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Explaining to people “not in the business” what you do for a living is a challenge. The copywriter says, “Any time you read or hear a word in an advert, I wrote that.”
The art director says, “I make art.”
The creative director says, “I move mountains to move boxes. And I tell people what to do a lot. I also think a lot.”
But none of these things really cut to the core of an adman’s (or woman’s) daily grind.
How can you explain to someone that you sit in a room for three hours and just think? That you just sit there and talk about the first thing that comes to your mind, over and over.
Sure you could just say, “Haven’t you seen AMC’s MadMen starring Jon Hamm?”
But that isn’t really very accurate. Unless you’re Nate Naylor of course…
I have found that the best way to describe to those outside the know what in God’s name I do for eight to twelve hours every day is really very simple:
I mine for ideas, day or night, rain or shine. I mine for as many ideas as I can, with the hope of striking a vein worth selling a million units off of.
As adfolk, all we do is mine. We mine within ourselves, our partners, the whiteboard, the Internet…
My creative director once told me a story of an art director whose father looked at one of his ads and asked which bit he was responsible for. The dialogue went a little like this:
“Did you take the picture?”
“Did you choose the colors or the letters?”
“No, someone else did that.”
“Well, did you write the words?”
To which the father replied, “You’ve got yourself a good job, son!”
At the end of the day, I guess I can’t really tell you exactly what it is that I do, but whatever “it” is, I am damn glad to be doing it.
Written by Bryan Dempler« Back to Blog