Why is advertising no fun anymore?

Ad Age recently published this article.

It mentions how many high-powered creatives feel that traditional advertising models (ie, the big ad agencies) are no longer fun.

And these guys were at the very top, making the most money. But money isn’t enough apparently.

Of course it isn’t.

Creative people really just want to make stuff. That’s why we got into this business.

That’s what we’re good at. Or should be good at.

But as you move up the chain of command at big agencies, the thing you trade off is fun.

Instead of fun you get money and you have to go to a ton of meetings about shit you really don’t care about. not a recipe for fun.

I predict an explosion of new creative agencies. you know why? because that’s the only way to have fun in advertising anymore. it’s a lot more fun to be a pirate than to be in the navy. better hats for one.

And I personally think the advertising holding companies may well be reaching their year zero. You can only suck so much cost out of something before it becomes a dried out husk that even a gentle breeze could blow away.

But luckily for advertising it looks like there is about to be an entrepreneurial explosion as the creators of the advertising once again seek their due.

8 responses to “Why is advertising no fun anymore?

  1. I think we all go through this. Beancounter and Stock Price rule everything. But that is NOT what does a Brand service. Agencies don’t like Pay for ROI situation. But Brands especially publicly traded ones all run on ROI. Unless the Stock moves thus impacting bonuses they are pissed.

    Creatives just want to create. I was in heavy Industry. Well paid. Aerospace. Military. Automotive. Rocket Science work. But it bored me…not the projects. The people. Now I am poor. High Risk hopefully High Reward. Left the stable stuff for the exciting stuff.

    That why the Escape Pod exists right?

  2. i know what you mean. and there was some fat to be cut from the ad game. but now ALL the money goes back to the mothership.

    all great agencies were an extension of their founders. and the founders are long dead so all we’re left with his facades. understaffed facades.

    we actually started the escape pod because we knew we could do it better for less money and a lot less aggravation. our process is working your problem! nothing else.

  3. whether you’re big or small doesn’t really matter.
    I always say the biggest mistake a large company can make is to stop acting like a small company.
    “now we’ve grown we have to re-think everything.”
    why the hell would you do that?
    so a road to Growth suddenly becomes a road to Gutter.

  4. Couldn’t agree more.

    If this is the tipping point towards advertising being good and fun again – hallelujah!

  5. Pingback: If This Is A Blog Then What's Christmas? - I think lots of important american creatives read my ‘you need an out’ post.

  6. I blame a combination of greedy agencies and the recession, which have combined to make creating ads a long, painful and heart-breaking process in which a series of strategic ‘ticks’ have to be achieved on the list before any concept is allowed to progress. Years later, and any ‘idea’ that makes it out of the other side is by now a cut and pasted, battle-scarred Frankenstein Monster, which delights the strategists and the spineless company marketeers – but bores the shit out of any consumer unfortunate enough to encounter it. I appreciate I’m not saying anything new but it’s cathartic to get it off one’s chest every now and then.

  7. PS Still beats working for a living though…

  8. i agree phil. startups tend to be executionally oriented. the work is all we have!

    let’s hope so ben. i think it is.

    riki, we feast on the indecisiveness of the big agencies. but don’t tell them that. ;-)

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