bleed blog 01 🩸 2022/04/14
The words written in white chalk on our year one classroom wall.
I thought getting into advertising would be cool - a profession that would pay the bills and allow me to fulfill my creative needs. As it turns out it's just an office job. A job like any other, with a focus on timesheets, meetings, and emails. At least with some office jobs, staff are compensated if they work overtime. If they fulfill their KPIs and KPAs they may even get promoted or receive a pay rise. In advertising, more often than not we'd have to produce some award-winning work before our employers consider advancing our salary and/or career. Here is something a boss said to a fellow colleague during a salary negotiation.
"Show me the metal and I'll show you the money".
The importance placed on awards adds an extra layer of protection for many agencies. They shield themselves against staff asking for pay increases. The promise of winning awards is a great way of attracting the best talent, and once they are hired, the allure of trophies keeps them appeased and motivated. On the flip side, employees who aren't on board with the awards movement are alienated - they best keep their heads down and work hard because they are 'lucky' to be a part of an award-winning agency.
Award shows are like rewards or loyalty programs - they give us a little here and there, but the house always wins.
But is it all doom and gloom? No it isn't. Jokes aside, advertising can be cool. It's a great place for like-minded people to meet and network. Whether we like the environment or not, it's a decent training ground for people early in their career to earn their stripes and make connections, so that one day they might start their own thing. A coffee shop. A record label. A tattoo parlour. Until then agency parties, award shows, think pods and foosball tables will have to do.
In case you want to get in touch.