April 15, 2015

Where Are The Misbehaving Malcontents?

Advertising is getting more technically adept. And as it does so, it seems to be getting more spiritually colorless.

I know that advertising was never a spiritual pursuit. And I'm not one of those nincompoops who believes that things were so much better in the good old days.

But I miss the crazy people.

I used to be able to pick up an advertising magazine and read something outrageous, or at least thought-provoking.

I used to read about people who had crazy ideas about what advertising should be. Now all I read is the carefully manicured stylings of corporate mannequins.

They're wearing black t-shirts these days and sporting knit caps but they're the same old jargonistas in a new drag.

Who's crazy any more? Where are the troublemakers and the bullshit caller-outers? Where are the misbehaving malcontents?

One of my former colleagues once said that success in advertising was about "harnessing immaturity." But we seem to have wrung all the immaturity out of the business.

I guess there is a school of thinking that would assert that advertising is better off without  the bedwetters and the screaming miscreants.

But I gotta tell you...I miss them.


Cecil B. DeMille said...

They're going elsewhere because they see advertising as a giant wank, to borrow a phrase. People who used to want to make something cool in advertising now see that it's exceptionally hard to make cool advertising. The few people who can are snapped up by a specific few agencies. We've jargoneered our way to 1984, and not the good one.


The trouble makers still exist. They just work in the shadows and are forced to adhere to the 3 drink lunch limit and attend week long brand-camps.

adwench said...

You need to have nothing to lose to be a troublemaker, and most high ranking folks have fat mortgages and what not. Troublemaking takes time, and nobody has time anymore. Bummer. The kids today don't even know that questioning authority is even an option. They just want to tick off the list of "mandatories."

richsiegel said...

I've been reading about an Art Director that wore the same outfit for three years in a row. Me? I yelled at planners. Made account people cry. And abused my per diem like I was North Korean royalty.

bob hoffman said...

Exactly what we need more of.

Watto said...

Bobbi Gassy is in Kenya. The rest of us are attempting tech startups or freelancing/pole dancing

julian_koenig said...

I've never had a per diem I could properly abuse (it's tough to get anyone upset over $20-$50), but planners and AEs? Oh, yeah. I'm considered "challenging," and told at every review to "calm down your act." Uh, it's not an act. Do your job right and you won't get "challenged." Or put in "quotes" as an "asshole." Everybody is so concerned with being nice that they forget to be good at their jobs. Don't spend 6 months doing research, then give me a creative brief that looks like it was written in ten minutes. Do your fucking job. Don't tell me the client is relying on focus groups to make her decision, do your fucking job. Don't throw me under the bus in a client presentation, do your fucking job. Bob, you had a line in a past post about how only old farts get upset anymore, where that used to be the job of the young. That is so true; the 20-somethings here do whatever they can to be liked, instead of respected. "The clients just LOVE Barry." I'm sure they do; Barry gives them all blow jobs every time they ask to ruin a campaign.


Some of us "20-somethings" don't give a shit about being liked. We're here to get paid. Not to make friends. And we get pissed when others don't do their jobs. And we hate the politics. And the fat cats. And the jargon. And the one-upper managers. And the brown-nosing mid-managers. And the crappy 5 paid holidays. But when we speak up we get tattled on to the execs.

julian_koenig said...

Who the hell tattles on you? They're the ones I wouldn't want working for me. One way around that is to speak your mind in front of the execs; that's what I do. (Unless they're the types who'd can you for speaking your mind of course.)