A blog for the New Zealand creative advertising industry, now at www.campaignbrief.com/nz. Email news to: michael@campaignbrief.com

Friday, March 24, 2006

is it hard for a suit to get into the creative department

If someone had been a suit for a few years, andd thought they could do a
better job at making up ads than their creative dept, whats the best way to
get hired as a writer?

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48 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's possible but you probably need to go back to school. Examples of suits becoming creatives would be Karen or Verity (sorry I always get the two mixed up) and Kat G.

9:06 AM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this Ben again?

9:42 AM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

zat Kat from Y & R?

9:56 AM NZST

 
Anonymous Bitched up said...

Or is it an even worse idea than creatives becoming suits and going straight to the client with "a really good idea that just popped into my brain"?

9:59 AM NZST

 
Blogger darryl parsons said...

My first job in advertising was actually as a suit. I wasn't a very good one.

I was lucky and got accepted into Axis Ad School when I was 26 and then happened to get a placement at Mojo when Murray Watt, Mike O'Sullivan and Richard Maddocks were working there. All three of those guys spent alot of their personal time teaching me how to write and Art Direct. Without their input I doubt I would have got very far.

So it's definitely something that does happen and my advice to a suit wanting to cross over into creative would be:

1. Forget that you have already been working in advertising. When you start out as a junior creative you are essentially doing an apprenticeship in a new field. Don't expect to be paid well and take onboard everything your CD tells you. Keep your personal opinions to yourself.

2. Accept that you are beneath everyone in the agency. No one becomes a good creative without truckloads of input from the people that are around them. If you're a dick no one will want to help you out.

3. Learn to Art Direct. Even if you think you want to be a writer learn to Art Direct. There's more money in Art Direction.

10:01 AM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is that how Jello Biafra got started?

10:02 AM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darryl, you're not only a talented git, but a bloody nice one too.

10:08 AM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, can't you be one or the other, so the rest of us get a chance, like an super-hot uber-prat OR a thoughtful, considerate talent-free-zone?

Anyone heard of olaf zwetsloof?

10:10 AM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does Art Directon pay more? There always seems to be more art directors than writers

10:12 AM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think these days you need to have a good handle on both disciplines. There's nothing worse than when one member of a team goes on holiday and the guy left back at the office can't do anything without him/her.

10:22 AM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10.22, I assume you don't mean learn Freehand etc. If you're not referring to software skills, do you mean be able to say 'that funkin logo gets bigger over my dead body'

10:56 AM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kate - do some work!

11:03 AM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well actually there ain't nothin' wrong with learning the software skills. They're not all that hard.

But yeah... certainly having a brain about whether the logo is too big would certainly be a help.

11:09 AM NZST

 
Anonymous Tarquin said...

Maybe we could do away with creatives. If the suits write the ads they're sure to go through. Think of all those huge salaries we could divvy up. Sure the work might not be as pretentious, overblown, subtle or indulgent but heck, the punter won't notice and there'll be a lot of very satisfied clients.

11:32 AM NZST

 
Anonymous Flat Earther said...

We're not rising to your bait Tarquin. You're far too lucid and know far too many long words to be a suit.

Although it could be just that I only know really dumb ones.

11:58 AM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, if you can write don't fucking tell anybody.

I made that mistake about five years ago and haven't had a moment's peace since.

12:29 PM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sick of correcting all the spellos on your AE's contact reports are we?

12:38 PM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um... no.

12:48 PM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well if you are such a martyr to the cause, step on over.

How about you tackle one of my brillant briefs (complete with motivating spellos); internet banner, web price comparison site?

3:03 PM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um... no.

3:17 PM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Top of brief: This is an ad for the XXXX promotion.

Bottom of brief: Do not refer to this as the XXXX promotion - this is internal speak.


Just got it. Just sent it back. Do your fucking job properly and then we can.

3:20 PM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um... no. Of course not. It's far better to sit firing off snide retorts on a blog than actually prove that you can string a sentence together.

Your creatives must be near total demoralisation if people are constantly pestering you for your words of wisdom.

3:28 PM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a creative, fuckface.

3:35 PM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah yes of course the penny drops. The multi-dimensional art director who in a moment of dizziness revealed his poetic side and now must fend off the throng.

Commiserations.

3:46 PM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um... no, I'm a writer.

But thank you anyway.

