This may be a hefty entry because I didn’t write last Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. I needed time to reflect. I was exhausted, and I felt very lonely all weekend. Being so isolated gave me terrible anxiety.
After one week, it is crazy how much I have learned about how an ad agency works. But with that, there is still more to learn because there are tiny little details that I am still not aware of due to not being thrown into every tiny situation.
You can see how the flow of this company works and how everyone is working together with excellent communication. The synergy here is phenomenal, and the vibe is very positive.
My favorite part of the week was going to brainstorming sessions for current projects. In ad school, we never took a campaign and tried to improve it. Now, I can take ***Said clients*** campaign and create ideas for it in a safe space without being judged if I say something stupid, which has never really been a problem for me. The coolest part about brainstorming sessions is the whole company from account managers to accountants can participate.
One thing I need to work on is to work smarter. I spent the whole week concepting campaign tags, and then I picked out 88 of 500 that I wrote, then I made print ad templates for all 88 of them. Then I printed them out and pinned them up on the boards. Then I categorized them into nine categories and began to ideate big picture executions for them. Out of the 300 of the ideas I choose, I widdled it down to 50. I sent them to the creative director, and he picked out six of my best ones.
The big lesson that I learned from him was that he only read my headlines if they caught his eye then he wanted me to proceed with them. The number one thing in advertising from what I’ve been told is to be able to take input from your CD on your project and develop the campaign into an effective one based on the input he or she gives you.
So, I took those six ideas that the CD liked and further developed them. But do you know what else I did? I also developed 12 more of those ideas, because I couldn’t kill those ideas off. So, I rewrote headlines for them.
Like, I don’t mind doing that much work. I love every second of it. But, man do I need to learn how to work smarter, think more strategically, and to be able to answer all of the questions of what makes a great campaign.
An ad campaign is made to persuade people. Deciding moments in life come down to advertising, and it is fascinating to learn the science of how to effectively do it.
I had my film confession last Thursday. I feel embarrassed about it. I don’t know what they are going to do with that footage, but I didn’t sign a release form for this. I said something about a former roommate of mine who started a big company selling stuff for kids with cancer, and how his disrespect for me is one of the driving factors for my ambition to be a great advertising mind. This is my opportunity to save the world with this peanut butter client. I told this to the camera to practice this pump-up speech for my teammates in a low time. Hopefully, we won’t have any low times.
Another driving fire in my stomach is my uncle. The way he disrespected me when my grandfather died will never be forgotten. But, I do forgive him. He is a copywriter who worked for an agency for one year, then started his own agency and has struggled ever since because he didn’t want to play well with others in an agency setting.
This is why I want to be a great teammate. Provide synergy. Be a great listener. To do whatever it takes to make this project successful.
I want to be one of the greatest copywriters ever. Or creative. This small opportunity here at CBP is a tiny stepping stone towards that goal. I am far from where I want to be, and this is why every day in this place is a blessing.
It’s been a long journey to get to this point, and I’m not blowing it.
This is advertising boot camp, and one thing they don’t tell you about agency life is the amount of patience that you need to have. Right now, we are in such early stages of the campaign that I can’t go 100 mph yet. In fact, there is no time to go 100 mph. I need to go to the speed limit that everyone else is going at, and it is hard.
Working on strategy, and adding every bit of effort and knowledge I can put into it isn’t my favorite thing, but I do it because I love advertising. More importantly, I love good campaigns, and if you want to have a good campaign, it all begins with strategy and media planning.
It’s not my favorite part, but it sure is essential.
Another thing they don’t teach you is the number of distractions there are in the day. Wow. I barely have time to write at work. I’ve been freelancing from home, and to go to an agency setting is a massive adjustment. In fact, I had to take my work home last week to ramp up my productivity level.
Writing on the couch with the TV on is my forte. I mean, I still write a lot at work, but it isn’t nearly up to the productivity level that I have when I’m at home.
Seriously, the distractions. First, there is team brainstorming, then a debriefing, then a company brainstorming session, then the someone drops by our department. I wasn’t prepared for that at all. I feel like a goaltender making save after save, then all of a sudden someone scores on me and I have to refocus my concentration again.
