Say That Again?
Don’t you know, the entire office was eagerly waiting for you to explode! My project manager exclaimed with excitement.
Last Friday, I found myself reluctantly engaged in an argument with my copywriter, one that unfortunately grew a little too verbally violent. Inevitably, our boisterous argument drowned the rest of the voices in office. The office became so quiet, I swear I heard my copywriter gritting his teeth.
Fights between Creatives and Suits occur as often as we change our underwear (I’m assuming you do have a certain standard of personal hygiene). The same creative person I fight with during day is the same person I could possibly share a jug of beer with at night. That said, last Friday was the first time I felt I’ve lost it although my project manager begged to differ. We were so disappointed when you didn’t flare up at him! Everyone loves drama, I suppose.
I won’t dare to go to the extent of calling myself a great Suit but I’ll like to think I’m pretty good at managing emotions (in other words, I’m a perpetual cunt-and-cock teaser cum punching bag). After the 20th round of changes from the Client, I can perfectly understand why my art director would throw his precious Mac in my direction. I do think it is, to a certain degree, a Suit’s job to be a punching bag and tolerate reasonable frustration oozing out of Creatives.
What was said on Friday wasn’t something I could tolerate. You can only imagine how pissed I was. Anyone who was unfortunate enough to work with me before knows that besides the monthly biologically triggered somber don’t-fucking-come-near-me face that emerges, I never flare at my own Creatives at all.
The incident got me thinking of the common things Creatives say that irritate me. Here goes nothing:
1. Where is your brief? I’m not making any changes without a brief.
A creative brief is the starting point for any campaign. A supplementary brief serves to document any changes thereafter that potentially bastardize the campaign concept. I recognize their importance and abide by such procedures. But no, I don’t think asking to make one internal change by adding a full stop after a sentence warrants killing trees.
2. The campaign is to launched only 6 months later, why do you want to brief it in now?
So that you have enough time to work on it, idiot.
3. The campaign is to be launched in a month?! I don’t have enough time to develop anything!
…………. (Note: I’m speechless only when it’s the same person saying both Point 2 and 3)
4. No, I won’t make the changes. Why? No reason. Just because I said so.
When Suits ask for your rationale against making changes, it is because we acknowledge that you’re the expert and we need ammunition to fight with the Client. When you’re unable to provide any decent explanation defending your work, you’re just shooting blanks.
5. I’m an Award-winning art director!
Should I give you an award for being an award-winning art director?
6. But you didn’t remind me that my copy was due today.
Like you, I don’t work exclusively on this account. Like you, I have 5 other accounts to manage. Like you, I have 101 jobs to deal with. Like you, with pesky Suits of various brands chasing after you, I have emotionally unstable Clients of various brands chasing me too. On top of that, I also have Finance hounding me about why you spent 4 hours to craft a headline (don’t pretend your timesheet is that accurate), Studio bugging me for hi-res images, Production asking for ET numbers, etc. When possible, do trust that I will remind you of your deliverables, but please, I’m not always your mother.
7. I need 10 working days to write an advertorial.
It’s an advertorial, not a novel. I admit torturous tight deadlines are often slapped on jobs issued. But in rare scenarios where we have the luxury to let you dictate a deadline you’re comfortable with, please do not treat us like idiots.
8. Yeah sure, I know the ad’s been approved. But I still want to make this change.
In the same manner you dislike fickle-minded Clients who aren’t able to make consolidated changes, we hate it when 7 different parties have finally approved the ad, and you suddenly decide the background color should be red and not blue.
I herewith invite both Creatives and Media people to list down the things Suits say that they loathe about as well. Let’s have fun.