This is a counterpoint to Gawker’s piece, Do Not Go Into Advertising.
True. Advertising is an industry that many people fall back into. As Gawker writes, “Advertising is the industry that people who were not lucky enough to get actual “creative” jobs end up in.” Yes. Many who are in it are content to trade up their titles every few years by switching agencies while staying the course in their careers, managing the whims of their clients.
That is because when you get down to it the advertising industry is actually a service business. But the services we render have shifted from leadership to execution, and therein lies the problem.
A problem that can be solved if we start thinking about it and selling it differently.
Gawker’s claims are correct, if not jaded, if we purely think of the advertising business as a creative one. But our products are hours — the hours needed to deliver great creative. No one “pays for the work” like they would pay an artist. They pay for the work needed to make the deliverable.
In order for this to change, and to make people WANT to work in advertising (which is easy to do before they actually start doing it), we need to do something radical. Current agency models and silos need to be blown up and reassembled into leadership-focused integrated solutions, because that what is needed now; not antiquated commodity-creating mass machines — which is what holding companies have brought about. That antidote was the revelation that led me to start Deep Focus 10 years ago. And it’s something I’m still trying to figure out.
People will want to work in a place where their creativity and leadership is respected internally and externally, and where that expectation is set and met regularly, no matter how many procurement exercises that place has to go through. These places should be places that lead, because that is what is asked of them. If you want something else, go hire one. There’s a lot of them around.
Advertising is evolving. And the places that conduct business in that industry are evolving too. You just need to look for them and not make blanket statements.
Nearly every industry is in a hyper-evolutionary state these days. For example, it would be easy to say that journalism is dead or dying, but there are places that are trying to re-think the model, like Gawker. It would also be easy to say that blogs are the places that journalists go to work when they can’t get journalism jobs. But I don’t believe that. Gawker is attempting to redefine/re-imagine the journalism business in its own way, just like many companies in the advertising space are so Gawker can continue to make money (see Nick Denton’s awesomely candid Rock Center segment from a few weeks back). Love ya, Nick.
But Hamilton, ask the people that have been laid off in the last few years because ad spending was down, if advertising is stable. Ask the people that are still looking for work after their clients’ company hired a new CMO. Advertising is anything but stable. I risked everything I had to build a business that could help change advertising. This thing is hard freaking work. Stable my ass.
So yeah. Don’t go into advertising if you want a comfortable life where you do things to make people happy all day and compromise your integrity. F- that. I’ve fired clients that have threatened to take us there. But if you want to really do something about what advertising has become for many (including @hamiltonnolan, obviously), and actually make it something that it could actually work towards enhancing the daily lives of people that engage with it AND make money while doing so, then Deep Focus is hiring, and not just for the positions listed here.
Or you can check out advertising.gawker.com.
But if you still hate advertising, there’s always Pit-Pat.
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