The last decade of my life has been primarily dedicated to ensuring I’d have a fulfilling life and future in advertising. College. Networking events. Industry associations. Various ad agency tenures.
And now, after a couple months at my current agency, I find myself wondering if I should just dedicate all of my energy into monetizing staying home, playing with my dog, listening to Kanye and watching People’s Court. There are a few reasons why I’m feeling jaded.
The creative and ideas I’ve had to review seem subpar at best. In my opinion. It feels like the mind blowing creative and initiatives and ideas happen at agencies I’m not a part of.
Automotive advertising as a whole
If you’re working advertising in Detroit, there’s a fair chance you’re working on automotive. But I find myself in a weird position of thinking that car advertising is all the same, with some minor differences. There are great campaigns and ideas (“imported from Detroit”) associated with cars. But to be honest, the only campaign that I thought was innovative in automotive advertising in the last decade is”Escape the confines of old Luxury” for Audi. And that’s only because the concept helped the viewer perceive Audi as new luxury. For many car ads, I feel like any brand or nameplate can be dropped in, and no one would be any the wiser. Unless I see the grill of a car, the headline or image paired with it doesn’t do diddly.
I’ve had the privilege of working at various agencies with various strengths and issues. No agency is perfect, but this is the first time I’ve felt that I’ve made a genuine mistake. Things are chaotic, and efforts I advocate to change the order of things is met with resistance or rebuttal. It’s frustrating. I’m the only one scrutinizing and paying attention, and others are just speaking out the side of their necks.
This is the first agency I’ve worked at that feels more like an office farm than a place where great ideas are born. We may as well be telemarketers. Where’s the booze? Where’s the twitter wall? Where are the booths that were installed when the building used to be a bar? Where’s the alcohol? I’ll tell you where: somewhere else.
What’s keeping me here
The salary and the client’s business. Not the work. Not the environment. And sure as hell not the people.
Should I quit?
Not sure. But I’m not sure I should stay either. The only thing I’m sure of is that nowadays I want a drink when I come home after work while I wonder if the next 35 years of my life will be spent wrangling ego driven creative teams, incompetent account people, and managing marketing budgets that could be better spent trying to find a cure for cancer or eradicating world hunger.