TOUGH BUSINESS TO BREAK INTO

If you’ve ever watched MadMen on TV you would fall in love with the advertising business of the 1960’s. The sixties have been called the golden era of the advertising business. In those days, being an ad man was the equivalent of being a Wall Street guy today. Advertising was a fun, sexy business where you could actually make a lot of money (but not as much as Wall Street guys) if you had talent and worked at the right agency. Plus, you would get to meet stars, hang out with celebrities, date models and get reservations at the top restaurants in the city. Sounds exciting? Well, the closest I got to that lifestyle was watching Bewitch on TV. Daren had it all, the job, the talent and a hot wife with special powers that could get him in and out of trouble with just a twitch of the nose. Come to think of it, watching those Bewitch programs turned me onto advertising. Uhm let’s see…I get to write clever headlines and copy, work in a cool environment, I don’t have to wear suits and ties, meet interesting people and make money? I think I can do this for a living.

Won my first ADDY in 1984. Since then there have been more than 300, not a bad record for someone without a wife with special powers. It definitely has been a great ride, and best of all, I am proud that the work I have done throughout the years. I have made businesses grow, clients rich and products sold. Time flies when you are having fun, so after more than 30 years in this business I have one advice for those of you who want to get into advertising, “choose another profession”, or if you must be in advertising be sure you end up on the client side unless you can handle rejection easily. This is the only business in the world where you have to do all of your work and creative thinking before the client hires you. In most cases you are competing for the job with another agency and while you could have the best idea in the world, the client may go with someone else. One thing for sure, I have learn to always present our best idea, be proud of it and if it doesn’t get picked I go back to the office knowing that this is part of the process of our industry and go on to the next. I just put it behind me and wait until we get another opportunity to pitch. It’s that simple. Do I enjoy this part of the business? No. I love creativity and the adrenalin you get from pitching. Getting the account and seeing your work broadcast and published is the ultimate reward, but it’s still hard work and I would rather play golf for enjoyment and travel with my family.

 

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