Advertising is a fun industry. It's filled with interesting people with crazy hairstyles and wild opinions, and having done this for a while I can honestly say it surpasses even the music industry for the sheer amount of wannabe rockstars in attendance.
As a now 35-year-old man with a wife and three kids, I've often wondered how one becomes a rock star in advertising and I've come to the conclusion that it all has to happen within the first three years of your career. After that you realise that bones can actually break, trashing hotel rooms is punishable by law and drinking at work can get you fired.
Needless to say I think my run at advertising rock stardom is over, and quite frankly I'm relieved. Because believe you me, it's a liver busting, canapé stuffing, ongoing throw your name away and try to build it back up affair.
I mean, sure you can go about it the old fashioned way by doing amazing work and wininng lots of awards, but that's no guarantee for rock stardom. You need more than that. You need the rumours and the stories and the killer dress sense. You need people to refer to you as: "SA advertising's enfant terrible" and "industry wild man" or "creative evangelist". (If anyone can explain that one to me I'd be ever so grateful.)
But if you persevere, it might happen for you, and if you're interested I've identified 10 things that could help you on your road to advertising rock stardom.
- Punch someone important. It might get you fired, but you will always be that guy that punched that other important guy. Name made.
- Dressing is everything. And irony is king. And you should be the king of ironic dressing.
- Hit on your CD's wife. In front of him. So that he knows what's up.
- Mention how many schools you were expelled from. (You can make that up, no one ever really checks.)
- Get a tattoo of a gun or some significant bible verse. On the arm or the torso. Not the neck. The neck belongs to hipsters and coffee brewers.
- Be naked a lot. Run naked through the office, run naked on the roof, strip down at industry parties etc. etc.
- Get caught for doing scam. Blame it on your ambition and do some more scam. (Try to get caught a couple of times.)
- If you must be on Facebook have a profile pic of you in New York. NOTHING says advertising rock star, like you in New York.
- Workwise you need one legit piece of work that everyone knows. Otherwise just do a variation on the best piece of work in your agency. Talent by association has never hurt anyone.
- Most importantly. You cannot be an advertising rock star at an average agency. That's like being the coolest guy in the trailer park.
It doesn't work.
I'm sure there are many more, but I think if you stick to these ten you'd at least have a fighting chance.