Achieve Amazing Things Without Flying Too High

What happens when creative professionals rise too far up the agency ranks too fast? Word is they may lose touch with their craft.

Veteran copywriter Ernie Schenck weighs in on the view from the top of the pyramid:

…far above the creative tree line, there’s nowhere to hide. And until that moment, there has always been somewhere to hide.

But that’s not the worst of it. How do you stay creatively motivated at high altitude? What beckons you, taunts you, dares you, as surely as those quickly fading creative sirens?

I appreciate Schenck’s push for new creative horizons. He suggests creative leaders find a way to “…invent new, more personal goals. Inner peace might be a good place to start.”

Ernie believes in peace, but he’s not the only one.

Inside the industry, there are also plenty of lofty goals to pursue like growing diversity/inclusion throughout the workforce. There is also a need for more and better service work. The ad industry can play a much larger role in explaining and promoting difficult topics, all through the lens of a corporate client. Such efforts need not blow up in a brand’s face like a shaken Pepsi.

Check out this new effort from DDB/New York for The Ad Council and AARP. It helps dramatize the struggle of home-based caretaking.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.