Around here we’re not big on titles.Especially those that begin with “Chief.” No Chief Creative Officer, Chief Marketing Officer or Chief Sitting Bull here.
Our titles tend towards tongue-in-cheek. Mine, for example, is Creative OG.
It was given to me by RADICAL’s founder, Ryan. He insists that it stands for “Original Gangsta” and is an acknowledgement of my years in this business.
I think it stands for “Old Guy.” Because even though, chronologically, I’m not that old, in agency years I’m dirt.
You see, I started out on Madison Ave. in the late 80’s working at the iconic BBDO as a Jr. Art Director under some bonafide Mad Men. They were Marlboro Red-smokin’, skirt-chasin’, starched-shirt wearin’, three-martini lunch type ad guys. They loved using jingles, celebrities and borrowed interest in their campaigns. They made six-figures and were given seven-figure budgets to produce their “big” ideas.
I can remember studio artists, two-coat rubber cement, rubiliths, stat cameras, typewriters and pink message pads. Back then, my partners and I had weeks to work on projects. We were wined and dined by retouchers, photographers reps and production companies and we spent our after work hours in the agency bar, cleverly named Central Filing.
We created ads for print, outdoor, direct mail and, if we were lucky, TV.
Ours was a 300 dpi, CMYK, 4:3 aspect ratio world.
My, times have changed.
Madison Ave. is no longer the center of the ad universe and big agency budgets and staffs have shrunk as clients question their very existence.
CMYK has been replaced by RGB at 72 dpi and 16:9 rules the aspect ratio roost.
Words like creative, conceptual and strategic seem to be of less importance than metrics, clicks and impressions.
And the average consumer is exposed to seemingly a gajillion messages a day.
Because of these changes I’ve had to forget everything I learned over the last 30 years in order to stay relevant (I’m Google certified!) and frankly, employable. Well, almost everything. There are still some core beliefs I hold to be true:
Type should be kerned.
Messaging should be consistent.
Advertising should move people.
Now, I’m not saying the 80’s were great (I for one, do not miss mullets or shoulder pads) but 2019 could learn something from 1989. Like no matter what the medium—digital or traditional—advertising should still make people feel something, or want something, or do something. Other than click “skip this ad.”
Creative OG out.
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