Oh my god…we’re still in the fucking MadMen era of advertising.

Can we please get Creative about how to be Creative.

I’ve worked in advertising for almost 20 years, jesus that was fast. People always ask me how does it work in an ad agency, what’s it like? The conversation usually goes something like this:

Acquaintance: What’s advertising like, like how does it work?

Me: You watch Madmen?

Acquaintance: Yes. I love that show. Roger is my favorit-

Me: It’s exactly like that.

Acquaintance: Oh. It’s that depressing and dark and sexist?

Me: No, that’s not what I mean. Advertising can be really fun. I meant advertising works the same way as in the show. Same structure. Same roles. Same dynamics between agency and client. Same creative process for coming up with ideas.

Acquaintance: Oh cool, so it’s pretty accurate? So like there’s a Creative Director who thinks their god.

Me: (awkward pause) Sorta.

Acquaintance: But…doesn’t that show take place fifty years ago?

Me: Yes.

Acquaintance: Is that weird that nothing has changed in fifty years?

Me: Yes. It is very strange.

So yeah, that happens often. You get where I’m going here. The agency model has not changed much in the past 50 years. There is agency. There is client. And there is a creative team of two people and a creative director.

The media climate has changed. The attention span of consumers has changed. Mobile platforms. Messaging on urine pucks in bathrooms. Nobody watches TV the same. Analytics and data are everywhere.

The only thing that hasn’t changed is the creative process of two 20 somethings awkwardly staring at each other in a room with two comfy chairs and a couch, who are both hoping to sell the Creative Director and client on a ‘cutting edge’ TV spot they’ve been sitting on for 8 months for a client that’s already left the building.

This seems insane to me. Does it make sense to anyone else?

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