Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Guns and Roses

Homemade ice cream and leather purses. Shoes and frozen yoghurt. Tax returns and taxidermy.

One of the charming things about my little town is that all the businesses here offer an assortment of services. There's no such thing as specialization. I'm sure it has to do with the economy and being a seasonal town and trying to make ends meet and all but it is kind of strange.

Even the kids in town seem afflicted. As I was walking into the dry cleaners and dentist today I noticed a poster on the door announcing that the girls volleyball team and car detailing service were have a spaghetti dinner... with a Chinese flair. It was going to be held at the high school and urgent care center.

I'm probably making way to much of this. Anyway, I have to go to town for an oil change and prostate exam.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Butch and Sundance

I rarely give advice out about a career in advertising other than don't do it. Probably because, until recently, I only had one really good thing to pass along which was to re-type great books. Not only does this give you the ability to really see how great writing is structured but it also improves your typing. A rare one two punch of advice. But now I have another piece of advice to share. Ready, here it is.

Finding the right partner is the most important decision you will ever make in your ad career.

Great clients, shitty clients, the economy, mergers, new CMO's, weather, etc. Most things are out of our control but knowing that you get to face all of the weirdness and uncertainly and stress with someone you can count on to hold up their end or even carry the full load sometimes is a small miracle in a crazy industry.

I am reminded of this because I just spent a few days in Mexico with my partner in the ad world for most of my career, Rick Carpenter. It has been my great fortune that he was my first partner in the business back in 1980 and that we worked together for many more years after that. They were the most productive and enjoyable days I've had in advertising.

So don't think as much about what agency you're going to or what client you're working on or how much they want to pay you. Take a good hard look at who you're going to be working with and then make your decision.

I wish you half the luck I had.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Pillow People

It must be worth the effort. Otherwise, why would people do it. I'm talking about those people you occasionally see at the airport clutching a pillow to their chest like it was a loved one. Don't get me wrong. I like my pillow but I would never go to the trouble - and let's face it, embarassment- of carrying it around the world with me. There are lots of things I would like to have with me on the road like my mattress, espresso maker, 52" plasma tv, and lounge chair to name a few but I could never justify the effort for the the return. As my old friend Peter DeChellis used to say, "The juice ain't worth the squeeze." Are any of you out there a part of this strange and dedicated group of wackos? Can you help me to understand?

In the meantime, I'll sleep on it.