I Love/Hate Advertising


A friend recently asked "What makes you stay in love with advertising? What makes you come back month after month?"

I pondered and then responded:

"Because I'm good at it and I like doing it.
Being an artist in a corporate environment is difficult.
Creatives always go through this love/hate relationship with advertising.
On one hand, it's a lucrative way to channel our creativity.
On the other, it sometimes stifles our creativity.
I don't expect every day to be great. Or every project, coworker or client to be awesome.
Life is full of ups and downs.
But, as with any healthy relationship, the ups should outweigh the downs.
The ups make it worth it. The in-betweens, too.
(The downs make me an alcoholic.)
But as long as I feel challenged and supported, and know that I'm using my skills and growing and making a difference in some way, I'll be okay."

I wrote about it last year, here is a refresher.

Falling In and Out With Your Love
Originally posted 9/19/12

Great creative are students of advertising, art and culture. They are always soaking up new information and insights, hunting inspiration and coming up with different ways to merge the two to create something that will move people.

If you don’t feel that way about advertising, feel free to exit this blog, drop out of whatever ad program you’re in, delete your portfolio, and find something you genuinely love and enjoy doing to pursue. You will be miserable in this industry if you are not truly passionate about it. (Like this adgeek.)

Granted you won’t be in love with advertising every day. There will be those days when you’re not in the mood for advertising. Or advertising is being annoying and needy. Or it messes up your plans for the long weekend. Or it’s being difficult to deal with.

It’s not always a bed of roses. (If you haven’t read Don’t Get a Job in Advertising yet, read it and run little pony.) It’s easy to get burnt out, frustrated, drained and derailed.

Every working creative will tell you, sometimes you just fall out of love with advertising. 
The problem is, advertising isn’t going to try to win you back. There will be no love letters or song dedications on the radio to you. You either have to actively work to reignite the fire or go look for a teaching job.

Ways to keep the passion alive:
           Look at award show entries. Seeing the great ideas and campaigns out there always reminds refuels me. If someone else could create this, then what awesomeness can I create? Check out Cannes Lion Winners  or One Show Awards 

·         Look at what new campaigns are coming out. Sometimes this makes me feel the way looking at award-winning stuff does. Sometimes it makes me feel like “Shoot, I can do waaay better than that.” But either way, it pushes me to start thinking and creating. Which is all that matters. Try Ads of the World  or Creativity Online
·        Take a break. Go on vacation. Go out of town for the weekend. Change your pace and switch up your environment so you can properly relax, relate and release. Well since I started this precedent of giving sample sites, hmm, how about Kayak or Last Minute?
     Talk to your friends who are brokers, lawyers, nurses and unemployed. Advertising doesn’t see so bad after all, does it? Crabs, I don't know what to link this to. Um. Here. Article: 1/3 of companies block social media
     Enter a competition. There are ad competitions going on all the time. Find one and put your all into it. It’s not necessary about winning (though who doesn't love winning?) but it’s more about getting that unfettered, unfiltered creative process going again. No clients, no budget, no account people, no limitations. Fly little bird, fly free! (I don’t know why I’m fixated on little animals today.) Check out the YoungGuns and Student ADDYs.

Every relationship takes work and your relationship with your career is no different. How successful and happy you are depends on you.

Get to work.