When I grow up…

This parody of the Monster.com advertising campaign struck me as very hysterical. (Warning–this video contains profanity and phrases your mother doesn’t want you to say.)

People wonder what we do in advertising; and here from the mouths of babes is a great description of exactly what each person in the agency does, except…they left out traffic…but that person is probably too busy and nobody every notices them, uh, right?

Hey, can’t I laugh at my own profession? I do love it!

Summer simmer and holiday cheer

Summer is at it’s hottest. Here in the South we’re wilting and sweating (depends on if you are female or male.) Families are on vaca and offices are quiet in the torpor.

Now’s the time to start thinking of how to differentiate your client’s products in the Christmas season. Most of the major shelter mags and online catalogues are already together. So, if you didn’t get your gift guide submissions off before July 4th, you’ve missed that boat.

Think instead of what types of cooperative advertising or PR you can do to benefit your client. Find your client’s natural partner and offer a promo that works for both; such as a personal chef and a wine shop partnering on savings on holiday catering. OR a personal shopper and car detailer doing a direct mailer together. You do spend time in the old Ford going to all those parties and you’ll appreciate it cleaner. As for the personal shopper, just think how much time you’ll save hiring him to do your shopping while you work up the new client’s proposal. That is if you use your new found time wisely.

Also, rethink Christmas parties. With today’s tight times, go in with a favorite vendor-printers with ad agencies for example and invite your fav clients. You’ll both save money and meet each others clients. Perhaps it will lead to new business for you both.

The key is not to think territorially. Chose your co promoters wisely. There must be a benefit for you both and a natural affinity.

Guilty confessions

As a child born smack in the middle of the Baby Boom, I have a certain fondness for men in spread collar shirts with hair dressed with Brylcreem or Wildroot, dark suits and narrow ties. I’ve been binging on Mad Men, the AMC original series. It’s a stylish look at Madison Avenue in the early ‘60s.

While I find it a walk down nostalgia lane, it reminds us how much our society has changed and how much advertising, though it may have found new mediums, is much the same. There’s the constant pressure to be original, creative and to keep clients happy, but the treatment of women and the behavior of men has certainly changed more than anything else.

Sexual harassment was an oxymoron then. Some men believed it was their right to say and do things that belittled women and sexuality. It’s hard for the brilliant career women of today to comprehend that fact. As a teen, I once quit a job rather than explain to the store owner that his general manager propositioned me.

Today, smoking is all but gone from the workplace. The fictional Sterling Cooper’s client is Lucky Strike and they do all that they can to keep that client from firing the agency when one of the partners suffers a coronary while playing “horsie” with a model for an aluminum siding campaign.

What I love are the clothes. They form the backbone of what is rooted in my 50s/60s childhood memories as the clothes worn by grown ups. It’s not hard to believe that Pete might be a good AE when you see him in his neat suit; that is until he threatens Don and reveals secrets that don’t matter to the partners but give them power over him.

Deep in the summer heat of the South Carolina Lowcountry, through a television program about my profession, I’ve found a path to the days of a 60s magical childhood as well as gratitude for the changes that have occurred in our world through the years.