“So, how does it feel to be the one who’s always expected to make the ideas that make the commercials that make it impossible to walk away?”–from an unknown print ad, circa 1996
I keep the above quote in a prominent place on my desk when I work. It inspires me and reminds me what I love about this business of advertising. But let’s face it, I’m not writing Super Bowl commercials here. I used to dream of writing Super Bowl commercials; and when I was young enough a part of me actually believed that someday I would.
These days not only is business slow, but the projects that require actual creativity are few and far between. With Super Bowl sunday looming, I’ve been missing those aspects of my work that brought me here in the first place:
Like the rush of seeing my headline written in 2 foot lettering high on a billboard. Or flipping through a magazine and coming across some carefully crafted copy that seems even more perfect now that I see it on the glossy page. And my favorite, turning up the radio because I recognize the blend of background music, sound effects and voice over that turned 3 hours of writing into a 30 second spot.
I love what I do, and rather than see myself as trying to deceive others, I see myself as an optimist, bringing to light the good in everything through simple words. My first boss taught me the power of enthusiasm. She brought energy and excitement to the table on every project–regardless of whether it was creating a fantastic brand slogan or just editing a boring technical document. Often she would ask, “Did you get the Coke account yet?” (The Coca-Cola account is considered a dream account) This was only a half joke, and she meant: “Never stop doing your best creative work. Never stop reaching for the top.” I would always respond, “I’m working on it!” She made me believe that I could get the Coke account if I really wanted it.
So maybe all I really need right now is a pep talk. Maybe I need to channel my old boss, running circles around the rest of us with her love of advertising and her desire to succeed. Definitely I’ll watch the Super Bowl commercials this year. And perhaps I’ll be inspired to go get that mythical Coke account; or at least be able to say, “I’m working on it.”