The industry has changed. Change is hard. This may or may not explain the plethora of bitching and moaning about how the industry has changed not for the better.
Before we get rolling, may I suggest a musical interlude?
Really? Another Trophy? How About A Raise, So I Can Buy A House?
Adweek reports that young people working in advertising see awards shows as a waste of time, money, and attention.
Maybe there’s hope for the industry, yet.
There’s a sense among many that the work receiving these accolades is often manufactured specifically for the process, overhyped by case study videos to appeal to the same predictable juries.
“The award shows create this sausage factory for creative work that gets pushed through and comes out the other side winning Lions,” M/H VCCP art director Colleen Horne, 30, said.
Others complain that the awards show process favors larger agencies who can afford to submit across dozens of categories while the cost of submissions is a higher barrier for entry for smaller shops and freelance teams.
I Don’t Want To Burnout Or Fade Away
People are tired and frayed. They work too much, and have too many obligations outside of work.
Digiday confirms that young people are bringing back common sense.
Agencies have employed new policies, like no answering emails after 7 p.m. or no Slack on weekends, to combat the burnout. It makes sense to do so, as 32% of agency employees are worried about their mental health, per Digiday+ research.
“Fifteen years ago, [agencies] dismissed the idea of burnout,” said Jean Freeman, president and CEO of independent shop Zambezi. “The climate has changed, which is for the better, and now we’re paying attention to physical and mental health. If you pay attention to your staff, you can see it.”
The humanist will see progress here. Meanwhile, the skeptic may see a further softening of the culture, where young people are unwilling to carry the load that older generations carried, often without question.
I believe in this case, the skeptic ought to do a bit of self-examination.
In my own experience, when I work more than 40 hours in a week, it almost always involves one of two things—travel and/or dysfunctional teams. Travel is part of the deal. Crappy teamwork needn’t be.
A lot of ad people say, “It’s all about the work.” What they don’t say is, “We’re perfectly willing to make you unhappy in order to make us famous and rich.”
People who are overworked and unhappy at work are no good to themselves or anyone else. I’m often reminding myself and saying to friends and colleagues, “Go outside and play.” Because that’s how you loosen up and find a way to pull amazing ideas out of thin air.