Friday, 27 March 2015

Every Ad is Someone’s Baby

A colleague said that to me the other day. It’s important to remember sometimes, when you take a break from the trench warfare that is agency-client relations, that your co-workers aren’t just people doing a job. Whatever your role in an agency, your work is your baby. Still more so as a designer or copywriter. Every line and placed graphic is part of your personal validation, evidence of your ability. And for it to be questioned and picked apart by those around you is no easy thing. You really do have to work to have a thick skin, because your work is both inherently personal and inherently vulnerable.

And that’s a good thing. It would be easy to dismiss what I’m saying as just the prissiness of artistes, self-obsession, unnecessary touchiness. But that’s what makes for great work. Great work, at any level, at any level of ‘importance’, demands personal commitment. If you can’t care, you can’t work – as I’ve said before, if you can’t bring yourself to care, why would your audience?

So care, and fight, and rage against those who want to change what you’re doing. And bend, and compromise, and conciliate. Because those twin impulses are what advertising is about – creativity plus corporate. Practical art.

And as an account handler, with a foot in both the client and the creative worlds, respect your client, certainly. But also respect your creative partners. Because they are the key to making the work that you really want to be a part of. And the ads that you are making are their babies.

A little care and attention goes a long way.

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