As you stroll the halls of an ad agency you often encounter people wearing baseball caps, wandering aimlessly and muttering to themselves.
We call these people "creatives." They are the ones who make the ads.
They are always confused. Here's why.
They are pressured by their leaders to do "great" work. But when they do, they usually get reprimanded for not being "on strategy."
They are encouraged to win awards. But when they do, they are dismissed as childish narcissists.
They are highly paid, but rarely listened to.
They are told that it's "all about the work" but come to learn that it's "all about the metrics" or "all about the relationship" or "all about the conversation" or "all about" whatever the cliche-of-the-month is.
When they say advertising is an art, their clients say it's a business.
When they say it's a business, their clients say it's an art.
When they finally get something good produced, it fails.
When they produce mundane crap, it works.
When their friends like it, their clients hate it.
When their clients like it, their friends hate it.
They are encouraged to be collaborative. But the more people touch their work, the worse it gets.
They are counseled against becoming prima donnas. But they see that the people who get good jobs are often disagreeable monsters.
If they weren't confused they'd be crazy.