the talent he can attract; the better the talent that he can attract, the better the work; the better the work, the better the agency; the better the agency, the more respected the CD.