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I’ve been playing Professor Layton and the Curious Village on my Nintendo DS. It’s a very addicting puzzle game. Here’s the trailer…
A couple of posts ago I asked “Who will you work for?” My answer (which most of you hit on in some form or another) is this:
I work for my book.
It sounds selfish. Ego-centric. A little self-absorbed. But it’s the only answer I’ve found that really makes sense to me.
When I work for my book…
I win. Because I know I’m pushing myself creatively, and I’m more likely to end up with a breakthrough idea. If my end result doesn’t garner any awards, I’ll still know that I didn’t phone it in, and I’m that much sharper for the next assignment.
The agency wins. For all the reasons listed above. The agency gets another number by its name in the index of the One Show and/or I’ve become that more valuable to the office as an employee.
My creative director wins. For all the reasons heretofore listed.
The client wins. I can’t do great creative if the client’s not benefiting from the effort. It’s not creative if it doesn’t sell. And it probably won’t sell if it’s not creative. Also, outside the industry, when a great ad appears, it’s the client who becomes famous, not you. Happy to live with that.
Your alma matter wins. No matter what portfolio school you went to, they get to say that you went there as a recruiting device.
The industry wins. I think we’d all agree at least 90% of the advertising out there is garbage. Work for your book and you’ll automatically be in the top 10%. Better yet, you can be part of the effort to push the percentage of bad advertising down to 89%.
My bank account wins. Keep your eye on the ball. But, yes, this too will be affected.
Work for your book. It’s the only thing guaranteed to follow you to the next gig.
Yes, you’re all too busy putting your books together to indulge in “reading.” Certainly, not when the book is 500 – 700 pages long. But in the off chance you’re looking to squeeze in a chapter or two between Starbucks runs and wearing down your Sharpies on your comps, let me introduce you to three books worth reading:
If you’re lucky enough to be hired at Ricther7, these are three books the agency’s president, Dave Newbold, will suggest you read. Not because they’re advertising books (okay, “Whipple” is), but because they’re about creativity, and what it means to create.
The Agony and the Ecstasy is Irving Stone’s novelized biography of Michaelangelo, which he’s cobbled together from the Master’s actual correspondence. Here’s a guy who not only sculpts, paints and writes, he becomes legendary in each arena. Why? Because he’s creatively driven. The movie with Charleston Heston is pretty good. The novel is fantastic. If you don’t have time to read it now, be sure to before your next visit to Florence.
The Fountainhead is Ayn Rand’s epic story of Howard Roark, an architect who will not cave in to convention. While everyone around him is insisting the best work has already been accomplished (Renaissance, Gothic, Roman, or whatever they happen to consider “the best”), Roark follows his own creative vision. It’s loosely based on and inspired by the life of Frank Lloyd Wright. If an early attempt at Atlas Shrugged turned you off to Rand’s philosophy, give The Fountainhead a try. If you are a creative person, I can almost guarantee this book will speak to you.
Do we really need to talk about why Hey, Whipple is included? No. If you haven’t read it by now, dear student, shame on you.
Awhile back, Greg posted an article by Sally Hogshead with the simple statistical reality that you have to write about 100 headlines to get a good one. And while creativity by committee can be a frustrating and deadly process, if you have a concept, it sometimes helps to have several writers plugging away at headlines, just to generate the volume.
Here’s an example I found entertaining and relevant to what we do. It’s a story from This American Life about the process they go through at The Onion to create their fantastic headlines.