Should I quit this ad agency?

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.

Creative
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.

Colleagues
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.

Office Space
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.

 

 

 

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Can Facebook’s Topic Data help make more bust-conscious shirts available?

I hope so, because shirt gape is a problem and the struggle is real.

No matter how expensive or powerful the bra, if I were a size appropriate button-up shirt, it’s not going to fasten it too much further above my navel. Not without incident anyway. Thus, camisoles get called into action if I need to wear an Oxford.

Luckily, I work in an environment where I don’t need to business attire all the time, but this is actually an issue when the occasion does arise. It’s shirt gape, and I’m not the only person who deals with it (though I only recently discovered I wasn’t alone).

#WomenProblems

#WomanProblems

Too many button-up shirts gape or bunch. I’d love to buy tops that fit perfectly without any additional assembly needed, as I don’t buy clothes just to sew/staple them later. Why can’t this issue be solved without accessories, DIY options or specially made Shirts that are a little too expensive for being a shirt?

Maybe it finally can.

Companies discover consumer concerns and general experiences through market research (focus groups, interviews, surveys, etc).  With the introduction of social media, companies are able to peek into the problems and experiences people have and why by looking at conversations taking place on twitter, instagram, and even the blogosphere. Social media has helped companies gain access into genuine organic conversations from real people the world over about their daily lives and everything they encounter. Using this information, brands ideally improve related issues with products/services, or understand how to better tailor their communication efforts.

Enter Facebook Topic Data. Introduced this week in the US and UK, it aims to provide companies even more insight into what possible brand/product/service experiences people are having by letting them see what people are saying on Facebook about their brand or possible brand related experiences.

Will The Gap see our pain and make a shirt that doesn't have "the gap"?

Will The Gap see how widespread “shirt gape” is and make more tops that don’t have “the gap”?

 

The biggest concern with this, of course, is privacy. Do you really want your musings on facebook (shared only with friends) made public to a company who just wants to better sell to you?

To that concern, Facebook is making any information shared with companies anonymous, so brands won’t be able to determine who exactly has said what. However, Josh Constine from TechCrunch shares:

Still, the idea that their private status messages to friends will fuel better ad targeting may irk some Facebook users. There’s no opt-out, and the only way to keep data totally private is to either set posts to be visible to “only me” or not post at all.

Yea, I’d be irked by this as well. That being said, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that one result I’d like to see from all of this is that other women talk about the shirt gap problem on FB, and clothing companies take that as a hint that there’s enough of a market for them to provide button-up shirts that address this issue. In all stores. And not just online.

Who knows. Maybe I’ll be able to start buying Oxford shirts again. I honestly gave up altogether.

Predicting the future health of client/agency relationships.

Agencies small and large will have their share of difficult clients. New business development teams and executive management perform due diligence to predict if taking on a potential client will result in a healthy (and lucrative) partnership for both parties. But, even the best efforts put forth in this area can’t guarantee that the relationship won’t have hiccups. And that’s for well established clients.

With SXSW starting soon, AdWeek put together a nice flowchart to help agencies determine if a potential would be worth their time.

What if the answer is maybe?

What if the answer is maybe?

Somewhat tongue-in-cheek, it’s obviously not business acquisition gospel. However, I must admit that the flowchart does provide some potentially valuable food for thought for any agency. From considering if the startup is willing to pay, to if they have a “Design Expert” in their company. All good factors, but it seems like one matter that should also be taken into account is whether a company’s purpose and core beliefs (separate from their core business practices) actually aligns with your agency’s.

The chart hints at this with the question “Are they a business of world saving do-gooders?”, but the better client/agency relationships determined if both parties had a similar set of core values right at the beginning.

What listicle lovers have longed for: ListiClock.

I was in the midst of completing a client project one day, when I pondered a mechanism that would spout out a list of listicles for every moment of the day. That’s essentially why I go to BuzzFeed half the time anyways.

And I went today and saw this puppy:

This is clockmode. From BuzzFeed.

This is clockmode. From BuzzFeed.

“Hmm.” I thought to myself. “Perhaps I shall click it and see what it does.” And I did. What did I find?

All your listicle needs in one handy location.

All your listicle needs in one handy location.

A Listicle Widget. This displays a listicle for every second of the day. For all your listicle needs.

Now, I personally think this thing is genius. It’s a partner piece. For those who don’t understand how the “partners” at BuzzFeed works, it means that an advertiser is providing this service via BuzzFeed in hopes that you associate this brand as a key provider of all the things in your life that make it fun and worth living. In that respect, it’s great.

Now what I would like to see is a ListiClock that churns out a new listicle for every second of the day. Many of those listicles I’ve already read. That’s not sad, is it?

Are you getting paid for promoting your favorite brand?

If you buy name brand clothes and products, more than likely you’re covered in logos. From your Versace shirt, to your Nalgene water bottle, to your Nike shoes, consumers are walking billboards advertising the brands they buy. Others see you and think “Hey, that looks pretty cool, maybe I’ll buy a Nalgene bottle.”

This isn’t right or wrong, but it is reality. We as consumers advertise the brands we buy. Be it through word of mouth, or huge logos on our purchases. We help companies sell products. How much, as consumers, are we getting paid for this? Nothing. But that’s ok. That’s the way it is.

So, imagine my intrigue when I read about Snap My Ad. It was developer by a couple who realized that when they use instagram and say good things about a company, they’re basically making an ad for the brand.

Take a photo. Say a good thing. Cha-ching.

Take a photo. Say a good thing. Cha-ching.

Now, this is something that I think many consumers do anyways for free. This app simply gives us all a way to make common activities lucrative. Right now it’s only for iOS, and it hasn’t quite made it to profitability yet.

Here’s my question: When is this coming to Android?