Tuesday, December 3, 2013


A lot of people don't understand what advertising people do.What they do understand is the show MadMen, which is how I usually explain my job.

But nobody really wants to know about my work. They want to know if the alcohol, sex, and craziness are all true. Fortunately, and unfortunately, it is.


This is what I get asked them most. In almost every episode everybody is drinking whiskey or beer during all hours of the work day.


100% true. At one agency I worked at, 3pm was beer 30. At another it was usually around 4. Whiskey and hard liquor were reserved for later in the night. And there is ALWAYS free beer. I loved one particular agency because we always had a cooler of really nice micro brews. At another they filled the fridge every Wednesday with Coors, High Life and Miller. My current agency has a keg going at all times.  If it was a late evening, we might go through a half a bottle of whiskey. There was one night my partner and I went out and bought bottles of wine and just drank straight out of those. We might sound like alcoholics, and we probably are, but at least we're functioning.


Roger and Don have a lot of drunken, philosophical conversations. Their's usually revolve around work and women and it doesn't get more out of hand than that.


Our philosophical conversations are a lot like what you think a teen age boy pot head would talk about. They are often random and get disgusting fast. Two of my Art Directors and I had a reoccurring one where we discussed our plan for the end of the world. We had a boat and the three of us had jobs. The guy would captain our boat and grows the weed and farms food on a secret island which we will use to barter. I'm heartless and would take care of the killing. The second girl on the boat would get pregnant over and over and her "magic power" would be a constant supply of breast milk, which since we clearly wouldn't have a fridge we would keep in a bag nestled within an old alligator head in the water to keep it cool.  Because pregnant people have out of control hormones we'd keep her in a cage at the top of the boat, with a stripper pole because we hear that's great exercise.



Everybody on the show hates the account dudes, especially Pete Campbell. Why? Because they deal with clients who, most of the time drive creatives insane. Pete's job is to make the client happy, which pisses off everybody else on a regular basis.

We fight alllll the god damn time. We might like each other out of work, but at work is a different story. Account people think Creatives are babies, we're drunks, complain about everything, don't care about what the clients wants and just what we want and are hard to deal with. Creatives think Account people are just working for the client, they don't care about the work or creativity, are uptight pains in the asses and zero fun. I've been in places where I've hated the account people, but I've been at places where I have loved the shit out of them and it's been amazing. But there're ALWAYS fights. 

Ex 1: A head account guy didn't like the creatives wearing snuggies. Especially to meetings. They were no longer allowed on the "meeting/account" floor so the head creative director told everyone to wear their snuggies to every single meeting possible.

Ex 2: A Creative Director and Account Guy got into a fight. The Creative Director told the account guy work would not commence until he left the floor and never returned. He never returned. 

Ex 3: An account person asked for a creative director to increase the logo by 10%. The CD yelled at her to get out of 1985. 

Ex 4: A head account guy flipped out on a creative team because they were completely off strategy. A notoriously drunk art director tried to clear the mood with a snarky comment and told the account man "John your suit looks nice today"  and he responded "No it doesn't. It's a shitty fucking suit. It doesn't even fit right" and left. 

Ex 5: I once told an account person I don't care about "the target audience" and to "fuck their face"

Nobody has every gotten fired because of any of this. 



Ok, it's the era where everyone wears suits. Even the Creatives look nice in their fully buttoned up flannels and slicked back hair!


The above photo is of me, at work in the lobby, in my snuggy. I wore this every where. We are not a very groomed crowd. At least the creatives aren't because we don't usually deal with clients. I've known Creatives who keep nice shirts folded in a drawer just in case a client comes in. At an agency I interned at we once got an email that said "even if you are at the office for 2-3 days straight you NEED to bring a change of clothes and at least shower."

Also I have a dollar pinned up by my desk from when I was sleeping on the subway in the morning, curled up on a seat wearing a ragged hoodie hungover. Someone thought I was homeless and put a dollar in my lap.


There's constantly tired creatives at the office. Peggy and her partner are always there late at night, being either bribed or yelled at by Don to get it done because that's their job.


100% true. At one point I realized I had worked almost 100 hours in one week. Weeks like that are insane and rare, but working till 2-4am isn't unrealistic. Neither is sleeping at the office. At one agency my partner and I made bunk beds out of my desk. At 5pm we'd turn off the lights and nap for an hour. He slept on the top of the desk and I slept underneath, George Costanza style with pillows stolen from various couches. 

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