After doing a lot of soul searching and self evaluation, I found that i was losing my way. Yes I got lost. Mostly lost track of what the goals were. Add a furtive depression and you got a cocktail for disaster. Fortunately, my support systems is impecable and like a lighthouse, always on guard. A couple of failures and rude awakening later i found this case study about a very successful campaign.
Suddenly it all made sense.
This is what advertising is all about. Creatively solving problems. Doesn’t matter who the client is or how small the budget is. Unfortunately sometimes, the big name company lose track of what’s really important. We all get caught up in this competition, the race to score the big brands. But the truth is, those big brands didn’t become the icons they are today overnight. They probably started in someone’s garage.
What happened to being humble and taking on the little guy or building brands from the ground up? I Just got back from Cameroon where most agency would die to sign on Orange or Coca Cola, but nobody cares about the likes of Frutas (Local Fruit juice company) or even smaller yet up and coming brands. Agency would only take on smaller brands if they belong to a bigger holding company (Think Mio water enhancer) Double standards are common everywhere not only in Africa.
Advertising at its core aims at creating content for brands, thus increasing sales and awareness. Why fight for an established brand that has layer and layers of creative corporate speed bumps, while you could use all your creativity with a smaller brand eager to make an impact, even if it means running naked across a football stadium.
The beauty of being the underdog is the freedom and the hunger for more. Small brands are willing to take “risks”. They ‘re willing to go the extra mile because they don’t have a threshold. They just want to make it. And even if they don’t have the big time money, they have heart and they’re hoping that you will help them get to the point where their brand matter. For the true creative, that’s the real opportunity/challenge.
Correct me if i’m wrong, but people in the advertising business are the most passionate people on the planet. We love what we do. We live, breathe and eat our products. Critic peers work, wish we had that idea first, or
copy improve another. True creatives are not motivated by money, but the thrill of the experience. Trust me, as long as food and housing is covered, we keep going. That’s until we get married and get kids. But even then, as long as we can get diapers and formula i’m sure we’ll keep going. That’s the creative i was raised to be, and still dream of being. But today’s reality is different.
Today’s creatives are stuck in a machine. They have to mass produce work on schedule. You don’t even get a chance to nurture an idea that you’re already in production. And as if it’s not enough, the industry is fishing elsewhere for ideas. Big brands are funding research on the possibility of harvesting ideas. Don’t believe me? Where do you think crowd sourcing comes from? I give it another 5-10 years before we create creative sweatshops in Brazil. Social media made it worse; The “read-share-retweet-repeat” generation is making hard for us artisan to stay relevant. Everybody is a curator, and each piece of content has the potential to “go viral”. We’re mentally drained but we keep going because that’s all we know.
I think that as we’re moving forward, we’re stepping back in our process. There’s a french saying, “you always need a younger person to serve the soup”. The creative industry has mastered that dynamic. As older creatives start exploring what they missed out in life, there’s always an equally starving for success young starter to put in the working hours. Look at your director. He knows how to do everything (supposedly) but gets paid the big bucks to review the PDFs, assign teams and mentor. *Aah the wonders of mentorship*. Very few remain heavily involved in all the process. I’ve been blessed to work with hands on people all this time and pray that my luck doesn’t change. But let’s keep it real, people are quick to forget where they come from. That’s why as agencies grow, they don’t feel obligated to help the little guys. Once they make it to the big league, there’s no turning back. I don’t agree. Stay hungry, keep pushing, and take on real challenges.
Dont’ forget where you came from.
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