Monday, June 8, 2009

Career strategy for ad agency personnel


My friend Esther* wants to move and can't find a job as an art director in New York. She's pretty good too, has a great mind for travelling straight lines in sticky-on-the-memory creative curves, from the single-minded proposition through to the mounted billboard. But nobody gives a shit about that anymore, because the only openings have that word digital in front of them. It's driving Esther crazy. It's onomatopoeic like a box of hornet, with a high-pitched znnnng! that will walk her into a gun store one of these hot afternoons. Just don't be the next big agency cd who makes a moue with your mouth when you're looking at her book. Not on that day.

Esther's story is an old one. The changing of the guard. She already works with an ad agency, btw. One that appears, on the surface, to be doing quite well. But she's aware in the bones of her that it isn't. One or two questioning remarks drifting down from meetings. She can pick it up in the disinterested body language of the clients sitting in reception too. The chrome around the receptionist's desk is a gazillion miles away from Google. They'll have Bing by Christmas no doubt, but it won't be the MS one.

Anyway, enough of the corny. She'll transfer relatively easily because she wants to get it and is willing to learn. Her employer will find it more difficult, through sheer dint of scale and the possibly greater problem of unwillingness to engage with the present, let alone the future. Their new website, not linked to here, is sufficient unto the day, they believe. They're not blogging. They're not using social sites for anything practical as far as I can see.

I have charted a graph of their growth opportunities in the medium to long-term. If you have an analytical mind you can read the future potential growth of traditional analogue agency opportunity here.

*Esther isn't Simon's real name.

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