3:54 PM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sooooooo... someone hired you as a writer. Then you revealed you could write... they started asking you for ads... you were pissed. Hmm.

Another big sticky penny falls - you're taking the mickey intcha?!

Aha, I clearly need a colonic. Clogged up with too much festering naval-gazing angst

3:58 PM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again, thank you.

4:00 PM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sigh

4:04 PM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, are you doing anything tonight?

4:08 PM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That colonic'll be finished by 7.30...

4:10 PM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, it's like you already know me.

4:22 PM NZST

 
Anonymous Person Who First Needed Colonic said...

Are you me, or am I you?

4:23 PM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are there two of you?

It's ok if there is... I'm open-minded.

4:38 PM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

speaking of colonics, I just received one from Drop-a-Stone Direct and was really impressed.
They didn't rip me off, understood exactly the type of colonic I needed and were generally good buggerers to deal with...

4:48 PM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get out of it mate, I was just about to ask for the sale.

4:52 PM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently, if you aren't amazed with the amount of feces that comes out your arse they'll give you a hundy.

5:10 PM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it hard for a faeces to get out of the suit department

5:21 PM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A hundy? Is that some sort of new German underwear?

5:26 PM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've got coprophagia

5:29 PM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love colonics as much as the next guy but I just want to get back to what Darryl wrote about 35 posts ago.

I was once paired up with a writer who started as a suit, went to one of the best ad schools and came back as a creative.

He definitely had all the ability in the world to be a great creative and is still doing pretty well...somewhere.

Problem was he could never let go of suit land. He thought it was such an added bonus that he used to be a suit, and maybe it was, but he should have kept that locked away inside somewhere. Anyway, he annoyed people to no end and continually reasoned himself away from the crazier ideas. He especially drove me nuts. I am all for some good old-fashioned rational thinking, but not until you're done with the crazy bit.

So, listen to Darryl. If you want to do it, then do it. And consider it a new start. The hardest part will be completely humbling yourself. Well, there's also shopping for a new wardrobe, getting a tattoo and learning to say 'cunt' more.

Sincerely,
Jay B

8:54 AM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, I'm a creative now and having come into the game from a non traditional path I find it hard to throw reason out the door. It does get work out the door, but my cabinet is not exactly full of awards. The last post is very true. Think of it as a rebirth, throw reason out the door or you'll never come up with crazy shit that people other than the suits and clients really love. Would the guys who came up with the latest RAV4 ad have done that if they were suits. I'd say with 100% certainty - no. They would have had people enjoying driving it, some talk about the features, some lovely shots of the car in different parts of NZ and the price. Probably even talk about the great fuel economy.

9:28 AM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mate if you think that the RAV4 ad is one of those 'crazy' ideas you're still well and truly the suit you're trying to escape. Just get back to it and stop pretending it's not your calling.

1:59 AM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1.59 - you're obviously full of piss. And shit.

10:57 AM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

um yea, 1:59. the rav4 ad uses the old tried and true car ad format. seen it a 1000x this year already. a very similar one was done in india, but the wife doesn't pull any tricks on the husband, he pulls them on her. well he only pulls one, he douses her in petrol and sets her on fire. not over a car, but just because. You should see it, it's great, but the ideas been over done before. over a dairy payment or something my dad says.

what 'crazy' shit you done 1.59?

5:17 PM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that was funny.

-jay b

9:51 PM NZST

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Late to the post, but some suits who have made the switch to creative are Fred and Farid - they did the xbox work out of BBH London a few years ago, then went on to Goodby Silverstein. Now they're back in France and have opened a boutique agency called Marcel, backed by Publicis.
Actually, one of them was a planner, but it doesn't seem to have held them back in any way. It's worth looking up an interview with them because they do mention how they made the transition in some of them.

Hope that helps - for some inspiritation if nothing else.

12:11 PM NZST

 
Anonymous anonymouse said...

I reckon this person who wants to be a creative should just go and be a client.

The transition will be a lot easier and you'll get to say "no" - a word that isn't used enough in advertising.

3:47 PM NZST

 
Blogger Kat said...

You need to go to Adschool. You need to prepare yourself for a very large drop in pay. You also need to watch your grammar. And you definitely need to be humble - don't mention you're the suit who thinks they 'can do a better job' ever again.

4:14 PM NZST

 

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