By Tarun Chandy
I Write SCAB’s, Not Tragedies
Here are some of the things I learnt this week at SCA.
- Richard Curtis is apparently a pretty well-mannered guy.
- Chocolate was invented by the Mayans and first used as a part of religious rituals involving human sacrifice.
- The wheels on Tesco shopping carts are surprisingly sturdy.
Don’t get me wrong, we’ve still been busy. We’re spitting and polishing and coming up with more strategies and going on book brits and stressing ourselves out about the possibility that we might wind up jobless and homeless and driven mad by our own insufficiency. But it’s nice that every once in a while we can repress our anxieties just enough to focus on the amusing randomness of the things we learn and the work we make.
That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Taking the random bits of information we stumble upon and repurposing them to serve some strategic purpose. Zoning in on every seemingly insightful thought that crosses your mind, to see if you can stretch it into an SMP that could lead to a campaign that might find its way to your final book and be the concept that makes or breaks the future of your career. Seeds in a field, and all that. I love what we do. I love how it challenges us not to simply work harder or read further, but to be as random as we can be.
Given the way most of us regard the whole creative process, I found one part of Max Maclean’s masterclass last week a little off putting. It was when he discussed the way brands view agencies, as opposed to consultants. The consultants were depicted as the kind of stable minds you’d want handling your money. And as for us proud creatives; we were depicted by a piercing image of Jeff Bridges getting high in his car.
As a creative and a stoner, I felt personally attacked. Is it our fault that we’re not taken seriously? Undervalued and disrespected simply because most of our best ideas come from somewhere random, rather than somewhere expected. The idea that creativity is scaring away clients confuses me. What moderately successful brand doesn’t have creativity at its core? Who has ever made any real money without a few irrational ideas?
You know what would really help us gain the credit we deserve? Rather than building their brands and finding new ways to make them money, we should be trying to put them out of business. We should be blackmailing clients to either buy our ideas or risk our ideas being used against them. Obviously this sounds expensive, but we wouldn’t even need to do it that many times. Once we destroy a few major corporations, word should get around. And then maybe the ad agencies can start telling the consultants what to do.
I didn’t mean to get as extreme as all that. All I’m saying is, we need to attempt to fight for our reputation. And that shouldn’t have to involve changing our process to fit what businesses would feel more comfortable with. It should be about demonstrating our value exactly the way we are. I hope that while I’m a part of it, our industry finds a way to do that.