Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Indecision overcomes me

Dear followers and passers-by alike,

Indecision looms like a dark cloud. I'm having serious doubts about my goal of 'getting into advertising'. These doubts can be summed up in the following comment I made on Luke 'Hey Whipple' Sullivan's blog the other day. The post itself is well worth a read, it's a review of a new book he likes called The Idea Writers by Teresa Iezzi.

"I first read your book about a year ago. It was recommended reading for an ad course I’m about to start in Watford, near London, next year. Each time I read from it I was inspired. Among other things, I learnt that simplicity is key. Eventually I put together a book and got offered a place on the course. Since waiting for the course to begin, and saving money for the fees, I’ve gradually become more and more disillusioned with the industry. The more blog posts and articles I read, the more I get the impression that things aren’t as simple as they used to be. I’m overwhelmed by negativity; by people praising ‘codewriting over copywriting’, heralding the death of traditional and such like. Overly complex ‘integrated-online-treasure-hunt-google-maps-tweet-your-confession-then-like-us-on-facebook’ type campaigns proliferate and seem to go straight over my head. I mean who has the time of day to engage with brands like that? I think I’ve maybe engaged with 2 digital campaigns as a consumer (as opposed to an ad student) and I’m a young white male who spends a shit load of of time online. Aren’t I suppose to love this sort of stuff? Anyway, where I used to feel a desire to write simple, witty, yet logical ads, I already feel bitter, and I haven’t even worked in the industry yet. I’m 23 for chrissake! Do you think Teresa Iezzi’s book soothe me woes? Or is it time to re-think the career? I’ve just ordered the thing either way."

To which Luke replied:

"Hey Tom: While I’m glad you like to write clever ads, your assessment of the new advertising world is, in general, correct. It is no longer about ads. Yes, our work today INCLUDES ads, but the world is going toward telling an interesting brand story on many platforms. What was once a pretty clear playing field of print-TV-radio-outdoor has become kaliedoscopic with media opportunities. The new ad people need to be able to work in all platforms. I still think it is one of the best industries for a creative person to be in. It’s just …different. I think reading Teresa’s book will calm you down."

So I sit here in limbo; waiting for the postman to knock (twice), not knowing whether to continue to pursue that ad career or re-think entirely. Hopefully the book will make me think again.
The problem is, anyone entering the industry at this time has likely been taught a trade that may quickly become redundant - like luke says, it isn't TV/Print/Outdoor/Radio anymore. The only tangible skill which you can enter a creative department with is an ability to come up with ideas. To come up with stories for brands in whatever medium might work best. And is that something that can be taught? I don't know.
Hence: woe.

On another note - I like this. It's not really advertising, but it sure made a buzz:

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