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April 20, 2010 / Adam + Dan

So what is it you do again?

[tweetmeme source=”adamanddan” only_single=false] Why don’t people understand what we do?

The expression of ‘what the hell?’ when you reply “I come up with ideas for advertisements” is one reaction most people will be aware of. When you first get asked, what it is you do – people’s initial thought is that you create shitty leaflets for your local takeaway. No.

They then automatically think they can get you some more work as it just so happens they know a friend who’s looking for some advertising. Although your eyes light up, it turns out to be a sole trading plumber who’s lack of customers tends to be because of his appearance on Watchdog.

You then start to explain the process of how an agency works and as you see their eyes slowly glaze over, you cut your explanation short and reveal some easily recognisable brands which you’ve worked on.

Apart from being overly impressed, more so with themselves for actually understanding something, they then ask if you’ve worked on anything that they may have seen on TV. As you reply ‘no’ they will immediately wonder why and ask you to reel off everything you’ve ever worked on.

You then realise that they probably won’t have seen anything that you’ve done because they don’t own a TV or have an internet connection so, you pick the most obvious advert you can think of (normally the Cadbury’s Gorilla ad) and say you created that. They are then utterly amazed at what you do and tell you that they can now tell all their friends “I know the person who created that” the next time the advert comes on.

They then pluck an advert out the sky that they like (this is normally the worst advert you can imagine) and start declaring their appreciation for it before asking if you had anything to do with it. You’ll most likely reply with a ‘no’ which they’ll find incredibly odd and question why?

In contrast to that, they’ll then pick an advert they absolutely hate (this is normally the best advert you can imagine) and start criticising every single inch of it. As you don’t want to disagree you tend to join forces, mocking the idea and making a pact with them never to create an ad as terrible as that.

It’s about this time you start to feel a small connection. You’ve finally explained what you do, whilst telling about 20 lies in the process. You feel like you’ve betrayed the industry, become your own worst enemy and even start to question what it is you do yourself.

To top it all off, just when you think people have finally started to grasp at what you do, they then think they can come up with ideas too. You’re then subject to hearing a load of crap advertising ideas which you have to pretend to be amazed by and occasionally even reply with the sentence “I might even use that in the next ad I do”

And after all that, when you do finally end the awkward conversation of your job description you can almost guarantee the next time you meet, there will be that annoying question all over again.

‘So what is it you do again?’

You may also be interested in reading – The worst things about being in a Creative Team

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