Monday, February 05, 2007

If not Advertising , then what ?

This November 4th I completed three full years in
advertising ...

Two days back I just felt that advertising is not happening and I haven’t done anything solid that I can talk about…. While this thought was running on my head for quite some time…it just burst out and I felt, I should take a break …… then that million dollar question came and struck my head ,’ if not advertising what then? ‘

Not taking it seriously, I just started calling my servicing friends who use to work with me in my earlier agency and asked them…. Hey man, how is life? Whats happening? Anything new? The first one answered, ‘Chaltha hai yaar…. am actually looking out. Any openings in your client’s place? ‘ The other ones answer was even more interesting he said ‘SSDD’, I immediately responded, ‘am sorry… what does that mean?’ He said Same Shit Different Days….

SSDD - So pitiful to hear that out from an advertising guy. Am not surprised, nor am happy that most of the people at my level( and even above) in advertising feel the same and its nothing that I need to worry about.

Actually speaking it makes sense if a guy working in a call center says SSDD or a teller in MNC bank gives that answer, but how come an advertising guy?

The so-called the hep, dynamic, knowledge business is loosing its charm. Not loosing my sprit I just asked the 3 questions to myself….

Is my agency not happening?

Are the accounts that I handle not happening?

Is advertising itself not happening? If not advertising then what?

Than the first two I felt the third question is more critical. In a way it gives answer and direction to life.

Is advertising not happening? If I say ‘NO’ …. I wouldn’t be writing this article. If I say ‘YES’ I should be either infected by IMTM syndrome. (Its Money That Matters syndrome not passion, not the job) or I have got the sickest attitude of treating job as a mere job.

I think I started seeing job as a mere job. When that happened…. Advertising is stressful, boring, it’s just a matter of logical thinking and execution.

Advertising is not a job. Its the process of discovery, its an art of understanding people, challenges and striking creative solutions for it.

To me advertising is a very unique profession, where the art and science takes the right blend (But its screws the whole show when the mix is not right) It becomes the golden blend of art and science only when a proper homework is done at both the ends. The simple reason why the industry is loosing its charm is because it is not properly done or rather ignored completely. Most of the strategic and creative inputs are given just like an idea thrown out of hat, without sufficient learning’s and serious thought to it….

Advertising is definitely happening, but you need an attitude to make it interesting for you. When you work with passion advertising will give you fun, life and what ever you want. The homework will be stressful when it is seen just as a job and when there is no passion in doing it.

Advertising has got so much to do , scanning the category, studying competition, understanding consumer, discovering the need gaps, developing strategies … when it is done with passion it works and we earn client’s respect or else it’s the matter of being supplier of designs and common sense strategies.

Once a colleague of mine (who desperately wants to go to client’s side because of IMTM syndrome) listed some 5 unpleasant pointers about advertising.

Good talents are going out of advertising..... (Dude come out of Santhosh Desai hangover…. He will make a come back. We have bigger talents here. We are picking up average and making them stars now. )

Advertising doesn’t pay enough to get a girl in marriage market........ (Very true but do you consciously marry girl even after knowing that she has chosen you for your money)

We don’t have respect any more with clients we are treated as suppliers/executors and not as solution providers...... (This can happen in any industry. When you commit repeated mistakes and don’t take steps to correct it, when you suggest something and don’t know the ABCD of it. It happens)

Advertising doesn’t respect personal life, Saturday offs are over and we really need to slog to hold an account.......... (if we want a profession that will respect our personal life we need to work either in a post office or as a primary school teacher)

I still want to be in advertising for three good reasons…..

It gives opportunities to think and be creative.

It gives a multi dimensional exposure ---- I get know what material of plastic to be used to get the shinning finish in my brands new packaging design, I get to know what women does to get a fair skin , I get to know how complicated its is to communicate 10 product benefits in 30 secs…. I get to so many other things that my friends in sales and marketing will not know.

Above all there is a little pride in saying that ‘Am an ad guy ‘, when I say that people ask me ‘ohhh you make ad films ?’ ……

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gururanganathan said...

this article is damn cool!!!!! iam one among those who aspire to get in to this field....u made me more clearer....

Ananya banerjee said...

amazing. You made me rethink. I was about to leave the illusion that I can ever be in Advertising.By the way where do you work and as what?

Anonymous said...

excellent article!...itz really an eye opener for beginners and those satiated with advertising... keep up the good work

Archana Padgaonkar said...

and for that matter it is the same echoing of sentiments that every advertising guy seems to be making. and about the santhosh desai syndrome this author is talking about is one act of cowardice. if santhosh was real, he would have told it when he was in the indusrty. moving out and then bad mouthing the place where he sat slept and lived for years isnt a gr88 job, it simply is spitting on ones own face. It is one great industry but infested with creeps and parasites. good work raampraasad.

Anonymous said...

It is as cool as cucumber to be in advertising only problem that sucks is the top guys taking all the salary and the low and middle level getting pittance. Ram you should write it in aganecy faqs also.

Anonymous said...

hahahahaha that is as a cucumber? but when it us tucked up ur ass, every day, would u feel cool? the industry sucks..big time..

Marc stevenson said...

As promised I am back and this time I can make sense out of it unlike last time (when you wrote about the devil). this is one problem everywhere in advertising, and it has to be solved. Who will? that is a question..?
will you find any other industry that will prostrate so much before its clients..?

keep going !!!

nraamprasad said...

Hi Marcc...I agree that no other Industry will prostrate so much before client.. but why do u think thats happening? Its because people are not well equipped, they don't do their homework to win clients respect. Advertising is a knowledge profession we are expected to know more than our clients but unfortunately it doesn't happen.

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