One big thing I work on every day is to be a better listener to the group. I have a bad habit of after I talk, I stop listening for about 60 seconds. In any team situation, you need to listen to your teammates. No zoning out, David. Whenever this has happened, I make sure to try to catch on, and if I don’t know after a while, then I ask questions.
If I had the same level of attention that I have for my CD to my teammates, then I think I can find success. Overall, this is something that everyone can get better at. Keeping a notebook handy to take notes has been very useful for me.
Another thing they don’t teach you in ad school is that no one can kill your ideas except your CD. Maybe they did teach us that, but it has been better to learn this in an agency. Every idea is worth something. I am blown away by how my CD has read everything that I’ve written, and I’m just getting started.
The only reason to kill an idea is if it isn’t part of the strategy or pertains to the problem or message.
So, five out of six people are working together as a team. This one person doesn’t share any ideas, participate, or want anything to do with us.
If this gets to you, then don’t let it. The only thing the five of us can do is to worry about ourselves and how we can make this campaign stronger every day.
Maybe this person is waiting for the right moment to add to this campaign because they are working in their style.
But, you can tell that this person is trying to play a prominent political game because he participates in company brainstorms and does very well. This person introduces himself during every meeting to make their presence.
I am hoping this person will bring brilliance to the table at some point because maybe this is how this person works.
The reason why I bring this up is that I am jealous that he is working alone. It is so much easier. This is the only reason. Being part of a team is a challenge in itself, but it is way more fun to find success as a team. And that is why I am here.
When you’re at this point in your ad career, listening and asking questions is the most important thing you can do.
Then suddenly, the weekend hit. My roommate goes out of town, and I am stuck alone. I had three things to do, laundry, groceries, and go to the gym.
I’d love to say that I got all of them done, but my roommate took the laundry room key, so I’m doing laundry as you’re reading this.
Seriously though, I am dealing with the most loneliness I’ve ever. The weekend was rough because I forced myself to get out of the house because I didn’t want to squander the opportunity to explore Boulder.
Well, Boulder is only two streets: Pearl and 28th. I’m not going hiking by myself because I don’t want to get lost and die like in 127 hours or get eaten by a bear. This town is a small town, and I feel like I’m in Northern Minnesota in a cabin with nothing to do. It’s driving me crazy.
But, here is what I did this weekend. I went to the Pearl Street Mall and checked out the summer art fair. Let me tell you, Minneapolis’ art fair is way better. But, the shops and restaurants are cool there, and I’m sure there is some history behind all of those places.
Then I saw this Japanese restaurant that served ramen, so I had to check that out. There is something about Asian food that always makes me feel at ease. It’s like I’m Asian or something.
Then I got sick of walking and decided to use public bikes. This is what I’m most excited about. I can get anywhere in this small town in less than five minutes. I can get groceries and go to the gym without taking Lyft or relying on my roommate. It’s nice to know I’ve figured out a little bit of independence.
With my public bicycle access, I was able to discover more of Boulder because I used it to scout everything out. I have pretty good geographical knowledge of this place, and it has eased my anxiety.
Being apart from my girlfriend has been hard. I honestly don’t ever want to do this again. But, sometimes in life, you have to make these amazing sacrifices. I need to stay strong for her. When it comes to these situations, remember that absence makes the heart grow fonder.
I think what I need to do is to journal more and to find a fiction book to read. There are a Barnes and Noble down the street. I’ll have to check that out.
All in all, it is hard to be alone. I consider this weekend a tough victory because I didn’t sit at home and watch TV all weekend. I mean, I got out a lot and forced myself to do things to have fun. It just isn’t the same without my girlfriend. What is even harder is that I miss my parents, dogs, and cat very much too.
Refocusing on the coming week, I am going to set some goals for myself.
1. Only worry about myself, and to do things to be my best self.
2. Do everything in your power to add to the team.
3. Learn from my teammates.
4. Ask questions.
5. Find my comfort zone and routine.
6. Write as much as possible.
7. Create a plethora of ideas.
9. Be patient.
Sweet dreams, Boulder.
Don’t let the bed bugs bite, Minneapolis.
Hug the fur babies for me, Kaley pie.
“The Zos Knows”
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