When I started in advertising I remember a Campaign editorial saying that if a creative team made a TV ad and press campaign in year they were doing well.
At the time I was at Y&R and that seemed about par for the course, but when I got to AMV I discovered that it was possible to find yourself making much more work than that. Many more briefs went through AMV, but the situation was also far more positive – if you answered your brief well the ad invariably got made. Clients came to the 1998 version of AMV because it was one of the best agencies in the world, so when work was presented to those clients on the understanding that it had gone through AMV’s rigorous internal standards process, then it was surely worth running.
Then, obviously, clients became less in thrall to that halo of brilliance and started to get pickier, but even then I made way more ads there than I did at Y&R.
Which leads me to a comment left on the blog a couple of weeks ago. When I put my first ad up for your delectation and asked for yours in return, an anonymous person suggested that many readers of this blog may not yet have made their first TV ad. Initially I thought that was because my readership is full of youngsters, still hacking their way through the jungles of college/junior life (I should point out that I have pretty much no idea of the readership of this blog. I used to check the stats every day, but then, around five years ago, I got to about 2000-3000 daily readers and it didn’t seem to fluctuate enough for me to keep going back to see if one Wednesday was bigger than another. Maybe there’s only a few of you left; maybe I now rival the viewership of Pornhub. I kind of like not knowing. It feels like the motives for the writing are a little purer as I’m not chasing eyeballs, the number of which doesn’t matter anyway), then I thought again and wondered if the average 2014 creative (or at least the ones who read this blog) is getting much made.
I’d guess that more stuff gets made these days, what with the proliferation of media channels, but are more TV ads happening? More print? Maybe I should categorise traditional media thus: are more ads getting made that are ‘tell-your-mum-worthy’, or are people making more things that are a bit boring to explain to her (‘But the KPIs are through the roof!’)? Or are you making fuck-all and wondering how long you can keep doing that before you get sacked or feel an overwhelming urge to give it all up and become a private detective?
I know quantity ultimately trumps quantity, but then again, practice makes perfect. Fewer opportunities means fewer chances to hone your skills and a slower progression to the next level. So is the current somewhat un-purple patch of advertising anything to do with a reduction in chances to improve, or is that reduction in chances a consequence of clients wanting less of what they might think of as un-purple patch work?
Who knows? No one, but one thing you do know (if you’re an advertising creative) is how much stuff you generally make. So TELL ME HOW MUCH IT IS by using the comments section.